Hundreds of people turned the deprived London area of Tottenham into a war zone Saturday, rioting and setting fires after police shot and killed a man.
At least two police cars, a bus and a store were torched, and eight people, including police officers were injured. The riots ostensibly followed the police shooting of Mark Duggan. An investigation is underway to determine the circumstances of the shooting after police stopped Duggan’s vehicle.
Mounted police in riot gear moved into the area to quell the riots. Tottenham is described by British media as one of the most economically deprived areas in Britain, one which has a history of violent riots.
While the protest movement in Israel for “social justice" remains peaceful, and sometimes more like a festival, the riots in Britain may be a hint of what may be in store as another worldwide recession looms.
At the same time the riots erupted in Tottenham, the London Guardian published a prophetic column by Nick Cohen, who asked, “When will there be riots? When are the British going to imitate the Greeks and the Spanish and snap?
“What we are witnessing in this recession is not abrupt catastrophe but the slow erosion of the hopes and aspirations of so many.”
The answers to his questions screamed out immediately after the police shooting and may be a harbinger of an “Arab Spring” for Western countries.