“This is criminality, pure and simple, and it has to be confronted and defeated”
As the mayhem in London continues for a fourth night, it is important to determine the trigger, the motivations of the mob, and the solution to the crisis.
According to the BBC, the riots had their genesis in the police shooting of Mark Duggan. The unit was attempting to carry out an arrest, when there was an exchange of gunfire between police and the alleged victim. Police recovered an illegal firearm at the scene, and later found a bullet lodged in one of the officers’ radios.
After Duggan’s family formally identified the body on August 6th, a crowd of around 300 people gathered outside the Tottenham police station demanding “justice.” About three hours later, a confrontation between a teenage protestor and a police officer led to the crowd lobbing Molotov cocktails at two squad cars, setting one of them on fire.
Within 25 minutes, the London Fire Brigade was activated. By late Saturday evening, there was widespread looting and arson. By 0430 hours the following morning, the Fire Brigade had responded to 49 primary fires and 250 emergency calls, and 26 police officers had been injured. Two remain hospitalized. At this point, there had been 55 arrests.
On Sunday, the riots continued with mobs of 50-100 people reported looting and damaging property throughout London.
By early Monday, Scotland Yard reported copycat criminal activity throughout London, where gangs of youth looted and burned property, and attacked police officers. That night, the violence spread to another British city, Nottingham.
On Tuesday, looting continued in London, and spread to Birmingham and South Liverpool. Crowds of as many as 250-300 rioters set cars on fire, and threw Molotov cocktails.
Below are some shocking videos to provide a sense of the anarchy’s pervasiveness.
In this video, a rioter pretends to help a man, who the mob had previously assaulted, only to have another rioter rob him.
There is no need to comment on this point. The video below demonstrates the same excuses one would likely hear for similarly barbaric behavior on the other side of the Atlantic.
It’s Time to Bring in the Army
Mindless rage deserves only one response: the careful application of overwhelming force.
The British military possesses decades of urban operation experience, forged by conflict in Northern Ireland.
What’s good enough for Londonderry, is good enough for London.
If the violence continues for a fifth day, send in the Army, and end the anarchy.
Anarchy in the U.K.