Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Tale of Two Riots

Following four or so days of intense rioting in Britain a couple of weeks ago, the police, courts and politicians have acted aggressively, already combining to send a number of people to jail for periods that, in some cases, far outweigh the generally accepted severity of the crime.

This, of course, has sent the usual suspects into great spasms of righteousness as they cry to the heavens about the lack of justice and assert that on appeal these sentences will be overturned. They don't get it: British society, or at least those in charge of keeping some kind of order, seem to have decided enough is enough and that a) even if the sentences are overturned the jail time those individuals are now serving will far exceed previous such penalties and b) it could possibly act as a powerful incentive to others inclined to do the same stupid things to maybe just have another beer instead and pass out peacefully.

Having never been there, I don't know what Britain is really like but I've read enough about its societal make up and recent history to be pretty sure it's not a place I'd feel particularly comfortable living as I am opposed to endemic anti-Semitism, appeasement-oriented multiculturalism and cradle-to-grave entitlements with no effort to instill any sense of responsibility in those receiving said benefits.

However, I generally applaud the British reaction to rioters and wish I could say the same for the actions of the equivalent parties here in British Columbia. Because, apparently, we need a couple of more serious riots before we learn the lesson.

It turns out that more than two months after a very damaging riot in downtown Vancouver following the loss of the Stanley Cup final, not only has there not been a single conviction, there has yet to be even a single charge laid. This despite the fact that many of the rioters were captured on video and camera and that many of the people involved were even stupid enough to post of their exploits on social media sites. This despite the fact the police and the government promised swift and serious action after the second hockey related riot in the city's history. This despite the fact the public outcry was both loud and direct: prosecute the people responsible for damaging property and sullying our city's reputation.

It has been posited that the cry for swift action was borne of the same mob mentality that led to the riots and that the emotion would ebb as quickly. I disagree wholeheartedly. Two months later and I, for one, still want those responsible held responsible. I want the clowns who burned cars and threw stones at police and broke windows and looted stores jailed, for at least a short period of time. I want those who participated in less violent or damaging ways to suffer the embarrassment of being hauled before the courts and made to, at least, undertake public service to pay us back for their actions.

I'm extremely irked that there has been no action here and that the police are still yapping about having to compile more evidence. If they don't have enough evidence to convict some of these people, then our governments need to address the definition of evidence so that those who post pictures of themselves on Facebook breaking laws in a significant way are deemed to have provided sufficient evidence, not withstanding whatever other evidence may exist.

I want an end to the bullshit before British Columbia looks like the British Isles. Justice delayed is justice denied and, in this case, it is society that is being denied.

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