Tuesday, 9 August 2011

London Riots 2

I thought long and hard and tried to find something else to write about. Would have written about the Ghana-Nigeria friendly game I was going to, but that was, naturally, cancelled after threats of riots in the Watford area.

It looks like there is nothing else on the minds of those of us staying close to areas affected by the riots, so I have continued following the news. Today, I had to cancel all my plans as these included trips to Stratford, Croydon, Clapham Junction, bank and Watford. Well, it looks like now, we will all be able to plan ahead when heading out. The Guardian has created a map that will continuously update to map out areas affected by the riots.

Despite it all, there are some humorous stories around these riots. For example, that leaders of some of the most dubiously run countries in the world, condemning Britain. Or how about clips of a girl stopping to try shoes on before looting them from a JD Sports (and what's up with JD Sports, it seems overly popular in these lootings, along with more obvious targets, like the major mobile phone and electronics retailers)? The audacity!

The Daily Mail has posted pictures of several rioters and looters and I can't but wonder, do some of them have to look so happy, as if to say, "Christmas has come early" as they walk away with 4-5 jumpers.

What had me laugh most in all this though, was this picture:
(image borrowed from Daily Mail)

Looting at Poundland? POUNDLAND???? Where everything costs a pound ($1.60)? Come on, you must be really dumb, to face prosecution and potentially go to prison for that!


Anonymous said...

...or maybe you're just that desperate.

Abena Serwaa said...

I must admit this picture made me laugh out loud! The whole London riots has left me really sad. Aside from the fact that many of the places I used to go to in my very brief time in London in Hackney and Haringey have felt the force of the riots. To me what started out as a legitimate grievance in response to police violence and years of pent-up frustration, disaffection etc,has now descended into chaos and the opportunity to get free loot.
I'm also annoyed by the people on facebook and twitter calling this a revolution (from afar) and seeing this as an attack on a racist capitalist system without sparing a thought for the future of not only the communities, people who have lost everything but also all those arrested....What is going to become of the perpetrators of the mindless mayhem? What future do they have?

Raine said...

Sorry anonymous, but I highly doubt those people looting the dollar store are THAT DESPERATE. Now the looting that took place during hurricane Katrina, while I don't condone it, I can see why some people did it- they had no food to eat or clothes to wear. That's real desperation.

This situation though is completely different. Its just people being stupid. I mean come on, it's a dollar store for crying out loud. And from the picture, it looks like they are all stealing junk food. Personally, I wouldn't risk going to jail for a bottle of soda and a bag of chips, no matter how delicious!

Raine said...

Hey, lets have a caption this photo contest!

Here's mine:

Girl at the door with loot # 1: Man, I've been wanting this snuggie from the pound store forever! I'm going to drink this fruit punch and sleep reeeaaaalllll good tonight. No one better try to take this away from me!

Girl in green/black checkered sweater:
Munchies! Munchies! Munchies! Free Munchies!

Girl with black sweater/yellow zipper:
CRAP CRAP CRAP, I shouldn't be here, I shouldn't be doing this. Now I face jail time and all I got was this stupid 89p bottle of pineapple soda. I'm screwed!

Maya Mame said...

Anon, I ahve to say, I agree with Raine. I almost wish they were that desperate, that would mitigate the situation a little bit. As it is now, it looks like they're just opportunists, grabbing a snack on their way to the loot the nearest sports shop.

LOL!!! You made me laugh til I almost choked. I had to go back and look at the picture, and I have to hand it to you, your captions are spot on! :-)

Maya Mame said...

Abena, I think that is what upsets me the most: these looters are diverting our attention from the real issues at hand. People are unhappy, so unhappy and with so little to do/lose that they can get up and riot against society.

These looters don't realise that by taking that Iphone or Nike top, they are pushing us further away from finding jobs and recreational activities for THEM, that will stop them running the streets in the first place.

Like you said, it makes it even sadder when there's no time to highlight the many, many individuals who have lost their homes and businesses for someone's new wardrobe.

I'm just grateful that (as far as I know) there has been no fatality. Yet.

Maya Mame said...

Apparently I spoke too soon. Three men have been killed in Birmingham:

Anonymous said...

'Suppose you could make a case about opportunistic rioters and others who just get lost in the
mob mentality in the moment. Sure.

But how do you prove the desperation of people who would loot a dollar store? To be fair we can only speculate. But proclaiming them to be just stupid/simple seems a bit lazy to me.

This whole event has been fuelled to a large extent because a group of people feel disenfranchized and have felt this way for a long time.

It's both disingenueous and again annoyingly remiss to dismiss the larger picture of what's happening by throwing about a label of stupid-dollar-store-looters. How about stupid government then? Stupid police, anyone?

That said, funny captioning.

Maya Mame said...

You have a point, Anon, but I think Raine and I are in agreement here, that these looters, who (in my opinion) are just grabbing the opportunity of stocking up, are taking away attention from the dissatisfied people who started rioting.

News from the first day's riots clearly showed that there were two different groups of people; rioters and looters (apparently the looters were of a slightly higher average age than the rioters). Although the fact that people are out there looting in broad daylight, in itself reflects that sad state of affairs, I am certain the authorities would have approached the whole situation with more respect if they were only dealing with rioters, those so unhappy with their current situation they felt no other option than to attack the "system".

When it all crumbled into looting,suddenly it became sufficient for David Cameron and his fellows to condemn the actions and focus on the high punishments that would be handed out.

So yes,, we shouldn't assume they didn't need the things they looted, it is just sad that for a looted bag of crisps, the real issues are being forgotten/ignored.


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