I am all for taking a stand for that which is unjust. I am all for speaking out against whatever it is that you find to be unfair, or nonviolent protests against, or for that which you are passionate. A great many positive ideals have been fought for and won by “regular” people who simply would not sit by and let anyone get trampled on by “city hall”, the powers that be or anyone else who thought they were better than a group of people and, therefore, take it upon themselves to squash said group’s spirits or rights.
That said, I am NOT at all for rioting and looting, ESPECIALLY in one’s own neighborhood. I mean, among other things it’s just not logical. Why would you, in protest against unwarranted police violence against civilians go to the streets and burn down your own, or your neighbors’ homes and businesses? What good, or what solution can be accomplished by anyone bent on destruction and mayhem? Doesn’t violence beget more violence? Physics 101 – every action is met with an equal and opposite reaction, right? So, where’s the logic in burning down homes and small businesses IN YOURS OR ANYONE ELSE’S NEIGHBORHOOD to protest the killing of a civilian by a police officer? How does this make “them” (The Powers That BE-TPTB) investigate further into the matter so that justice can be done? How does senseless looting and rioting make anyone take notice of anything other than observing, “…well, what do you expect from “THOSE” people”? Won’t all this simply make police-on-civilian violence more prominent?
It’s akin to interaction between parents and their children. Does the parents’ point of view get absorbed by the parent screaming it at their child. I don’t know about anyone else, but when someone yells at me or directs violent behavior towards me, I do everything I can to get as far away from that noise or violence; screw their point of view!
So, the same can be said of these British “tag-a-long’ers” who have decided to hitch their violent and destructive behavior onto a simple protest designed to makethe British powers that be investigate the truth behind the death of Mark Duggan at the hands of a British operational command unit called Trident, which deals with gun crime in the black community, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). According to a repot published in THE INDEPENDENT, a British newspaper, the IPCC spokesman said that at around 6.15pm Thursday, August 4th, officers from Trident, accompanied by officers from the Specialist Firearms Command (CO19), stopped a minicab to carry out an arrest. Shots were fired and a 29-year-old man, who was a passenger in the cab, died at the scene. The attempted arrest was part of a pre-planned operation under Trident.
The smaller protest has been escalated into this huge riot that is destroying lives and livelihoods not only in the town where the incident occurred but it has been sent spiraling out of control into London, itself. And, again, I ask what is this suppose to accomplish other than making the protestors’/looters’/rioters’ homes and neighborhoods worse than they already are.
In researching the reason behind the original protest, I came across an article in the NYTimes (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/08/egyptian-bloggers-parse-london-riots-in-real-time/), that reports about Egyptians responding to the London riots. They, too do not understand why this protest has escalated into looting and the burning down of the Britians’ own neighborhoods. Mosa’ab Elshamy, a Cairene blogger and activist who played a role in the protest movement in Egypt, took a view of what was happening in London, writing on Twitter: “Buildings are on fire, shops are being looted while many “activists” on my timeline are cheering on, calling it a revolution.”
After pictures circulated social networking sites that showed a London electronics shop being looted, the Egyptian blogger added that even though police brutality sparked revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, “Egyptians and Tunisians took revenge for Khaled Said and Bouazizi by peacefully toppling their murdering regimes, not stealing DVD players.” Later, Mr. Elshamy observed that the “thugs” in Egypt who were deployed to attack protesters on behalf of the Mubarak regime “had nothing to do with the revolution and were stopped by people — Londoners need to do that.” (THE LEDE, NYTimes by R. Mackey, Aug. 8, 2011)
So, I guess what I’m saying here is pretty much what Mr. Elshamy observed. No one is going to take the TRUE protestors of Mr. Duggan’s death, seriously unless they either put a “lid” on the violence being waged by opportunistic looters and criminals protesting in their name; or, become more organized and pull away from said criminals in order to obtain and share the truth behind Mr. Duggan’s death. When it comes down to the simple fact, he left behind a family that deserves to know what really happened and if this violence continues, nothing will be learned, and no solutions can be found or implemented to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
That’s the whole reason behind an organized protest, isn’t it? To find solutions to stop injustice…permanently; not become part of the problem.