Tag Archives | London

Phone Snooping ‘Prevented Riots’

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

To tweet or not tweet where you’re rioting next? One option was to shut down social networks so that rioters couldn’t mass communicate. The other option was to allow them to tweet and text, then read their messages to find out what they’re planning next. The latter was able to prevent attacks on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street. BBC reports:

Police say they prevented attacks by rioters on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street after picking up intelligence on social networks.

Assistant Met Police Commissioner Lynne Owens told a committee of MPs officers learned of possible trouble via Twitter and Blackberry messenger.

But Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin said he had considered asking authorities to switch off social networks.

He said they provided intelligence but could also be misleading.

A number of politicians, media commentators and members of the police force have suggested that Twitter and Blackberry Messenger (BBM) had a role to play in the riots.

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London Riot Fire Destroys Warehouse Containing 150 Indie Record Labels’ Inventory

piasukA creative tragedy of immense proportions in London, as a fire has wiped out a massive distribution warehouse that housed the physical stock of most of the U.K.’s seminal independent music labels. Some of the labels will cease to exist, and some may have lost their entire back catalogs of vinyl. Via Pitchfork:

A Sony distribution warehouse in North London was burned to the ground around during the third night of riots in the UK, as the BBC reports. The 200,000 square-foot center housed the entire inventory of PIAS UK, the primary distribution hub for more than 150 independent labels.

No injuries were reported in the blaze, but all inventory is feared lost. XL/Beggars, Warp, Rough Trade, Domino, 4AD, Sub Pop, Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Drag City, Thrill Jockey, FatCat, Kompakt, Mute, Ninja Tune, Vice, and Soul Jazz are among those affected.

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London’s Burning

#tottenham its the polices fault ! The systems Corrupt! Then ... on TwitpicClick through to this breaking story from the Daily Mail for some scenes reminiscent of the ’70s and ’80s that inspired the Clash to write their classic London’s Burning:

Police came under attack from petrol bombs hurled by rioting mobs in North London last night as hundreds took to the streets following the shooting of a man by Scotland Yard marksmen.

Patrol cars, a shop and a double-decker bus were set ablaze and there were reports of looting amid scenes reminiscent of the violent unrest in the same area 26 years ago when PC Keith Blakelock was hacked to death.

Last night the Tottenham area erupted once again as more than 100 officers and specialist riot police faced crowds of more than 500 people protesting about the death of Mark Duggan, who lived on the estate and was described last week by police sources as a ‘gangster’.

There was concern that the disturbances were fanned by Twitter, with some of those taking part posting inflammatory comments from the scene and calling for reinforcements.

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Chewing Gum Art Found Sticking To England’s Streets

Photo: DisillusionedBitterandKnackered (CC)

Photo: DisillusionedBitterandKnackered (CC)

One man’s flavorless gum becomes another man’s art, thanks to Ben Wilson. You can view some of his chewing gum art here. The New York Times reports:

When first exposed to the art of Ben Wilson, or to Mr. Wilson in the act of creating it, people tend to respond with some degree of puzzlement.

“When I first saw one, I thought it was a fruit sticker,” said Matt Brasier, who was walking through this north London suburb the other day.

A woman named Vassiliki, who was passing by, said that when she came upon Mr. Wilson, prone and seemingly inert on the sidewalk, “I thought he wasn’t very well.” She added: “I was like, ‘What is he doing?’ And they told me: ‘He’s painting the chewing gum.’ ”

That is exactly what he was doing. Mr. Wilson, 47, one of Britain’s best-known outsider artists, has for the last six years or so immersed himself in a peculiar passion all his own: he paints tiny pictures on flattened blobs of discarded chewing gum on the sidewalks of London.

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WikiLeaks Docs Reveal London As Al-Qaeda Global Hub

File-London_(European_Parliament_constituency)At least 35 terrorists incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay were sent to fight against the West after being indoctrinated by extremist preachers in “Londonistan,” according to secret files obtained by the Telegraph via WikiLeaks:

Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza, two preachers who lived off state benefits after claiming asylum, are identified by the American authorities as the key recruiters responsible for sending dozens of extremists from throughout the world to Pakistan and Afghanistan via London mosques.

The leaked WikiLeaks documents, written by senior US military commanders at Guantánamo Bay, illustrate how, for two decades, Britain effectively became a crucible of terrorism, with dozens of extremists, home-grown and from abroad, radicalised here.

Finsbury Park mosque, in north London, is described as a “haven” for extremists. United States intelligence officials concluded the mosque served as “an attack planning and propaganda production base”.

The files will raise questions over why the Government and security services failed to take action sooner to tackle the capital’s reputation as a staging post for terrorism, which became so established that the city was termed “Londonistan”.

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Anarchist Groups Planning Major Disruptions To Royal Wedding

Royal WeddingHe says they are putting together a “shock and awe” campaign. “It will involve a lot of fireworks, it will involve a lot of people dressed in black, it will involve a lot of very, very loud music to try and hack all the mainstream media broadcasts of that day.” CNN reports:

London, England (CNN) — “God Save the Queen … the fascist regime,” sang The Sex Pistols to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. Now, Britain’s anarchists are targeting the royals again.

According to one leading anarchist protester, plans are being drawn up for a demonstration using “shock and awe” tactics to disrupt Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton on April 29.

Charlie Veitch, a former City banker who was made redundant during the financial crisis, heads a group of colorful protesters called the “Love Police Academy.” He says that anarchists will put on a “disruption spectacular.”

“As an anarchist, philosophical and political anarchist, I cannot support the royal family, I cannot support this government’s actions,” he said.

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Meet Jack Black, Rat-Catcher To The Queen

Jack BlackFrom “The Rats of London” at victoriangothic.org:

If you were a rat in mid-century London, [Jack Black] was your nemesis. “Moist as rabbits, and quite as nice,” was how he described the rats he cooked for his own consumption. Sewer rats, he insisted, were just as good as barn rats, if you gave them a few days’ chase before killing them.

Rat-catching was a regular profession among London’s poor, allowing one to leverage a childhood spent peeking under floorboards and playing with filthy animals into a full and rewarding career. Armed with quick dogs and well-trained ferrets, Black and his colleagues ’sterminated rats by the hundred, collecting their fees on a cash-only basis. It was  a “peculiar and exciting” line of work, according to Ike Matthews, who wrote the book on rat-catching; one where you could be own boss and turn long sojourns into the country with your hunting animals into a remunerative business.

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Breast Milk Ice Cream On Sale Now

IceCream

Photo: Lotus Head (CC)

Thought you’d never have breast milk after your infant days? Matt O’Conner, founder of Baby Gaga, says it’s delicious! BBC reports:

A restaurant in London’s Covent Garden is serving a new range of ice cream, made with breast milk. The dessert, called Baby Gaga, is churned with donations from 15 women who responded to an advertisement on an online mothers’ forum.

One of the women, Victoria Hiley, 35, said if adults realised how tasty breast milk was more new mothers would be encouraged to breastfeed. Each serving of Baby Gaga at Icecreamists costs £14.

Mrs Hiley’s donation was expressed on site and pasteurised before being churned with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest. Icecreamists founder Matt O’Connor placed an advert appealing for breast milk donations and believes his new recipe will be a success.

“If it’s good enough for our children, it’s good enough for the rest of us,” he said.

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Too Much Fat in London’s Pipes

Agence France-Presse via the Raw Story reports an interesting story about the London sewage system. A buildup of solidified cooking fat has become a hindrance in the flow of the city’s piping:

“A team of workers sporting breathing apparatus and carrying shovels has started clearing around 1,000 tonnes of fat from sewers around London’s Leicester Square, a water company said Tuesday.

Cooking fat being poured down drains under one of the city’s main tourist attractions is thought to be causing blockages.

Leicester Square borders London’s Chinatown and its bustling restaurants and cafes, as well as the West End and Soho entertainment districts.

The clean-up, which could take up to two months, is described as the biggest ever of its kind by Thames Water, the firm organising it.

Danny Brackley, one of those involved in the clean-up, said they could not even access the sewers at first as they were blocked by a four foot (1.2 metre) thick wall of solid fat.”

Read More: Agence France-Presse via the Raw Story

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