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double decker bus
mark duggan
british economy
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olympic games
With Olympics Less Than A Year Away, London Is Seeing Major Disturbances
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London is set to play host to the 2012 Summer Olympic games, but with the countdown on, officials and the government are concerned over recent actions. Since last Thursday, rioters have been burning cars, buildings and shops as well as looting and attacking one another in the streets. What started as unrest in London has now spread to Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool and neighboring areas. Police officers, already targeted by the rioters, are now stretched too thin and are greatly overworked. Several have already been injured while performing their job.

The original riot started after a peaceful protest went bad. Protesters had gathered because of a shooting in the Tottenham District involving Mark Duggan, a father of four. That shooting is still being investigated with conflicting stories- police in the area had said that the man shot at them first, while witnesses have said that Duggan was unarmed. The gathered people were demanding answers to their questions but erupted into violence which led to two police cars as well as a double decker bus being set on fire. Several other buildings were burned as well, some as near as five miles from where the Olympic games will be held in less than twelve months.

The protests have not ended and are instead increasing in intensity, location and in violence. Looters are now smashing through store fronts and taking what they want while others are visibly harassing diners in restaurants and even trying to invade private homes. Shop owners closed their stores early to avoid some of the problems dealing with the roving gangs.

Some have said that the root cause of the violence might be directly linked to the British economy. Recent cuts have slashed roughly eighty billion pounds from the budget for public spending with those cuts to take effect by 2015. Others have said that the violence is not directly related to the economy, calling the looters nothing more than than thugs who are out to cause damage and steal. Many of the rioters have reportedly hidden their faces with masks and bandannas.

So far, there has been one non fatal shooting that is being investigated, however, there is no evidence that it is directly related to the increased violence. Over two hundred people, including an eleven year old boy have been arrested and 35 police officers have been injured in the line of duty. Rioters have reportedly been pelting the police with bottles, rocks and fireworks in many of the locations as well as taunting them. Mobs have reportedly been using their smart phones to send information to one another to avoid dealing with police at each location.

Prime Minister David Cameron has cut his Italian vacation short and has announced that he will take part in the committee to address this ongoing violence. The current situation is the worst period of unrest in London since the race riots that occurred in the 1980’s.

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