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London Riots : Will Los Indignados Follow Suit ?

Tue 9th Aug 2011

Earlier this evening eight UK Police forces announced that they were sending a combined 16'000 officers to London in order to increase a presence on the streets after a fourth day of rioting.

The riots, which began after a protest against the shooting of a civilian by the Police in Tottenham, spread from the borough to Hackney, Oxford Circus, Newham, Lewisham, Bethnal Green and Croydon.

Today the violence spread further afield to Salford, Nottingham, Bristol and Birmingham.

The comparisons between the situations in Spain and the UK are staggering on a number of levels :

For one, the 'Indignados' protestors in Spain have been on the whole peaceful. Protests did spill over into violence in Barcelona back in June, however this was later attributed to the Police overreacting in clearing the Plaza de Catalunya of demonstrators. Other than that, an occasional arrest, which could maybe be attributed to the inevitable minority trouble maker.

For another, the Spanish protestor, also called the 'M15' movement, are clearly campaigning against austerity cuts, pension and labour reforms, rising unemployment, Political corruption and the entire political system as a whole. Campaigns have been co-ordinated via various social media sites and have brought together groups in many Towns and cities across the country to hold demonstrations both locally, and in the capital. Recently, a numbers of Marches converged on Madrid and have now begun a march across Spain and France, where they intend to gains support before arriving in Madrid in Mid-October. The London rioters have no such aim other than theft, Violence and disruption.

It's saddening to see that the violence in the UK is making the headlines and gaining column inches in the newspapers, whilst the largely peaceful protests in Spain struggle to make the front pages. Let's just hope that the events of the last few days is not setting an example to los Indignados.

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