How to start a riot

I was a little relieved to see that even London, a business capital of the “first world” turned into a jungle for a short time. Don’t get me wrong. Every act of vandalism and violence was uncalled for and should be seriously punished. However, as I watched the news, I couldn’t help thinking how the London scenes resembled any troubled scene from any crowded city in a third world country. It appears there’s a slow but effective recipe that could start a riot.  With the right mix of anger, frustration and injustice, ANY country can become a jungle.


Innocent people have suffered and lost their livelihood in the senseless looting and arson attacks. I can’t help thinking that this is synonymous with the third world. The innocent and poor suffer while the guilty and rich watch from afar. It’s almost laughable how ignorant some of these rioters are. Did they really think they could get away with burning people’s property and causing mass chaos? They probably didn’t think about it – some rioters were as young as 11 years old! There are many possible reasons for what has been happening in London and its environs this past week. Some are discussed by Single Malt Monkey in his post called ‘Blame the parents’, where he points to recent triggers in society and government.

One interview with one of the looters exposes the depth of ignornace among the culprit. When one man was asked why he looted a nearby store, he said, ‘It’s free stuff, innit?’

No, no, sweetie. It’s STOLEN stuff…


  1. Rabbi Ben says:

    Am not scared of the rioters themselves. What is scary is our inability to protect our self. Can the police protect us?


    • They probably can’t, Rabbi. But I think they will do everything they can – a significant difference between the first and third worlds. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


  2. So true. As with any mob, it just takes one person doing an illegal act of violence and that validates it for the rest. Never thought it would happen in London, though.


  3. Jennifer Egbunike says:

    Yep! A social movement in the the wrong direction. But how do we explain what drew in the seemingly well off individuals to join the mob? Solidarity perhaps??


  4. The stupidity and ignorance of some of the looters was/is depressing. At least the students have a beef. UK Uncut know about their arguments and target businesses accordingly. I couldn’t believe that the current rioters targetted local businesses. How stupid. Now homeless people and deaths. There is another niggle that keeps chewing at me. If educational standards have been rising consistently for the last 25 years (so they say) how do we end up here ? Is there obviously a gap in funding/investment/job creation/ beyond the schooling years? Is the only option higher education at fees you can’t afford? The debate goes on.


    • Yeah, targeting local businesses is simply daft! The very businesses that grow the economy and create local jobs. I don’t believe educational standards have risen in the past quarter century. We may be better at bullshitting but common sense goes the window in the ever present ‘mob mentality’. Thanks for stopping by.


  5. you wrote: “With the right mix of anger, frustration and injustice, ANY country can become a jungle…” You are right.


  6. “No, no, sweetie. It’s STOLEN stuff…”

    Exactly! And now many are paying the price for that stolen stuff with jail terms and criminal records, whilst others are homeless and in despair.

    We are all, now the dust has settled, wondering where we go from here…



  1. […] looters with their celebrity counterparts – TNW Social MediaLondon’s Tottenham Riots 2011How to start a riot – Mostly inspirational chit-chatTumblr Tuesday: Loot-alikes pairs London looters with their celebrity counterparts – TNW Social […]


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