Wow, the International Olympics Committee must be regretting picking London over NYC for the 2012 Olympics right about now! With the police proving themselves incapable of effectively cracking down on the rioting and looting that has swept London in recent days, organizers of the London Olympics are reviewing security measures. Today the Mayor of London assured the world that the city would be able to rebuild before the Olympics begin... in a year. Stiff upper lip and all that, old chap, what what! Here's a sad video of thugs stealing items from the backpack of a bleeding, disoriented boy:
London officials decided not to cancel a six-day beach volleyball event starting today at Horse Guards Parade, but the Times of India points out that the worst rioting took place in the Olympic borough of Hackney in East London, just a few miles from the Olympic facilities. London's deputy mayor Kit Malthouse said, "It's pretty rotten for London, it does not look good."
The situation is so bad that Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to cut his vacation in Tuscany short, and has returned to the U.K., where there will be 16,000 police officers on duty in London tonight, up from 6,000 last night, Bloomberg News reports. Cameron also recalled Parliament in order to debate the riots, and many MPs have been demanding tougher tactics to put an end to this. "This is criminality, pure and simple, and it has to be confronted and defeated," Cameron told reporters, but thus far he has refused to issue a curfew, call in the army, or permit the police to use water cannons.
Over 450 people have been arrested, and in neighborhoods across London, local politicians and private citizens have been taking to the streets to clean up the mess. London police have set up a Flickr pool featuring surveillance photos of looting suspects and rioters. But they remain undeterred—"vast amounts" of CDs, vinyl records, and other music stock at a 215,000-square-foot Sony warehouse were destroyed in a fire last night. Among the casualties: the release of the Arctic Monkey’s new single will be delayed. Okay rioters, you get a pass for that one, but now Neon Indian had to cancel their concert! Are you happy now?
For more on the rioting, here's West Indian-born British columnist and political activist Darcus Howe, who tells BBC, "I don’t call it rioting. I call it an insurrection of the masses of the people. It is happening in Syria, it is happening in Clapham, it is happening in Liverpool, it is happening in Port of Spain, Trinidad."