UK police have now promised to come down hard on rioters after their soft policy failed to control the mayhem. But political analyst Sukant Chandan believes that authorities should rethink their approach, as it might provoke more violence.
“It is very disturbing if the police are going to introduce water cannons and rubber bullets,” he said. “Guns have been infesting our communities increasingly in the last two decades under the watch of the British authorities. So if the police start shooting rubber bullets – and we know what rubber bullets did in Northern Ireland, they kill people – if they start doing it in the streets of London in England, I am fearing that the young people will shoot back.”
Sukant Chandan believes that the root cause of the riots is the authorities who are never there to protect the community, but are always there to protect both elite and their property.
“Tottenham is the most neglected poor black community in London,” he said. “[The police] don’t mind this happening in places like Brixton, and Tottenham, and other neglected areas. But when it hits place like Ealing and Oxford Street that’s when it becomes a problem. We just have to understand the nature of policing. The nature of policing has never been there for the protection of our communities.”
“The reputation [of the police] is frankly in the dirt for black and working-class people,” he added.
Chandan believes that UK authorities should rethink their approach to the social problems of the forgotten generation.
“Their approach needs to be actually addressing the root causes of this, which is a forgotten generation,” he said. “This is a generation born after 1981, after 1985, after the big riots that happened previously.”
Sukant Chandan is not surprised to see youngsters, some of them just nine years old, among the perpetrators.
“This is a generation that has been called hoodies, chavs, lowcosts, gangsters,” he said. “That’s the way they’ve been treated by the system and by people in the community, so why are we surprised that they behave in the way that we’ve laid for them, for whole generation.”
The police are facing serious criticism from Chandan as well over the shooting of Mark Duggan, which triggered the riots, and their subsequent reaction to the unrest.
“The British police essentially lynched [Mark Duggan] in public,” Chandan said. “And then subsequent to that they’ve beat down a 16-year-old black girl who was part of the protest against this, with the family.”
Chandan also shared his own perspective on who is the real criminal in this whole situation.
“Cameron comes back after the first day of rioting from his holiday and he calls these young people criminal,” he said. “And this is the same person who is directly responsible for the massacring by NATO of 85 civilians that same night, including 35 children.”