Hebden Bridge blogger Zim has all the goss on the aggro in Halifax.
"But rumours locally are the critical guy is a Policeman. The press are keeping quiet on this. Its more what they are NOT saying...(if a policeman was shot,why the silence ?)......& Local Rumours have filled the void all day....... Some rumours say that the police arrived to break up the 2 groups & both turned on Police when they came Other rumours say 4(white) blokes in a car were set upon with hammers/baseball bats....even rumours of guns.........."
It certainly sounds as if the police turned up and were then attacked themselves.
"Frantic families first dialled 999 to report two gangs of youths fighting with knives, swords and a gun at 9.25pm on Wednesday.
Uniformed officers assessed the situation and called for back-up. But it took the response team at least 20 minutes to arrive at the scene, by which time the victims had been taken to hospital by members of the public and the fighting had stopped, witnesses claim. Mohammed Rahoof, of the British Muslim Association, was caught up in the violence. He said up to 500 onlookers were milling around when police arrived in body armour and helmets. Police dogs and a helicopter also patrolled the scene.
He said: "With the helicopter hovering over them, it attracted attention and local youths and people started to come out into the street.
"The police had other ideas and started dispersing them but they were very heavy-handed and started using CS gas. "They got people's backs up and they started kicking off," he said. "A report of a brawl got turned into a bigger disturbance by the police's actions," Mr Rahoof added."
UPDATE - I wonder if this, from April 2002, was related too ?
"A midnight high-speed car chase ended when a man was attacked with an armoury of weapons. Detectives are treating the attack in Spring Hall Lane, Pellon, Halifax, at 12.30 am today as attempted murder. A 28-year-old Asian man was undergoing leg surgery in hospital after he was assaulted by a gang who had pursued him through the streets of Halifax. Detective Supt Bob Bridgestock, of Calderdale CID, said: "This was an extremely determined attack to harm the individual if not kill him. He was very fortunate not to have lost his life."
The ambush was thought to be the culmination of a long-running dispute between two small groups of men. Details of last night's incident remain sketchy but a high-speed pursuit by at least one car ended when a Volvo and a Ford crashed at Spring Hall Lane. One of the vehicles careered into the wall of the Bairstow Brothers premises. A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said the occupants of one of the cars had then attacked the occupants of the other with a variety of weapons."
UPDATE 2 - more trouble at mill. Iraqis vs Pakistanis in Dewsbury. The old Heavy Woollen district is certainly pretty heavy at present.
"POLICE are carrying out nightly patrols in parts of Dewsbury after four disturbances in as many days. The Reporter understands the incidents, three in Savile Town and one in Ravensthorpe, have been confrontations between Iraqi and Pakistani men.
It is thought resentment could have built up over Pakistani women being approached by Iraqi men. Insp Martin Lister, of Dewsbury police, said there had been a police presence in Savile Town every evening during this week to reassure all sides of the community and maintain order and safety on the streets. He said: "Behind the scenes we are working with local councillors, mediators and partners with a view to bringing long term solutions to the issues and frustrations which clearly exist.
"We appeal for calm and for the community to be tolerant of all cultures within society." Dewsbury South councillor Khizar Iqbal said he was extremely concerned and the situation was worrying. He said: "There is serious potential for this to get worse and I hope police will take control of this and try to enforce law and order."
He said he did not know the cause of the tension but people on both sides had made various allegations. "I encourage the community to remain calm and try to help the police in this very difficult situation," he said.
Eyewitnesses said there were around 20 police vans, two ambulances and crowds of people in Savile Road on Sunday at around 6pm. Following the disturbances, a 22-year-old man was taken to Dewsbury District Hospital with head injuries."
In fact if you search the Halifax and Dewsbury archives for 'disturbance' there seems to be rather a lot of gang violence in the two towns.
And as this blog has a few more readers now than it did two years ago, and poor Stephen Lawrence, or more precisely the Met officers who investigated his death, is/are back in the news, I need to post this for the benefit of any readers who might presume, quite reasonable, that the MacPherson enquiry had good reason to declare the Met 'institutionally racist'.
In fact, no credible evidence of police racism was brought before the MacPherson enquiry, which was precisely why they invented the hitherto unknown concept of "unconscious or unwitting" institutional racism.
The MacPherson report was the high-water mark of liberal white idiocy in relation to race. Never before have so many educated English breasts been beaten for so much non-existent racism. It's not as if there's a shortage of the real thing.
I'd recommend people to take a look at the paper "Racist Murder and Pressure Group Politics" by Norman Dennis, George Erdos and Ahmed Al-Shahi, available as a pdf download from Civitas.
It's top stuff, well-written and an easy read. I'll just quote the summary.
The public inquiry set up under the chairmanship of Sir William Macpherson sometimes had the appearance of a judicial proceeding, but in many crucial respects it departed from practices which have traditionally been regarded as essential in English law. Rules of evidence were modified and witnesses were harassed, both by the members of the inquiry team and by the crowd in the public gallery. Representatives of the Metropolitan Police were asked to ‘confess’ to charges of racism, even if only in their private thoughts. They were even asked to testify to the existence of the racist thoughts of other people. It is part neither of the English judicial process nor of English public inquiries to put people on trial for their thoughts. The proceedings bore some resemblance to the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s.
However, no evidence of racism on the part of the police was ever produced. There was no attempt to show that the Metropolitan Police Service was racist in the sense of being formally structured to put members of ethnic minorities at a disadvantage. Nor was any evidence produced that individual officers dealing with the murder of Stephen Lawrence had displayed racism, unless one includes the use of words like ‘coloured’ which are currently out of favour with professional race relations lobbyists. No evidence was produced to indicate that the police would have handled the investigation differently had the victim been white.
In spite of this, the Macpherson report found the Metropolitan Police, and British society generally, guilty of ‘institutional’ or ‘unwitting’ racism. This claim was justified by referring to ‘other bodies of evidence’ to that collected at the public inquiry, including a list of publications consulted which in many cases had nothing to do with the Lawrence case, and sometimes nothing to do with the UK at all.
Some of the Macpherson report’s proofs of racism were circular and self-reinforcing. To question whether the murder of Stephen Lawrence was a purely racist crime was, in itself, adduced as evidence of racism. This was despite the fact that the suspects had been accused of violent offences against white people and were heard, in tape recordings made of their private conversations, to express violent hatred against white people. The tape recordings were quoted selectively, and this crucial fact does not appear in the Macpherson report.
The Macpherson inquiry, unable to find evidence of racism, produced a definition of racism that at first glance absolved it from producing any. It switched attention, in one direction, away from racist conduct and towards organisational failure. The ineffectiveness of the police had (purportedly) been demonstrated. That ineffectiveness concerned a racist crime. Therefore the ineffectiveness was due to police racism. It switched attention, in the other direction, away from observable conduct, words or gestures and towards the police officer’s ‘unwitting’ thoughts and conduct. But how could the Macpherson inquiry know what was in an officer’s unconscious mind—except through the failure of the police to be effective in the investigation of a racist crime? This definition puts charges of racism outside the boundaries of proof or rebuttal.
The Macpherson report has had a detrimental impact on policing and crime, particularly in London. Police morale has been undermined. Certain procedures which impact disproportionately on ethnic groups, like stop and search, have been scaled down. The crime rate has risen. Nevertheless, the Macpherson report has been received with almost uncritical approval by pundits, politicians and academics. It is still routinely described as having ‘proved’ that the police and British society are racist.
Shakeel Begg and Abu Zubair
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