Video | U.K.: London Struggles to Control Riots

Buildings burned on Tottenham High Road in London after youths protested against the killing of a twenty-nine-year-old father-of-four Mark Duggan by armed police in an attempted arrest on August 6, 2011.


By Tuesday, August 9, 2011, a wave of violence and looting raged across London and spread to three other major British cities, as authorities struggled to contain the country’s worst unrest since race riots set the capital ablaze in the 1980s.


In London, groups of young people rampaged for third straight nights, setting buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps alight, looting stores and pelting police officers with bottles and fireworks. The spreading disorder was an unwelcome warning of the possibility of violence for leaders organizing the 2012 Summer Olympics in less than a year.


Neighborhoods across the capital faced a massive clean-up of smashed glass, bricks, bottles and gutted buildings as police reinforcements reclaimed the streets from the youths.


On Monday, police made a rare decision to deploy armored vehicles in some of the worst-hit districts. However, authorities still struggled to keep pace with the chaos unfolding at flashpoints across London, in the central city of Birmingham — where a police station was set ablaze — the western city of Bristol and the northwestern city of Liverpool.


Following numerous reports of failures on behalf of police to arrest looters or adequately respond to the riots in London that are now sweeping across the entire UK, curfews and troops on the streets are now being readied as authorities prepare to enforce martial law to quell massive civil unrest.


BBC News twice reported that troops were being readied.  U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May confirms that the government is considering “military support for the police”.


Curfews are also being discussed as authorities prepare to transform Britain into a locked down police state.


“Armoured vehicles have been brought in to clear the streets for the first time by police to tackle what senior officers say is the worst rioting and looting in living memory,” reports the Guardian.


“I have not heard of a curfew on mainland Britain in the past century. [It's] very difficult to impose. I’m not saying that it is definitely the way forward but it is something we have to consider,” Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington told BBC Breakfast.


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