London Riots 2011 - Live updates
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?
Live Updates from the BBC
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.