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My Fictional Character That I Wish Were Real right now: Batman! Batman would strike fear into these fearless thugs!

I’m a fellow UKer (Brighton). And it’s pretty crazy. I stayed up until 2am last night watching the BBC News 24 coverage. I’m just astonished at how viral the looting has become; it starts off in Tottenham, spreads throughout Greater London and then spreads even further to other cities in England. It’s like a damn zombie infection!! Although, I don’t think stopping the looters’ brain activities through decapitation and head shots would help…

Watching the complete disregard for authority and respect and sheer audacity of these looters, you just can’t help but knee-jerk react and say lock all of them up and take away their civil liberties! I’ve certainly experienced that in the heat of the moment.

But when the smoke settles I hope cooler heads will prevail. While I’m ashamed as a British citizen that this is happening, I’m also proud that with civil unrest some members of society are responding with civilised actions – case in point, the volunteering groups set up to help the clean up of the streets.

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Thank you, Elizabeth, for the best reporting I’ve seen on the events in Britain right now.

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Godspeed, Elizabeth. And all our cousins across The Pond.

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Now I desperately want a Batman & Sam Vimes team-up. Which is admittedly a shallow reaction to this whole thing, but paying attention to things like that saves me from whimpering over pictures of shit that is on fire. Good luck, London, our thoughts are with you.

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Iain Coleman said on August 9th, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Questions as to whether Vimes would be caught dead working for Boris Johnson I leave to the experts.

He would. But he wouldn’t like it.

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IIRC, Vimes would probably arrange for everyone to get passed-out drunk before the riots could get very far. Or something like. Worked in Thud!

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Thank you for the update. I wish you and those around you well during this wackiness.

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Vimes definitely would’ve assigned a few Watch trolls to keep the rioters in check.

Though with how the looters have been going we’d be lucky to have any trolls left with teeth still in their heads.

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“Now I desperately want a Batman & Sam Vimes team-up.”

I’m sure the Patrician can arrange it… somehow…

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This strikes me as more of a Night Watch situation than a Thud! situation. Granted, that’s with the “benefit” of watching with a comfortable ocean between me and it. I’ve been looking to try and see if I can find somewhere that has a better explanation of why the riots have started (beyond “They’re a bunch of mindless hooligans,” which isn’t an explanation, but depending on who says it, may have something to do with it). And suggestions?

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“The socioeconomic ramifications of all this have already been done to death by wiser heads than mine. The consensus seems to be that yes, of course the people doing this are repulsive– but they’re contextually repulsive; and if the top tax bracket can get away with practicing the Tao of Fuck You Got Mine, then are we really surprised when their low-end counterparts raise the ante?”

Dead on summation of the why right there. Also this from the twitter of Times sports editor Tony Evans.

“First off, I don’t know what’s best. But this is what I do know. Unlike most of you, I’ve fought with police, I’ve thrown missiles at them
I’ve kicked in shop windows and looted stuff. I was born into an area that people told me was full of ‘the dregs of society’
I’ve been young, poor and angry. I’ve felt there was no opportunity in life and all that stretched in front was a bleak, penniless future
And I know that most people with happy, fulfilled lives don’t go on rampages of violence.
I also know that successive Governments have put the pursuit of wealth ahead of maintaining a sense of community
When you’ve been told there’s no society, why would you care about other people?
When you see the bankers nearly destroy capitalism and still get their bonuses, what do you think of personal responsibility?
The key is making people believe they have opportunities in life, not opportunities to loot
And maybe the money spent intervening in a civil war in Libya would be better spent on schools
I could go on, but most of you have made up your minds. You get the society you create. Enjoy it”

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mygif

> Five Go Mad In Dorset(link), we’re also Mr Jolly Lives Next Door(link).

Both YouTube videos are: “The uploader has not made this video available in your country.”

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mygif

Excellent analysis from somebody who admittedly isn’t there, but is following closely because of my job.

Poverty or even perceived poverty (meaning I don’t have as much as I had before) is a driving force behind a lot of internal strife. Here in the US, if things don’t improve financially for the majority of people, I wouldn’t be shocked if something similar doesn’t occur.

All we need is a tipping point.

(And to not be lazy)

Good luck and stay safe to all those in London and other English cities!

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I have no idea who to trust about this, but this guy has given an explanation for what started the riots:

http://matgb.dreamwidth.org/395190.html

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Enlight_Bystand said on August 10th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Luckily it’s bucketed it down here in Birmingham. last nights events meant that tensions were very high, and had the real potential to boil over into something (even) nastier:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-14481061

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Vimes would find a way to defuse the situation using nothing but some barricades and his younger self.

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Dilettante said on August 11th, 2011 at 10:52 am

Vimes would’ve avoided touching off the riots in the first place. By, for instance, offering to speak to the Duggan family when they & the local community waited into the night outside a police station asking for someone senior to talk to them. Only after hours of that did the protest turn violent – mainly because riot police attacked a teenage girl who was throwing things at them. And then the protest in general turned into rioting, the police didn’t seem to be able to react, and then suddenly lots of kids saw their chance to smash things up and grab some new trainers.

So, short story – Vimes in charge (or any competent policeman, really) would have talked to the family/community quickly on the first night, and none of this would have happened. Which I think makes a point that we don’t notice the quiet competence of a job done properly until we see the alternative.

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Sisyphus, here’s a BBC timeline which acts as a neat summary of events; unfortunately it’s backwards, so you might have to scroll to the bottom and read upwards.

It started, as I’m sure you know, with the shooting by police of Mark Duggan. The shooting was done by the CO19 branch of the London police, who are their specialist firearms unit. This article reviews the facts as they’re currently known: that Duggan was riding in a cab, was carrying a gun (illegal in the UK) but tests later showed that the gun had not been fired.

As Dilettante said, the trouble was that police were far from clear about the circumstances of Duggan’s death to an initial group of 14 of his family and friends when they came in to identify him. Following that, things unfolded (from all I can gather) pretty much as Dilettante said. Hope that helps.

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Radiate and Enlight_Bystand: hope your cities stay safe for the duration.

Moses: Argh, sorry about that. Do these work?

Five Go Mad In Dorset:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_TiqoEw4sQ

Mr Jolly Lives Next Door:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qSkl3mhEMA

If so, let me know and I’ll alter the links in the post.

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mygif

Thanks Elizabeth – thankfully nothing really happened in Brighton. Maybe we’re just too Green for riots!

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