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Darcus-Howe
Heavy handed policing provoked the riots

WARNINGS IGNORED: Authorities failed to realise that heavy handed policing led to the recent riots

IN THE last few weeks my life has been thrown into a tailspin.

The mass uprising of young blacks appeared like a bolt out of the blue drawing into the mix young whites and Asians and extending through many communities in the Capital, then the Midlands, Liverpool and Manchester.

Balls of fire and anger lit up the inner cities throughout this now unpleasant land after Mark Duggan lay dead, his chest blown away by armed police officers.

Commentators from the press, Parliament and elsewhere seized the moment and mounted the stage.

I was drawn into this vortex by the BBC’s rolling news to be abused by one of its presenters, Fiona Armstrong who accused me of being a rioter. This was immediately followed by apologies from the programme’s producers and by Mrs Armstrong, who called me on the phone with a personal apology. I accepted them all with good grace.

And then the bubble really burst. The BBC interview appeared on You Tube and I have been told there are 4.8million hits.

I was also interviewed on America’s NBC News, Democracy Now, another popular news programme over there and radio programmes from Philadelphia, Washington, New York, Toronto in Canada, Johannesburg in South Africa, Nigeria and Trinidad, the country of my birth.

Before the riots, I warned my readers that this explosion was inevitable given the mass stop and search operations launched by police officers throughout inner city areas in London.

They will remember that I invited the spirit of Amy Winehouse to descend from the stars above to whisper in the ear of the police to halt this rampant stop and search invoking her slogan: ‘No, No, No’.

Officers from Operations Razorback and Trident ignored her plea and triggered off the type of street revolt not seen in this country for decades.

I have no crystal ball, but those who do not or will not see what is taking place before their noses are continuing on a frolic of their own.

There were even fears that this police heavy handedness would mean that the future of the Notting Hill Carnival was in doubt.

Some officers who wanted to ban it following the recent riots.

Happily Home Secretary Theresa May relented and the event went ahead as planned last week. It was a successful event and there weren’t any major incidents apart from one stabbing.

I dare to speculate what is next. Mothers and sons, post the insurrection will join hands in mass campaigns across this country requiring the police to leave our youth alone while demanding that justice must not be disguised by the kind of spite and malice currently being practiced by the magistracy and judiciary.

The events of the last few weeks will not go away without the victims asserting what the issues are and how they are to be solved.

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