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Tony Grist

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The Oldham Riots [Nov. 14th, 2010|10:16 am]
Tony Grist
The Oldham riots of May 2001 have branded the town. You'd think from the way they're remembered- from the way Khalid remembers them- that the whole place was in flames. In fact they were highly localised- confined to one or two streets.  We live less than a mile from the epicentre and all we heard or saw was the police helicopter chugging overhead. 

Oldham does have a problem with race. It simmers under. The Asian communities had been harassed and taunted and put upon for decades and finally the anger boiled over.  No-one was seriously hurt, a few cars were burned, the police got a smacking they almost certainly deserved, the windows of one or two racist pubs were put in- and notice had been served that things had to change. I've always thought the rioters deserved our thanks.

[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2010-11-14 12:55 pm (UTC)
I was struck by how skinheads got short sentences but Asians far longer ones. Equality under the law? My arse!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-14 01:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, I noticed that too.
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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2010-11-14 05:26 pm (UTC)
In my mind, riots happen because the non-violent means of society fail to defend justice in some egregious way. So I agree with the sentiment; it's as if the social contract broke down and we need a moment of violence to install a new one.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-14 05:31 pm (UTC)
Exactly so. The only way the Asian community could get its grievances heard was to throw Molotov cocktails and break a few windows.
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