The riots have certainly succeeded in bringing at least one thing: shock.
I have spoken to Londoners from all walks of life since the riots began. They cannot believe the extent of the greed, the violence and of the selfishness.
Londoners are of the opinion that what is happening is not a sign of protest at the erosion of civil liberties, but purely criminal.
It is local and private businesses that have suffered from the riots. I spoke to Graham Reeves whose family business was burnt down and completely destroyed. The furniture business has been a cornerstone of the community in Croydon since the Victorian period, nearly 150 years. Now, all that is left is rubble and burnt bricks.
When it comes to activism, London has an excellent record. That February day when more than 1.5 million people came onto the streets to protest against the war in Iraq will not be forgotten.
So far, it has been neighbourhood and small businesses that have been targeted. The negative effect on the economy will be inevitable in the volatile times that countries, including Britain, are struggling through.
The bigger danger is if the City, the financial centre of London, gets targeted. I can’t begin to imagine the repercussions.
An elderly lady told me in Brixton that Mark Duggan, the man who was shot dead by the police, in circumstances that are still being investigated, won’t be remembered as a “victim” but only by the vicious violence that followed his death.
I can’t see these mindless actions related to Mr Duggan in any way. Yes, there is injustice and exclusion, but do they warrant robbery, looting, theft and the rest of the criminal acts? No is the simple answer. The root cause of those problems needs to be addressed.
London reminds me of Tehran, where I have witnessed student protests, where I have seen very similar images of citizens and the anti-riot forces engaged in skirmishes.
But there is a deep, underlying difference. I had respect for the people who took to the streets and demanded their basic rights, who shouted against what they called a rigged election, who fought for democracy.
London’s looters do not seem to have the capacity to comprehend there is more to life than satisfying their greed.
Reporting from Hackney
Copyright © 2015 euronewsMore about:
- 1Ukrainian rebel attacks on city of Mariupol are condemned by the UN as a war crime
- 2A very academic cabinet, Tsipras government sworn-in
- 3Auschwitz survivors 70 years on plead for ‘our children’s future’
- 4Death toll rises in Spain NATO fighter jet crash
- 5Police and protesters clash in ‘worst Kosovo unrest’ since 2008 breakaway
- 1International concern grows after fighting in Ukraine escalates
- 2Soaring Swiss franc may leave EU mortgage holders homeless
- 3Six French skiers perish in deadly Alpine avalanche
- 4Greek elections: SYRIZA on course to win, but may fall short of majority
- 5Auschwitz and other survivors who were ‘freed but never free’
- 1Pope Francis says Catholics don’t need to breed ‘like rabbits’
- 2Greek elections: SYRIZA on course to win, but may fall short of majority
- 3German men ‘can use toilet while standing’, judge rules
- 4Captured Ukraine troops forced to face angry crowd after Donetsk bus stop shelling
- 5No word on Japanese hostages after ISIL deadline passes
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2The power of the pen: Cartoonists worldwide react to the Charlie Hebdo attack | euronews, world news
- 3Immigration, racism in sport and the rise of extremism – Cantona shares his views | euronews, interview
- 4[LIVE] 12 dead after gun attack at French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo | euronews, world news
- 5[LIVE NOW] Massive unity rally in Paris, with similar marches in other French cities | euronews, world news
- 6Muslim groups fear backlash after terrorist attacks in Paris | euronews, news
- 7[LIVE] Confusion over reports two killed in Paris shootout, as police close in on Charlie Hebdo suspects | euronews, world news
- 8International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 9“ISIL is the baby of George W Bush” | euronews, news
- 10Medieval Bruges is to get its own underground beer pipeline | euronews, world news
- 11Almost four million turn out for unity rallies across France | euronews, world news
- 12NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 13A defiant Charlie Hebdo: it’s not the front page the terrorists would’ve wanted | euronews, world news
- 14Key questions around the Charlie Hebdo killings go unanswered | euronews, world news
- 15HarperCollins wipes Israel off the map | euronews, world news
- 16France: Angouleme council takes down anti-homeless cages around benches after outcry | euronews, world news
- 17euronews apps : iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Nokia S40, Nokia Asha, Smart TV and Google Glass
- 18eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 19Grim task of retrieving bodies after wreckage of missing AirAsia plane found | euronews, world news
- 20Charlie Hebdo: Israeli paper deletes women from Paris march | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 01:34 CET Spying programme leaked by Snowden is tied to campaign in many…
- 01:22 CET Japan urges Jordan’s help in ISIS hostage crisis after video
- 01:06 CET Blizzard slams Boston area, spares New York despite predictions
- 23:42 CET Obama and Saudi king discuss Iran, energy in symbolic visit
- 23:31 CET Poroshenko sends letter to Putin, calls for pilot’s release
- 22:22 CET At least eight killed as gunmen storm hotel in Libyan capital
- 21:34 CET Sharia police arrest 12 men accused of planning to wed in…
- 21:24 CET Brazil’s Rousseff urges cabinet to back belt-tightening