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Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
August 9, 2011

LONDON – 2:00 am GMT – A third night of social unrest has plagued London and the UK this past Monday evening, hitting Clapham in South London, one of the city’s major transport, rail and commercial hubs.

Groups of youths spent the evening breaking into dozens of businesses, looting, ransacking and setting fire to many of them.

Similar public unrest and youth vandalism has also been reported in the London boroughs of Enfield, Peckham, Lewisham, Hackney, Ealing, Notting Hill, East Ham, Woolwich, Camden and Croydon. New outbreaks and incidents are being reported by the hour.

DOZENS OF INCIDENTS: Violence sprung up all over London last night stretching police and fire services.

Trouble was not confined to the capital, as the Midlands major cities  Birmingham and Manchester, Bristol in the Southwest, as well as Liverpool in Merseyside were hit with a significant volume of violent incidents, looting and arson.

The first major riots took place on Saturday night in Tottenham North London, where local crowd reacted in response a police shooting incident. Sunday night saw copycat mass disorder, violence and looting in Brixton, South London.

The Brixton Riots were not political like the Tottenham riots, rather, these were organised via gangs of youths using SMS text messages, and BBM Blackberry Messaging, in order to pick and hit their retail targets.

LAWLESSNESS HITS LONDON: Youths use rubbish bins and furniture to block vehicle access on streets (PHOTO: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

According to numerous eyewitness reports, the majority of the rioters were youths of mixed males and females between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age, and mostly of Afro-Caribbean decent, with older youths in cars directing activities.

Groups of youths as large as 200 strong were reported in some areas.

 In all cases, youths were determined  to get their hands on easy to carry away retail goods, mainly electronics, mobile phones, cloths and trainers (sneakers).

This same profile was also seen vividly in Clapham this past evening. As the situation spreads into new areas in the city and the UK, the profile of looters continues to expand to encompass nearly every ethnic demographic, but confined to working class.

In most cases, police have been slow to react to vandals, and upon arrival often being forced to stand back waiting, watching rioting youths run wild, and wait for reinforcements and fire services to arrive. By this time, the situations have spiraled out of control.

Shocking video footage of looting and violence in Clapham South London:

RT video footage of disturbances in London last night:

In Enfield, North London, a major Sony Electronics distribution centre was sacked and then set on fire by a gang, with fire services still trying to control the blaze this morning.

Police report that approximately 250 arrests have been made so far in London.

In numerous instances tonight, mobs have turned on press and local residents who were seen to be filming with cameras and mobile phones.

Clapham resident James Downey described the scene at Clapham Junction, “This is total lawlessness, mostly we saw young teenagers who were out for a jolly, doing what they want, grabbing what they want in stores.” Downey added, “This kids obviously have no future, how could they trash their own communities if they thought they had a future. This is really sad.”

Another South London resident who is unnamed stated, “These groups of youths with their hoods and bricks are acting as if no one can stop them, they seem intent on putting fear into this community. I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The last three days’ events will undoubtedly have a catastrophic effect on London’s economy, hitting both large and small businesses and lopping additional security costs and insurance premiums on businesses across the capital and the country.

Clapham was the first high profile, middle and upper class area to get hit by this week’s social unrest in the UK.

In addition to commercial businesses, already cash-strapped public services are currently being stretched by events this week. According to Scotland Yard, over 1,700 additional police are currently being deployed the in London to deal with the violence.

Met Police Commissioner Tim Goodwin has already made a public appeal to residents to “help clear the streets”.

Voters and politicians will no doubt be clambering for more police powers and harsher court sentences for anti-social behaviour in an attempt to quell future incidents.

Pressure will also be mounting on city officials and police to exhibit a “show of force” in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics next summer.

 Officials expect more copycat incidents to continue this week.

Stay tuned to 21st Century Wire for further reports.

READ MORE LONDON RIOT NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire London Riot Files



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