Looks like the London Riots ending. People in London were living in fear, wondering, when will this nightmare ends? The shops and the people are not the only one was robbed, but Britain’s peaceful and deviant image as well. Londoners were really having their own “Nightmare on the London Street”
The riot, where actually started off when a black guy named Marcus Duggan was shot dead by policemen in Tottenham. Tottenham, an infamous region where the community are mostly blacks had been in racial tension in 1985. Police are seen as a symbol of hatred for the people in Tottenham even until now.
The incident of the shooting of the black man then leads to searches over the housing areas where it was known as the ‘home of black gangsters’ creating another racial tension. The beginning of what is seen as the worst riots of British was about to start.
The riots then were spread across other regions, where it happened to be a perfect time for the people of England to show their dissatisfaction towards the government by bringing up the issues of the increase of poverty and unemployment as well as the skyrocketing taxes.
However, the act this time did not justified the means as the 4 days riots was not mainly about poverty or unemployment rate nor the justice of the shootings at Tottenham. But it was mainly about looters and gangsters and naughty children taking the advantage over the riots to vandalize public’s properties and stealing.
Many shops were broken in and grocery shops had most of the food and stuffs stolen during the riots. Buildings were burnt and streets were littered and not to forget public properties were destroyed too. To add salt to wound, public’s security was in jeopardy when gangsters took the streets. The streets of London were not a safe place anymore.
Few people lost their lives when these gangsters drove eerily and whacked those in sight. It was certainly not the view of London that people had always seen. In fact, it completely turned England into a lawless country.
Religious bodies had their members guarding their respective synagogues, changing shifts both at day and night, risking their lives at the lawless city. At Birmingham, three young Muslims lost their lives when a car drove by few black men hit them early in the morning. Tariq Jahan, father of one of the dead plead for calm over hit run death as anything can sparks a racial clash.
Our student, Ashraf Haziq was punched and robbed by few disgusting people who ‘offered’ to ‘help’ him. They took his PSP and handphones and it was caught on tape and soon became internet sensation. He forgave them all but felt regret that one of the attackers is a primary school boy.
After of all this incidents, one could think back, is it worth a riot? A riot that was supposed to be about justice, unemployment and poverty had merely turned into looters shopping spree.
Yes, there is a fine line between a demonstration and riots but both events are likely to be uncontrollable. Bersih 2.0 maybe got what they wanted, a peaceful street demonstration. But there are many effects of it. The image of the country, the society, the public’s properties, the safety and most importantly the next generations, all is at jeopardy. When Medias are as always making a mount over an anthill, the truth is always put aside. When Bersih 2.0 demonstration was sensationalized like an Arab Spring by al-Jazeera, the image of the country was deteriorated.
“Street demos not the solution” was what quoted by our prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib. The Arab Spring countries that had overturned their government such as Tunisia and Egypt would certainly object it but look at them now. Are they any better from before? Egyptians might have ousted Mubarak but is the problem with the military leadership right now is what they wanted or expected from the beginning? To make it matters worse, their economy had a sharp downturn since the revelations started and is far from better.
Arab Spring was started by not militants or rebels, but youths. In a headline of The Sun Newspaper in UK; policemen, safety guards, housewives, postmen and 11-YEAR OLD SCHOOL BOY were the few arrested. A young boy apparently to be 11-years old too was caught in snapshot after went looting a shop. Is this what we want the future generations to learn? That riot is the solution to never-ending problems?
But with all the riots happening, where the government is always at fault, what to achieve in the end was never justified. Dictatorship happened in Middle East but the aftermath of riots seems to be apocalypse. One needs to think back and find other solutions in solving these enduring problems.
Yes, demonstrations pressured the British to dismiss the Malayan Union but the act was justified; for the Malays and Bumiputeras in known-before Tanah Melayu. But for now we have to remember. Today is a modern era already, where barbarians act or violence is not the way in handling matters. Certainly, the aftermath is not as pleasant as anyone would have expected.
p/s: Sent to NST.