The Natives are Restless
pic credit: Emma LB via Flickr
First, a video from London (short version: guys help beaten up kid off the ground only to steal from him):
Then news that courts are open 24 hours to "process looters." Of them, a 12-year-old caught stealing wine and an 11-year-old who admits to breaking windows.
And an actual account from the Post:
I walked the length of Tottenham’s High Road on Wednesday, as demolition crews removed what was left of the large carpet store burned to ash on Saturday. I listened to Mohammed Abdi, a Somali-born cellphone store owner whose life’s work was destroyed that night. “It took an age to build this business — and now I have nothing,” he told me. The local member of Parliament, David Lammy, was doing his best to hug and reassure those whose neighborhood was ravaged. “The consumerist and materialist nature of it is new,” he said. “And it’s of this generation.”
The methods are new, too: using instant-messaging technology to assemble a crowd; diverting police to one place by, say, burning a car; and then, once law enforcement is safely distracted, starting looting in another. The fact that police officers cannot be everywhere at once has proved their Achilles heel, making them all but powerless. The short-term remedy has been to triple the number of police on duty in London, which restored calm here Tuesday night but which is no more a long-term solution than the pleas for BlackBerry to turn off its instant-messenger system. One Tottenham resident warned Wednesday that the rest of the world should brace for the spread of this new “social criminality.”
How do we know that they used BBM and instant-messaging, presuming that though courts are open 24 hours, they haven't had enough cases processed to make that bold of a determination?
Of course there will always be assholes who show up in an obnoxious shirt or otherwise hijack someone else's movement for their own personal gain (see dickheads in the video above). But I refuse to believe that the "youths" simply rose up for the hell of it because they wanted new shoes.
Asking BlackBerry to cut off BBM for the state's sake is a disturbing over-reach of authority, riots or not. PM David Cameron would like to figure out a way to block the restless natives from social media (the great mobilizer of angry mobs or fed up populations who've finally caught on to the scam) when the state decides the sheep are using it to plot violence, disorder and criminality.
On Thursday, Cameron told British lawmakers that the free flow of information can be used for good, but can also be used for ill.
"And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them," Cameron said. "So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."
Time to up the dose in the water supply, the subjects are assembling pitchforks!