Enraged Brits Engage the PIGS

Good for them. Those on this side of the pond need to take lessons.


London (CNN) — Rioters took advantage of a vigil for a man killed by police and turned violent Saturday night, tossing petrol bombs and “missiles” at officers and looting stores, London’s Metropolitan Police said Sunday.

“The behavior by a criminal minority put police officers, fire brigade personnel and the public at significant risk,” Cmdr. Adrian Hanstock said in a statement.

At least 42 people were arrested and 26 officers were injured, police said.

The violence came amid protests over the killing of Mark Duggan, who was riding in a cab when he was killed Thursday. Police stopped the cab in an attempted arrest, and soon shots were fired, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.

The commission did not say who shot the 29-year-old, nor why the cab was stopped.

“The death of Mr. Duggan is extremely regrettable,” Hanstock said. “It is absolutely tragic that someone has died, but that does not give a criminal minority the right to destroy businesses” and “steal from their local community.”

Demonstrators Saturday night burned police cars, a bus and buildings to protest Duggan’s death. They pelted officers with bottles and bricks as police in riot gear charged at the crowd and blocked off streets.

A double-decker bus and some buildings were also set ablaze, sending bright orange flames shooting into the night sky.

“The rioting in Tottenham last night was utterly unacceptable,” Downing Street Sunday. “There is no justification for the aggression the police and the public faced, or for the damage to property.”

The protests started peacefully Saturday night when about 30 friends and relatives of the victim gathered outside Tottenham police station to protest the fatal shooting.

Hanstock said “there was no indication that the protest would deteriorate into the levels of criminal and violent disorder that we saw. We believe that certain elements, who were not involved with the vigil, took the opportunity to commit disorder and physically attack police officers, verbally abuse fire brigade personnel and destroy vehicles and buildings.”

Police have “recovered excellent” surveillance video of the incident, and “those who committed disorder and criminal acts will be identified” and held accountable, he said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has appealed to witnesses to come forward.

“We already have one grieving family in our community and further violence will not heal that pain,” said David Lammy, member of parliament for Tottenham.

“The Tottenham community and Mark Duggan’s family and friends need to understand what happened on Thursday evening when Mark lost his life,” he said. “To understand those facts, we must have calm.”

Still, pockets of unrest lingered early Sunday in the Tottenham area, police said.

“These are very distressing scenes for Londoners in general and the local community in particular,” said Cmdr. Stephen Watson. “For those who involved themselves in this level of violence, there is no excuse.”

A British police watchdog group announced plans to meet Sunday with Duggan’s family.

CNN’s Aliza Kassim contributed to this report.

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5 replies »

  1. As usual you can find a lot of reader comments across various news websites calling for the police to take the gloves off and start using deadly force. I’ve even seen some call for the army to come in. I think you’d find this same sentiment in the US from your average American calling for deadly force from the comfort of their home office.

    I wonder what would happen if police and military brought things to this level? I imagine the tone of the riots would shift to full scale war. I think it would likely spark civil war. I’d love to see the horror on the faces of those commentators when riots turn from looting and brick throwing to full scale guerrilla warfare.

  2. The attack dogs of the state vs mindless herd-animals.

    Can’t say I have sympathy for either side in this game, what with all the homes and local businesses that got burned out/ransacked/fucked over.

  3. “The attack dogs of the state vs mindless herd-animals.

    Can’t say I have sympathy for either side in this game, what with all the homes and local businesses that got burned out/ransacked/fucked over.”

    My thoughts exactly. This woman has the most sensible position I’ve seen so far:


  4. I wonder if the stories about destroying local homes and businesses are all there is to this. When the L.A. riots happened in 1992, the media focused on such incidents and on incidents of black on Korean racial violence and vice versa, the beating of Reginald Denny and so on. In my view, the media focused on these aspects of the uprising in part to obscure the genuinely political dimension of what was happening.

    Much of what occurred then was an authentic attack on the system. For instance, there were at least some incidents of organized civilian attacks on police stations. Parole and probation offices were attacked and their records were burned. There were some localities where local businesses and homes were largely untouched but shopping malls and large corporate chain stores were looted. In fact, the uprising took place in multiple cities on the West Coast at the time, and the nature of the rebellion seemed to vary in different locations. Some of it seemed to be a genuine uprising against the state and corporate rule. Some of it was racial in nature. Some of it appears just to have been opportunistic crime.

    When the LA riots happened my initial attitude was similar to MRDA’s and Luke’s: A pox on all their houses. Researching the subject a bit more over the years and talking to numerous people who were present at the time has led me to believe it was much more complicated than that.

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