Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Death of the Moledias

In March last year I finally found the names of the two people killed in the Handsworth riots ('uprising' if you're from the BBC) of 1985 - Kassamali Moledia, 38, and his brother Amir, 44 - subsequently airbrushed from history (someone finally updated Wikipedia about three weeks ago).

If they'd been killed by white people half of Handsworth would have been named after them by now. Instead they were forgotten.

In September last year the Birmingham Post finally told the story. Not pretty. When people like Harpy celebrate the riots they should know what arson and looting means.

Months after the tragedy, transcripts of the brothers’ calls for help were released.

At 8.58pm on September 9, the first dramatic plea was heard: “They are smashing their way in – they are going to kill us.”

Then at 9.36pm the final call came through: “Please come now, they are in the shop trying to kill us. Please...”

And 'they' did kill them - 'they' being young black men. The dynamic of the Handsworth looting was Asian shopkeepers being targeted by black attackers.

Madan Lal, 55, who runs Annu Fashions, was in his shop on the night of the siege, but he found a way of keeping his business safe – by paying off the looters.

I was with my two brothers at the shop when it all kicked off. We saw the other businesses getting looted, so we stood at the door handing out £50, £20 and £10 notes to the ringleaders so they wouldn’t damage our shop. I think we ended up paying out at least £700 to protect our business. It worked and no one took anything from us.”

But the demographics and street powers have changed in Brum. When Handsworth 2.0 was attempted in Lozells in 2005, it was innocent black people who ended up getting murdered.

While some opportunist whites and Asians have joined the looting and general mayhem, these riots have been driven by black youth. Bradford, Oldham, Blackburn, Burnley, Tower Hamlets are the dogs that haven't barked, if I can use what's probably an inappropriate phrase. Instead Muslims of varying ethnicity have defended 'their' turf in Bethnal Green, Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington. Sikhs in Southall did likewise - I'm pretty sure a white crowd with those weapons would find the police after them, riot or no. Even whites in Enfield and Eltham have done the same (and the pro-riot left blogs as one cry "EDL!").

But it's not 1985 any more. I'm not sure that the deaths of three Muslims in Winson Green last night, killed by a car deliberately driven at them, will be forgotten like the Moledias. Anyone wanting to riot in that neck of the woods tonight will need their head examining - in every sense.

UPDATE - had to go to Brum today, stayed there late. As quiet as can be. Surprise surprise. There are a lot of very cross people just itching for someone to start something.

I keep hearing from the BBC and Guardian that repressive violence won't work, it only provokes the bad boys to worse deeds. It all seems to depend on the degree of repressive violence - faced with the prospect of Met Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin asking their parent(s? perhaps) to keep an eye on them, the London "community" went on a massive orgy of looting and arson. Faced with the prospect of being chased down by a crowd and beaten or stabbed to death, the yout' of Lozells, Handsworth and points east seem to have decided that a quiet night in front of the telly is better than a trip down the Soho Road this evening. As Machiavelli put it : "Men avenge slight injuries, not grave ones".