Why They Rioted in London
The riots that erupted in London on August 6 finally petered out after four days. By then thousands of police officers had been drafted from other parts of the United Kingdom to stand guard on the streets of London and the city’s own Metropolitan Police had finally taken a more active tack against the looting, including driving armored vehicles toward clumps of rioting youths. Copycat looting then took place in Birmingham and Manchester and other cities that had sent their cops to the capital. Londoners joked that the real reason rioting had stopped in their city was because their looters had already taken all the consumer goods they wanted and had now settled down to watch the violence up North on their new plasma TVs.
In Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city, three Anglo-Pakistani men were killed while guarding stores from looters. Indeed, all those killed or seriously injured during the rioting seem to have been civilians standing up to the rioters. There were some 180 police injuries, although none of them life-threatening—except that to a police dog whose skull was shattered by a thrown brick. There are no reports of any looters being injured.
About the Author
Jonathan Foreman writes frequently for COMMENTARY from London. His recent articles include “The Wikileaks War on America” (January) and “The Howard Jacobson Question” (December 2010).