8/8 - London's Burning
Monday, 08 August 2011
On the 8th August 2011, looters, anarchists and kids are looting shops and torching vehicles, shops, and homes across London.
This is a sad day for London. A terror attack by it's own youth.
Two days of looting following a riot in Tottenham, has led to widespread lawlessness throughout the capital. More homes and businesses have been set alight by arsonists, with fire fighters unable to cope. Most buildings will be gutted and their occupants lives will be destroyed.
Despite a heavier than normal police presence, violence and looting is spreading throughout the capital. Hackney, Clapham, Lewisham, Croydon, Ilford, Peckham, Woolwich, Lavendar Hill, Oxford Circus, Ealing, Old Kent Road, West Ham and Camden have all been attacked, in addition to Enfield, and Tottenham which were hit at the weekend. Some of the fires may have been started to destroy evidence, but most seem to have been set for fun. The violence seems to be being agitated by a key individuals but most of it is carried out by teenagers. There are reports of some individuals using loud hailers to coordinate the mob. Most people are covering their faces with hooded jackets or scarves, but some are brazen. One man was was heard to exclaim, "This is great. No-one can touch me!", it seems that for thieves, Christmas has come early.
The Fire Service is refusing to attend fires, even in residential homes, as the police are unable to provide them with any protection and many of the rioters are attacking fire fighters and reporters.
In some areas there are rivers of fire running down the street as fuel tanks burst.
Looters are targeting electrical shops, mobile phone shops and sports shops, although other shops are also be targeted, including furniture shops, banks, and bookies. In Camden the rioters are armed with baseball bats, and smashing windows in the complete absence of police.
One business owner in Croydon, Mr Reeves, owner of "House of Reeves" also known as "Reeve's Corner", targeted at random, and burned to the ground, and clearly devastated by the destruction of his business, said it all really, "My life is destroyed". He went on to say that he regularly reported criminal behaviour and the police often failed to respond. The shop dated to the 1800s and had been run by the same family for 5 generations. 20 staff have lost their jobs in that company, and many more across the capital.
As the fire from his building spread to others, a woman was forced to jump for her life from a first floor flat above a nearby shop which was ablaze cutting of her escape. Investigators have yet to gain access to any of the building burnt out over the weekend to determine if there are any fatalities.
Some businesses owners are arming themselves with baseball bats to guard their businesses.
Buses are also being attacked, with passengers having to flee for their lives.
Police have called for the public to clear the streets and for parents to find out where their children are and get them home if they are out. The deputy mayor has announced that the police intend to crack down heavily, and some quarters have suggested that water cannons may be deployed. This is a serious situation and people involved will face serious consequences. Riot control tools such as water cannon, can cause very serious injuries to criminals and bystanders alike.
Questions will also be asked about the security of the Olympic Games.
Earlier in the night violence also erupted in the Bullring area of Birmingham. There are reports of violence in Liverpool and Bristol.
Arsonists have also set fire to a huge Sony distribution centre in Essex.
So far the police have made 225 arrests.
The tragedy is the country is already spending more than it can afford given the record national debt and the size of the annual deficit. This is especially clear given the turmoil in the US and Europe where deficits have run out of control and they have run out of credit, and now have to pay unsustainable levels of interest on their debt. Affected areas are also unlikely to attract private investment for many years, in view of this weeks events, so these areas may remain burnt out wastelands for the foreseeable future. Inevitably more affluent members of the community will move out, and these areas will suffer further.
Police are maintaining a strong visual presence in many other towns and cities across the country, to reassure and prevent the appearance of impunity which has fed the lawlessness in London and Birmingham. At least ten police vehicles including CCTV are patrolling Crawley, a town in Sussex, on a quiet Monday night when there has been no serious trouble, with a police helicopter circling over the town. Sergeant Darren Taylor speaking on behalf of Crawley police confirmed the precautionary nature of the extra police presence: "We will not stand down until this stops everywhere. We will keep up patrols and have additional police presence on the streets to make sure this disgusting behaviour does not spread to our town. To anyone even thinking about it, I would say to them not to bother."
The Prime Minster is flying back from holiday while London burns.
Parts of London look like Coventry, and refugees, some burned out of their homes, some just frightened of another night of violence are fleeing the city.
The Prime Minister has just left an Emergency meeting at number 10 and made the following statement:
"I am determined, the government is determined that justice will be done and these people will see the consequences of their actions."
To those responsible he said: "You will feel the full force of the law and if you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishments."
One survivor of an attack described the perpetrators as "Feral Rats.", and asked "What are the parents doing?".