In October 1985, on the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham where the death of Cynthia Jarrett sparked riots that culminated in the brutal murder of PC Keith Blakelock, a community leader stood on his chair at a packed open-air meeting. The man bellowed into a megaphone to the 150 residents in front of him: “You tell them that it’s a life for a life from now on. This is war.” Over whoops and cheers from the residents, he turned to a huddle of police officers standing 50 yards away and warned: “I hope you’re listening. There is no way I am going to condemn the actions of the youth on Sunday night.” Twenty six years later, police officers are still listening – but the megaphones and open-air meetings have been largely replaced. This weekend’s north London riots, the Daily Mail announced on Monday, were “fuelled by social media”. But is this necessarily the case? Certainly, the first online gathering of people mourning – and soon vowing to avenge – the death of Tottenham resident Mark Duggan took place on Facebook. Some of those behind the page, which now boasts more than 7,500 fans, launched into action shortly before 10.30pm on… Read full this story
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