Monday, August 8, 2011


LONDON, AS CIVIL UNREST ESCALATES - Rampant looting and raging fires engulfed swaths of London on Monday as the wave of civil unrest that has gripped this sprawling capital escalated sharply, including riots in a neighborhood not far from that of the athletes’ village and shiny stadiums built for the 2012 Olympic Games.  The images of violence - with hundreds of youths looting shops, setting businesses ablaze and clashing with police in more than a half-dozen neighborhoods - deeply shocked Londoners, dealing this legendary city an enormously damaging blow less than a year before the start of the Olympics.  In the worst bout of urban violence to hit Britain in more than two decades, parts of the city morphed into lawless no-man lands. Gangs of youths attacked double-decker buses and started a fire burning across a street side in south London. Most of a block in the southern neighborhood of Croydon raged in flames. Shopping malls were attacked and set on fire.

The violence also spread to Britain’s second city of Birmingham, where hundreds of youths attacked and looted shops.  Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a vacation trip to Italy and was returning to London overnight to chair an emergency cabinet meeting to handle the mounting crisis. The embattled Metropolitan Police called in reinforcements from law enforcement forces outside London to help cope.  The violence first erupted Saturday night in Tottenham, a gritty north London neighborhood, after the fatal shooting of a black resident by police investigating gun crimes. Those riots triggered a ripple effect among disenfranchised youths in other parts of the city Sunday, and the unrest increased in size and intensity Monday.

Riots have spread to new areas of London while looting erupted in the cities of Birmingham and Leeds, as Britain's worst clashes in decades extended into the third night.  Some rioters broke into shops.  Police arrested more than 160 people.  Dozens of officers were injured.  The violence, which began in London's northern Tottenham district on Saturday, has now spread to the south of the city.  Materialistic science has tried to give answers to all social problems, but we are still not satisfied and need to find the ultimate source of all in order to be truly at peace.  

Human society, at the present moment, is not in the darkness of oblivion. It has made rapid progress in the field of material comforts, education and economic development throughout the entire world. But there is a pinprick somewhere in the social body at large, and therefore there are large-scale quarrels, even over less important issues. There is need of a clue as to how humanity can become one in peace, friendship and prosperity with a common cause.  Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam will fill this need, for it is a cultural presentation for the respiritualization of the entire human society.  Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should be introduced also in the schools and colleges, for it is recommended by the great student-devotee Prahlāda Mahārāja in order to change the demoniac face of society.   
kaumāra ācaret prājñodharmān bhāgavatān ihadurlabham mānusham janmatad apy adhruvam arthadam (Bhāg. 7.6.1).

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam - Preface
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

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