The video shows mobs destroying small stores in Lhasa. I saw the same kind of mob violence watching the LA riots on TV as city blocks a few miles away burned and a store down the street got firebombed. Nor will I ever forget a few days later seeing heavily armed National Guard and vehicles on Venice Beach.
The precipitating event for the LA uprising / insurrection / riot / whatever you want to call it was the hideously unjust verdict in the Rodney King beating trial. Not that it justified torching entire city blocks, but sometimes years of pent-up rage does explode into the open. I wonder what the precipitating event in Lhasa was?
A Mexican friend told me his brother owned an auto parts store in the riot area in LA. What happened, I asked. My brother put a “Mexican owned and operated” sign on the store, he said. And that saved the store? Well, we were on the roof all night with shotguns and AKs too. Oh.
But the LA riots burned out in three days. It looks like the Lhasa riots are spreading, and the westmost provinces of China have always been separatist and are getting restless. Alvin Toffler once said he thought China would eventually fracture into multiple parts. I think time will prove Toffler correct. Also, the Chinese government seems immensely clueless, and that just makes things worse. My guess – increasing and visible unrest as the Olympics near.