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London Riots 2011 - Live updates

Updated on February 13, 2018

London, 08/08/11 @ 3:20am (BST)

I'm not usually up at this time of night, but there are terrible things going on in my area which are keeping me up, (not to mention the police helicopters), and I thought that seeing as I'm not sleeping anyway, I may as well put my time to good use.

On Thursday 4th August, a 29 year-old black man called Mark Duggan was shot dead by police, in Tottenham, North London. We are not clear about what happened exactly, but there are various reports out saying that police stopped him to arrest him. Duggan was a known offender, some say gangster, but his family say the father of four was a 'good family man'. Did he shoot at the police first? Did the police shoot him in self-defence? All this is still unclear.

Around three hundred people gathered yesterday for a peaceful protest, demanding answers. But the peaceful protest rapidly turned into rioting. Rioters looted shops, started fires in buildings and cars, causing injuries, destroying homes and businesses and leaving people homeless. The area is devastated, we still don't know for sure whether there were any further fatalities.

It seems that the people who carried out the violence were not the same people who embarked on the peaceful protest. The looters hijacked the protest. They were not the ones searching for answers or avenging a death, by all accounts, they were using this unfortunate situation as an excuse for mindless violence and looting. Who are the rioters? And where did they come from? We don't know.

The rioting and violence in Tottenham soon spread to Wood Green. The rioters had free reign of the place for several hours, as all the police were in Tottenham. The violence has now reached Enfield (where a stabbing took place), Ponders End, Edmonton, Waltham Forest, Brixton, Oxford Circus and Islington. The speed with which this is spreading is frightening. Have the police got adequate resources to handle this?

There has been some paranoia these past hours as the BBC and Sky News ceased reporting on this story. There were rumours of a media blackout, perhaps to avoid giving rioters the attention, and information which might lead to further rioting. But reports have now re-started, so it's more likely that it was difficult for reporters to get close enough to the action. Still, the most reliable and up-to-date information seems to be on Twitter.

Although we are close by, we are lucky (so far at least), to not to be in the immediate area of the riots. I hope that continues, and that the police manage to get the situation under control very very soon. I feel for all the people in the communities that have been hit. What is going on here? You don't avenge a death by stealing sports shoes from JD Sports, or toiletries from the Body Shop.

Who are all these people? What will they do next? When will they stop?

Scary stuff

London, 08/08/11 @ 7:34pm (BST)

Well the riots are continuing. Hackney sounds like a war zone, with police losing control of housing estates, and reports of a stabbing in Stamford Hill, amongst many other horrific incidents in the area.. Cars are on fire in Lewisham, South London, and shops have been told to close early in many London high streets.

Apparently rioters have been co-ordinating their plans, and inviting new people to join them, via Blackberry Messenger.

London, 08/08/11 @ 10:40pm (BST)

On the third night of violence, there are now, as the BBC describes it "pockets of violence across London". Rioting, looting, violence and some terrible fires have broken out in numerous places across the capital. The problem, according to experts, is criminal opportunism; many gangs, (possibly working together), whose common enemy is the police.


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    • CJStone profile image

      CJStone 6 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      I have a friend in Clapham who went out on the night of the riot there. She says the police were there in very small numbers, protecting the big department store, but completely ignored the looting that was taking place in all the small shops. I don't know, but I have sneaking suspicion that the rioters were allowed to get on with it for a few days in order to justify the backlash that is now happening here. You can read my views on the riots here: I'd welcome a comment, as someone with direct experience of what was going on.

    • DRG Da Real Grinc profile image

      Felix J Hernandez 6 years ago from All over the USA

      I'm sorry that you have to experience this. It is surreal and I can't imagine being in that situation. I wish you the best.

    • LuxmiH profile image

      Luxmih Eve-Lyn Forbes 6 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

      Thanks for sharing the story by being there. I lived through massive riots in Mozambique many years ago. It was surreal, firghtening and yet fascinating. It was amazing to watch ordinary people get caught up on mob mentality and do things that they nomally would never dream of doing.

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 6 years ago from London

      Thanks for your answers. I'm sure you're right HattieMattieMae, people are very disillusioned, and some of the riots were in pretty poor areas. It seems that so many people are/were also taking advantage of the situation with the economy and the unfortunate shooting, being greedy opportunists.

      Jen, you're right, not knowing what's going on or why is/was the most scary thing. The authorities are facing a lot of criticism today.

      SubRon7, thank you, it is as you describe. The lawless all seem to be crawling out, using the shooting (terrible in itself), as an excuse.

      Some people are saying today that the riots were the results of cuts in youth services. While I'm sure that it doesn't help, surely teenage boredom does not have to result in looting and violence.

      I'm reading that over 100 people were arrested last night (a small amount compared to the number of people rioting), and over 30 police were injured overall. There is much criticism over the way the emergency services handled it all, and of the government, many of whom seemed to have been on holiday. There are claims today that the man who was killed by police (the incident that apparently triggered all of this) had not fired at police, and had in fact not been armed. Although it's good that the truth comes out, this fact is unlikely to help.

      Thank you for your well wishes. We are safe thank goodness, just wary of going near any of the high streets. There are many who have lost their homes and livelihoods. I hope we don't see too much more of this globally, but you may be right.

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 6 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Moon Daisy, I'm glad you're safe, at least for now. I'm afraid it's pretty typical for the lawless to come out for the smallest of reason. And those lawless are probably the same ones who get in trouble, go to court and their lawyer gets them off with no punishment, and I'm also afraid that HattieMattieMay is correct: That we're going to see much, much, more, of this sort of thing...globally.

    • Jen Pearson profile image

      Jen Pearson 6 years ago from Alabama

      I'm calling this post useful but neither useful nor interesting seem right. I'm sorry it's happening and I hope it ends soon, with explanations to follow. It's bad enough that it's happening but very disorienting when authorities have no idea why or who is instigating and don't seem to have any control.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 6 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Think we will probably see more of this all around the globe. Hate to say it, but people are just angry people at the moment, someone without jobs, some with jobs, some just plain mean. The governments are making changes, the people are in hard times. Violence just seems like the easy answer for them. Hope that things do get under control, and that you are safe as well as many other people. I will remember to pray tonight for you and others there.