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The stench of a Police State -Aftermatch of Riots in UK

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | other press author Wednesday August 17, 2011 15:33author by T Report this post to the editors

The police state is well and truly here

This report from the WSWS site accurately sums up the situation in Britain today and the outcome of the riots. It confirms most people suspicions that the state has used this to launch a vicious assault on the working class (read ordinary folk) of Britain. It has used the very same press that was embroiled just weeks ago in a huge phone hacking scandal. The state repression and right-wing hysteria unleashed reveal the preparations of the ruling class for police-state forms of rule


It is amazing that despite all the arrests and sentencing that: The riots were triggered by the police execution of Mark Duggan, a black 29-year-old father of four, in Tottenham, north London on August 4, followed by an unprovoked police assault on a peaceful protest over his killing two days later. Almost a fortnight later, no officer has been identified, let alone charged, for these crimes.

What is most surprising is the speed and eagerness of the state to go on the offence but we see nothing like this or results when it comes to the criminal bankers and speculators. Taken from the report:


Instead, the political elites who sanctioned the looting of public funds to bail out the banks and the super-rich, and who covered up the illegal phone hacking of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, have sought to whip up a lynch mob atmosphere against the “criminality” and “immorality” of working class youth.


In the process, the right to innocence until proven guility has disappeared, we have mass arrests, loss of basic rights, the names and photographs of people not even guility broadcast all over the media. Here are some extracts from the report.


Basic democratic rights have been thrown to the winds. The presumption of innocence has been jettisoned as police carry out mass arrests, with those detained subject to show trials presided over by courts acting directly at the behest of the authorities. Some 3,000 people, the majority aged between 16 and 24, have been rounded up in sweeps across the capital and elsewhere, with police battering down the doors of people’s homes for what are, in the main, petty misdemeanours. The names and photographs of people not even charged with any offence—let alone found guilty—are broadcast daily by the media. Juvenile defendants, some as young as 11, have been stripped of their right to anonymity. Magistrates have been told they can “ignore the rule book” on sentencing norms, following what the chair of one London magistrates court inadvertently described as a government “directive.” Over 1,500 people have to date been dragged before courts—in some instances sitting for 24 hours at a time—where, with paperwork barely completed and a shortage of solicitors, the most vindictive and punitive sentences are being handed down.


Things are so bad that hundreds of people have been picked up in these swoops. So how do the police know they are all guility? Yet many are denied bail. Again the report.


They are just the first of many others facing summary justice. Hundreds more young people are being remanded for months at a time to await trial before crown courts that can impose more draconian punishments, including up to ten years for rioting. But it gets worse.... Collective punishment is the order of the day, with reprisals underway against the family members of those allegedly involved in the disturbances. Without any proof of guilt, mothers and young children are being served with notices of eviction from their council housing, while plans are made to strip people accused of involvement in the riots of their welfare benefits, even if they are not convicted of any offence.


...so where does the state think these people are going to go?


But we are not finished yet and it gets even more disturbing. I know that some people reading this may be thinking these people are getting what they deserve, but the implications of the whole operation and the ease in which police using the security apparatus of the state can access everything and do so with massive speed is truly frightening. You think all your text messages just exist in your phone. As they travel through the telco networks, they get stored. Again as per report.


Last week it was revealed that as the disturbances swept London, police broke into encrypted social messaging networks, gaining access to the mobile phones of hundreds of people and their messages. They had even prepared to close down BlackBerry messaging and Twitter. Simultaneously, the government brought in MI5 and the giant eavesdropping national security centre GCHQ to access electronic communications.


This same ruling elite sings the praises of the social media to undermine governments in other countries when it suits its foreign policy interests. It promoted the so-called “twitter” revolution in Iran as part of US-backed efforts to overthrow President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and install a more pro-Western regime. On its own turf, however, it reacts ruthlessly to any form of communication not controlled by the state.


Finally to finish off the report the authors put the whole affair in its correct political context


The hysteria sweeping the political elite cannot be attributed solely to last week’s unrest. The bourgeoisie is aware that it has entered a second stage in the global crisis of capitalism that will exacerbate the class divisions already exposed across Europe, the Middle East and internationally, producing enormous shocks and upheavals. They see in the disturbances in England only a foretaste of what is to come and are panicked by their own political unpreparedness. In private, they have asked themselves again and again how much longer the Labour Party, the trade unions and the life-style “left” can contain popular opposition to deteriorating social conditions and savage spending cuts. In the eruption of social anger among the youth they see a frightening precursor to a much broader movement of the working class. Their reaction to the riots makes clear that their response to the eruption of class struggles against the economic catastrophe caused by the failure of the capitalist system will be to junk democratic rights and rely on naked state violence.


The full report can be read at the link below.

Related Link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/aug2011/pers-a17.shtml
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