Panel concludes that riots were fuelled
by a lack of opportunities for young
poor parenting and suspicion of the police
28 March 2012
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Wednesday 28 March 2012.
It was published on guardian.co.uk at 00.30 BST
Wednesday 28 March 2012.
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It was first published at 00.01 BST
on Wednesday 28 March 2012.
independent panel set up by the government to study the causes of last summer's
riots calls for more people to be given "a stake in society" to help prevent a
repeat of the disturbances.
The report, by the Riots Communities and Victims Panel, concludes that the riots
were fuelled by a range of factors including a lack of opportunities for young
people, poor parenting, a failure of the justice system to rehabilitate
offenders, materialism and suspicion of the police.
"When people don't feel they have a reason to stay out of trouble, the
consequences for communities can be devastating – as we saw last August," said
Darra Singh, chair of the panel.
The report, released on Wednesday, says: "The key to avoiding future riots is to
have communities that work." Recommendations include fines for schools that fail
to teach children to read properly; earlier and better support for troubled
families; a "youth job promise" to get more young people into work; and primary
and secondary schools to "undertake regular assessments of pupils' strength of
"The answers lie in different places: some are about personal or family
responsibility and others are about what the state or the private or voluntary
sectors should do better or differently," it says. "Public services describe a
group of approximately 500,000 'forgotten families' who bump along the bottom of
The panel, which visited 21 communities and interviewed thousands of people
affected by the riots, says its wide-ranging recommendations "must be enacted
together" if the risk of further riots is to be reduced.
Singh said: "We must give everyone a stake in society. There are people 'bumping
along the bottom', unable to change their lives. We urge party leaders to
consider the importance of all of our recommendations. Should disturbances
happen again, victims and communities will ask our leaders why we failed to
respond effectively in 2012."
The report suggests the government's Troubled Families Programme, set up after
the riots, may be aiming at the wrong target. TFP, led by the former "respect
tsar", Louise Casey, identified 120,000 families needing intervention to turn
their lives around and prevent reoffending.
However, of the 80 local authorities polled by the panel, only 5% thought there
was any crossover between families targeted by TFP and the families of rioters.
The report raises concerns that some schools are excluding pupils for the wrong
reasons. Children should be excluded only as a last resort, and only ever be
moved to quality alternative provision. If children leave school unable to read
properly, the school should face a financial penalty covering the cost of the
child getting the extra help they need at their new school, the report says.
"Every child should be able to read and write to an age-appropriate standard by
the time they leave primary and then secondary school," the report says.
"If they cannot, the school should face a financial penalty equivalent to the
cost of funding remedial support to take the child to the appropriate standard."
It also urges schools to help children "build personal resilience" to help them
avoid getting involved in future rioting. It claims that what often determines
whether someone makes "the right choice in the heat of the moment" is
"character", which it defines as "self-discipline, application, the ability to
defer gratification and resilience in recovering from setbacks".
Local businesses should get more involved with schools to promote youth
employment and the government should provide a job guarantee for all young
people out of work for more than two years, it says.
The report points out that half the recorded offences in the riots were for
looting, often of high-value products, including designer clothes, trainers,
mobile phones and computers. It calls for young people to be "protected from
excessive marketing" and for the Advertising Standards Authority to work to
increase children's resilience to advertising. It recommends the appointment of
an "independent champion to manage a dialogue between government and big
The four-member panel – Singh, Simon Marcus, Heather Rabbatts and Lady Sherlock
– was nominated by the three main political parties. The report is one of
several pieces of research into the causes of the riots. A study by the Guardian
and the London School of Economics, based on interviews with 270 rioters,
revealed that frustration at the way police engage with communities was a major
cause. It also showed that mMany rioters also conceded that their involvement in
looting was simply down to opportunism, giving them an opportunity to acquire
desirable consumer goods.
Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of the charity Kids Company, said of Wednesday's
report that the 500,000 figure for families in difficulties whose needs were not
being picked up was an underestimate. "I'd say it is bigger than half a million,
because of the scale of what we are seeing."
She added that the panel had adopted "a middle class model" by suggesting the
key to preventing offending lay in working with young people's families. "They
are still assuming the young person's family is intact, whereas 84% of the
children who come to us are runaways. These children have predominantly been
seriously maltreated by their families," she said.
Labour MP Diane Abbott, whose Hackney constituency saw some of the fiercest
rioting, said: "I welcome the emphasis the report puts on the social and
economic causes of the riots. In the first 48 hours after the riots, it was
right to focus on restoring order. But, since then, the prime minister has
insisted on putting the riots down to "criminality, pure and simple". This
report completely demolishes his kneejerk response ...
"What we have seen really reflects an unspoken crisis in the country's efforts
to raise educational standards in some of the inner cities. A number of
communities feel they don't have any control over their own lives. They feel
harassed by the police and marginalised by their job prospects – and are
bombarded with reminders of lives they will, in all likelihood, never have. In
the week after we have seen the top rate of tax for millionaires cut and the
Conservative party hawking intimate dinners with the prime minister for £250,000
a go, I think communities like mine are absolutely sick of being told 'we're all
this together', when it's absolutely clear that we're not all on it together."
Batmanghelidjh said it was "a cheek" to suggest it was character failings on the
part of young people that led them to join in the rioting, rather than wider
social issues such as deprivation and unemployment.
Shauneen Lambe, executive director at Just for Kids Law, which has acted for
numerous young people arrested after the riots, agreed that unemployment and
illiteracy played a part. "One of the things that really concerns us is how
young people are criminalised in a way that previous generations just weren't –
which really blights their job prospects."
The job prospects of the young people convicted following last summer's riots
were especially bleak, she said.
Earl Jenkins, a learning support mentor at Calderstones school in Liverpool, who
was one of up to 60 youth workers who went on to the streets of Toxteth during
the disturbances to persuade youngsters not to get involved, agreed that
joblessness was a factor. "If you've got nothing to lose, you'll do what you can
to survive, won't you?"
Welcoming the report, the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, said: "My
department's Troubled Families programme will tackle some of the most entrenched
social problems in our country by getting members of 120,000 families off the
streets, back into school and on a pathway to work."
October 11, 2011
The New York Times
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to Tel Aviv to
Wall Street, it’s clear that something is happening globally that needs
defining. There are two unified theories out there that intrigue me. One says
this is the start of “The Great Disruption.” The other says that this is all
part of “The Big Shift.” You decide.
Paul Gilding, the Australian environmentalist and author of the book “The Great
Disruption,” argues that these demonstrations are a sign that the current
growth-obsessed capitalist system is reaching its financial and ecological
limits. “I look at the world as an integrated system, so I don’t see these
protests, or the debt crisis, or inequality, or the economy, or the climate
going weird, in isolation — I see our system in the painful process of breaking
down,” which is what he means by the Great Disruption, said Gilding. “Our system
of economic growth, of ineffective democracy, of overloading planet earth — our
system — is eating itself alive. Occupy Wall Street is like the kid in the fairy
story saying what everyone knows but is afraid to say: the emperor has no
clothes. The system is broken. Think about the promise of global market
capitalism. If we let the system work, if we let the rich get richer, if we let
corporations focus on profit, if we let pollution go unpriced and unchecked,
then we will all be better off. It may not be equally distributed, but the poor
will get less poor, those who work hard will get jobs, those who study hard will
get better jobs and we’ll have enough wealth to fix the environment.
“What we now have — most extremely in the U.S. but pretty much everywhere — is
the mother of all broken promises,” Gilding adds. “Yes, the rich are getting
richer and the corporations are making profits — with their executives richly
rewarded. But, meanwhile, the people are getting worse off — drowning in housing
debt and/or tuition debt — many who worked hard are unemployed; many who studied
hard are unable to get good work; the environment is getting more and more
damaged; and people are realizing their kids will be even worse off than they
are. This particular round of protests may build or may not, but what will not
go away is the broad coalition of those to whom the system lied and who have now
woken up. It’s not just the environmentalists, or the poor, or the unemployed.
It’s most people, including the highly educated middle class, who are feeling
the results of a system that saw all the growth of the last three decades go to
the top 1 percent.”
Not so fast, says John Hagel III, who is the co-chairman of the Center for the
Edge at Deloitte, along with John Seely Brown. In their recent book, “The Power
of Pull,” they suggest that we’re in the early stages of a “Big Shift,”
precipitated by the merging of globalization and the Information Technology
Revolution. In the early stages, we experience this Big Shift as mounting
pressure, deteriorating performance and growing stress because we continue to
operate with institutions and practices that are increasingly dysfunctional — so
the eruption of protest movements is no surprise.
Yet, the Big Shift also unleashes a huge global flow of ideas, innovations, new
collaborative possibilities and new market opportunities. This flow is
constantly getting richer and faster. Today, they argue, tapping the global flow
becomes the key to productivity, growth and prosperity. But to tap this flow
effectively, every country, company and individual needs to be constantly
growing their talents.
“We are living in a world where flow will prevail and topple any obstacles in
its way,” says Hagel. “As flow gains momentum, it undermines the precious
knowledge stocks that in the past gave us security and wealth. It calls on us to
learn faster by working together and to pull out of ourselves more of our true
potential, both individually and collectively. It excites us with the
possibilities that can only be realized by participating in a broader range of
flows. That is the essence of the Big Shift.”
Yes, corporations now have access to more cheap software, robots, automation,
labor and genius than ever. So holding a job takes more talent. But the flip
side is that individuals — individuals — anywhere can now access the flow to
take online courses at Stanford from a village in Africa, to start a new company
with customers everywhere or to collaborate with people anywhere. We have more
big problems than ever and more problem-solvers than ever.
So there you have it: Two master narratives — one threat-based, one
opportunity-based, but both involving seismic changes. Gilding is actually an
optimist at heart. He believes that while the Great Disruption is inevitable,
humanity is best in a crisis, and, once it all hits, we will rise to the
occasion and produce transformational economic and social change (using tools of
the Big Shift). Hagel is also an optimist. He knows the Great Disruption may be
barreling down on us, but he believes that the Big Shift has also created a
world where more people than ever have the tools, talents and potential to head
it off. My heart is with Hagel, but my head says that you ignore Gilding at your
call for unity and peace
at the funeral service of man
whose fatal shooting by police
Hugh Muir and Diane Taylor
This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 18.20 BST on Friday 9 September
2011. A version appeared on p14 of the Main section section of the Guardian on
Saturday 10 September 2011. It was last modified at 00.10 BST on Saturday 10
Up to 1,000
mourners joined a cortege through the streets of Tottenham on Friday for the
funeral of Mark Duggan, the man whose shooting by police sparked rioting and
copycat disturbances in towns and cities across England.
They travelled by car and on foot from the home of Duggan's parents to the
Broadwater Farm estate in north London, where he grew up, stopping there for a
short vigil and emotional church service. Then the extraordinary procession
walked through the back streets for a graveside ceremony. A single voice sang
I'll Fly Away, and white balloons were released into the air.
Police mounted a "low-visibility" operation. There were uniformed officers
helping with the traffic but thousands of others were held in contingency
After weeks of speculation about Duggan and his character, and questions about
the exact circumstances of his shooting, senior community figures joined the
victim's friends and relatives for what was portrayed by most as a rebuttal of
the portrait drawn of him and of the community around Broadwater Farm.
"We reject the stigma that has been placed on this family and this community,"
Rev Nims Obunge told the congregation.
"Let mothers not come and bury their children any more. Let fathers not come and
weep over their children's graves. We have been scarred, marginalised,
stigmatised, but today we stand together.
"We say, not any more. We shall stop this. We take the death of Mark to show
that there is something wrong. We pray that his death will not be in vain, that
we learn what we need to learn and that we have a future that is ours to hold on
Stafford Scott, a community leader, said the circumstances surrounding Duggan's
death had forced the community to unify. "We believe there is no justice, there
is just us," he said. "This is a community that is battle-weary. I have known
four people in my life who have died in these circumstances. We will draw a
sense of togetherness. If there is to be a memorial to Mark let it be that our
young people come together and stick together."
The church service was held at the Pentecostal New Testament Church of God in
Wood Green, a district also scarred by last month's disturbances. Mourners heard
a tribute from Duggan's fiancee, Semone Brown. He was, she said: "My first real
love, we laughed together and cried together. We faced trials and tribulations
together. We had our ups and our downs but I always loved him. He gave me four
There were emotional scenes as Duggan's cousin Donna Martin began a eulogy. "I'm
going to find this difficult," she said. Mark would have said 'Balance,
balance,' which means 'Settle yourself'."
At that point she was overcome and seemed unable to continue. Sections of the
congregation urged her on with Duggan's own phrase, "balance, balance". She said
Duggan had a job at Stansted airport and recently submitted an application to
become a fireman, "obviously thinking about how he could help others".
She said he had a strong, positive bond with local children. "He encouraged them
to take part in lots of activities and would tell them were they went wrong and
how to put it right next time. He was just a big kid himself."
Duggan, she said, "was always seen as a peacemaker".
Her cousin had many enthusiasms, she said. "He enjoyed partying, dressed up to
the nines. He loved his bling and ting. What a smile he had. It used to take
over the whole of his face."
Martin said Duggan was en route in a cab to see his children and spoke to his
fiancee at 4.30pm. He died less than two hours later.
He was "asking if his dinner was ready. That was the last time he spoke to her."
The day began with friends and relatives assembling at the family home. They
were met by Bishop Kwaku Frimpong-Manson, who performed the internment service.
Among the relatives was his aunt Karen Hall. "I was the first person to see him
come into this world. Mark would have known that he isn't Al Capone. He is just
an average guy. He wouldn't have tried to fire on police," she said.
Bishop Frimpong-Manson said he knew Mark from childhood. "He was like my son and
I was angry when I read what was being said about him, because it was just
wrong. I know some youths get in trouble. No one is perfect. But he was just a
normal guy. I came to see the family and they said: 'No one is talking to us
about what happened to Mark.' Who would be happy to lose a child and find that
no one is talking to you?" he said.
As mourners prepared to set off from the house, the bishop called them to stand
on the pavement beside the wooden carriage, which was drawn by four white horses
with plumes. Around 60 did so.
"We come to stretch our hands towards the casket and thank God for Mark's life
as he begins his heavenly journey."
He urged the mourners to stretch their arms towards the carriage as he prayed.
Duggan's mother, Pam, wept, supported by a relative.
The cortege swelled at Broadwater Farm as people emerged from homes and offices.
The horse-drawn carriage stopped near the block Duggan lived in as a child.
Again mourners were implored to stretch their hands towards it. A few stepped
forward to tap on the carriage.
One hit the hardest. "He was a loveable rogue but we loved him," he said.
Among the mourners were the relatives of Cynthia Jarrett, whose death sparked
the Broadwater Farm disturbances in 1985; of Colin Roach, who died in Stoke
Newington police station, north London; and of Sean Rigg, who died while in the
custody of police in Brixton, south London.
Another there to "show solidarity" was Winston Silcott, who was wrongly
imprisoned for the murder of PC Keith Blakelock during the 1985 riots.
The IPCC is still investigating the 12 August shooting. It has said a
non-police-issue firearm was recovered from the scene.
suggest that Duggan was carrying the converted replica in a sock. But the family
say there is no proof of that, and say they've been told that no fingerprints
were found on the firearm.
At least eight people arrested
in connection with attack
– while disturbances flare up
in Liverpool, Leicester, Bristol and Leeds
Wednesday 10 August 2011
Martin Wainwright, Helen Clifton,
James Beal and Jessica Shepherd
This article appeared in the Guardian
on Wednesday 10 August 2011.
published on guardian.co.uk at 01.57 BST
on Wednesday 10 August 2011.
last modified at 01.59 BST
on Wednesday 10 August 2011.
station in Nottingham was firebombed on Tuesday night as violence also hit
Liverpool, Leicester, Bristol and Leeds.
Canning Circus police station in Nottingham was attacked by a gang of 30 to 40
men but no injuries were reported, according to Nottinghamshire police. The
force said at least eight people were arrested in connection with the attack.
Around the same time, a number of cars were firebombed at a car lot in Carlton
Road in the city.
The violence followed the arrest of 10 youths earlier in the evening after a
small group of people got on to the roof of one of the buildings at Nottingham
High School. In another incident two men, aged 17 and 18, were arrested after
rocks were thrown at Bulwell Police Station in the city.
Between 6pm on Monday and 1am on Wednesday, police said they dealt with "well
over 1,000" reports of incidents taking place throughout the city and elsewhere,
and more than 70 arrests were made. Fires were set in various different
locations and police said they had investigated reports that children had been
setting trees alight.
Smithdown Road in Toxteth in Liverpool was closed by police after 200 rioters
started hurling missiles at officers at about 11.30pm. A Merseyside police
spokesman said the youths were "causing disorder and damage" and asked local
people to avoid the area. She was unable to confirm reports that firebombs were
Police and firefighters were called to reports of vehicles on fire in
Birkenhead, while the town centre also saw damage to shops and pubs, with at
least one pub set on fire. No-one was inside at the time.
Some 35 arrests were made on Merseyside in connection with the disorder.
A number of blazes were started by people rioting at a young offenders'
institution in Bristol, the local fire service said. Up to 10 teenagers at
Ashfield set fire to rubbish in one of the wings at about 7.50pm.
It took members of staff about 50 minutes to extinguish the flames, according to
Avon Fire and Rescue Service, who were put on standby in case they worsened.
"About seven to 10 people were involved in a riot," a spokesman said. "The
prison staff are now dealing with the perpetrators." The fires were said to be
small, with the level of damage done unclear.
Some 400 young males aged between 15 and 18 are held at Ashfield after being
sentenced in courts across the South West, Wales, the Midlands and the London
Meanwhile a gang passing through Chapeltown in Leeds threw stones at cars parked
outside the Central Jamia Mosque. A senior member of staff at the mosque, who
gave his name as Ali, described the culprits as a large group of rioters.
Leicestershire police said on their Twitter account that their officers were
dealing with a group of youths in Leicester city centre.
The violence has been spreading outside of London since Monday night. Police in
Liverpool were pelted with missiles and cars were torched on Monday, while
looters in Bristol targeted jewellery shops and set a gas main on fire. There
has been sporadic trouble in Leeds
In Liverpool, disturbances began shortly after midnight on Monday as pub and
restaurant windows were shattered with stones, showering late-night drinkers and
diners with glass . Several hundred people, some as young as 10, roamed High
Park Street attacking buildings and cars at random before looting a Tesco
Express, smashing police station windows and setting a police van on fire.
Cars and wheelie bins were set alight on a trail of destruction that stretched
from the city centre to the Toxteth, Dingle and Wavertree areas.
Looters use cars and shopping trolleys
to carry away stolen goods as disturbances
spread to other areas of Haringey
This article was published on guardian.co.uk
at 09.05 BST on Sunday 7 August
It was last modified at 10.40 BST
on Sunday 7 August 2011.
scenes of chaos in the early hours of Sunday morning as sustained looting spread
from Tottenham to other nearby areas of Haringey.
By midnight police managed to secure a 200-metre stretch of the Tottenham High
Road, scene of some of the worst rioting on Saturday night.
But as fire engines entered the street, and began putting out blazing cars and
buildings, the rioters spread north and west through back-streets. To the north,
at Tottenham Hale, Aldi supermarket was ransacked and set on fire. So too was a
nearby carpet shop, causing a huge blaze.
Looters turned up with cars and shopping trolleys to carry away stolen goods.
Nearby, large groups of youths congregated in the surrounding streets with
sticks, bottles and hammers.
Some wore balaclava masks, preventing cars from accessing streets as buildings
were broken into. Others used large rubbish bins to form burning barricades
across the road.
However some of most dramatic looting took place further west, in Wood Green,
and continued into the early hours of the morning.
Earlier on Saturday night two police cars, a bus and several shops had been
attacked and set ablaze as violence and looting erupted following a protest
demanding "justice" over a fatal police shooting.
Officers on horseback and others in riot gear clashed with hundreds of rioters
armed with makeshift missiles in the centre of Tottenham after Mark Duggan, 29,
a father of four, was killed on Thursday.
On Sunday morning police said there remained isolated incidents in the Tottenham
area involving "a small number of people" and officers were still dealing with
those situations. Eight officers were being treated in hospital, one with head
injuries, following the violence.
But there was still no police presence at Wood Green high street at 4am, even
after dozens of stores had been smashed and raided, setting of multiple alarms.
Around 100 youths sprinted around the highstreet, targeting game shops,
electrical stores and high-street clothe chains such as H & M.
Glass windows were smashed and the looters, mostly young men masking their
faces, swarmed in.
They emerged with handfuls of stolen goods. "I've got loads of G-Star," said one
teenager, emerging from a clothes shop. Others came out clasping shopping bags
stuffed with goods.
Three teenagers ran down the street with suitcases filled with stolen clothes.
Around ten young men stood outside a smouldering Carphone Warehouse, the windows
smashed. The theft was casual and brazen, with looters peering into broken shop
windows to see if items of value remained.
There were shocking scenes in the suburban back-streets, where residential
front-gardens were used to frantically sort and swap stolen goods.
A teenage boy, who looked aged around 14, drove an stolen minicab erratically
down a side-street. On the adjacent street, a man who emerged from his home to
find his car burnt-out remonstrated with other young men, who ran past carrying
Passersby, including people returning home in the early hours from nights out,
were stunned to discover the lawless mayhem on the streets.
With no sign of any police, buses refused to take passengers through Wood Green
high street, and traffic was brought to a standstill.
There were already signs of the violence to come as tens of
thousands gathered in south London's brilliant sunshine for the country's
biggest anti-poll tax demonstration.
A group of about 1,000 tried to form separately, black flags fluttering in the
breeze. A police inspector said to his officers: "Anyone with black flags,
they've all been warned that they're going to get arrested."
The head of the apparently good-natured march started passing Downing Street,
but by the time it reached Trafalgar Square scuffles were breaking out in
Whitehall. The objective of some demonstrators was undoubtedly the double line
of police behind the gates of Downing Street.
In Trafalgar Square the majority listened to speakers. Some headed south down
Whitehall, hurling anything they could lay their hands on at police. As the
platform appealed for people to go home peacefully, rioting spread into the
south-east corner of Trafalgar Square.
Riot police battling to push the crowd away from the area of the South African
embassy were repulsed by a barrage of bottles, sticks and plac ards. Cries of
"Kill them" and "Fascist scum" filled the air.
Many at the forefront appeared intoxicated, either by alcohol or by the
atmosphere of insurrection. Young men with blood pouring from head wounds
continued to hurl missiles.
A fire engine was attacked, as others shouted for it to be left alone. Mounted
police cantered past the embassy in a futile attempt to push demonstrators away.
They became targets for a hail of missiles.
Ten yards back from the hard core, police and the public watched the ferocity
with disbelieving faces.
Mounted, combat and ordinary uniformed police gradually forced demonstrators
northwards out of Trafalgar Square. But if calm had returned there, it was at
the expense of London's premier shopping streets. Hundreds of demonstrators ran
amok, smashing windows, looting and attacking cars, leaving banks wrecked.
The junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street was typical of the chaos
facing police officers intent on rounding up scattered, determined groups. It
was becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between rioters and
A police officer told a middle-aged couple: "We cannot guarantee your safety if
you move out of this area."
A boy of about 15 was in a telephone box yards from police: "They done Oxford
Street. I got a three hundred quid jacket and two left boots."
A schoolteacher died early today after receiving severe head
injuries in a violent demonstration against a National Front election meeting in
Southall, Middlesex. He was Mr Blair Peach, a New Zealander in his late twenties
who lived in East London.
The dead man, an Anti-Nazi League supporter, was one of 40 taken to hospital
after the demonstration, in which 300 people were arrested.
The violence came to a head when rocks, smoke bombs, bottles and cans were
hurled at the massive cordon of police protecting the Front meeting at Southall
Of the injured, 35 were policemen. One was stabbed in the stomach and another
suffered a serious leg wound. Twenty police needed hospital treatment and six
The battle before the meeting was quelled only when police horsemen and police
armed with riot shields charged the crowd.
Ealing Council, which had previously banned National Front meetings, allowed the
Front to book the hall under the Representation of the People Act.
Mr Paul Holborrow, the League's national secretary said, "We believe that this
tragedy occurred solely because of the determination of the police to enable the
Nazis to hold their racist and provocative meeting in the centre of the Asian
community in Southall.
"The ANL has warned of the dangers of allowing Nazis to practise in our midst;
now that the ultimate price has been paid, it now asks how much longer this
violence is to be tolerated in British politics."
Mr Merlyn Rees, the Home Secretary, speaking before the man's death, last night
defended the right to hold meetings.
He said matters of public order had to be left to the professionals — the police
— and it was not up to a Home Secretary to make judgements. But if Labour were
returned to power he would want more powers to control marches.
Interviewed by ITN, Mr Rees was asked what plans he had to deal with unpleasant
aspects of extremism.
Mr Rees said: "The request for dealing with a march must come from the police.
It was a police judgement that was made in Leicester. There was no such
judgement to make today simply because it was not a march. It was a meeting this
Those arrested last night were held on charges ranging from assault on police to
possessing offensive weapons.
THE POLICE are to be supplied
with limited amounts of non-toxic tear smoke for use against armed criminals
trapped in a building, Sir Frank Soskice, Home Secretary, announced in the
There would be no long-term effect on any innocent person caught in the fumes,
he said. The Home Secretary was replying to Mr Rankin, Labour member for
Glasgow, Govan, who asked if the Metropolitan Police were equipped to use non-
lethal gas in an emergency.
“Arrangements are being made,” Sir Frank said, “to supply police forces in case
of need with limited amounts of non-toxic tear smoke, which causes temporary
incapacity but has no permanent harmful effects, for use in dealing with armed
criminals or violently insane persons in buildings from which they cannot be
dislodged without danger of loss of life. The tear smoke would not be used in
any other circumstances.”
The Home Secretary said he had in mind the case in which a violent lunatic had
barricaded himself in a house, possibly with a member of the public as hostage,
and where it would be impossible for the police to approach without the lives of
the officers or bystanders being endangered.
The statement did not mention the Metropolitan Police in particular, who have
their own arrangements with the Army to call for tear gas if necessary.
Our Defence Correspondent
writes: The gas which will be used is the same as that available to the Army
for riot control operations. It is called “CS” and was developed at the Chemical
Defence Experimental Establishment at Porton, Wiltshire.
Scientists claim that it is far more effective than the previous range of tear
gases which had remained largely unchanged since first being developed in the
It is a non-lethal, non-toxic gas tear smoke, with an immediate, but very
temporary effect. The victim has copious watering eyes and blurring of vision,
but not blackout.
It is with feelings of extreme
regret that we find ourselves under the necessity of adverting to the riotous
proceedings and the lawless and destructive attacks on property of which a
portion of the labouring classes in this town and some neighbouring districts
have been guilty during the past and the present week.
We deeply lament the state of suffering in which a large portion of the
industrious classes are involved; we can form some conception of the growing
distress consequent on want of food: we can imagine the feelings with which a
parent, himself not obtaining the full sustenance necessary to hard and constant
labour, hears his children begging for bread, which he is unable to supply.
These are circumstances that involve an intensity of wretchedness which no
person, not destitute of the ordinary feelings of human nature, can contemplate
without deep sympathy. But sympathy, of itself, is worth little; and private
charity is utterly incompetent to grapple with the mass of distress which
In some quarters — in the neighborhood of Colne, in the country around
Blackburn, and at Burnley — the condition of the hand-loom weavers has reached
the extreme of suffering. There is still remaining unappropriated a large
balance of the general subscription raised for the relief of the poor in
manufacturing districts. We strongly recommend an immediate application to the
secretary or officers of the committee for conducting the subscription.
It is several years since we first expressed our opinion that the days of
prosperity of hand-loom cotton-weaving are gone by, that the principle of
manufacture will still progressively continue to sink; and that whatever tends
artificially to prolong its existence can only have the effect of producing more
Every friend to the poor, therefore, every person of influence [in]
communication with hand-loom weavers should sedulously inculcate the importance
of their betaking theirselves, and at least of bringing up their children, to
some employment less overstocked and in declension. The wages of labour can
never (the improved machinery of the present day renders it absolutely
impossible) constitute a desirable trade; but the sufferings attendant on its
decline may be mitigated by constant and judicious exertions.
[About this week's disturbances], our first statement is that, at whatever cost,
the laws must be supported. We are not advocates for needless severity: but the
interest of the poor, even more immediately than that of the rich, requires that
that sort of property which has been attacked and placed in jeopardy should be