Riots in the UK

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Malika, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I am currently in Britain, teaching English to adult foreigners for three weeks (while my son is in Morocco with my ex-husband and family). All media attention here has of course been focused on the riots here last week. I wondered what attention, if any, they have received in the US and how they are "explained"?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Quite a bit. I'm appalled, really. It seems to me as if the kids are out of control brats. There is no excuse for destruction and looting like that. I am glad that in the US the police carry guns as does the population. There is no other way to defend yourself against this type of destruction any other way in my opinion. I hope you are far away from that and are safe and sound!

    From what I've heard it started when a police officer killed somebody. To me, his mistake is not an excuse for all that. I also hear that some is social upheaval from service cuts...again, I don't see this as a reason to destroy. It happens...programs do get cut at times. Of course, I'm not sure of how much I hear is true. I don't trust the media.

    Usually I listen to CNN and they have had a lot of coverage of this. To be fair, I tend to listen to the US news more carefully, but this story was hard to miss.
  3. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I've seen it on the news as well. It's quite scary. I heard that it was economy driven and it scares the bejeebers out of me, because this could easily happen here, the way the economy is.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Depends on where you're getting your sources.

    Normal news says it started with the attempted arrest of a man in a certain low income level of the city, similar to something that had happened several years ago that the residents there were still really fired up about. And then everyone just sort of climbed on board for the "fun of it". Which I'm not buying into that part. I'm sure that the mob angry over incident triggered what came after, but those people had a reason for rioting. According to various online news sources, it's due to the economic situation, people are fed up and fighting back. I've seen this reason stated in both american online alternative news sources as well as British sources. Not sure how accurate that is, but they certainly stated a good case that made sense, alot more sense than our news did.

    Mob mentality is a phenomena unto itself. Once it gets started it's an open season type deal. But I don't think the news we're getting in the papers or on tv are telling the whole story.....which is why I went looking for alternative sources. Then I try to balance the two out.

    I have a very close friend from London. Her extended family lives there, several of her grown children are there and I know she is very concerned.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I heard sort of the same thing, but that doesn't make it ok. Neither does economic hard times. We are all facing them. I'm not a fan of those who riot and destroy for any reason. And I do think some of the looters are in it for the mob mentality/fun of it.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh, it doesn't excuse the behavior at all. Just explains it. And yes, even they said that there was a percentage that were just in it for kicks. There is always a percentage of people who will take advantage of such situations for their own personal gain.

    But in my opinion it's important for us to realize and remember how quickly mob mentality can kick in during the right atmosphere and can be set off even over something fairly minor. I'm not saying the incident that triggered the riots was minor, just that it doesn't always take something major to trigger it if the atmosphere is ripe. People tend to forget that because they want to forget it. Mob mentality is a scary thing that feeds off itself into a monster.

    The current atmosphere is ripe, maybe over ripe, in certain areas around the world, not just in the US or Europe.

    I don't worry so much with where I'm located although the unemployment rate is sky high and the poverty level along with it. It's hard to get a mob mentality going when you've know people your entire lives and your neighbors are not strangers in any sense of the word. Plus people here naturally put stores back due to being rural against bad weather. I worry for Nichole because in the larger cities it's much more easily triggered when you're surrounded by strangers. I'm not saying it couldn't happen here, just that it would take more to get it triggered.

    When the riot first broke out in London I paid attention. When it began to spread to other areas of the city, I started watching the news both on and offline......but once it spread to other parts of the city it stopped being about the original trigger.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Lots of media attention. I also saw something caught on camera during the riots where someone was injured, and another person "assisted" them - as his friend stole the wallet of the injured guy. *sigh* They're starting to remind me of Americans. Sad.
  8. compassion

    compassion Member

    It has been potrayed as mass underclass youth rebellion and laregly away from the tourist crowd of London.
  9. keista

    keista New Member

    I haven't heard anything about it. Of course, I only watch local news, but they do USUALLY, cover other major events.

    Reading the posts here, all I keep thinking of are the LA riots, years ago. Forgt the why's of that but it has and can happen in the US.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We have had several LA riots in the past decades. OJ, Rodney King and several more I cant remember but those are two very large ones.

    I do agree with MWM that we do have an advantage here in that we are fairly well armed with both the police, National Guard and private citizens. It is easier for the good guys to gain back control with that in mind. However, right now, I cant remember which major city in PA is having roving gangs of young folks causing trouble so they have had to instill a curfew. Not quite as bad as true riots but close.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Lots of media attention in national and local news.
    It does not appear to be in tourist areas.
    Editorials are claiming that the youth have a good point, versus, that they are spoiled and it is never excusable to maim and destroy, and it's a "haves" and "have-not" economic mentality.

    Funny you should ask, Malika--I occasionally check French, British, Chinese and Arabic papers to see which U.S. stories they carry. Usually, the most embarrassing stories. :(
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    husband and I try to stay pretty well informed. The explanations have not made sense to either of us. We receive Time magazine on Saturday and just the other day we said "maybe we'll finally understand what the problems are". It is disheartening to read of such unrest and violence. Truly we have always been "positive thinkers" but in the past few years more and more of society appears to be based on negativity. I dread the next round of politics. Good Grief!
    I abhor the "anti" messaging from candidates and parties. Sadly with their huge campaign funds they can buy prime time anytime they want to spread their venom. Yuk! DDD
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It started, i believe, because a kid was either arrested or killed (being in th uk, I'm guessing arrested). in my opinion that isn't enough to justify that behavior...even if it was wrong. However, I think most of the kids (and, much like the hippies of the 60's, not ALL were underclass) were using it as a reason to loot and misbehave. A few of them may have been outraged, but what good is rioting? All that does is make your cause get lost in the destruction and your behavior widely criticised. It doesn't change anything.

    I remember the LA riots. I don't live anywhere near there, but I think it was racial issues. Was it the Rodney King beating? I remember that many of the shop owners defended their own stores/property with guns. It seemed very surreal to me as I have never experienced anything like that and probably won't since we live in a small town where there is basically almost no crime.

    On the Pensylvania story, In Philadelphia I guess the gangs are getting wild and running around all night and probably causing danger to themselves and others so the city inplemented a curfew. Most of our drama is in the big cities.

    I love the peace and quiet of more rural areas. Even the Madison Wisconsin demonstrations for the teacher's unions got on my nerves because a lot of the protesters were not behaving well and were destroying property (I believe it hurt their cause rather than helped it in Wisconsin). If any teacher had taken my kid to protest without my permission....grrrrrrrrrr...they would not have been happy.

    I am just more of a peaceful person, not moved by bad behavior. I don't really care what triggered it. Innocent people and their property should not be destroyed just because somebody is angry. I never understood that reasoning. We see this all too often in many parts of the world....and in the past it has happened here too.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    In re: the L.A. riots - they've rioted a number of times, Rodney King was just one of the incidents.
  15. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    The articles I read said something about a 20- something (26 or 29 I think) year old man who was shot by police and that rioting started small scale in outrage over that. Then I read it was continued by what were considered young thug type kids using the outrage over the shooting as cover to just wreak havoc. Not sure if my stations I'm reading are reliable but that's whats been trickling in through the sources I've been reading. Regardless, its horrible.
  16. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My heart broke while listening to an interview with a gentleman whose son died in the riots. His son & two other young men had taken part in a neighborhood watch to protect their homes & small businesses from looters and destruction. Apparently, a car purposely struck these three young men. The father rushed to the scene and immediately started CPR on one of the victims only to be stopped when someone realized his son was also hurt. All three young men died.

    It may have started as a social justice issue and poverty but it quickly escalated to mob violence and simple thuggery.
  17. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Interesting. It has obviously been quite widely reported in the US. The explanations... are complex, I feel. The mob mentality that takes over was clearly in play, particularly as most of the offenders - around 80 per cent according to one paper - were teenagers and even younger kids. A generation of children in deprived areas growing up largely without fathers, without hope of jobs, with a seige mentality towards the police. There has been a knee-jerk reaction from government and judiciary that is quite alarming. The very start of the trouble was caused by the apparently indefensible SHOOTING (yes, in the UK) of a black youth. If guns were even more widespread and available, who knows where this may have led.
  18. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hope you're staying safe. The news on it has died down here, have the riots themselves died down as well?
  19. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, thank you HaoZi! Am in leafy, rural Wales (teaching at a school) where the most disruptive thing is people getting drunk at the local jazz festival that's just taken place! Looks like the storm has passed in terms of the riots. For the moment.
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Wow. I was in Wales briefly years ago and found Welsh English to be even more difficult to understand than Miami English. Pretty place.