"From the pictures and videos that accompany the NBC News and Buzzfeed stories, the crowd appears to have been predominantly white... which explains why they're described in the media as 'celebrating' rather than 'rioting'. But every time this happens – that is to say, every time sports fans, predominantly of the white variety, go on rampages after wining (or losing) various championships – many of us with a few gray hairs on our heads are reminded of the Clash's seminal punk anthem, 'White Riot,' which was released as a 7-inch single (that would be on vinyl, kids) in March 1977, and was later included on both the UK and the US versions of the band's debut album, The Clash." Whites Riot: That’s Not What Joe Strummer Had in Mind, by David Von Ebers (TwiB! / Valid magazine).
"Night of terror - Madness and lunacy in Athens" reads the headline of one Greek newspaper this morning; "Night of agony and terror - Athens, Pireaus and Thessaloniki at the mercy of hooded individuals" reads another, and the rest follow suite. Three days of mass protests, demonstrations... and finally rioting, rampage and looting across Greece have followed Saturday's fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy by police in Athens' bohemian/anarchist neighborhood of Exarchia. [more inside]
A recent article in the The New York Times depicts the violence in Iten, a village 18 miles outside of Elderot that has somehow managed to produce most of Kenya's best athletes. Famous for its high altitude, forgiving clay roads, and dirt track, elite runner Lorhah Kiplagat chose to base her charitable foundation for women and her training center here. The camp is now under siege. Fellow humanitarian and former world record holder in the marathon, Paul Tergat, is missing. Former Olympian Lucas Sang is dead, and countless others are injured or missing.
In anti-war protests in Australia yesterday, children as young as 12 were shown on TV coverage participating not only in protests, but in the violence that followed when the protesters attacked police. There has, in the past, been condemnation of those who bring their children along to protests, but this is the first time I have seen large numbers of children protesting on their own behalf - most of whom would have been truant from school and, judging by the way many hid from cameras, without the permission of their parents. Should we take them seriously, or are they too young to really understand what it is they are protesting against? [more inside]
Rioters complain about tear gas. [Bloominton Hearald-Times, link expires after a week] After Indiana University lost to Maryland in the NCAA finals, drunken fans rioted in the streets forcing police to use tear gas. It was stupid enough to start a riot, but rioters complained that the police offered no warning before deploying tear gas after rioters pelted the police with beer bottles and prevented the fire department from putting out fires in the middle of the street. "They could have easily done that," Raggs said. "If they would have said, 'You have 10 minutes, then we are going to use the tear gas,' people would have gone away." Personally, I think the police showed an amazing level of restraint considering that about half of the state troopers on the scene got hit by flying glass.
Rioting in Jamaica. This one hits very close to home, as it's where my family is from and where I partially grew up. While the immediate effect of people dying is terrible, the long term effects of this news on tourism (Jamaica's top industry) will probably be devastating to an already poor country.
Ahh....community spirit. "Some people on the street, noticing the brewing trouble pulled over and got out of their cars to participate in the ruckus", said Sam Cook, 25, of Oakland.