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UK London Met police proposed undemocratic refusal of bail to all arrested in London riots.
August 22, 2011 2:05 PM   Subscribe


 
Must... get... outraged...... pah. I got nothing.
posted by panaceanot at 2:29 PM on August 22, 2011


Something similar in terms of police state acting out happened in NYC during the 2004 Republican Convention in NYC before the last Bush fake election. People were held en masse in a pen in a bus depot.
posted by nickyskye at 2:33 PM on August 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not long ago people in Canada were wondering why the Canadian legal system couldn't process people involved in the Stanley Cup riots as quickly and effectively as the British seemed to. The Vancouver police have been holding the line that it's better to get it right than to do it fast. The public and the press is demanding blood. As I said in the Vancouver riot threads back then, for once I am impressed with how the police have handled this.

Doing things quickly and for appearances can lead to poor results. 6 months of prison for a bottle of water? People held on no evidence? No, thanks.
posted by Hoopo at 2:37 PM on August 22, 2011




"6 months of prison for a bottle of water?"

Agreed... No thanks.

"People held on no evidence?"

Cooling your heals in the lock-up for being in the vicinity of a riot when the shit is seriously hitting the fan all over London? You could have stayed at home instead.
posted by panaceanot at 2:41 PM on August 22, 2011




Cooling your heals in the lock-up for being in the vicinity of a riot when the shit is seriously hitting the fan all over London? You could have stayed at home instead.

I don't know the area very well as I've only been to London once, but I live right near where our riots took place and it's certainly possible to be near home or on your way there in the vicinity of a riot.
posted by Hoopo at 2:59 PM on August 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


You could have stayed at home instead.

Yeah, god forbid you should be trying to get to or from work (or dinner or grocery shopping or whatever other non-rioting thing people often do), and it's such a shame that the rioters wouldn't confine their activities to one or two streets that you could easily avoid, and that they never ran from the police to the street you happened to be walking down.
posted by rtha at 3:02 PM on August 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


In the messy situation of the riots, if you managed to get arrested (and I really don't think people coming home from work or walking on the sidewalk were being bundled up en-masse), then it would be very unfortunate if you weren't rioting but got detained (any examples of this?).
posted by panaceanot at 3:08 PM on August 22, 2011


(any examples of this?)

I don't need it, I'm going on reasonable suspicion
posted by Hoopo at 3:12 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok, I'll finish with this and bow out. During the latter nights of the riots there wasn't any "trying to get ... dinner or grocery shopping or whatever other non-rioting thing people often do" going on. All the shops were boarded up.

The reason? All the shopkeepers had given up on Police backup. The police were stretched thin and groups of shopkeeper were protecting their streets baseball bat style.

If the police were putting people in overnight lockups, then those people suck at not getting arrested. They were barely arresting anyone. They had lost control to a large degree.

I know we like to hate on the police, but they didn't kill anyone during the riots, they restored order and it's been a political and judicial hardline since then... not a police crackdown. I thought they did a very good job under trying circumstances.
posted by panaceanot at 3:21 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know we like to hate on the police, but they didn't kill anyone during the riots...

The killing that precipitated the riots doesn't count?
posted by Trurl at 3:26 PM on August 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


Right you are. Fuck to feds/popo.
posted by panaceanot at 3:27 PM on August 22, 2011


In the messy situation of the riots, if you managed to get arrested (and I really don't think people coming home from work or walking on the sidewalk were being bundled up en-masse), then it would be very unfortunate if you weren't rioting but got detained (any examples of this?).

It's too early to know how many people fit this description, but it given previous experience it seems foolish to breezily assume that everyone or even almost everyone rounded up by the police during large-scale disorder was engaged in wrongdoing. Ian Tomlinson forms a prominent example of the Metropolitan Police not only detaining someone in the presence of large-scale disorder, but actually killing him. A person who wasn't involved in the disorder and was only on his way home from work. When the dust settles, I think it will be highly probable that we will find similar examples from the recent riots of citizens, at the very least, being arrested without cause.

During the latter nights of the riots there wasn't any "trying to get ... dinner or grocery shopping or whatever other non-rioting thing people often do" going on. All the shops were boarded up.

Utterly false.

If the police were putting people in overnight lockups, then those people suck at not getting arrested.

Personally, I would prefer to avoid being arrested for the Kafkaesque crime of failing to not get arrested.
posted by grouse at 3:31 PM on August 22, 2011 [13 favorites]


(any examples of this?)

The term is "kettling". And while the citation for the 2011 riots amounts to a paste from an IRC channel, the London police have quite a kettling history.
posted by quite unimportant at 4:06 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The police were stretched thin and groups of shopkeeper were protecting their streets baseball bat style.

Surely you mean "cricket bat style".
posted by hippybear at 4:42 PM on August 22, 2011


Surely you mean "cricket bat style".

No. Sales of baseball bats on Amazon.co.uk surged to 5000% during that week. A baseball bat is far more effective a weapon than a cricket bat. It's shorter, thicker at the barrel, can be swung with power from any angle and is easily concealable and comes in both wood or aluminum, whereas a cricket bat has limitations in the aforementioned areas and afaik it only comes in wood.
posted by jsavimbi at 6:18 PM on August 22, 2011


It's also considered blasphemous in England to use a cricket bat for thuggery.
posted by dng at 6:35 PM on August 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


and I really don't think people coming home from work or walking on the sidewalk were being bundled up en-masse

Why on earth not?
posted by hattifattener at 12:22 AM on August 23, 2011


It's also considered blasphemous in England to use a cricket bat for thuggery.

Except against visiting Indian cricket teams of course.
posted by hardcode at 1:01 AM on August 23, 2011


"6 months of prison for a bottle of water?"

Well it's not just stealing a bottle of water without context. It's participating in a riot. I think rioting needs to be treated seriously, and more so than as if it were a serious of unrelated crimes happening at the same time.
posted by dave99 at 3:25 AM on August 23, 2011


Some of the people arrested and/or jailed have had their sentences overturned on appeal. So in a time of austerity, and to make a political point, we have spent money on a trial/jailing and appeal.

Even the head of the Bar Association has spoken out about the innapropriateness of the sentences.

"It's also considered blasphemous in England to use a cricket bat for thuggery.

Except against visiting Indian cricket teams of course."
posted by hardcode at 9:01 AM on August 23

That's not called thuggery, that's called delicious.
posted by marienbad at 4:37 AM on August 23, 2011


and I really don't think people coming home from work or walking on the sidewalk were being bundled up en-masse

I had to walk through the riots to get home. I posted on Facebook that I shouted "I'm middle class, I'm middle class' at the police, only half jokingly. Luckily I'm white, female and older than most of the rioters, otherwise I would have entirely avoided the area (and my home) due to the above possibility. Even now, I wonder if I was naive just walking through.
posted by Summer at 4:38 AM on August 23, 2011


Well it's not just stealing a bottle of water without context. It's participating in a riot.

There is actually an offence called rioting. If rioting is the offence then, well, that should be the offence. Passing down custodial sentences for petty theft makes a mockery of the justice system.
posted by Summer at 4:39 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


[...] refused bail and then sentenced to six months in prison for stealing a £3.50 bottle of water.
£3.50 for a bottle of water? Now that's theft.
posted by apatharch at 5:29 AM on August 23, 2011


A better reason to have avoided the riots than the chances of the police "banging you up". Rioters were thieving scum who wouldn't even have known Mark Duggans name.
posted by fistynuts at 6:04 AM on August 23, 2011


The reason? All the shopkeepers had given up on Police backup. The police were stretched thin and groups of shopkeeper were protecting their streets baseball bat style.
Well which is it, was no one at work, or were shopkeepers trying to defend their shops?
No. Sales of baseball bats on Amazon.co.uk surged to 5000% during that week. A baseball bat is far more effective a weapon than a cricket bat. It's shorter, thicker at the barrel, can be swung with power from any angle and is easily concealable and comes in both wood or aluminum, whereas a cricket bat has limitations in the aforementioned areas and afaik it only comes in wood.
Baseball bats showed up in Egypt as well. People were asking "Who in egypt plays baseball"

There was a mefi post a while ago about this knife/sword company that had a specially designed baseball bat specifically intended to be an effective weapon, rather then be good for hitting baseballs. Probably another artifact of American cinema and TV. People see 'thugs' on TV wielding baseball bats, so they want the same thing -- even though no one around them plays baseball.

---

Also, weren't these riots quickly organized on social media? The impression I got was that they could materialize pretty quickly.
posted by delmoi at 8:08 AM on August 23, 2011


A better reason to have avoided the riots than the chances of the police "banging you up". Rioters were thieving scum who wouldn't even have known Mark Duggans name.

posted by fistynuts at 2:04 PM on August 23 [+] [!]
I hope to fuck this is eponysterical.
posted by fullerine at 2:03 PM on August 23, 2011


This might look like a gangpile on panaceanot but occasionally somebody's just so sure their messed-up privileged view of society is right that metafilter needs to do one of these. If there are any newcomers among us, fear not, it will be over soon.
posted by tehloki at 6:58 PM on August 23, 2011




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