Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Anarchy in the UK - London Riots Sparked by Police Beating, Poverty, Ethnic differences...







British riots: Malaysian student injured in London

By RAHIMY RAHIM and QISHIN TARIQ newsdesk@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: A 20-year-old Malaysian student who was on his way to buy food to break his fast was attacked by rioters in Barking East, London.

Wounded and bleeding on the street, he was later robbed by another gang.

The robbery on Mohd Asyraf Raziq Rosli which took place at 7pm London time (3am Malaysian time) yesterday was recorded by someone and later uploaded on YouTube.

Height of danger: A woman jumping from a burning building in Surrey Street in London in this image taken from Twitter. Riots spread to new areas of London in the city’s worst unrest in decades. — Reuters
 
Through the YouTube posting, the attack on Mohd Asyraf was highlighted in the BBC World News and newspapers like The Sun and The Telegraph.

The 75-second video showed the first-year Kaplan University student, who was bleeding in the mouth, being robbed by a group of men who had initially pretended to help him.

The Sun described the incident as “riot yob mug injured child” while Internet users have branded the group of men seen in the video as scums.

The Telegraph described the clip as being filmed from “somewhere above and looks down onto an unknown street apparently in London where gangs are roaming the streets”.

Mobbed and robbed: Video grab pictures showing an injured Mohd Asyraf (right) being robbed by a mob who had earlier pretended to help him. He is being treated at Royal London Hospital for a broken jaw.
 
London Umno Club president Dzuhair Hanafiah, who identified the victim, said Mohd Asyraf was walking with his friends to buy food when they were confronted by a group of gangsters.

“His friends managed to escape but he was attacked.

“He is now being treated at Royal London Hospital for a broken jaw and disjointed teeth,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The victim lost his mobile phone and wallet during the incident.

Dzuhair said efforts were being taken by the Malaysian Student Department and London Umno Club to evacuate students from the affected area.

Unfriendly message: A council worker removing a destroyed vehicle, spray painted with the words ‘Welcome to Hackney’ in Hackney, North London, yesterday. — Reuters
 
“It was a very dangerous area even before the rioting started,” he noted.

Mohd Asyraf's mother Maznah Abu Mansor, 47, said she was informed by Mara officers about her son's attack.

“I was initially very worried but I'm glad that he is all right. However, I am not able to talk to him because of his injuries,” she said.

She added that she would appeal to Mara for financial support to visit her son who is to be operated on today.

“I also hope Mara can bring home the remaining students,” said Maznah.

Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain Datuk Zakaria Sulong said an officer has been dispatched to help the victim.

“We will know what we can do to help the victim after meeting him,” he said.


Avoid hot spots in Britain, urges Anifah

KOTA KINABALU: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said his ministry is very concerned over the development in London as the rioting spreads to other parts of the city.

“We are worried as rioting has spread to places like Queensway and Oxford Street where there are a large number of Malaysians, including our High Commission staff,” he said.

He added that the riots were also spreading to places outside London like Bristol, Nottingham and Leeds.

“We have advised Malaysians, especially students to avoid areas where the riots are taking place,” he said last night.

Young thieves: Rioters looting a shop in Hackney, North London. — EPA
 
Anifah said the Malaysian High Commission was keeping in touch with the Malaysians in and around London.

“We are also trying to get in touch with any Malaysians who may have travelled to London.

“I hope they will be able to report their whereabouts to the Malaysian High Commission there,” he said.
He urged Malaysians to contact Wisma Putra or the Malaysian High Commission if they needed assistance or clarification.

The contact persons at Wisma Putra are Zul Kesli Abdullah at 03-8887 4353 or Faisal Abdul Hamid at 03-8887 4353, while the contact persons at the Malaysian High Commission are the deputy high commissioner Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah at +44-020-79190242 or wzaidi@kln.gov.my.

Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain Datuk Zakaria Sulong said although it had not received any distress call from Malaysians, it had taken the move to advise citizens to look after their safety.

“The High Commission has also posted similar advice on our website,” he said.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said Mara had taken precautionary measures to relocate its students from high-risk areas to Leices­ter Square to ensure their safety.

Violence causing jitters among Malaysians

PETALING JAYA: The violent unrest that spread to several parts of London and Britain is causing jitters among Malaysians.

Many Malaysian students were worried for their safety, particularly Muslims, who have to travel to London’s Malaysia Hall at Queensway to break fast and for terawih pra-yers.

Recalling Monday’s rioting, London Umno Club president Dzuhair Hanafiah, 30, said shops about 600m from Malaysia Hall were looted.

“We heard loud noises but police came moments later to take control of the situation, but it still created fear among the students,” he told The Star yesterday.


He said rioting had spread to other places including Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool.

“Each area has different local issues like high unemployment rate, government policy issues and gangsterism,” he said.

He urged Malaysians who were injured to contact the club or the Malaysian Students Department (MSD) for help.

“We advise Malaysians to be careful and anyone affected by the riots must immediately contact the MSD or London Umno Club at info@umnolondon.com or call +44-743-564-4040,” he said.

Student, Basir Radzali, 21, said many Malaysian students chose to stay indoors as universities were on summer break.

“Many of us try to avoid going out since the riots started, especially to areas like Hackney, Croydon and Peckham,” he said.


He said the Malaysian High Commission had sent out SMSes to students to be vigilant.

Tan Chang Jin, 24, who lives in Tower Bridge, central London, said the riots had not yet reached his neighbourhood, although it was on high alert.

“Hopefully, the riots will not spread. For now I’m in close contact with my friends and family,” said Tan.

Owner of the Rasa Sayang restaurant chain Teddy Chen said the situation in central London was getting worse.

“It is waiting to explode. Some of them have bad intentions and will take any opportunity to riot,” he said.


Poverty, ethnic differences fuel chaos

By Zhang Haizhou (China Daily)

LONDON - As violence spread across the British capital in a second night of looting and chaos in the northern London suburb Tottenham, people began to ask why.

A list of causes, including high unemployment, spending cuts amid Britain's sluggish economic recovery, cultural or ethnical differences and a poor relationship between youth and police, have been picked up by local media and analysts.

Take Haringey, the borough in which Tottenham is situated. With a population of 225,500, it is listed as the fourth-most-deprived borough in London and the 13th-most in the country.

About 55 percent of Haringey residents are among some of the most economically deprived in Britain, according to the borough's official statistics.

Lambeth, home borough of Brixton, has a similar situation. The 2007 Indices of Multiple Deprivation places it as the fifth-most-deprived borough in London and 19th in England.

In Tottenham, the core of the borough of Haringey, more than 10,000 people claim Jobseeker's Allowance, an unemployment benefit. Recent government statistics show each registered job opening in Tottenham draws 54 applicants.

Despite a small decline in reported crime in the year to June 2011, compared with the previous 12 months, Haringey saw more burglaries and an alarming rise in robberies of individuals - an increase from 884 offenses to 1,204.

Eight of Haringey's 13 youth clubs were closed because of spending cuts, and reductions in community police officers are soon to come, the Guardian reported.

Edmonton, just across the borough border in Enfield, has become grimly associated with fatal stabbings of teenagers in recent years.

"There is every indication, as unemployment climbs and as cuts are made in youth clubs and other services, that the sense of alienation will burgeon. Crime figures have been climbing again," the Guardian said.

But economic conditions alone cannot explain what has been happening in London the past two nights.
"The Tottenham riot has rekindled memories of the wave of unrest which swept through Britain's cities in the 1980s," the Telegraph wrote.

In addition to a recession and spending cuts, the newspaper cited "poor relations between the black community and police" as part of the backdrop against which violence erupted in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool as well as Brixton and Broadwater Farm in London in the 1980s.

Haringey and Lambeth are highly multicultural and multi-ethnical.

Roughly 48.7 percent of Haringey residents belong to non-white British ethnic groups, a higher percentage than in both London as a whole (40.2 percent) and England and Wales (13 percent), according to official statistics.

Thirty-eight percent of Lambeth's 272,000 residents have ethnic minority backgrounds, and 50 percent are white British. Over 130 languages are spoken in the borough.

The police were accused of "institutional racism" for their handling of the 1980s riots and calls were made for sweeping changes in how the police department was run, including a rapid increase in the number of black and Asian recruits.

In recent years, it has been assumed that "the mutual antipathy between police and the black community was a relic of the 1980s".

"Events in Tottenham may suggest that such optimism may yet prove to be premature," the Telegraph reported.

But residents say that the weekend's riots in Tottenham have little to do with cultural or ethnical anxieties.

"Race may have a little part to play, but there are other issues in there as well ... It's young people and the police, but not a black and white thing at all," Norma Jones, 48, who works in human resources in Tottenham, said on Sunday.

While the police have condemned the rioters, most of whom are young people, many residents blame the police for their mishandling of ties with youth in these areas.

"There are still areas in Britain where people or communities have a very difficult relationship with the police," said Max Wind-Cowie, head of the progressive conservatism project at London-based research institute Demos.

"There are a small number of people who want no constraints on their behavior, and this isn't about social or economic disempowerment. This is a section of the community that resents the police policing them," he said.

Riots spread from London to England's northern, midlands cities

(Xinhua)




Police officers ask questions near a burnt building in Croydon, south London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. British authorities have largely reinforced the police force on London streets following the riots happening three consecutive nights from Saturday. Some 16,000 police officers, five times the usual number, will be on duty on London streets for three days. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)
LONDON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Riots again hit Britain on Tuesday evening for the fourth night in succession, with significant violence in the northern industrial city of Manchester as well as minor violence in London.

Police had posted 16,000 officers on the streets of London to prevent a repeat of Monday night's scene of arson, looting, muggings and assaults that took place as hundreds of rioters clashed with police in many parts of the city.

In Manchester city center police were engaged in running battles through the early and mid-evening with a crowd which eyewitnesses said was about 2,000 strong. Shop windows were smashed and a women's clothes shop was petrol-bombed, and several businesses -- including a jeweler's and clothes shops -- were looted.

Earlier police had clashed with a much smaller group of youths in the neighboring city of Salford, where a community building was set on fire and several businesses attacked.

Police in the West Midlands reported trouble in Birmingham city center, where there had been trouble on Monday night, and also in the town of West Bromwich and the nearby city of Wolverhampton, which had both been spared violence on earlier nights.

In Birmingham, a 200-strong gang of youths with sticks was confronted by riot police amid reports of attacks on shops and a car being set on fire.

Police in Wolverhampton had made 20 arrests by mid-evening. In West Bromwich hooded youths blocked a road and set fire to dustbins but later dispersed after burning two vehicles.

In the east London area of Canning Town, some youths were reported to have built barricades and stoned passing vehicles.

Also in London, theaters in riot-hit areas such as the Battersea Arts Center, the Dalston Arcola and the Greenwich Playhouse, cancelled their evening's performances, and shops in many parts of London closed earlier than usual. Many office workers left earlier to avoid being in the city if rioting began again.
Riot police seal off a street in Croydon, south London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)
Police officers seal off a street in Croydon, south London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)
 Police officers seal off a street in Croydon, south London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)
 A police officer is seen near a burnt building in Croydon, south London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)
Police officers are seen on a vandalized street in Croydon, south London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)
Police officers are seen near a burnt car in Woolwich, southeast London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Bimal Gautam)
A police officer investigates on a street in Woolwich, southeast London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Bimal Gautam)
Police officers secure a burnt building in Woolwich, southeast London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Bimal Gautam)
Police officers secure a burnt building in Woolwich, southeast London, Britain, Aug. 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Bimal Gautam)