The small crowds of very young men and women, of every skin color, typically dressed in almost identical hooded sweatshirts, were on the main streets of the mainly poor neighborhoods along the northeastern, southern, and western boundaries of the city.
The violence spread Monday night outside London, with serious eruptions of violence in Birmingham and Liverpool, but the scale of events in the British capital was unprecedented, and utterly overwhelmed the city’s 32,000 police. Almost exactly a year before the city plays host to the Olympic Games, the conflagration has raised dark fears for the city’s security.
Police called in hundreds of reinforcements and volunteer police officers— and made a rare decision to deploy armoured vehicles in some of the worst-hit districts — but still struggled to keep pace with the chaos unfolding at flashpoints across London, in the central city of Birmingham, the western city of Bristol and the northwestern city of Liverpool.
The youth brigade (young men and women) engaged in running skirmishes with police, looting hundreds of shops, setting dozens of buildings and houses ablaze.
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