Jody tries to dodge responsibility

Posted on August 15, 2011

Jody McIntyre promised last week that he would soon be responding to the accusations made on this blog that he was inciting people to riot. It’s taken a few days but at last he has come out with it:

The entire controversy surrounds a tweet I made, before a single building was looted, supporting ppl in Tottenham protesting against police.

He’s got a few problems with that excuse, though.

First, let’s look at the claim that he posted his message innocently before any trouble had started. His tweet went up at 10:02 pm on Saturday 6th August. By that time the riot was well underway - large quantities of tweets and pictures had been posted during the previous hour about the firebombing of police cars, and even mainstream media outlets like Sky and ITV had been reporting the news for half an hour.

It simply isn’t true that Jody’s tweet was posted before rioting had begun – I don’t know if “a single building had been looted” but police cars were burning and bricks were flying well before he posted. For someone who is connected to social media, was online at the time, was evidently following the news from Tottenham and follows over 600 Twitter users including mainstream media outlets it is simply inconceivable that he hadn’t seen this news.

Unless of course that he is contending that burning police cars is acceptable and doesn’t count as rioting?

Second, there’s the tone and message of his original tweet:

Be inspired by the scenes in #tottenham, and rise up in your own neighbourhood. 100 people in every area = the way we can beat the feds.

That isn’t a tweet that says “protest against the police”, it says “rise up” to “beat the feds”. Given that by the time he posted it, the “scenes in #tottenham” to which he refers were scenes of police cars burning in the streets that’s a pretty clear and inflammatory message. Someone who wants a protest says they want a protest – not rise up to beat the police.

Report Jody McIntyre for incitement to riot

Posted on August 08, 2011

Jody McIntyre shot to fame (or notoriety) during the student riots. He garnered a lot of publicity by alleging that the police assaulted him and pushed him out of his wheelchair after he had deliberately placed himself at the front line of the riots in Westminster. Far from being just a run-of-the-mill student, though, it swiftly turned out that he was a hard core hard-left activist who was closely enough involved with the violent disorder that he was apparently part of the group who ended up on the roof of Millbank along with the fire extinguisher-thrower.

In May, the IPPC threw out his complaint on the grounds that the officers on the front line were right to remove him from the violent and turbulent situation in which he had deliberately placed himself.

Any lingering illusion that McIntyre was a victim of circumstance, caught up in trouble by accident, has now been shattered by his Tweeting over the weekend. As well as attending the riots and looting in Brixton and Tottenham, he tweeted urging others to commit violent disorder too:

Be inspired by the scenes in #tottenham, and rise up in your own neighbourhood. 100 people in every area = the way we can beat the feds.

As well as being morally wrong,  as far as I can see this tweet may well be a crime. It doesn’t appear to be a joke or satire, and it clearly incites others to copycat what went on in Tottenham, which involved multiple assaults, arson of shops and houses, theft and looting on a huge scale. It even makes clear that he wants this rioting spread in order to overwhelm the capacity of the police, presumably in order to give free rein for this kind of mass crime to happen unchecked.

For McIntyre this might be a political crusade, but for the victims – the people who were hospitalised, the people who lost everything – these riots were a horrific experience, and something no decent person would want to see repeated.

I’ve reported McIntyre to the Metropolitan Police for the offence of incitement to riot – you can do so too by phoning 101 to be connected to the Met’s control room, whether you report McIntyre or another instance of incitement.