London Riots: Day 3

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先週木曜日に29歳の黒人被疑者が警察官に射殺されたことを発端に、ロンドン北部のTottenham(トッテナム)で始まった暴動が3日目を迎え、ロンドン各地に広がって大変なことになっている。上のビデオは、私たちの住む区・Hackney(ハックニー)で起きた暴動(幸いうちからは遠い)。最初は平和的行進で始まったこの抗議活動、今は警察との衝突のみならず、周辺民家や店舗、車両の破壊、放火、略奪と、何でもあり状態だ。

暴動発生地マップ写真ビデオWiki

今回の暴動の特徴は、BlackBerry端末同士で行うインスタントメッセンジャーBlackBerry Messenger(BBM)を使って広まったこと。BBMはショートメッセージサービスより迅速でしかも無料、またFacebookやTwitterと違い、内輪でコミュニケーションが取れるため、ギャングメンバーの間で人気なのだそうだ。BlackBerryというとビジネスマン御用達というイメージがあるので、ギャングたちが好んで使っていたとは意外だ(テレグラフ紙記事)。

このような大規模暴動は、1995年にロンドン南部のBrixton(ブリクストン)で起こった暴動以来、約25年ぶりなのだそう。この時も黒人青年が警察の拘束中に亡くなったことがきっかけ。ロス暴動もしかり、黒人の警察に対する不信感は大層強いようだ。また、どちらも貧困・失業率が高い地域で、日頃の鬱憤晴らしという面もあるんだろう。殺された男性は、警察が目を付けていた悪名高いギャング団のメンバーかつヤクの売人で、常に銃を携帯していたそう(参考記事)。この件では警察官も負傷していて、どちらが先に発砲したかを焦点に現在調査中だ。まだ確かなことは分からないけれど、一部の人たちが思うような、警察=人種差別主義者→射殺というステレオタイプの話じゃなく、恐らく警察官が発砲するに足る何らかの理由があったんだろう。だからといって殺していいと言う訳じゃないけれど。

真剣に抗議活動をしている人たちはさておき、腹が立つのが、この騒ぎに便乗し、警察が暴動制圧で忙しいのを幸いとばかりに、破壊や放火、略奪行為をやらかす愚か者たち。新聞やテレビのニュースを見ていると、破壊した店舗からいろいろなものを抱えて、嬉しそうに逃げて行く若者の姿がはっきり見て取れる。中には戦利品と一緒に記念撮影して人に見せびらかす不埒な輩も。「警察の横暴」とこれらの不法行為とどういう関係があるんだか。被害者は警察ではなく、地元の人たちやお店なのだ。

On the third day of the London riots, which began in Tottenham, north London, on last Saturday following the fatal shooting of a black suspect by the police on August 4th, is spreading across London and has become totally out of control. The video above is a riot in Hackney, a borough we live. Thank god we live far away! Originally a peaceful protest turned to riots, involving violence, vandalism, looting, arsons as well as clashes with police – everything goes now.

Riot mapphotovideoWiki

This series of riots has spread via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), an instant messaging application allowing users to communicate in a similar way to text messaging but it’s free and quicker, and more private than Facebook and Twitter. I thought BlackBery is for business people, and was surprised to know that it is also a favorite device for gang members (Telegraph article).

This riot with such a large scale is thought to be the worst disturbances of their kind since the 1995 Brixton riots, which began also after the death of black young man in police custody. Also similar to Los Angeles riots in 1992, it seems that there are still huge mistrust against police among black community. Also those cases happened in poor neighbourhood with high unemployed rate, so rioting may be a good opportunity for frustrated youth to show their anger to the society. The victim this case is thought to be a well known member of notorious gang group and a cocaine dealer, who always carry a gun for protection (Daily Mail article), and now investigation is taking place, mainly about who shot first, as also a policeman was injured at the scene. It is not clear yet, but I assume that there was a enough reason for police to shoot him, though that doesn’t mean that they could kill him, but I don’t think it was because of stereotypical idea of “police = racist → let’s shoot the suspect”, popular among certain people.

Put serious people on protest aside, I can’t stand some idiots who take an advantage of the situation, vandalising and setting a fire to whatever they feel like for fun, and looting stores while police is too busy taking care of rioters. I’ve seen so many footages and photos on newspapers, TV and internet news, showing young looters happily running away from stores with stolen goods. There are some people taking a ‘trophy’ snap and showing it off to friends. What’s to do with “police brutality” and those disgusting illegal acts?? The victims are locals in their neighbourhood, not the police!

3 responses to “London Riots: Day 3

  1. Pingback: ‘The New Logo for the Hackney Looting Team’ Graffiti by Pure Evil @ Broadway Market | everydaylife.style

  2. Pingback: e-petitions, e-democracy | everydaylife.style

  3. Pingback: 1 in 6 Youths are “NEET” in England | everydaylife.style

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