London is calling both ways (En)

London calling

Sunday night I read the first message through Twitter about a demonstration  in London which started peaceful, resulting in arson and looting.  Reason: last week a man was killed by police in Tottenham.  Since then, frustration and dissatisfaction, especially amongst young people, was targeted to further escalate. Results since then:  In several places, including Liverpool and Birmingham, shops, houses, as well as cars were set to fire, shops looted and people robbed. A Sony plant went up in flames – people thought to be hunting for Play Stations. That must have been disappointing as Sony stated it as being CD production site.

 Citizens Initiative I

While in some British newspapers and social media there was blaming and shaming towards Social Media in general, as well as a totally inappropriate comparison drawn with the Egypt situation of a couple of months ago. The meet-up calls seemed especially to be about gathering aimed at police bashing and an open invitation:  “Who does not want something for free”.
Occasionally a call was tracked via Twitter, but probably the main communication was via BBM (Blackberry messaging). BMM is less controllable than Twitter or Facebook because it is an encrypted form of free SMS, and Blackberry has pledged its cooperation for as long as necessary to help decipher the coded instructions. Most of the time the police was seen helplessly watching the riots and even when cars or shops were set on fire effective measures seized to develop. Probably partly in order not to escalate things any further and partly due to lack of manpower. It remains to be seen whether the interrupted vacation and Cameron’s arrival will contribute to a quieter night.

Citizens Initiative II

The actions of citizens themselves seem at the moment more effective to improve the situation .
On Twitter: – ” Truly extraordinary speech by West Indian woman fearless in face of Hackney # rioters “by Matthew Moore. More and more frequently protests of other citizens counteracted the socalled ‘protests’ in the streets. Last night a Twitter shoutout started and proceeded the the whole night, with locations and times when to start, for a riotcleanup in which ‘Londoners’  were invited to gather for big clean-up actions this morning.

Hopefully, this action also infects other cities, as the riots did.

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