Time Out’s News Editor Rebecca Taylor reports on the weekend’s violent riots in Tottenham, Brixton and Enfield following the shooting of Mark Duggan by armed police officers last week: Saturday night’s vigil for 29-year-old Mark Duggan – shot dead in a confused encounter with armed officers from Operation Trident last Thursday – began as a peaceful protest and ended, much to the family’s distress, as a riot that consumed Tottenham High Street. Whether it began, as some now claim, when officers assaulted a teenage girl or not, it proved the police to be temporarily powerless against determined opponents armed with mobile phones. Throughout the night it appears gangs of rioters were able to out manoeuvre the Met simply by using Blackberry messaging rather the Twitter or Facebook to coordinate their attacks.
In the coming weeks others will argue whether such behaviour was an angry response to economic hardship and overzealous policing or simply a wanton act of criminal mayhem. What do you think?