For those who don’t keep up with politics in the U.K., the riots in London seemed to come out of nowhere. Suddenly images of young people setting cop cars on fire and dashing away with stolen electronics splashed across the papers. But of course, riots–and violence–are rarely random. That’s why explainers have been popping up all over the Internet in an attempt to parse the cultural, political and societal issues at play behind the riots. Here are the best explainers we’ve come across. Feel free to add yours in the comments!
What has happened so far?
- “England riots: Timeline and map of violence,” BBC News
The BBC has a comprehensive timeline accompanied by a map and photo/video mashup that can help you get up to speed on what’s happened so far across the U.K.
Why are the riots occurring?
- “What’s Happening With the London Riots?“, Mother Jones
In recent years Mother Jones has proven itself to be the king (queen?) of compelling explainers. This guide breaks components of the story into simple questions like “Why are the riots happening?” for maximum clarity and context.
- “London Riots: 4 Key Questions,” The Christian Science Monitor
By deconstructing the origins of the U.K. riots into four major questions, The Christian Science Monitor delivers simple, easy-to-understand background on the events occurring across the pond.
Who exactly is rioting?
- “Who are the rioters? Young men from poor neighborhoods, but that’s not the full story,” The Guardian
Once you understand why the rioting is taking place, it’s important to glean more information on who exactly is rioting. Luckily The Guardian published a piece today that sheds some light on the complexities of the people behind the riots.
How has technology impacted the riots?
- “London riots: how Blackberry Messenger has been used to plan two nights of looting,” The Telegraph
Like any major event these days, technology has played a significant role in the dissemination of information for riot participants. The Telegraph examines how Blackberry Messenger, a chat service only on Blackberries, has aided rioters in planning widespread looting.
(Image via Flickr, used under the Creative Commons license)