Eyewitness account from Edmonton ‘riot’.

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The police in Edmonton and Enfield last night had clearly lost control. As groups of young‘rioters’ carried out sustained and rapid attacks on predominantly corporate targets, and the police could do little other than race around town in a frantic attempt to minimise damage.
The police were clearly psyched up and frustrated that they couldn’t break more heads. One man, who happened to be both young and black, but in the area to monitor policing for the network for police monitoring, was arrested for obstructing police after he refused to give a name and address. In the back of the police van he was then repeatedly punched in the face leaving him with cuts, bruises and a bleeding lip.
If this is a typical example of how the police treat local black and working class youths – and there is every reason to think that it is – then it isn’t difficult to understand the anger and rage that exists.
As well as the corporate targets the police themselves came under attack in a series of confrontations in Enfield town centre, and in Edmonton Green a police car was attacked and smashed, reportedly causing the police inside to run for safety.
Those out on the streets of Edmonton will inevitably be slagged off for the looting and indiscriminate attacks on property. But while there are reports of local businesses having windows broken, the focus of their attack was overwhelmingly the corporate giants. The large Tescos had its massive windows reduced to dust, causing a fair bit of amusement among passers-by. Carphone warehouse, Corals and assorted banks were other casualties.
It also has to be remembered that this is Edmonton, not the square mile. It is difficult to see how they could have done it differently, at least not without being completely ignored. And if the kids pocketed a couple of phones from carphone warehouse in the process, well good luck to them.
For the most part the youths were masked up and hooded, and moved fast, making it difficult for the police to act. FIT teams were out in their riot gear grabbing any opportunity to photograph anyone dressed in black, but they struggled. Having said that, arrests were made, and the cops reported 100 over the night.
Whatever the ethics of the tactics they used, it is undeniable that the police were stretched to breaking point. If this sort of unrest continues and spreads across London, the cracks are really going to show.

15 thoughts on “Eyewitness account from Edmonton ‘riot’.

  1. So, a few rich corporations woke up slightly poorer today, but also a fuck ton more less well off people woke up with nothing, not even a house or a job to go to. Targeting corporate giants my fucking arse.

    1. @ amomymous. not saying that was the case everywhere – certainly wasn’t in Hackney last night, but was, I think, the situation in edmonton. different groups will behave in different ways, and not all rioters are burning peoples homes.

  2. those pig bastards put a hole in that poor guys head when he had a family. TURNS OUT NOW THOSE FUCKING PIGS KILLED HIM FOR NO REASON. THE BULLET FOUND IN THE PIGS RADIO WAS OF POLICE ISSUE.

  3. You should really try living in Edmonton, then you may have a little less sympathy with the criminal element.
    Strange how it always seems to be middle class folks at one step remove and criminals that claim the police are victimizing innocent people. Decent people in high crime areas are all too aware that they are far more under threat from their fellow citizens than from their police.

    1. I live in a working class area, and like others would be very upset if someone torched my car. In fact I’d probably be out on the streets defending it.

      But I also spent many years living on an estate where people had their cars and windows done in, fireworks put through their doors and their stuff nicked on a regular basis. For those who lived there it was just a fact of life, and the cops never gave a damn. At one point I had a group of youths kicking shit out of my front door, but the cops never bothered to turn up. This has been going on for decades, and I’ve not noticed ‘wider society’ ever giving a shit before.

      Kids that grow up in that sort of environment are not going to give a damn about anyones car. Or anything. The difference between living on that estate and living in prison was pretty minimal. So they have kicked out, and yes, I broadly support it, because I don’t know how else things are ever going to change.

  4. No, the attacks were not targeted at corporate giants. They were targeted at whatever could provide consumer goods or be burned. Local and independent businesses got it as much as chain stores, and it wasn’t just their windows that were broken – their were emptied out and set alight. Some people had their homes and cars torched and others were mugged, and these weren’t rich people – they were local residents.

    I’m very upset about the damage that’s been done to Hackney, so I find the revolutionary narrative that this post tries to impose on events quite jarring.

    1. @kirk, these comments were made in relation to Edmonton, not Hackney, and was written before the riots in Hackney took place, The atmosphere in Hackney was very different, and clearly cars were burned and local businesses attacked and looted. Many of the kids in Hackney didn’t give a damn about the property of people within their own community.

      These are huge riots and the people doing them differ. In Manchester the target was clearly the corporate centres, including the Arndale, and reports from Toxteth suggest that the police were the key targets.

      In Hackney people got pissed and off their heads and lashed out at anything and everything, while the wider community stayed behind closed doors.

      What was also interesting was the fact that police in Hackney clearly put their resources into trying to move rioters away from corporate targets, but seemed happy simply to stand and watch when people’s cars were burned and homes attacked. If I was a resident in Hackney I’d be asking some searching questions of the police of what their strategy was that night.

  5. He was still a drug dealing scum bully that wrecked other peoples lives with a gun on him.
    I dont care if he fired it or not.

  6. @fuck the system… The fact he hadn’t actually fired his gun does not prove anything. If it appeared that he was going for his gun or about to fire it, then police shooting is justified (both legally and in most people’s opinion).

    That said, I agree with Really Fit’s point that police failure to deal with crime within or towards deprived communities contributes to sectors of these communities feeling so disenfranchised, and helpless to improve their situation

  7. Hi,

    I am doing some research on the London riots and would like to talk to people with first hand experience of events as they unfolded. Please get in touch…

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