Flickr, Twitter, and London Riots

On Flickr, it is now possible to find CCTV cam surveillance images of the London riots that have been taking place since Saturday night. London police uploaded the images themselves in an attempt at gaining assistance from the public in identifying the rioters. On August 5th, Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old with alleged gang affiliations was shot and killed by police in Tottenham, a part of the London borough of Haringey. Reports are suggesting Duggan did not fire at police before being shot.

Racial and class tensions are running high — Duggan was a mixed-race Londoner and the neighborhood where he died by police fire is being described by British dailies as home to the “fourth highest level of child poverty in London and an unemployment rate of 8.8%.” Widespread civic violence first broke out after a peaceful protest against police brutality in Tottenham devolved into the torching of two police patrol cars and a double-decker bus. By Monday the violence had reached London proper and continued to spread on Tuesday to Birmingham, Liverpool, and Bristol. 525 arrests have been made so far on account of vandalism and looting. Police are hoping the Flickr images will help them charge more aggressors.

In addition to helping police identify the rioters, through Flickr, the newly opened Twitter account @riotcleanup — already with more than 85 thousand followers — is ready to help people organize clean-ups around the town once it’s possible.

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