In my long discussion with Australian computer science professor Tim Lambert on the topic of self-defense in the UK, I finally got him to admit that the laws there had a “chilling effect” on the willingness of residents of that polity to defend themselves against attack. Of course, that was our fault for pointing out the vagaries of the Crown Court’s prosecution policies.
Using UK newspaper stories.
Well, here’s another illustration of that chilling effect:
Before Monday (August 8) evening’s events there were warnings that Turkish shopkeepers in Tottenham were forming “protection units” to stop their businesses being looted, while retailers in nearby Wood Green were said to have equipped themselves with crowbars and other weapons after holding emergency meetings.
When the trouble came, hairdressers, sales assistants and butchers were among the scores of Turkish and Kurdish workers who stood outside their businesses in Green Lanes, Haringey, from 8pm having been warned by police to expect trouble.
The Guardian filmed others – some armed with baseball bats – on guard outside shops and restaurants in Kingsland Road, only a mile away from Hackney’s burning high street. Three workers from Re-Style Hairdressers were among those out in Green Lanes, after word spread that an attack was imminent at about 4pm.
“I was here with my brother and my boss waiting for them until about midnight,” said 16-year-old Huseyin Beytar. “If some guy ever breaks a window in this street, all the Turkish Kurdish people come down to protect the shops. We’re like a family.”
“We have to do things for ourselves,” said Huseyin. “We have to look after each other. If they come here tonight there will be a fight, a big fight.”
“We were outside ready and expecting them,” said the manager of Turkish Food Market, who asked not to be named.
“But I felt very panicky because we are not safe from either the rioters or police.
“We put all of our efforts into this shop. It took 20 years to get it like this. But we do not know about our rights.
“I’m scared that the police and the government will attack us if we defend our businesses.
“We are being squeezed between the two.”
(My emphasis.) And that, ladies and gentlemen, is not the fault of the people pointing out what the government does to its own citizens.