Mims' Musings

Riots on the streets of Tottenham

Posted on: 07/08/2011


Sunday mornings are usually a slow news day. Almost as if the whole world takes a break for a day, and loose ends from the previous week’s news are tied up.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I woke up this morning to find that overnight major riots had taken place in Tottenham.

I drive through Tottenham to Haringey on a regular basis, so I was trying to work out if I recognised any of the pictures coming through on the news. Although I couldn’t place them I was struck by certain images that are a familiar part of everyday life in London:

A burning double decker bus
Looted high street shops, like JD Sports and Comet
An Aldi dramatically set ablaze.

The riots are said to have broken out after a peaceful protest over the fatal shooting of a local man, Mark Duggan, by the police.

As last night’s events are revealed I find myself having an overall feeling of, ‘i’m not surprised’, as if this was going to happen somewhere in London eventually.

There are many issues that span across several communities in London, which have built up over the last few years to a point where you can see how riots like this can happen.

In this case the main issue seems to be the way in which the police interact with young people. It seems that there is a feeling of ‘them and us’ between the community and the police that is felt strongly, particularly amongst the younger members of sociey.

In communities where these tensions are simmering just under the surface, it’s easy to see how if a small number of people began to riot, it could errupt into the scale of events seen last night.

Part of me hopes that when the investiagtion takes place, the riots aren’t completely blamed on the youth of London. With events like this there will be several people to blame, and in these situations it’s easy to make scapegoats of ‘young people’.

As there started to be a trend of violence during protests earlier in the year, let’s hope that this weekend’s events don’t start a trend around London.

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