The Diary of a Wimpy Catholic gives a brief history of London Riots, and what he says may be applied to most countries, even China, which has more to do with anarchy and chaos than a desire to have a multi-party democracy.
The London “unrest” flared on Saturday, August 7, 2011 and the latest headline (as I’m writing this post) says, “London under siege as violence spreads across UK. Ugly scenes of violence, rioting and looting have spread across the length and breadth of London and beyond since trouble began three days ago.”
This latest “unrest” in England started in the low-income, multiethnic district of Tottenham where many are unemployed. By August 9, sixteen thousand police had been deployed on the streets of London, and Prime Minster David Cameron said, “People should be in no doubt that we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain’s streets and to make them safe for the law-abiding.” Source: Yahoo.com
The correct way to handle this sort of “unrest” may be how quickly the US ended the Rodney King Riots of 1992 in Los Angeles, which started on Wednesday, April 29, 1992 and officially ended on May 4 — six days later.
On the second day, the state’s governor sent in 2,000 California National Guard troops.
On the fourth day, President H. W. Bush ordered 4,000 heavily armed US Marines and Army troops to quell the riots, martial law was declared, roadblocks were set up and there were firefights between the military and the looting rioters that were setting fire to the city.
Although LA’s Mayor Bradley lifted the curfew on May 4, signaling the official end of the riots, sporadic violence and crime continued for days afterward. Federal troops did not stand down until May 9, and the National Guard remained until May 14 with some troops staying as late as May 27
The LA riots caused more than $1 billion in damage and saw 53 people killed and thousands injured.
“Contrary to what has become conventional wisdom outside China, the protesters were not demanding Western style politics and an end to Communist Party Rule.” Source: BBC Documentary Produced and Directed by Rob Coldstream (2009), which I wrote about on this Blog June 30, 2010 as China’s Capitalist Revolution – Part 1 of 9
However, when unrest takes place in China and the Chinese react as the United States did in 1992 and England’s government today, the Western media, Blogs and Internet Forums often claim the unrest was caused by the fact that China is not a multi-party democracy.
Explain why China’s people should want a multi-party democracy since many democracies are broke, in debt and mired in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
In fact, in the last few decades, China has reduced severe poverty more than any country, increased literacy from 20% to more than 90%, increased the lifespan from age 35 in 1949 to more than 70 today, and created a modern consumer middle class approaching the size of the US population, while poverty, unrest and unemployment has increased in England and the United States.
In addition, in contrast to the 6 days it took to end the violent unrest in Los Angeles in 1992, The Tiananmen Square protests in the People’s Republic of China occurred between April 15, 1989 and June 4, 1989 (seven weeks — not six days), centered in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. If you Google this unrest, most likely you will read the lie that it was a democracy movement, which it wasn’t (watch the embedded BBC video with this post to discover the facts).
When troops of the People’s Liberation Army arrived in Beijing to deal with the unrest, they were “actively opposed” by protesters. There were “battles” during the entry of the troops into the city with military casualties, and extensive roadblocks constructed by the protesters slowed the army’s progress.
How is this different from America in 1992 and London in 2011 except that the Chinese had a lot of patience to let the unrest go on for seven weeks before applying force?
More Western riots to explore, which took place in freedom loving, multi-party democracies.
1981 England riots – West Indian race riots across London, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool
2001 England riots – South Asian race riots in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford
2005 civil unrest in France – Widespread rioting across France
2005 Cronulla riots – Beachfront riots in Sydney, Australia
2006 Dublin riots – Love-Ulster Riots in Dublin, Ireland
2008 Greek riots – Riots in Greece, mainly centered on Athens
2010 Berkeley California riot – protesters damaging UC Berkeley’s Durant Hall and then spilling over into the city streets, igniting trash cans and Dumpsters, smashing windows and clashing with police.
1934 San Francisco Riot – Two men were killed by bullets, another by injuries, 31 others were shot and an untold number, including police, were clubbed, gassed, beaten and stoned.
Recent Oakland Riots – On January 7, 2009 a protest march in Oakland involving about 250 people became violent. Demonstrators caused over $200,000 in damage while breaking shop and car windows, burning cars, setting trash bins on fire, and throwing bottles at police officers.
In fact, here is a List of incidents of civil unrest in the United States – too many to count!
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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