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London burns - causes & consequences of the riots - an anarchist perspective

category international | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis author Sunday August 14, 2011 00:17author by WSM Report this post to the editors

The police killing of Mark Duggan resulted in four nights of rioting across England. The immediate trigger was the killing itself, and the disrespect shown by the police to Mark’s family and friends. But the riots rapidly broadened to expressions of a more general anger and alienation; an anger that was all too often unfocused and striking out at the nearest target of opportunity. This resulted in widespread destruction of resources in already deprived neighborhoods and some anti-social attacks on bystanders. Despite this, the roots of the riots lie in the economic and political conditions of these districts, and not in ‘poor parenting’ or ‘mindless criminality’. These conditions were created by the very politicians and business elite who now call for a return to normality and repression.


The riots happened at a particular moment, a moment when capitalism is in deep crisis. Indeed the riots occurred at the same time as yet another crash in global markets. The two competed with each other to be the lead story on the news. This is not a coincidence; the crash, and the cuts unleashed to impose it’s costs on ordinary people, mean not only rocketing unemployment but also the slashing of public services. And while the focus is on the estimated £200 million of destruction caused by the rioting, this pales into insignificance in comparison with the huge destruction of wealth taking place on the stock exchanges. Likewise, while the media focus has been on the hundreds of workers and small business owners who will face unemployment because of the destruction of their workplaces, the system that bred the riot has refused work to millions - around one million people between the ages of 16 and 24 are unemployed in the UK today.

Now, in the aftermath, it has become clear that those who made the mistake of taking what they had been told to desire are to be brutality punished, to set an example to others that the laws of property are to be respected at all costs - after all, if we could all take what we needed where would be the room for capitalism? There is no other explanation for the sentences handed down, which have included six months for taking bottled water worth £3.50!

CONTINUES AT http://www.wsm.ie/c/london-riots-causes-consequences-an...chist


Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/c/london-riots-causes-consequences-an...chist
author by Serfpublication date Sun Aug 14, 2011 05:39Report this post to the editors

case in point the american activist "free" jeff leurs who set fire to 3 SUV's (subsequently repaired and resold!) in protest over enviromental issues. He got 22 years hard time which was more than various hard core criminals, rapists and even the local axe murderer who only got 14 years!!

I don't agree that it is as simple as the austerity measures but it is about disempowerment, hopelessness and a whole culture of consumerism and individuality combined with a huge gulf between rich and poor and a breakdown in our value systems which is passed on to our children.

They were bored kids, amoral, feeling powerless and wanting the shiny things that society told them made them somebody which they could not afford, and more than anything, wanting to feel powerful and alive for a while.

they came from many different backgrounds, and definitely not just poor black kids at all. some were white kids from middle class families.

disempowerment and disparity are definitely factors

Brace yourself for a major crackdown on civil liberties. This is a great excuse for those in power to oppress the underclasses further.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:54Report this post to the editors

...all par for the usual course. What sickens is the moral grandstanding about destruction and pillage as the powers that be bomb the shit out of villages and monopolise resources and warm up for a nuclear strike against Iran. And Clinton lining up with the fucking SAUDIs to wag her finger at Syria and Libya.

author by TNpublication date Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:31Report this post to the editors

that Duggan was an armed criminal about to be arrested, whose property/family/friends did he respect? Such tunnel vision!

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Aug 14, 2011 13:16Report this post to the editors

Focussing on Duggan is a bit like taking the catapult off the infant while his daddy loads the nukes onto the drone the other kid is playing remote war-games with.

Whose property/friends/family do the Pentagon/NATO/oiligarchs and wuncha bankstas respect??

Where do you detect tunnel vision?I detect too many wilful blind eyes being turned to mega-crime while the petty offenders are scapegoated for their poverty driven MIMICKING of the general cultural memememe carrot economy.

They catch a lot of donkeys though. Useful idiots come in blue as well as red.

author by TNpublication date Sun Aug 14, 2011 13:34Report this post to the editors

What the hell have NATO or the Pentagon got to do with rioting criminals in London and elsewhere?

It seems you here have the easy answers to everything - blame the US/Israel/Shell for anything all wrongs.

There were a lot of people before the courts last week who were NOT downtrodden proles!

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Aug 14, 2011 14:05Report this post to the editors

Cameron has no connection to NATO?To destruction and theft?No class analysis then, we're all happy Tories together getting our moral rocks off on the despicable vandals?

Ta for mentioning Shhhhell and Isreal, never crossed my mind. Tell us more about their criminality while you're fulminating.

My point? Lotta bigger criminals at higher levels will NEVER be before the same courts. Thats what angers more than these criminal kids.

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