Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Civilization Falls Apart in London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol

This photo was taken on Church Street, Croydon, suburban south London, 9:00 p.m. local time, last night, during  burning and looting in a number of neighborhoods of London and in three other English cities by young people of all races out for a lark and to "loot till we drop"  and "get our taxes back"; taxes, I dare say, that these young people never paid.

Amy Weston, the 33-year old professional news photographer who took this shot, had this to say:
Further up the road, there were some looters - people breaking into stores … and then as I looked further down the road, there was a man running towards the fire wearing a white shirt. Police were trying to stop him and he was shouting he had family in the building … maybe two or three minutes later, the crowd started shouting: 'Somebody's going to jump.''

You could feel the heat from the fire because it was so close … flames were practically touching her.
From the Sidney Morning Herald:
Weston said the woman appeared to be without injuries and no ambulance came to that area in the following 10 minutes. People remained in the burning building.
Did the people who remained in the building survive?

I don't know.

I do know that some apartment buildings burned with no fire department presence.

Did everyone escape from those burning buildings?

What do you think?

Beyond the torching and looting in London's suburban districts of Croyden and Ealing, the insanity hit both wealthier districts like Notting Hill and Clapham and inner-city districts like Peckham and Hackney.

The "Lavender Hill Mob" in Clapham, via Gates of Vienna's "Live from London" series:
In Notting Hill, a gang of masked "youths" smashed down the glass door of the five-star restaurant, The Ledbury, and stole customers' wedding rings and cell phones. The staff defended themselves and their customers with rolling pins and kitchen implements, then locked their dining guests in the wine cellar for their safety.

From the London Evening Standard:
Diners at the two Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury in Notting Hill were attacked by looters who stormed the dining room demanding jewellery and phones.

Louise Yang, a programmer, had gone to the restaurant with her husband Will for a night out.

Today she described the horrific scenes on her blog page, and said her wedding and engagement ring were stolen.

She said: "The restaurant staff were yelling at us to get away from the windows. Before I knew it, the front door, a solid piece of glass, shattered and people came crashing in with hoodies, masks, and random weapons.

"The looters were yelling at us to get down and throwing stuff all over the place.

"I got down and started taking off my wedding and engagement ring to hide somewhere, but unfortunately wasn't fast enough."
London and Londoners have been very good to me, and I am grieving for London and the UK today. The UK's contributions to the world are incalculable and hardly recognized and acknowledged here in the U.S.

But I think it is fair to say that maybe Londoners should not have stopped taking their kids to church.

Just a thought.


  1. Humanity at its worse ... the "Takers" needed more to take.

  2. Mobs act the same everywhere and at every age, don't they?

    I think the most shocking thing for me is the police commissioner's outrageous failure to take authority to shut down blackberry services temporarily and organize a workable survival strategy neighborhoods could use to protect themselves immediately. Reading about Ms May's active inactive is like a replay of Governor Blanco's foot-dragging after Hurricane Katrina.

    Yet I realize many areas of our own country would still be similarly non-responsive, believing that leadership means assigning a committee and a focus group to create an action plan.

  3. I fear his is coming to America.

  4. @Odie - A commenter at a UK site pointed out that the hoodlums are just doing what they normally do every day as individuals. Only this time, operating in groups, the damage becomes much more visible.

    @Tina - The British authorities obviously fear the banding together of ordinary British citizens more than the banding together of the "yobs."

    @Trestin - The handwriting is on the wall, and the mobs--and flash mobs--are in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.