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Whoops! July 25, 2005

Posted by Winter in war.

Debate rages on here in the UK after the execution of an innocent man suspected of being a terrorist. Our police attempt to console us by saying they might have to do it again. I think I have the solution. In order to avoid this problem, any male of an asian, middle-eastern, mediterranean, african… or just any appearance slightly darker than your average pasty looking white bloke… should walk around London in his underpants with his hands on his head at all times. The police will then be able to see that they don’t have bombs and they should be ok. Whatever they do, they must not wear coats, rucksacks, or live in a house with suspicious muslims.

Honestly, after the appalling events of two weeks ago, Tony came out rattling on about how this wouldn’t “change” our way of life. As soon as the police start shooting people down in the street, I think we can come to the conclusion that our British way of life has changed forever.

Apparently some wags are already making “Don’t shoot me I’m not Brazillian” T-shirts.

Trust the British to rely on our sick sense of humour at a time like this.



1. Siberian Fall - July 25, 2005

I think we can all agree that this is a tragedy. However, I can not whole heartedly join in with the mass criticism of the police that has occured since this incident. The man in question was one the police had been following and believed to be linked with previous terrrorist attacks. He was wearing a large padded jacket on a boiling hot summers day in London obscuring his chest area. The police rightly became concerned that he could be concealing a bomb. When they tried to challenge him he bolted and dived onto a crowded tube train. The police then had a spit second decision – to shoot him or risk the lives of others on the train. I would not like to have been the one to make that decision. To live with making the wrong call on my conscience. But we didn’t have to make that decision and for that I am eternally grateful. These are cetainly difficult times and my thoughts go out to everyone living in London.

2. Naiades - July 25, 2005

I agree on some points with this, and i certainly wouldn’t want to be in the position of the police right now where everone is pretty jumpy. However, i’m not sure that pushing a man to the ground, straddling him, and then shooting him 5 times in the head is really the way to go about it. They effectively had him in custody and instead of pulling him off the train or securing him, shot him 5 times, in doing so destroying a potential source of information, and as it turns out,tragically shooting an innocent man. I agree with mair, our way of life has changed.

3. Siberian Fall - July 25, 2005

That was the problem though – they didn’t have him in custody. They thought he had a bomb strapped to him and was going to detonate it on the tube. If they tried to secure him they risked him blowing himself up and the tube. They were wrong. Please, don’t think I’m defending the killing of innocent people, I’m not. I’m just trying to understand. Hindsight is 20/20 but the officers didn’t have that luxery. They thought they were saving people.

It’s easy (and necessary I believe) to criticise these events. But if there genuinely had been a bomb and it had been allowed to detonate we would be having a very different conversation. One thing I can agree on is that life is certainy changing in this country. And not for the better.

4. Naiades - July 25, 2005


ok, I’ve had a look at some more of the stuff. According to eyewitness reports, he was pushed to the floor, held down and then shot 5 times. I just think this was totallly unecessary, these guys have watched too many american cop shows. and he was already on the train so if he had had bomb, it would have already got to its destination by the time he was killed.

I’m not trying to say that I know any better about the handling of terrorist suspects in general, but this incident could have been handled much more professionally. Why did they wait until he got to the tube station before they tried to stop him, having trailed him all the way from his house? It marks further errosion of the civil liberties of dark skinned people in this country.

5. Naiades - July 25, 2005

Appologies, I don’t mean to be aggressive, I’m just really upset about this. Our police force doesn’t have a good record on racism as it is without giving them annother reason to target people of darker skin than our own. The intelligence in this case seems to have been really flawed, It would be a terrible precident to set that anyone in a big jacket with dark skin is immediately a terrotist suspect. In addition to that this country is becoming more intolerant by the day earlier in this year I thought things were looking up, but now everything seems to be getting worse again.

6. Winter - July 25, 2005

I don’t think the police can really afford any more “mistakes” like this one! They are not calming matters down by saying it might happen again (although they are probably telling the truth on that score). It’s pretty scary for Londoners. Now many people will worry about being mis-identified as terrorists, in addition to getting blown up by terrorists. And, will we have occasions when bystanders get caught in the crossfire, if we’re going to have heavily armed police persuing people around the streets like that? In a way I don’t blame the police for being so jumpy, although I agree about the (literal) overkill. I feel sorry for the policemen who are going to have to live with it. But it has already been amply demonstrated, in Palestine and Iraq, that this kind of terrorism leads to trigger happy policing, precisly because the police and the army are put in the position of making such instant decisions. This is the world Tony is taking us into – the world of “ends justify means” and “shoot to kill” just to be on the safe side. What infuriates me most is the denial that anything has changed.

7. Naiades - July 26, 2005

The aim of terrorism is just that, to gain power by insiting fear. people are now frightened and jumpy in london which has lead to the death of an innocent man. what happened to the ‘british people’s stoicism’? Terrorists want us to be affraid. We cant afford to appear that way, it gives the terrorists the power they were seeking in the first place. the police need to be a lot more careful about how they handle possible suspects.

8. Siberian Fall - July 26, 2005

All good points. Apparently he was shot 8 times. I think, again, that this is all about fear. The police were afraid and made an awful decision. The people in London of course are afraid. Everyone’s jumpy. By giving in to fear terrorists achieve their aim and politicians can exploit it to justify dubious legislation. I still have a sympathy for members of the London police force. This may be controversal but I feel the pressure on them must be immense and I still believe the vast majority of them are only doing what they think is best.

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