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Rioting plagues London over the weekend

by Jorge Hernandez on August 8, 2011

Rioting dominated London this weekend after groups local citizens became outraged over the shooting of a 29-year-old father of four by police. By late Saturday, more than 500 people had flooded the streets outside the Tottenham police station, the Associated Press reports.

Though the violence was quelled on Saturday, with UK police arresting more than 160 people, some of it spilled over into neighboring areas by early Monday morning.

The rioting also spread into looting, with local business owners condemning the protesters for their thievery. Many of the rioters were young, and used text messaging and instant messaging as way to coordinate their demonstrations.

The incident originally started as a peaceful protest, but it quickly turned violent. Some of the rioters threw bottles of gasoline toward the police station, while others set two police cars and a double decker bus on fire. All told, 35 police officers were injured as of Monday morning, and the rioting raises concerns about London's ability to host the Summer Olympics in 2012.

"It's not so much that this might happen again – unlikely – as that it reminds the people in charge that while the Olympic Games are going on, any other major event is going to be complicated," Tony Travers, a local government expert at the London School of Economics, told the AP.

The world has been quick to react to the London riots, with Australia being especially critical. The Telegraph reports that newspapers in the former British colony highlighted the fact that Prime Minister David Cameron was nowhere to be found amidst the chaos, while other papers have described it as a "hungry mutiny" and "urban guerilla warfare."

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