Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tottenham lessons for PDRM, and us

"A riot is a peaceful assembly that has gone awry".

I wrote this on Twitter and some pro-Bersih 2.0 people started becoming very defensive and a little violent. I don't know why these people think that it's all about them all the time. It is not.

People march in protest every day lah beb. In some places on Earth, people march because they are hungry and they don't have jobs. Or because they want greater freedom. Gays want to marry gays and they happily march for their cause. Workers march to back demands for better pay and longer holidays. Men march to bring down their leaders and install new ones. 

In some of these countries, the demonstrators are shot dead and beaten up. There are cases where the police were hacked to death.. Even in the US, they were once killing bell-bottomed students who wore flowers in their hair. Mind you, that wasn't that long ago.

In England, where democracy reigns and racism's dead (or so some of us like to believe), there have been so many cases of assemblies that started peacefully and ended not-so-peacefully. Watch the BBC clip here on the fees protest by students in Nov 2010 for a recent example. And what's raging in Tottenham right now had happened before in Brixton, 1981 (read Different ideals, similar lessons, The Guardian, Aug 9). Don't even start on countries like Malawi, Egypt and even neighboring Indonesia and Thailand where scores have killed and died in the name of peaceful demonstrations and riots

From the riots in Tottenham to the peaceful Bersih in KL, the police came under close scrutiny. Did Police get their tactics right? 

"What happened on Saturday was that they were under-resourced and they didn't anticipate the levels of violence and vandalism," said Mr Ramm.
"In a perfect situation you would have all the resources you need and had you had those resources on Saturday you would not have allowed looting and damage to property."
In Bersih's case, the police made sure they had all the resources to avoid violence. In fact, they were accused of going overboard and violence against the demonstrators.

The blogger Apanama has a very interesting way of comparing KL's Bersih and Tottenham not-so-peaceful assembly using pictures of water canons aimed at demonstrators and a building on fire. I reproduce the pics here, with a little adaptation to contrast the use of water canon on the demonstrators in KL and on public property razed to the ground by the demonstrators in Tottenham.

Check out Apanama's When the water canon cam late


  1. Seolferwulf4:52 pm

    Wow, Rocky - your comments defy logic!

    I would have thot that the protestors in Tottenham have more in common with Hindraf than Bersih 2.0.

    Note that in the UK, hard questions are being asked about their police's relationship with minority communities. Are the same questions being asked of the Malaysian police and their relationship with minorities here?

    Watch the commentaries on the BBC World and Sky News channels and see for yourself. And, btw, the UK tv channels do a damned better job of impartial reporting, commentary and analysis than the blatantly skewed coverage of the Hindraf and Bersih protests and demos by the Malaysian TV channels and mainstream media.

    But you wouldn't highlight that, would you?

  2. Dear Seolferwulf,

    Thank you for bringing Hindraf in. In 2007, there were two big assemblies: Bersih and Hindraf. One was peaceful and the other was more violent. Both claimed to be non-partisan when in fact there were tools of the Opposition or were made used by the Opposition to put pressure on the Abdullah regime. The forces behind Bersih were the same people behind Hindraf.

    As for the UK tv channels doing a better job, that's totally irrelevant in times like these.

    QUestion is, did their police do a better job than ours?

  3. Anonymous5:42 pm

    sudahlah Rocky...tak abis-abis dengan cerita 'Bersih', tak ada cerita lain ke ??

  4. Anonymous5:50 pm


    There is nothing peaceful about Tottenham, people are mad because of the incident of shooting by a policemen.

    This turn to riot.

    If you look at the level of journalism, yours and them, totally at different level.

    Yours are third-world level journalism, blunt and obvious one-sided while BBC reporting news professionally.

  5. Anonymous6:47 pm

    As for the UK tv channels doing a better job, that's totally irrelevant in times like these. Wah u can decide which is relevant and which is not. U r the main man..... hitler

  6. Anonymous7:00 pm

    UK media criticizing Malaysian Police for "mishandling" the Bersih 2.0 rally. Apparently, the UK media found out the hard way that their police force instead was sleeping while London was burning. It is ironic that during these violent demonstrations, Ambiga was in London to talk about Bersih 2.0.

  7. Anonymous7:19 pm


    Wow!! Zulkifli Noordin's latest "Why Not Me?" has got to be the HOTTEST writing he had produced so far! Full of 99% Near-revelation of what happened! Everyone make sure you all do not miss this From-the-Horse's-Mouth piece!!

    Nigel Lim

  8. Anonymous7:27 pm

    That means we must always listen and obey like a servant what the gomen ditch and forced on us? In this era they still want to lord over us as slaves!
    Thank God we malaysians are more civilised than the pdrm...ROC you see people can feel and see injustices and no mater what people are getting serious this days .Not like the good old days where the gomen threw peanuts and people were monkees dancing for joy?

  9. Anonymous8:24 pm


    No need to talk nonsense here.

    Don't waste too much of your time, fast fast go give advice to Clare Rewcastle Brown, LONDON is burning, faster faster she needs your expertise!

    Dah telephone Obama and give your expert financial advice ker belum? Recommend him some Along to help out, OK? faster faster.

    he hehe hehehe

  10. Gunner8:29 pm

    Seolferwulf or whoever you are. The police here need to establish their relationship with the minorities? What, the police need to have their drinks in a kopitiam and be chummy2 with the locals?
    Commentaries of pro-opposition which today carry bigger audiences and readerships are clearly twisting facts, and lying on a daily basis.

    You wouldnt highlight that would you?

  11. Theres a difference between bersih and this london riot

    The london riot grew from a peaceful demo to a riot real fast

    Bersih had so much hoohaa the 2 months before the actual event. You know, to flame up more supporters, its not like half of them really knows what the 8 demands were or would really put up much thought about it in the first place. Ask anyone of the bersih supporters if any of them has ever done enough research on election procedures to find any loopholes or flaws. a lot of noise had to be made by the organizers to get people to come

    And thats why the malaysian police was more ready

  12. Anonymous8:40 pm

    Prevention is better than cure.

    In the Bersih riot, it is crystal clear that the PR leaders are behind it, to push a battered problem stricken individual to run for office.

    Once that individual holds power, his cronies in crime will blackmail or hold him to ransom and demand an arm and a leg for their role in the plot.

    But, their stupid followers are still too stupid to see it.

    Full score to the PDRM for their swift action, although they were a little too soft on the hooligans.

    PDRM should learn a lesson or two from the colonial masters. Use the baton and whack them without mercy,fear or favour. The Police are paid by taxpayers to prevent riots.


  13. Thank you PDRM.

    It seems that Malaysia and our police are much better in dealing with protestor.

    This should be a lesson to the brits on human rights. There are no absolute freedom !

  14. Anonymous8:48 pm

    rocky - your running dog police made the bersih violent....you piece of spinning shit

  15. Anonymous8:54 pm

    Yeah Rocky

    Malaysian police are the standards for the world to aspire.

    Kudos to the men in blue, gagah segak berani

    tabik SPRING

  16. Buah Ciku9:41 pm


    I guess u and many pro-Bn supporters failed to see this. Bersih is not about anyone. Bersih is about the people. Regardless of whether it has been hijacked or not, wat is most important is wat the participants stand for. We r not anyone's piss drinker. Now this is very important. And we gather in peace. That's a fact.

    On whether the UK or Malaysian policemen did a better job in such situation, I think we hv to look at the evidence, i.e. video clips and judge for ourselves ;) However, it is also very important to note that the police will only retaliate when "forced/threatened". So, hv a nice day looking at YouTube videos.

  17. Seolferwulf

    Aw come on. You have selective thinking.
    If not for the police, Bersih may turn up to be violent. See how tempers flared. See how Tian Chua was fighting the police.
    Even on BBC it was shown the screams of Reformasi.
    London riots are mobs and anarchy as the British Press dubbed it.
    The police came too little to late. Only later did they used heavy armored vehicles.
    Is that upholding democracy - the right to riot - when people are looted, hurt and buildings were razed.
    So many Londoners interviewed on CNN and BBC were asking why weren't the police around when it is their duty to protect the public.
    And David Cameron had to cut short his visit to Italy and call for emergency meeting.
    Remember how you all criticized Najib for going to Europe immediately after Bersih.
    Of course la no criticisms from you all for Mat Salleh Cameron.
    Cameron has a lot to learn from Najib on this.
    Once again I record my appreciation to the PDRM and the army for restraint during that illegal demo. Kudos guys.

  18. Anonymous10:34 pm

    These bersih hooligans must read this. Especially ambiga. Next time they go to the streets PDRM should show no mercy, just like the police in London.

  19. bong bong10:39 pm

    you're an idiot rocky... what happens in uk is total opposite to bersih rally...

    this is a spontaneous expression of hatred and anger . Bersih is...well, if you're not a retard you know what the difference is...

  20. Anonymous11:34 pm


    This is what Theresa May (UK Home Secretary) had to say.

    "The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon," she said. "The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities."

    And this is in response to a deliberate riot which did NOT arise from a peaceful assembly.

  21. The London riots started from police shooting of a black Britisher amid perceptions of police brutality and unfair racist treatment. The riots were short lived after which came copy cat looting which spread acroos East London.

    In response the police DID NOT pull out tear gas launchers and pepper-laced water cannons.

    Bersih, right from the start, was about the unfair practices of our Elections Commission, about which damning information is now spewing out daily. It was always about a peaceful march!

    ALL, I repeat, ALL the provocation came from PM Najib who lied to us, his cousin and Home Minister Kerismudin who allowed police to unconstitutionally arrest hundreds for wearing yellow t-shirts and lying about Communist threats and "waging war against the King."

    On the actual day, the response of the police in firing tear gas and loosening water cannons were totally unwarranted and criminal. If you don't believe people like me who were eyewitnesses to the sad saga, then do you think Marina Mahathir was lying?

    No, our PDRM have a lot to learn from their London counterparts about restraint and firm legal action.

    And don't you all say that you participated in Bersih 2007 partly to bring down the Sleeping PM, that's ok but it was not political, but Bersih 2011 was political when it was all about guaranteeing fair elections and transparency! Don't fcuk around with double standards!

    we are all of 1 Race, the Human Race

  22. Anonymous5:47 am

    I'm not going to talk about the police because it's any police's job to quell riot/dissent.

    However, the London rioters were looting and burning buildings (not quite sure what their aims are)....Bersih was trying to march to the Istana....
    just sayin'


  23. BIGCAT10:13 am

    It all started with a peaceful protest la u moronic Pakatan cyber-troopers. Enough said.

  24. Anonymous10:57 am

    Donplaypuks, u are full of shit you know that? Why don't you just confess that that the Malaysian Police and Government handled street protest BETTER by a million miles from what is happening in London? People can still sleep at night as they always have. Idiot!

    The UK police actually shot somebody. Here we gave them food for God's sake!

    I think you are trying to clamour all lost hope of you DAPigs dumbasses to justify anything that you've done to overthrow the government and despise the PDRM are not working out as you would have liked it.

    Cause we MALAYsians know better,

    And oh yeah, your sign off should read...

    we are all of 1 Race, the Infesting Coackroach Race.


  25. Anonymous11:41 am


    Dont be ignorant. Compare apples with apples. The context and escalation of the London Riots were not the same as Bersih. There are broader social and economic issues that are relevant and contributory to the riots in England.

    Aside from that, I dont understand you. You know how much rot there is in the current administration of our beloved country. The abuse of power, the corruption, the blatant immoral and criminal activites of politicans, zero accountability etc .. The whole race based system that we have is flawed. Our whole political system is flawed. And that is an understatement.

    You know it, I know, Malaysians know it.

    Yet people like you sit there and use every opportunity to convince others that what we have at the moment is good and that this system is better for us as a nation?

    What is your stand ? How do you justify supporting a Government like this?

  26. Engkorang ni masih tak faham-faham lagi apa isu utama kita di sini ye. Kita bukan nak tahu Bersih tu peaceful ker tak peaceful. Kita nak bagitahu kepada korang semua jangan suka-suka nak buat perarakan di jalanraya. Lagi baik jangan buat. Kerana tidak semua orang yang terlibat dalam perarakan jalanraya itu adalah berjiwa bersih dan ikhlas pada perjuangan asal perarakan itu. Dalam kes huru-hara di London ianya bermula dari 200 orang protesters yang mahu mendapatkan jawapan, secara aman, daripada pihak polis berkenaan kematian Mark Duggan. Kejadian kucar kacir meledak jadi rusuhan selepas lebih ramai orang masuk scene. Dalam ertikata lain, mereka yang ramai-ramai ini telah 'hijack' cerita asal protes tersebut dan menjadikannya cerita baru. Dalam cerita baru ini, orang tak kesah dah apa cerita 200 protesters yang mula-mula tadi.

    Itu isu utama kita. Itu yang kita risaukan tentang Bersih Rally. 10,000 peserta Bersih mungkin berani bersumpah mereka tak datang buat kacau. Tapi 90,000 peserta-peserta lain boleh kah bersumpah sama? Mereka yang 90,000 ini mungkin tak kesah pun apa cerita Bersih tapi saja nak datang, suka-suka, glamer masuk TV, ada peluang memekik-mekik di jalanraya macam anjing tersangkut selepas mengawan. Kot-kot boleh memecah masuk ke dalam restoran dapat makan ayam KFC free.

  27. The Bersih 2.0's fans and hardcore supporters, in particular those who have great faith in street demonstration being politically and morally correct means to get attention and demand change from the elected government; especially those who seem to have this flawed intelligence to insist "if people in United Kingdom can do street rally why can't we'... very well, here is your UK answer. Read what happened, and is happening in England for days now. It all started from a so-called peaceful assembly in the streets! Peaceful, yeah! When we're talking about letting loose all sorts of animals in the streets what in goat's name is peace?!!!

    Have we not told Bersih crusaders to what hostile extents can a peaceful street demonstration turn into in the blink of an eye? Oh, yes, we have written at length about this subject. I guess all our points now hit home. You, Ambiga Sreevenasan, had better take note! You, Francis Siah, stand down!

    We cannot say the ever resourceful BN Government -- in an effort to make Malaysia's recent trouble appear less troublesome comparatively --, had paid millions of Euros to contractors in London to start a bigger riot of their own on one hand and the police to play dead on the other hand, can we? Can we hear someone saying Taib Mahmud must have had his hand in the England riots, too, deliberately so the Sarawak Red Rally scheduled on August 13 would appear a scary prospect? Stupid may that sound but such assumption is not entirely unthinkable, isn't it, considering you guys can believe the BN are capable of any malice; including bribing White House. Oh yes, once a bitch always a bitch nothing can a good government do to please you bitches.

    The Four Horsemen are saying, after witnessing what happened in England the Sarawak authority will not take chance on MoCS Walk For Anti-Taib Democracy. They will stop the Red Rally from gaining momentum, if they haven't already. As nightmare inches toward its realization August 13, they would rough up some people, imprison some people or do anything to some people to stop the Bersih-Sarawak-version from taking place in the heartland of the Ibans ever the boisterous short-tempered crowd.

    Mark our words the Sarawak authority will do that, must do that... for fear Kuching City would be razed to the ground by some unruly crowd. Considering what have transpired during England's street violence, we can forgive the Sarawak Police if they shoot dead two someone, or three someone, or even the whole platoons of Anwar-bred troublemakers. This time use live bullets or real canons please. We don't need anymore people who preach democracy only to make way for anarchy.

    Bersih everybody, repent.

    Or are you only looking for an excuse to riot against the system and rob shops?

  28. Anua Rafie2:33 pm

    You just so happen to forget about the thousands of peaceful assemblies that are held in UK (or wherever) without incidents and decided to zero on to this one incident so as to forward your lop-sided agenda.


  29. Anonymous3:55 pm

    Rugi lah PDRM tak belasah kepala lawyer pariah, DAPigs & munafik Islam pada masa Bersih hari tu..

    Lagi rugi tak kasi habis semua pariah dalam Hindraf.. patut lepas anjing & belasah dengan belantan sampai mampus pariah pengacau tu semua..lepas tu senyap2 bakar sampai jadi abu dan buang dlm kolam septik.

    Our PDRM should follow British Standard..then only we can be proud to have world class police as per Fuckatan Riot sermon..

    :D muhahahaha
    -anti hindraf & ultra chingkies-

  30. Charles F Moreira5:39 pm

    Seolferwulf is correct that the riots in the UK have more in common with Hindraf than Bersih 2.0.

    Journalist Lauri Penny wrote on Information Crearing House.

    "Most of the people who will be writing, speaking and pontificating about the disorder this weekend have absolutely no idea what it is like to grow up in a community where there are no jobs, no space to live or move, and the police are on the streets stopping-and-searching you as you come home from school. The people who do will be waking up this week in the sure and certain knowledge that after decades of being ignored and marginalised and harassed by the police, after months of seeing any conceivable hope of a better future confiscated, they are finally on the news."


    The riots are an explosion of pent-up frustrations of people who've been marginalised for year and denied opportunities by decades of neo-liberal policies beginning with Margaret Thatches and continued by New Labour traitors who've sucked up to capitalist and imperialist interests.

    These riots also follow cuts in social benefits and increases in tuition fees which have placed educational opportunities beyond the reach of many.

    Bersih 2.0 basically is a movement mostly of comfortable middle-class people and NGO-types who have the time to concern themselves with issues which those struggling to survive don't have the luxury to do so.

    While the western mainstream media may question the police's relationship to minority communities, have they take a long hard look at the economic factors behind this?

    That's why I don't watch TV or listen to the radio but read Internet instead.

    Can this happen here?

    Yes it can, if the economy gets bad enough.

  31. Rocky,u tak habis habis sebut pasal BERSIH.
    The London incident is totally different from BERSIH.BERSIH is a organised civilian march for fair election.The London incident is about demon against police brutality! Faham tak!

  32. Anonymous10:27 pm

    Malaysia have different ethnic composition compare to England.If the situation running out of control during Bersih protest. The situation is much more dangerous than England.Friend became enemy and enemy became friend. Can't imagine the consequences and for sure it will worse than previous 'event'.

    All will go to ashes if no preventive action done.

  33. Rocky

    Did you notice that not one pro-Pakatan bloggers carried the London riots?
    I guess they do not want to invite comments on Bersih and people praising our PDRM.
    Din Merican is a fine example. That Mat Salleh licking fella is always posting items from NYTimes or anything on America, UK and Singapore. Praising everything foreign, in short.
    But on the London riot, Nada.
    A fan of his asked why no story on the London riots. He replied curtly: "Not a priority."
    That fan asked again: "Why not important when a Malaysian student was hurt."
    A commentator replied: It is Din's blog. Set up your own blog and you write it."
    Another said why is our student so manja, sikit kena saja. That boy should not be out on the street."
    What is so laughable is all the fans also are silent and pretend nothing is happening.
    This shows the double standard of the PKR fanatics. Omit things that don't benefit them even if it's THE news world-wide.
    If they are in power, we can expect a lot of censorship. And they claimed they are so democratic.

  34. Anonymous12:38 am

    Mana pergi PM UK after it first started?Still on holiday somewhere in Ibiza, Spain ke!!!.And didnot even bother to immediately return to UK to supervise the riot or UKShit 2.0. Or called for darurat!!!CamelShit.And our student got mugged and broke his jaw when attacked by the rioters.Imagine, if Lelah Wi were the UK's PM.He would have sent the foreign minister to apologize to the Malaysian government and people.

  35. Anonymous12:41 am

    You know what!!! send the God send to Uk. He will know what to advise the Uk's PM.After all, he is the expert and authority in street demos. And send that lawyer as well. So that she can submit a letter to the Queen telling it is ok to take to the street when a minority think or perceived it is not happy .

  36. Anonymous12:48 am

    anonymous farha,
    very gullible lah. go and check zul noordin's confessions about what they were going to do in 1998. the god send had planned to torch the nation including the Bukit jalil stadium when the queen were here to officiate the commonwealth games.Luckily, our police got there first to stop it from happening. And zul noordin was glad they were detained under ISA.
    reformasi demos also peaceful!!!You were not in KL or in Kg. Baru at that time!!!

  37. Anonymous12:51 am

    why not highlight the hunger in sudan and the hunger faced by poor malaysians...not the same right?

  38. Anonymous1:04 am

    buah 'kiwi',
    i am the people and totally rejects BerShit or AnalShit. My friends too.
    the laws may not be on your side, but everyone still need to respect them.
    once your god send is a PM, ask him to amend or change any laws that you deem is not favorable to you. i will respect the new laws. Jika you nak korek pasir sampai ke pusat bumi pun tak pe.legalise sekali rumah2 sex, gambling dan sebagainya.
    you also need to take side.be a man. jgn jadi mcm yahudi, cakap berbelit2. either you with the uk rioters or the police.
    kalu polis cakap tak boleh demo tapi buat jugak, tu kira dah threaten polislah.dan polis ada hak utk retaliate utk jaga keamanan. threat bukan fizikal saja.
    another thing, ada politician cakap bukti video tak leh pakai. besi saja. jadi tak bolehlah study video.

  39. Anonymous1:09 am

    Bersih 9/7 is about illuminati and free mason!!!9/7 salah satu hari penting dia orang yg mau mata satu berkuasa di dunia.

  40. Anonymous1:23 am

    Arab spring has landed in Uk. ha ha ha

  41. Anonymous7:02 am

    The London riot is a riot. Period.

    I agree with Charles Moreira. If our economy gets bad enough, what is happening in London will happen here.


  42. Well, Tq to the British rioters for showing the rest of the world how easy a riot can turn into chaos and pandemonium. I'm pretty sure all the other Bersih rallys planned for the future and all forms of rebellion will be quashed immediately by the PDRM.
    Peaceful demo for the people my foot! The majority of the Malaysian people spoke out against Bersih for weeks before the event but did the organisers listen to the majority?

    So don't say we Malaysians endorsed that blardy rally. We didn't. Those who walked, protested, fought with the police and defied the law are scums of the country. Don't call yourself Malaysians. I spit on the very ground you walk on and regret that I have to call you people my countrymen.
    Thank God for the PDRM and the excellent job they've been doing.

  43. Anonymous4:44 pm

    Mana Aci AMBIGA? Sudah tua pun masih tak sedar diri?



  44. Anonymous7:51 am

    PR goon response to rally in UK: "BN paid every single protester in UK USD one billion to do riot to show the Malaysian Bersih is bad".... what a goon...