Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reinforcements fail to quell UK unrest

Source: Press TV

The biggest police deployment in Britain's history has failed to quell unrest across cities and towns from Great Manchester to the West Midlands and Nottingham.

Prime Minister David Cameron ordered the police to deploy 16,000 officers only in London streets and authorized them to use plastic bullets and water cannons to silence protesters, who are coming out to condemn police brutality, harsh economic conditions and cuts to public services.

Cameron, whose summer holiday in a luxurious villa in the Italian resort city of Tuscany was cut short due to unprecedented violence, which erupted after the police killing of a black man in Tottenham.

Mark Duggan, 26, was killed in a shooting spree by armed officers in Ferry Lane in Tottenham last Thursday, after police stopped his minicab to carry out an arrest as part of a pre-planned operation.

An initial inquiry into the death of the father of four found that Duggan did not fire at officers before he was killed.

The unrest erupted on Saturday when a few hundred people gathered outside a police station in Tottenham to protest against the fatal shooting of the man.

But, politicians and the police launched a smear campaign to criminalize protesters and to portray the situation as if gangs of mobs and thugs have gone on rampage to destroy everything.

However, the watchful eyes of the real advocates of human rights managed to neutralize the conspiracy hatched by the UK authorities and its media arms to portray the situation in the country to their own benefits.

Human rights advocates and non-governmental organizations called for the cases of human rights violations and police brutality against protesters to be collected and submitted to the United Nations Security Council in order for them to be able to condemn the British government's violent crackdown on its own people.

The British government was preparing its army to take an increased - though still indirect - role in crushing dissent amid intense pressure on police resources.

London remained in virtual lockdown, with thousands of shops and businesses closing early and some boarding up windows.

But, in Manchester and nearby Salford, protesters engaged in running battles with police forces. Greater Manchester police admitted they had struggled to regain control of some streets from what they called as "criminals running wild", calling it the worst unrest in the city for 30 years.

There was sporadic but long-running trouble in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich, while a police station in Nottingham was firebombed by a gang of dozens of men.

Police have also launched a crackdown to track down and arrest protesters using CCTV stills of very young men and women, some with faces clearly visible.

Scotland Yard has arrested almost 700 people so far , of whom 105 protesters have been charged with criminal activities, while 111 police officers have been injured.

The protests come at a time of deteriorating situation for Britons as the pain from economic stagnation is exacerbated by deep public spending cuts and tax increases aimed at eliminating a budget deficit that peaked at more than 10 percent of GDP.

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