Tag Archives: protest

London Riots: Day 3

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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)。



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!


London’s Battleground & Barricades: Students’ “Peaceful” Demonstration

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今日、論議の的だった大学の授業料値上げ案が、連立政権パートナーのLib Dem(自由民主党)や保守党の一部議員の反乱にも関わらず、賛成323・反対302の僅差で、庶民院で承認された。この法案により、これまで上限£3,290だった授業料が、上限£6,000、または特別な事情がある場合は上限£9,000に引き上げられる。メディアは「£9,000」に焦点を当てた報道をしているが、実際にはこの額が適用される可能性は低いという。授業料はすぐ支払う必要はなく、卒業後の収入が£21,000(今までは£15,000)を超えた時点で、政府に返済を始めればよいそう。返済率は年収の9%で、返済期間は最高30年(それを超えた分はチャラ)。貧しい家庭出身の学生には、奨学金の拡大や、年収£25,000以下の家庭は£3,250の補助が受けられるなど、手厚い保護が盛り込まれている(詳細→BBC保守党案参照)。

Today the government’s plans to increase university tuition fees has been approved by Commons to just 21 as 323 ‘yes’ and 302 ‘no’, despite a revolt by some Lib Dem and Tory MPs. According to this plans, the upper limit on tuition fees set to £9,000 with a lower threshold of £6,000, raising the cap from current £3,290. Though media focus on upper threshold of £9,000, it is only for exceptional circumstances and said to unlikely happen. Tuition fees will not be paid upfront, and graduates will make a contribution after they have left university and start to earn annual income of over £21,000 (raising from current £15,000). The repayment rate will remain at 9%, and outstanding debt will be written off after 30 years. There will be more support for students on low incomes, such as scholarships and maintenance grants of £3,250 (increase from £2,906) for those from families under annual income of £25,000 (see details →BBC / Tory’s plan).

それにしても、5万人が参加したと言われる今日の学生デモ!昨日も散々書いたけれども、一部学生の恥知らずの振る舞いは目も当てられない。ロシアのTV局RTは、「London’s Battleground & Barricades(ロンドンの戦場とバリケード)」と呼んだけれど、まさにその通り(写真はここ)。テレビでは一日中、デモの様子を流し続けていたが、警護に当たっている警官や警察馬に向かって、フェンスやプラカード用の木の持ち手、クラッカー、瓶、缶など手当り次第に投げる。驚いた馬から落馬した警察官が、怪我して重傷だそうだ。体に麻痺など残らないといいけれど。多くの学生が、マスクやスカーフで顔を隠しているのも卑怯。文句があるなら正々堂々とやればいい。国会審議が終わった後は街に繰り出し、腹いせに、オックスフォード・ストリートのTopShop(トップショップ)などのショーウィンドーを壊したり(持ち主のPhilip Greenがイギリスの税金を逃れているせいもあるけれど)、チャールズ皇太子の乗った車を襲ったりと、この場に乗じて、無礼講とばかりに、どこのチンピラだと思わせる行動をとる。世間知らずで現実離れしていたにしろ、政治的理想と世界平和のために戦った60年代の学生デモに比べ、授業料を払いたくないという自己都合だけで、癇癪を起こした子供のように振る舞う姿は、高等教育を受けているインテリとはとても思えない。それでいて、労働者階級の、フーリガンと呼ばれる熱狂的サッカーファンやchav(不良少年)をあざ笑ったりする。情けない話だ。

Today’s student protests against the plan were horrendous. As I wrote yesterday, some students’ behaviors were obnoxious and unacceptable. Russian TV station RT described today’s protests as “London’s Battleground & Barricades“, and it is perfect expression (more photos here). TV has been showing the protests all day today: students throwing missiles, anything from fences, wood sticks cans and bottles to even fire crackers toward policemen and innocent police horses on duty. One of the horse got scared with a thrown fire cracker, and a police officer fell and seriously injured – hope he wouldn’t be paralyzed… Many students cowardly wore masks and scarves, hiding their face. If you believe you are doing the right thing, be brave and show your face! These uncontrollable brats went out on a street and destroyed store front of shops including TopShop on Oxford Street (partly because CEO Philip Green avoids paying UK tax), and even attacked the royal car containing prince Charles. They are no better than thugs or gangsters, taking advantages from this chaotic situation. These students’ angers are quite selfish, in compare to student’s movement in 60s, when they fought for their political ideal and world peace though it was quite naive and too idealistic, but at least not about paying more money to YOUR education. I can’t believe that those ‘intellectuals’ in higher education behave like a kid with tantrum. And these are the same people, making fun of Hooligans and Chavs – that’s a laugh!

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Short & Small Things in London


It is cold and gray today as usual and I’ve stayed in my room all day. What I have seen on TV is 30-year anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination or 24-hour student protest against tuition fee rise before the vote tomorrow (BBC article/Tory’s Tuition Fees Fact web), and nothing exciting. Especially all those student protests!! Put aside the debate of tuition fee rise, I don’t say all of them, but the ways some behave in their protest are quite irritating. Some students shout at policemen who just do their job (in fact it is not their fault at all) and vandalize shops and police cars, and they are so triumphant. I will be arrested if I do the same! Some come out in strange costumes or bang drums, and annoy pedestrians. On occasions of media photos and TV footage, they show big smiles with peace signs or waves hands – no seriousness whatsoever. At the meeting place, they just dance with music or chit-chat with their friends, and leave beer cans, food packages, cigarette butts and trash all over. How do they believe they can earn our sympathy by acting like ASBOs?! All what I feel is they just do this for fun, or because they can’t buy the latest stuffs at Topshop or can’t have fun at a pub or a night club. They should behave better if they want to win people’s heart!

すっかりタイトルから脱線してしまったけれど、今日見つけた何だかほっとするBBC記事「In pictures: London – short and small」。チューブ(ロンドン地下鉄)の最も短い区間、最も小さいアパートやパブ、教会など、ロンドンで見かける小さいものを集めている。小さいものは日本の専売特許だと思ってたけれど、ロンドンにも意外とあるものだ。一番最後の、日光・東武ワールドスクウェアのバッキンガム宮殿の写真、ロンドンじゃないけれどご愛嬌。

I completely derailed from today’s blog title. This BBC’s “In pictures: London – short and small” that makes me feel a bit better among all. It is a collection of photos of something short and small in the big city of London – shortest tube journey, smallest flat, pub and church etc, etc. I thought small and short is a copyright of Japan, but there are many in London as well. But at the end, here it is – the Buckingham Palace in Tobu World Square in Japan (not in London, though) !


It’s only 300m (0.161 mile) between Lester Square and Covent Garden station.

物置を改造した、ノッティングヒルにあるアパート。居住空間は、キッチン、シャワールーム、クロゼットを含めても、229cm x 102cmしかない。

The converted cupboard in Notting Hill. The living space is only 229cm x 102cm (7ft 6in x 3ft 4in), including kitchenette, shower room, and wardrobe space.

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The Met Police is in Trouble

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Another police scandal, after yesterday’s Hillsborough Disaster 20th anniversary. The Met (Metropolitan Police Service / Scotland Yard),  the police force responsible for law enforcement within Greater London, have been under attacked with violent behaviours by officers at the G20 protests. Today hundreds of protesters gathered to Scotland Yard against the Met.  145 complaints have been made so far against the police conducts at the demonstration against G20 summit, including 70 claims of excessive force by victims or witnesses to brutality and 40 concerns about police tactics such as the corralling technique called “kettling“. 2 video footage revealed police assaults on Ian Tomlinson, who died with ‘heart attack’ (now it is said that internal bleeding is the cause of his death, after autopsy) just after being shoved by a police officer, and on Nicky Fisher, being hit in the face and on her leg with another officer’s baton. These two officers are also accused of removing their police identification numbers at the time, and are later suspended as a result of the incidents. The “kettling” tactic sounds horrible, that many protesters and even innocent bystanders were locked up in small area for many hours (up to 7 hours!!), without toilet facility (that is my worst nightmare!), water or food supply. I understand that police officers were in huge stress (unfortunately protesters are not the most well-behaved people…) and they were just doing what they were told to do, and for sure most officers are cordial and do the right thing, but to go too far will put you in trouble at the end, as nowadays cameras are all over you!!

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G20 demonstration @ London

G20 demonstrationG20 demonstration


用事があったのでリバプール・ストリート(Liverpool Street)駅の近く、ビショップスゲート(Bishopsgate)を歩いていたら、「Climate Camp」と呼ばれるデモに出くわした。環境保護を訴えるこのグループは、テント持参で明日のG20サミットに備えるらしい。ヒッピー風の若者が多く、ビールやワインを飲んだり、おしゃべりに興じたり、音楽を流して踊ったりと、デモというよりストリート・フェスティバルのような趣きで、警備の警官たちもあまり緊張感がなかった。もっと写真を見たい方はここをクリックして下さい。


A day before the G20 summit in London, protesters with different slogans, such as anti-capitalism, anti-globalization, anti-war, and fight against climate change etc, gathered in several locations in London today, such as London’s financial center the City, Canary Wharf, and Docklands. This ‘Financial Fools Day‘ demonstration, named after April Fool Day today, radical protesters turned violent and some broke into a branch of the part-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland. According to Sky News, at least 32 people were arrested and one died. It sounds scary if you read these news, but the protesters were confined to certain areas only and most areas of London was as usual, except police cars went through with siren every now and then.

I happened to walk down on Bishops gate near Liverpool Street Station today, and encountered ‘Climate Camp’, which is a group of activists against climate change. The protesters, most of them are hippyish young people, set up tents to stay over night on the street for tomorrow’s summit, and the ‘camp’ looked more like a street festival than a demonstration — people were drinking beer and wine, chatting, and dancing with the music. The policemen for security, seemed bored for this peaceful demonstration. If you want to see more photos please click here.

The demonstration today was sort of a manifestation of the people’s anger against the banks and bankers. Although they are the one who caused this credit crunch, and the tax money was used to help these failing banks, some bankers are still getting fat bonuses — this caused an outrage among people who are saving pennies to survive. According to the banks, they will loose the top bankers if you don’t pay them well, in the financial industry where high salary is a norm. However, this reasoning doesn’t persuade people in other industries who are fearful of loosing jobs and decreasing pay. The bankers were recommended to wear casual clothes or to work at home today, in order to avoid an attack by angry protesters. Today the City, always busy wit business people in dark suits, was occupied by protesters and many areas were deserted.

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