Predict A Riot – How UK Riots Happen And Why We Should Worry

The "Arab world" - as the media call it, is having what is loosely named an "Arab Spring". Riots that lead to social upheaval and change. In the UK in recent times, we all saw major riots break out in various parts of London and beyond, as thugs, hooligans and “hoodies” (young men and women who wear hooded sports tops to hide their faces) and youths set fire to shops, homes, apartments, and businesses in many locations. The scenes of destruction and anarchy were beamed all over the world, and tens of millions of pounds worth of damage was done to people's properties and businesses. So where was Law Enforcement? Where were the Police? What caused it? Why did it happen? Who is responsible? And what can be done to stop it happening again?

Here in the UK, we pride ourselves on being open liberal-minded folks who don’t arm our Police. Except for Govt Offices and Key Financial and Essential Utilities like Airports and Ports, which will have armed personnel - there are for the most part - no armed Police. In Police chases that get out of hand, there are Aerial Police units and Police armed with Spike strips that can be deployed to cut short any criminal endeavour before lives can be lost. In Northern Ireland, a different more robust kind of Policing happens. Because of past violence and acts of terrorism there, Plastic bullets rounds were (and still are) used to break up violent mobs. Water cannons and Police batons, pepper spray and Tazers will be used against criminals. They are used in Northern Ireland, not as last resort tactics but first degree tactics, meeting force with force. There are other measures used, Police units on horseback, Police Canine units are deployed to counter riot-like behavior. British Police believe in something called a measured response. A Proportionate response to the crime or crimes in question. Is water cannons and plastic bullets good enough for the rioters who have brought Britain to the brink? Are we being too soft?

On a fateful night recently a young man Mark Duggan, aged 29, and living in Tottenham - was shot dead by Police after it was alleged that he had a gun and used it on them, and that they returned fire in self-defence. Now word is emerging that this is not what happened. The dead man didn't have a gun on his person when he was shot. The Police have changed their original story, suggesting now that the dead man did not fire at Police. A huge investigation into this death is underway. No one has so far admitted an accidental shooting under such conditions. No one has admitted Police error. Police investigate long and hard before admitting such things. But this is a bullet that has been heard around the world.

A Public Rising

It was the reaction of literally hundreds of young angry British thugs that has been the center of attention. They were hard to miss. They are the ones who went on riots and rampaged through Brixton, Tottenham, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Lewisham and many other areas throughout the London area and beyond - and they did this apparently in response to the Police shooting of this one man.

During the 1990's) in the USA, an African American man named Rodney King was grievously assaulted by American Police and that sparked a wave of destruction and fury across Los Angeles as hundreds of Thugs went on riots causing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage. This British police shooting may be Britain’s equivalent to the Rodney King events.

Many think it was just waiting to happen. In the UK today, unemployment has risen sharply, as record numbers of school leavers have left school and cannot to find work. Many can’t afford to live a proper ordinary life and others in poverty begrudge the others in society who do have jobs and who sip their cafe lattes and text on their mobile phones while meeting, relaxing and chatting in the many shopping areas around many business and retail areas of the UK. The sight of a person driving a BMW – once a routine thing, is now instead a sore point of objection and resentment.

There is a large group of angry young people, men and women who lament over the lack of job creation, lack of opportunities, lack of facilities, lack of incentives to work... and simple lack of care from the rest of society. They feel that somehow society seems to leave them feeling inadequate, disconnected and alienated – that has left them angry and longing to lash out in protest at what they see as an uncaring society that just “...couldn’t be arsed”. So their attitude is – “neither are we...”.

Seeing businesses close down, seeing the constant stream of foreign immigrant workers arrive into the country and whipping up their jobs, and willing to do work for a lower wage... has all combined towards the inevitable consequence. A lot of what is happening in the UK mirrors what is happening in other countries. The suggestion is that Politicians don’t seem to care and are not listening, and that these young angry people were being taken for granted. As one friend of mine said, “we are still treated like sheep, treated like dirt...” And when I ask what is the solution here, since surely addressing this to the relevant authority will get their grievances heard – the reply I get back is quite stark. “I predict a lot of angry people are not going to take this any more...”

What no one predicted was a riot.

But we got one, and the riots continued repeatedly for many nights since the shooting of that one youth. No one expected an explosion of fires across the city, of retail stores being broken into – of stores being looted, of buildings and homes and businesses being set on fire, many with people still in them. Several people are already dead, and several were injured. Over 2000 arrests were made and many convictions have followed. It was discovered that circulars were printed by Riot Controllers on leaflets all around and warning rioters that if they see Police, to shoot back, to loot, and steal and rob and don’t talk and don’t get caught. Even the organisation behind this criminality was intriguing.

It was found that the Blackberry Messenger Mobile Phone service was a favorite method management and communications of Riot Organisers as it's hard to track and is heavily encrypted. Thugs and Crime Leaders took advantage of Smart Phones. Because this was circulated by the Police to the public and the media, and fearing the service might be turned off - the thugs then switched to other Apps – including Google Talk and Skype. There was a flurry of App downloads of software on Mobiles that could enable Thug and Gang Leaders to better organise their campaigns of theft, fire, damage and diversion tactics.

A favored system to confuse British Police was to pour petrol or inflammable liquid down the center of a street and set a fire – usually to a building or a vehicle - to draw in the Police and emergency services, and while the services were tied up dealing with these events – the thugs were moving to a nearby shopping area and breaking in and looting and setting fire to property to either cover their tracks, or just cause damage to the business premises for fun. And they had no regard for innocent victims whose businesses were destroyed in the process, and whose livelihoods are now scarred by these events.


One channel, ITV1 was for a year showing repeats of a grim Reality show depicting Police at night constantly dealing with youths falling down drunk, or stealing cars or committing crimes or assaults, and TV audiences became weary of watching it. It was a curious contrast to find every channel at one point was filled with news of Businesses and homes and stores in flames and you couldn’t tell the difference between the schedule and the live ongoing events of destruction as TV programs and live news footage blurred into one another. It seems the riots were little more than thugs and youths in hoods who were nascent opportunist thieves and criminals going shopping at night in large numbers armed with crowbars, Molotov cocktails and fire-making materials. For some days, the streets were seen to belong to the thugs, and no one felt safe.

Authority Steps in to Control Events

What did Police do to stop it? The Police were accused of being too slow. But there were other problems that caused discomfort for Politicians and Authorities.

In a time when Olympic Games Sports Inspectors and Officials had arrived in Britain to check on the progress of building and setting up of sports and entertainment facilities – the Olympic Officials watched those on-going events, ensuing riots and fires and rampant thuggery that broke out across the country. One can only guess what they have reported back to their respective bosses on their mobiles, and Blackberry Phones. One hopes ruefully that their Networks did not get shut down.

It does not bode well for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. If ever a series of events had been timed to happen at a bad time, this has to be probably the worst possible time for this outbreak to occur. And many Police and other emergency staff traditionally take their summer holidays at this time.

The Government did not over-react by calling in the Military to assist in the process of combating the problems, and should be commended for this. The Police were sorely tested, as baton charges and running battles occurred most nights to stop rioters committing more damage. But for some critics – it seems the damage was already done. And whether it’s Birmingham, Salford, Manchester or Nottingham, where a Shopping mall was looted and set ablaze- damage was significant.

Police said that as many as 16,000 Police officers engaged these feral, violent thugs who brought shame and disgrace upon the entire country. Armoured Police Vehicles were a good tactic, showing that Police meant business, and the UK already has the highest number of CCTV Cameras of any country in the EU.

Burnt out car showroom
Burnt out car showroom

Many are asking what mistakes the Police made? Were there enough Police? Did Govt cutbacks help cause it? Was Police response just too slow? Was Police Intelligence not there or under reported? Has increasing distrust in Police contributed to this? Was a lack of dialog and communications between community leaders at fault? Or was it a lack of Force and Toughness from the Police and their mainly Dispersal methods (rather than anticipatory tactics) that left them with less of a grip on things than many would prefer? Do Police need more Powers and more tools and ways of dealing with such organised criminality? And most of all – did the Police do a good job of Protecting and Serving the People?

The Thugs’ and the Hoodies’ complaints that it was the Politician’s fault and there was a lack of Youth Centers and Amenities - is a sore point that needs addressing. And constant allegations of a serious lack of opportunities has left many angry and wanting to have what the well-off people in society already have. And so these "less well off" people headed off – to the malls, and went and rioting for Luxury Goods. Many people feel this was just down to mindless greed. And it went on until the criminals got tired of doing it. Like infants eye-ing a big cake they can all share in – they gorged and feasted on this, knowing they were wrong, and morality and decency was suspended when friends call and text and said – come on out and steal with us, get some new shoes, clothes - new mobile phones and laptops. It is the temporary feeling of control and of power that lead them to do it. And the sense behind it all that they were wrong but they were winning.

Anyone who would have said they could predict this riot breaking out would have to have a very good crystal ball. We are used to seeing our European neighbors marching and organizing events like strikes over job cuts or closures or austerity measures due to Bank and Financial collapse – but how many saw this coming? I seem to recall the Irish going through the worst austerity measures I have ever heard of – and which seem focused on taxing Irish citizens into oblivion – but how come none of this rioting broke out over there? The Irish are taking it on the chin, but they are dealing with it, and they are still standing.

Whatever sympathy anyone had for the deceased man who dies in Tottenham has evaporated slightly - in the face of the career criminals who preferred to steal, loot, rob and burn their way across London and beyond, supposedly in that man’s name. It's a name they stained with every crime and looting and theft and violent act. And which now seems to be completely lost on the rest of British society. Because it isn’t good at all, is it?

If you are not part of the side in society who are doing well, then you seem to belong to the part or side that is suffering and they seem to act more like the victim, so it seems like a class situation within society. It is like a party that does not want to end. It has to end. But we need it to end peacefully and not crash and burn. If people have no control, they will do whatever will give them the sense of control, even if it has to be a criminal enterprise, and cause misery.

It can be compared to indolent toddlers trashing their rooms in frustration at too much authority, too little opportunities, and lack of positive role models, and of being forever ignored, and so they disrespect the rest of society. If they feel no one cares about them, they won’t damn well care either. SuperNanny times a thousand. Hardened criminals can coerce younger softer more impressionable youths into getting involved in crime and looting. The worst part here is that young people are just not afraid of Police any more. There is less of a structure of instruction, advice, knowledge, care or sense of how to fit in, for the youth in this country - and some have no role models (read about who are role models for kids here) and don’t know how to fit into this society.

At the center of this is a vacuum, a big emptiness, and moral absence, like an absent parent or adult. It is like a ship drifting out of control. And it needs a firm hand on the wheel to guide it back onto the right path. What has happened here, could theoretically happen anywhere. It clearly is a British problem and requires a British solution. It could happen again at any time. Arming Police might do some good...but is that the issue here? Do you use more Force in a case like these Riots to quell unrest? Do you find new ways to make it harder for the organization of events like riots to happen in the first place? Or rather - could we use dialog and understanding and empathy, and simple extending of the hand of caring and help, and of Inclusion? We are all ultimately children in the end, seeking acknowledgment and love and attention, tempered with guidance and care. We crave understanding.

And if we become somehow injured, ignored and are left to fend for ourselves – rather like the British book “The Lord of the Flies” where a bunch of school kids get completely out of control and society breaks down to a debased animistic level – we risk self destruction. That cannot happen. We have to be better than this. We have no choice. It is everybody’s problem and it should begin with this simple statement. Perhaps we are all to blame. A bit of simple honesty can go a long way. It might not be much...but it’s a start.

Copyright (c) 2011 to 2014 Cathy Mantis (Cheeky Girl) with assistance by Cathy Nerujen (Astra Nomik). All rights reserved. Do not copy.

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Comments 42 comments

American Romance profile image

American Romance 5 years ago from America

.........ever notice those causing violence and destruction seem to come from those families living on entitlement programs? Good decent hard working folks seem to never be in the middle of this garbage!.......I might add if your police did carry guns and law was enforced this would stop in minutes! When others are taking and destroying what I have worked so hard to gain I have every right to use deadly force to stop them! ..........welcome to Texas!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello American Romance. Thanks for being the first to comment. It is a sad day for this country. And many people here do not feel safe living here because of inaction by the authorities. It is one thing to be scared of thugs setting buildings and businesses on fire, but it is a curious kind of scary feeling to see how powerless the UK Police can seem at times. I personally hate guns, but would not object if the Police used Water cannons and better riot equipment. And maybe plastic bullets should be introduced and curfews and military assistance too.

Having the military presence lets the Police off the hook with regards to guns. But this could happen again when the Olympics start over here... and then what?

We do need better Police protection than what we have right now. No question. Regards Texas, I am picking up what you are putting down.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

Cheeky Girl this is a scene that seems to be playing out all over the globe with greater frequency. Greece ,Spain and Portugal are probably next. And in Israel there are large protest as well, albeit more peacefully. Now I do believe that there are a few socioeconomic factors behind all this. And from what I read here stateside the man was armed but rescinded his gun and was still shot. I do not see this at least from what I observe as a social statement as much as I believe this is just plain old thuggery.

We are starting to get alot of this happening here stateside too. Philadelphia and in Wisconsin to. The twitter generation has discovered that putting a flashmob together takes but a couple of tweets now. I wish I had a solution but I am not that smart. What I do fear is that we will be seeing this scenario playing out more and more. But I am glad you are OK and I will be checking up on you.


A Little TRUTH profile image

A Little TRUTH 5 years ago

Yes, and the latest one-man-dead-causes-a-riot situation brewing in the US is the Casey Anthony trial, except this time it is a little child and the police weren't involved. No one really knows what happened, but many are willing to kill based on their beliefs - either the alleged perpetrator, or anyone who is believed to be supporting her. And no one better dare to think about paying her for an interview or photo shoot - she is supposed to rot in the desert.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Thanks for the heads up, Tony. Wow, it's like a home grown version of terrorism over here. If those guys kept up doing what they were doing, who knows where we'd end up? Some thugs were pretty close to where My grandmother lives. And she is all the family I have left in the world, Tony. That is pretty spooky.

Flashmobs on twitter? I love twitter but in the hands of thugs, that's a different thing altogether I guess. I have the weirdest feeling the politicians will change the UK laws on social media so they can have more power over them. I suppose the thugs who feel disenfranchised and ignored would choose social media to let them flex their muscles in some way. Sounds like "Let the games begin" to me... Thanks Tony for the comment and also for checking up on me. Aw, that is sweet. Hugs from me! :)

Hello A Little TRUTH: I'm not familiar with the case you mention here. Poor kid. How are people supporting her? Wow, how is she supposed to rot in a desert when no one knows anything? Which desert? Why is she in a .... Oh dear, never mind.


blaise25 profile image

blaise25 5 years ago from close to you...

I’m so relieved you and Cathy are ok. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this on tv was you and her..her family and Granny. I was so worried..Riots are not new to me as we’ve got diff kinds here LOL but then those ones are scary coz the rioters are scared of no one. And they have harmful stuffs to destruct. They are uncontrollable and unstoppable. Reminds me of the latest Planet of The Apes movie. Now that your government and the world noticed them, perhaps heard a bit of what they want, I just pray peace and order would close the deal. Sigh..want some ice cream? ^,^

This is an excellent hub. I love London. I wish you rain and thunder for days so no bloody fire on my favorite city. :) You have a second home here. (hugs and kisses to you both)

BTW, that last pic is so funny!


Justsilvie 5 years ago

Excellent Hub, Cheeky Girl.

You are a much better journalist then one reporting on the news sites.

This is tragic and scary. I think those of us sitting in Mainland Europe are wondering when our country is next.

It makes me think about the quote during the Clinton-Bush campaign "It’s the economy, stupid". And it is. And are we all really so naive to think that we can let a child press their nose against the glass of bakery admiring the sweets he can never afford, and to add insult to injury chase him away violently while calling him names, be surprised when the same child burns the bakery down in anger? Kids aren’t born Thugs, someone makes them that way. We as a society have done that because we really could not be bothered!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey Fehl, we are okay. Don't worry, we are fine. I was worried about my Gran, and was going to have her brought over to stay with us till the crap dies down, but we were told it is okay. You have bad riots there? The thugs over here seem to be seasoned criminals and care nothing about the people who's lives they destroy.

We haven't seen the Planet of the Apes film yet, Fehl. Is it any good? The Trailer looks promising! About the riots, I am hoping the rioters will just run out of steam. There is no public appetite for their behavior and the public opinion is 100% against them. I saw some thugs being interviewed by a TV crew and you could see the kids looking around barely able to believe the pure crap they were telling the camera guy, they didn't believe their own words themselves. You could hear the hollowness in what they were saying. Like a badly acted script or something.

I love this city and we love it here, but it has had an unsettling effect on everyone. The cleanup cost will be tens of millions. Yes rain would dampen their spirits, and they caused enough thunder already. Mr Tyler Knott would be proud of that comment, Fehl! :)

Second home there? Aw Fehl, that is so sweet, that is just so You, honey! Mwah! You are a superstar! Yes, I added some words to it in photoshop. Hehehe. I am so cheeky!

Hey Justsilvie: Thanks for the comments, the journalistic slant came from Cathy (Astra Nomik) as she works for a newspaper! She helped with the writing. I hope there won't be any other countries next. No one could predict a riot that would stem from a man being shot by Police under dubious circumstances, which are now being investigated by A Complaints Procedure system.

People In London are losing faith in the UK Police, they think the Police have gone too far. The Charles De Menezes incident some years back in the London Underground was a bad thing, as that guy was shot dead by mistake, and there was an attempt to cover it up. Then an elderly man at a riot was pushed to the ground by a burly Police Officer and died s short while later. You can see the public perception towards the Police changing here. It is sad, as there are good Police here too.

Cities are always that bit less friendly than the the rural areas where the communities are smaller and more tight knit and friendlier.

The Bakery analogy is interesting. We have to work harder to tell the younger generation that burning down the Bakery means cutting your own nose off to spite your own face, otherwise how do we eat? Good points well made. Thanks. :)


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Wow...is all I can say....I was reading this hub with my mouth open and I kept thinking I need to learn more about other parts of the world. Great facts spread throughout your hub, some disturbing ones as well, but I feel I am more in the know after reading your awesome hub. Hopefully things will get better.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

Great article Cassy!! I dont watch the news or anything but i have been seeing stuff on facebook about these riots and was wondering what it was all about. My question is why did the police shoot that Mark guy, or what really happened there? and if the police dont carry firearms then how did they shoot him? why did one have a gun? and who is he that it should affect all these people going out and acting as thugs? Rodney King was a black man assaulted by a bunch of white cops so I understand the reason for rioting there. It was a racial issue at a time when blacks were highly discriminated against. and they wanted justice. but what do these thugs want? Jobs? money? to be well off? You have to work for those things, not just take from others what you want. How would they feel if someone stole from them or set their homes on fire? I think they are hypocrites and using that man as an excuse to cause chaos. A society is only as strong as the people in it and if they wanted a better society then they could have done things in a positive manner rather than a negative one to make that happen. Hold meetings, rallys, fundraisers, help people get jobs, vote, go to press conferences and things like that to try and talk to elected officials, politicians, write letters, what progress is rioting doing but showing the world and congress that they arent worth helping. they are just making things worse for themselves and everyone else.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is a great informative article. I am not surprised this is happening. I've read that England is much like the USA, more have's than the have-nots. People want their share of the wealth, theyre tired of being on the side-line. It used to be, if you worked hard, saved your money, you pretty well could have what you wanted, not anymore. The hourly wage is going down while the corporations are getting richer. I've been watching this on the nightly news, it is so sad, and i am truly sorry. I remember when this happened here, ( Rodney King ) I love the quote, " It takes a village " Equality is the key. Thank you so much, very interesting indeed.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 5 years ago

I am glad you have fared all right during all the civil unrest going on over there. I hope that things settle down quickly. Take care my friend and I'll be thinking and checking back to see how things are going.

Tammy


kamran210 profile image

kamran210 5 years ago from Pakistan

no words ..really well written and explained..


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello Cogerson: thanks for the comments, and well, it is all over the international news now. That rain last night calmed things down a lot. This will sound stupid, but I hope it thunders down tonight and for the rest of the week. Yes, I hope it runs out of steam, and these stupid idle wild fools grow up.

Nikki, it is no longer about the unfortunate Mark Duggan who seems to have been shot my accident, according to the media. We have to wait for more details to emerge. But there is lots of pressure on the Police to investigate this fast since there is so much uproar over it, in every sense of the word.

Oh I should explain that while the average street and city Police who patrol among us on foot do not carry weapons, raids on particular dangerous targets or seen as a threat as some kind - they will be armed. I am unsure as to the exact criteria surrounding their reasons to have been armed on that occasion that Duggan was shot. Again, I wish more information was made available. But the authorities don't want too much info getting out, as the media seem to spin it negatively no matter what is said... so basically as little is said as possible. That is how spin works. Or counter-spin, as the case may be.

Nikki, listening to thugs trying to justify what they are doing sounds like one bad joke following one bad tragedy, very out of step with reality. These guys live in a parallel universe in my opinion. Yes, you are 100% correct hypocrites - just taking advantage of the death of this guy. That is how it looks to everyone in the UK. And that attitude is reflected in the news reporting! Some of my friends would like to see some of these thugs face Very Long prison sentences indeed! This is a great comment Nikki! Wow! I love this, you put a good balanced point here! Ya get a star for this in moi book! :)

Hey Ruby thanks for this! yes, there has been that opinion that it was a case of haves more than have-nots. Some of these folks who have rioted have been over-stating their case, and the irrationality when put under scrutiny does not stand up. There is no gain from what they do. Getting the Govt to show them attention - this is hilarious. They are getting attention alright! The wrong kind of attention that Officialdom gives to utter criminals, when there is a warrant out for their arrest for arson, burglary, theft, violent disorder, riot-organizing, attempted murder and murder...

They lost any moral high ground the second they not only broke the law, but they will drive an even bigger wedge between them and the rest of Society. It is rampant opportunism of the worst criminal kind, Ruby. We can all be angry when an injustice happens and we can express our outrage in many ways...but these Thug Rioters are not going after the Govt or Authorities, they are going on a crime spree that is thinly disguised as a protest over something else.

Tammy, thanks for the well wishes, and let's hope it rains and washes the riot mad thugs out of it and derails their mad theft spree through out the country. The Govt has the co-operation of the mobile networks and are able to access their emails and texts. There are over 1,200 people charged so far, according the BBC radio 4 today. Aw, that is sweet of you to say this. You get a big hug from me for that! What a nice thing to say! :)

Hey kamran, thanks for the comment. Let's hope it abates very soon, so we can try getting our lives back in order...it's a lot of smoking buildings and damage... Even some sports fixtures are cancelled. I shudder to think what happens in the Olympics when the games are happening here.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

haha thanks cassy! just stating my opinions. hope everything clears up soon over there. and I hope you and cathy dont experience any of this first hand. Be safe you guys! i would hate to hear something bad happened to you.


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

A brilliant hub Cheeky Girl. I am appalled by these riots in England. One never expects it to happen here. I am afraid decades of unruly behaviour and the breakdown of the family unit has eventually led to this. These hooligans have no love at home and there is no discipline whatsoever. There is no respect any more. Such a sad, sad day in England.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Nikki, your opinion is welcome always, moi friend! :) We are fine, and thanks for saying that. We're thankful for this. Nikki, I hope you are having a good say. Astra says have a sweet day too! (She's trying to finish that edit for that - ahem...particular item. She wants to finish it and start some Narcissistic writing on some hub...wonder what that means. *winks* ) Anyway, life goes on here! No rest for the wicked! LOL! Mean that in a nice way of course!

Hy acaetnna! Wow, that's saying it! Everyone is saying this. How it all went pear-shaped...it's sad, and reflects bad on the whole country. The idiots ruining things for everyone. I hope you are okay where you are. Please stay safe, okay? Whether it is love they lack or something else...this is not the way to be more loved, not by burning buildings and robbing people like that in riots.

Don't let the thugs get you down, either. They have no sense of consideration for others. What they are doing is juvenile.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Wow, I learned more from this hub than I ever could just flipping through the news station. I hope to hear that things change for the better SOON. You girls did an awesome job writing this piece. Congrats!

Sharyn


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey Sharyn - thanks for the vote of confidence! Well the recriminations are well under way and the usual wringing of political hands notwithstanding - who know ...we might get some kind of an answer to how it happened officially...in about a year or more!

I saw TV footage today showing Police arriving in some locations after the rioters had done their damage and had departed. They did seem to hang back a bit, rather than jump in. In the beginning, they were behind the wave, but they did get on top of it eventually. Couple that with the average British Thugs hatred of wet weather like the muggy weather we are having currently - and we might get some nights of peace... with luck. Thanks for popping by, Sharyn. Always good to get your "slant" on things. :)

P.s - no hassle of any kind occurred in Scotland, interesting ... don't you think? The Legal system is sharper and Tougher up there.


Aris Budianto profile image

Aris Budianto 5 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

What a mess. Hopefully the atmosphere quickly subsided. Great info.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey Aris, well, sadly - yes it is a rather big mess. The People in charge need to make big decisions and open the lines of full communication to everyone and appeal to their better instincts and human nature, and we need to sort things out. Things have subsided a good bit, but there needs to be more calm, and a more positive attitude from every side. Which will be a challenge. Thanks for the comment.


A Little TRUTH profile image

A Little TRUTH 5 years ago

Justsilvie, you make an excellent comment: "Kids aren’t born Thugs, someone makes them that way. We as a society have done that because we really could not be bothered!" I think the well-off and well-to-do get too comfortable in their own world and turn their heads to all the oppression and injustice that forces a certain percentage of society into poverty and keeps them there. And this is where the uprising comes from – victims of the negative-sum-gain system. When the injustice and oppression escalates to the point where the well-off become directly affected, then they will take notice and start doing something about it.

I’m surprised to learn that the UK police don’t carry guns! Cheeky Girl, you mentioned that you don’t like guns, but wouldn’t mind if they had them due to these riots going on. My guess is that your wish may be coming true soon. These riots sound like they are exactly what is needed to move public opinion toward acceptance of police with guns - eventually, gradually. And the timing, as you say, seems to be just right to escalate the crisis much further – being shortly before the Olympics. It almost sounds like it may have been planned that way by some powerful people who want police to have guns.

But whether this crisis has been artfully contrived and fomented, or just began spontaneously, most likely the powers that be are already taking full advantage of it. They’ve been doing this for generations in the US. As Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel stated “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” The biggest example of this in the US was 9/11, and then the Patriot Act immediately following. The American people would never have accepted the Patriot Act without 9/11 happening first.


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 5 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

Actually, can I offer that Cassy said different. Water cannon, riot control plastic bullets, but not the thing that happens in the USA. All-out gun usage by Police would result in everyone carrying guns, and then it would be as bad as the death tolls of the USA. No one wants an OK Coral shoot-out situation happening here.

As to why "Powerful people" would plan the riots just to make introduction of guns mandatory...um... I really don't agree with that notion.

I am not aware of the full function of the Patriot Act. I presume it relates to Homeland Security...maybe you could explain that...? Most readers here probably don't understand it.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

haha nice. cant wait for yall to finish it up, i know yall have a lot going on. and I am glad yall are doing ok through all these riots. is it getting any better or is it still pretty bad? Also cant wait for more narcissus! A.A's last installment was so good!


A Little TRUTH profile image

A Little TRUTH 5 years ago

Yes, you're right Astra Nomik, she didn't say she is for police using guns, but just asked if water cannons and plastic bullets are enough for these rioters, and are we being too soft. Later she stated that arming the police might do SOME good.

My point is that this kind of crisis is often used in order to move society to agree to allow something AFTER the crisis, that they would have fought vigorously against BEFORE the crisis.

These riots, although not enough to get the public to want the police to have guns, does get people starting to think in that direction and question some possibilities. Further and larger crises would be needed to get the people there.

I didn't mean to say that these riots WERE planned in order to introduce police with guns; but that often such crises are used for such purposes - whether planned that way or not. Maybe this crisis fits the mold - I just like to get people thinking. When it's done on purpose, it's called a "false flag operation" - a military strategy that is used more often than most people would like to believe.

The Patriot Act is what gives the US government and police unprecedented leeway in privacy-invasion type of activities such as in-secret phone tapping and other surveillance, detainment without a warrant, gathering and storing of highly personal information, and x-ray airport body scanners. People are now using “flying pasties” to cover their private parts during the x-ray. Surgically implanted computer chips are now being tested in humans and may be mandated next. None of this would have been so graciously accepted in America without 9/11 happening first.


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 5 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

Hi Nikki, I am finishing the chapter edit before I move on to the Narcissus hub, so have no fear. Oh the riots have subsided. The rioters are afraid of the police now. I loved Augustine's hub, yes it was just so funny. I will have my hands full trying to out-write such a Mega Cool Writer. :D

Hi A Little Truth: Cassy is merely pointing out that armed Police to protect the innocent from Rioters. Riots are thankfully not a daily thing in the way they are in other places.

"A Crisis is used for a purpose"...h'mmm... is a hub like this one used for a purpose, by you? The way you mention "further crises", anyone would be forgiven for thinking that you are somehow looking forward to seeing guns become legal here. I hope not. You said you like to get people thinking? I don't know anything about planting chips inside people but I do know when someone is planting conspiracy theories, and maybe there is a correlation here.

Some people find some currency in making other people feel somehow afraid. It's a method used to control people.

Also, mixing part truth and part bull is not a terribly good way to make an argument.

However, everyone is entitled to an opinion.


A Little TRUTH profile image

A Little TRUTH 5 years ago

Astra Nomic, sorry, I didn’t mean to come across as looking forward to guns being used in the UK, but rather, the opposite - that it takes people being alert to keeping it that way if that’s what they want.

Yes, fear is used to control people. That was my point. Crises invoke fear, and then that fear is used to control people – unless they are aware of the tactic.

You mentioned “part bull”, but since there weren’t any specifics, I will presume that either there aren’t any, or that you are being the honorable one in not letting an argument get started on someone else’s hub - and I commend you for that.

As for conspiracy theories, yes, I alluded to such. I find that, after careful research, many turn out to be reality rather than theory. My wish is that others don’t believe or disbelieve them without first doing their own due diligence to convince themselves one way or the other. If we disagree on this and other points, I accept that, and wish you a nice day and Happy Hubbing.


watcher by night profile image

watcher by night 5 years ago

Cheeky Girl, thanks for a very informative and thought-provoking article. My wife (before she was my wife) studied in London and I went over to visit her there a few times. I remember once stopping and asking a police officer on the street for directions to an office. I was impressed by how courteous he was. I don't know if that's representative of police officers over there in general, or if I just happened to get lucky. Well, I'm used to officers over here wearing a side arm. But I kind of like for each country to maintain what makes it unique. I'd hate for police officers over there to feel that they have to carry a gun to command respect (and be safe).

My mother and father grew up during the tail end of the great depression. No electricity or running water. They worked in the fields picking cotton, tomatoes, etc. Walked several miles to and from school, even walked a mile each way to the mailbox. I hope that the current financial situation will improve. But even if it gets worse, I hope people today can find something good in the midst of all the disappointment and worries that come with poverty. I hope they can learn to sympathize with and support their family and friends and neighbors the way that people did when my parents were growing up.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello A Little Truth, thank you for the comments. I see Cathy is giving you a grilling there. LOL! She is the Honorable one alright. Enjoy the hub, and have a good day too!

Hey Watcher by Night: Yes, UK Bobbies are a nice bunch for the most part. They do have a sort of image, and sometimes it gets knocked around a bit. But I can't name a Police force that gets it 100% right all the time.

The Help Thy Neighboor philosophy is a nice one and we miss that. Where did it go to? I don't think young people in the UK even recognise or see that any more. My grandmother always says things were better in the old days. I ruly believe her. But we can make our own future, if we pull together and not fall for false arguments and fake platitudes. There is more inequality now than ever before, and much of what is happening not just here, but around the world - is a wake-up call for us. Thanks for the comments. :D


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Cassy - great article. The world better look at this as a wake up call.... it is happening all over... plus there is corruption galore within the police here... laws are made simply for money grabbing that serve no purpose other than money grabbing...

The rich are getting richer - the poor poorer and the middle class eroding away... That is the real problem everywhere... to much in the hands of too few and increasing poverty everywhere.

Luv ya friend - I think you are very cool and I am glad I have met ya............ keep on being you!

hugs and a kiss


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Neil, it is a worrying sign when something like this happens. No one feels safe. LOL! Your analogy for money grabbing is very interesting. The middle class are getting it in the neck, and the less well-off are feeling the pinch.

But to be fair to these people, they have been largely overlooked by a system that they did not create. But they went on a rampage, and it took that rampage to get the world's (and the Govts) attention.

Imagine 2012 when the Olympics are under way - what will happen then? Can opportunists take advantage again, I wonder? It's food for thought, Neil.

Aw you are cool too! :) Have a good day Neil. Keep smiling! Cheers! Hugs ya back! :)


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Things like this have been happening for ever.... just they are now happening in countries and communities where they never happened before.

May the 2012 Olympics run smooth and peaceful. :-)

See - I'm smiling :-)


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Neil, the world is sort of growing up, in a skewed sort of way. It's weird when places you are so familiar with turn into riot zones and get thrashed. It's quite scary. It takes a lot to make something like this happen.

Oh the Olympics will be awesome! I hope! *Crosses moi fingers!* LOL! Cheers Neil! Yaaay, that's the spirit! :)


Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

The last picture left me speechless.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Cassy - Well done hub on a problem that is rising everywhere. Passive demonstrations (not riots) = change!

Thanks again for your professional work. You Rock!

XOXOXO

Neil


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 4 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey Phoebe, I found it on the net and added the text with photoshop. The messages just suit the tone of it somehow and fits in with the mood of the moment. LOL. Cheers!

Neil, the riots didn't seem very passive when they were happening and I was scared. LOL! But yes, most passive riots do mean that change needs to happen. And these times have finally brought the passive demonstrators out onto the streets. Your comments always rock, Neil. Thanks, as always! Mwah. :D XOX


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

This is a brilliant hub, on a very serious topic.

I don't think anybody would have predicted a riot, as it is so contrary to what usually happens in the UK.

Sure, there is an "underclass" of people who are poor and without prospects of improvement. However, last summer they seem to have joined up with people who are angry, but not so badly off.

As you say, modern media helped them to communicate.

We will not feel so complacent this summer.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 4 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey 2patricias! Cheers! Yes, no one saw it comiing. But I admit that things were not god and there was a bad atmosphere everywhere. I think some poeple just are angry with the Politicians in charge here. I know people who were victims in this riot and I feel bad for them.

There are still a lot of disaffected people out there. I am hoping it won't repeat itself. Yes, modern communications had some part in it too!


meloncauli profile image

meloncauli 3 years ago from UK

Wonderful hub:) I think we are not far off a lot of trouble in the UK. With the influx of immigrants, the jobless are even less likely to find jobs...but then that's another hub! :)


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 3 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey Meloncauli, thanks for the comment, and yes, you have a good point. I can see how a lot of people are just completely disconnected from the politicians and local community leaders. I never saw such apathy before. I don't think it's the influx of foreign people coming into the UK. Lots of countries have this and they don't have this social breakdown as we do.

There also seems to be a general "screw them" attitude towards authority in general. I saw kids yelling at a WPC recently, and I thought it was going to get ugly. But she just walked on, as a crowd of kids jeered her. Yes, another hub.... don't tempt me! LOL!


JanikaLeeReyes 2 years ago

Hey Cassy! Before I comment on your AMAZING article, I want to say - "Heyyy! It's been so long, how are you and how have you been?!" (:

I wasn't aware of what was going on in the UK. The media here they give us information on what's going on in other countries, selectively. Really interesting to learn about the different systems of police enforcement in the UK. I really enjoyed reading this article, it's honest and you just get wrapped up in it. So happy I stopped by your page really, I'm glad I stumbled onto this article. I learned so much.

You're probably familiar with the George Zimmerman case out here (it makes me question the motives of the officers who shot and killed the 29 yr old man) - but you know it's nothing new. Police officers tend to abuse their power, they are excited to shoot and kill. "Trigger Happies" there are some out there. It's so sad. Not all of them are like this though. But even that thought doesn't make me feel comforted. When I was 18, there was a woman who claimed she was raped by two officers. It was a pretty crazy case, and if memory serves correctly I think the only reason why they weren't convicted was because she was drunk. They offered her to keep her safe on her way home and insisted they walk her to her door- where they forced entry and had their way with her. How they weren't prosecuted- is I don't know. They cover it up because- what happens if they do admit they've allowed mindless beasts onto their force; It'll make them question the entire structure of the law. The people already mistrust those who are in power, they can't let us feel unsafe with them as well. I dont know, I'm rambling now. But really its great to bring to light whats really going on. Amazing!

It's Springtime-

New beginnings are just around the corner,

Almost ready to bloom.

voted up doll

-Nika


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 2 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey Nika! How are you! I saw your comments to me in LinkedIn. cheers! Well done!

Regarding the riots things in this hub, they happened quite some time back, and for a few nights across parts of the UK, people were very scared about what was happening.

Policing in this country is good, for the most part, Nika. Like everything, there is room for improvement and complacency can be ruinous if people in charge rest on their laurels.

Yes, the Zimmerman shooting was a bad example of something that happens and not enough is done about it. That is one thing about the USA that scares me a wee bit, those things called guns. Yuk. So many people get killed by them. It is crazy.

Ay caramba! That woman and the two police officers ... sheesh! Offered her a lift home!

Oh the woman was drunk. Next case, judge. It sounds like there is a lot more to it. Hum... that is a pitiful way for things to go.

We had the Stalker affair some decades back, I think it was the late 1980's or early 1990s. A High up Police chief was investigating the so-called "Shoot to Kill" policy alleged to exist in Northern Ireland. Just before he finished his report, which was about to be a very damning one for the UK police, he was abruptly shoved off the investigation and investigated for some made up crap. The politicos were afraid he was about to off the campus, so he was basically stitched up.

There was a bestselling book about it which I read and I was dumbfounded. Then there was a movie made about it, and that was very good as well. It had political involvement all over it. And many feel that the UK police have come a long way forward since it happened.

I think you raise some excellent points here, Nika! I am so impressed! Hey it's okay to ramble a wee bit now and again! Hah! And don't get too worried on the policing thing. There are lots of great police who are good, and stories that are very heart warming, but we probably never hear abut them much.

Speaking of new beginnings, let me know about the blog thing! Cathy and I would be more than happy to help out! And Fehl, and the Flashstar magazine team would be delighted to assist if you need.

Okay, now I am smiling! Me a doll? Nika, you made my day! Mwuah!

Thanks for the vote up!

You are a real sweetheart! :)

Hugs from me!

Cassy!

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