Widespread riots have been viewed on the internet, with looting, burning buildings and vehicles and attacks against civilians and even the police.
The disturbances were reportedly triggered by the death of a Black London man and father of 4, Mark Duggan, 29, believed to have been caught in a crossfire of police shooting in a raid called Operation Trident.
A peaceful vigil in North London’s Tottenham neighborhood, led by the family of Mark Duggan, turned violent when police apparently failed to meet with the Duggan family and supporters. Now, similar incidents have been reported in Birmingham and Liverpool which forced the Metropolitan Police to deploy at least 16,000 riot police officers in riot gear to deal with it.
In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe joined a chorus of international critics of the UK saying, “Britain I understand is on fire, London especially and we hope they can extinguish their fire, pay attention to their internal problems and to that fire which is now blazing all over, and leave us alone.”
Black activist Lee Jasper from Brixton said the riots could be traced to alienated youth, low paying or no jobs, lack of opportunities and “crap” housing. He accused the government of cutting youth projects and suggested re-investing millions of pounds recovered from criminal assets.