Sunday, January 25, 2009

A hundred years ago

'Exactly 100 years after two robbers went on a shooting rampage in a London suburb, the dead victims are being officially remembered. But the shocking details of the "Tottenham Outrage" still offer parallels with current events.

It sounds like a scene from a Hollywood movie - two outlaws rampaging through the streets chased by police and public, while firing more than 400 rounds of ammunition at their pursuers.

Throw in concerns about politically-motivated terrorists, uncontrolled immigration and police tactics not keeping pace with the villains' methods, and you have a thoroughly modern seeming incident.

But this was 23 January 1909. The two robbers killed a police officer and a 10-year-old boy in Tottenham, north London, as they tried to escape with the £80 wages they had snatched from a rubber factory.'

This could not happen today.

'As well as representing a shift in the history of criminality in the UK, the episode was remarkable for the response of the officers and passers-by, says local historian Martin Belam.

"You also have to think about how brave the police were. The two robbers were shooting to kill, over 20 people were injured. They were constantly firing back into the crowd.

"Ordinary citizens joined in the chase in a display of civic values I'm not sure you would get today."'

Thats why. Armed citizens defended their community with gusto. Now we are pathetic sheep, at the mercy of knife and gun wielding thugs. Fantastic.

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