Yesterday I was approached to give an interview to the Dutch newspaper De Pers about the riots in Britain and Birmingham in particular. An article relating to this has been published today and can be found by clicking here.
For those who do not read Dutch, I have reproduced a ‘Google Translate’ version below although I am unable to vouch for its accuracy and having read it, I’m not sure the translation exactly captures the points I was trying to make:
No ideals, a new TV
By: Harmke Berghuis, Meike Bergwerff Fieke & Hammers
The British were furious. A group of criminal and greedy people leave their cities in ruins. They feel ignored.
• 700 arrests in London
• Gallery: British riots
• London’s cells are full
• Violence escalates in British cities
On the internet is full of pictures and movies of marauding youths. With the triumphant faces, they walk away with hands, bags or even trolleys full of stuff. Laptop computers, large plasma-screen TVs and designer clothes. Police Chris Sims of the West Midlands Police describes the riots and looting in Birmingham succinctly: “This was not an angry mob, but a greedy crowd.”
Dr. Chris Allen, from the University of Birmingham and specializes in diversity and multiculturalism, says that England has a history of riots. “The groups that cause these riots are under pressure and put into a victim.”
Allen sees similarities with the Broadwater Farm riots in 1985. “Both times, the death of a civilian by the police cause for concern. Following a peaceful protest took place, later ran great out of hand. “
Allen also sees great differences. “At the time they wanted to force political change, now there is no vision or purpose. It appears to be driven to consumer behavior. “
Allen also what comes forward is that the rioters do not feel heard. “They are separate from the political process and therefore see no reason to turn to political change. There is no social progress in sight. In fact, they have some thirty years ignored by politicians. “The absence of police on the first night of the riots, according to Allen’s why the looting have been expanded across the country. “It’s opportunism.”
Waseem Zaffar, Labour councilor in Birmingham, also believes that there is a ‘copycat riots “in his city. “After seeing the riots in London, they decided to do the same.”
According Zaffar is too many cuts in police and youth workers. “That last group was always an important link between police and young people. Now that link is gone, the youth will feel ignored. “
The many photographs of troublemakers who have been put online yesterday, shows how young some of them. Prime Minister David Cameron did so in his speech yesterday morning an appeal to all parents. He advised to keep children inside. Furthermore, he stated that if these kids are old enough to carry out such actions, they are old enough the punishment that’s what to wear. “This is nothing but crime in its purest and simplest form.”
Jeremy Todd is director of Family Lives, a guide for parenting support. “Parents call us because they are worried about the current situation. Others know that their children roam the streets. We tell them that they should take their responsibility as parents. “
Family Lives states that parents are unable to set limits. “They do not know how to react, but children need guidelines.” Todd believes that recent events a lot to do with peer pressure in children with no background in violent crimes. “You can not just say that these riots are the result of bad parenting. There are several problems going on and this is an extreme outgrowth.
According to Todd, the young people have no idea that they fear in people. “If they were aware of what they are doing, it would be a much hurry.”
There is already an active opposition movement afoot, both online and in the cities plundered. Riot # Cleanup is currently a trending topic on Twitter. It was clean-up.com riot, in which district where people announce they mess made by the rioters, to clean up. Soon published photographs of large groups of people who held brooms in the air. London Mayor Boris Johnson appeared at a clean up and explained that this is the real London attitude showed. People also post pictures online of the rioters so that police can identify it and pick up.