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London/English Riots

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  • London/English Riots

    It's a bit hard to separate the wheat from the chaff on the situation in London over here on the U.S. Left coast. The word from the BBC is that it's all criminal thugs. Some other folks say that cuts in education and social services sparked it. Seems to be really ugly in it's impact on fairly regular folk...
    Kevin McCabe
    The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

  • #2
    "We are getting our taxes back."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXcI-...layer_embedded

    That's what one looter in Clapham Junction told Sky's Mark Stone, who shot this film while confronting people raiding a Currry's Digital. The local branch of Waterstone's had not been looted, he noted.

    Rather sums it up really.

    Just worried about my friends in Lewisham and near the Elephant & Castle.
    Papa was a Rolling Stone......

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    • #3
      Blaming it on cuts is just an excuse. This is not a political event, it is predominantly criminals taking the opportunity to loot shops for alcohol and expensive saleable goods.

      I wonder how many of the thieves stealing from someone else's business actually pay taxes.

      The police have held back because they are not currently the target of the mob. Unfortunately businesses are being torched with no regard for the domestic properties above them, putting lives at real risk.

      Comment


      • #4
        I rather doubt the rioters are paying any tax. But I also doubt this would happen without the current "screw the poor" political climate. After all, this hasn't happened since that last time the tories were in. (Actually, I'm not terribly sure of that last bit, but it would fit my preconceptions!)

        Comment


        • #5
          Interesting article about rolling news and the riots: rare to hear praise for Sky, but there we are.

          http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08..._rolling_news/

          Comment


          • #6
            Iain Sinclair was interviewed on The World at One today about the London riots; he argued that the riots hadn't come out of the blue, that they'd been predicated last year and were seasonal thing as much as anything - school holidays, nothing to do, etc. Probably worth listening to the full interview though to get the full gist of his comments.
            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

            Comment


            • #7
              In my own opinion, its likely a combination of things, youth unemployment and everyone feeling/being poor and voiceless with the new tory government. The police have a tough job and not alot of support from the public or media also english people are just angry (Im english).People saw a chance to steal an the police couldnt stop them. I think alot is to do with gang culture in London.

              What they did was wrong I think but that doesnt mean we cant try to understand why. I cant imagine this happening in many other european capitals except maybe Paris.

              Maybe they should call in the army if tonight goes badly!
              Please Check out my Musical Dedication to work of Michael Moorcock

              THE END OF ALL SONGS
              We are looking to collaborate with anybody else interested in making Moorcock themed music - contact me here or on soundcloud.

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              • #8
                Thanks folks. Sounds like directionless dissaffection with really lousy results for fairly regular people. These folks have done wrong and no mistake. But, I half my clients would be just fine if they had a job. Probably the same over there. I hope things chill soon so people feel safe in their homes. And, I hope the police can handle things without bloodshed.
                ,
                Kevin McCabe
                The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Magnum Opus View Post
                  Maybe they should call in the army if tonight goes badly!
                  As is often the case in these events you get the usual vox populi saying the police should have gone in harder - with tear gas, water cannons, even live ammunition - already, but this is Croydon for Karl's sake not Syria or Mega-City One. The criminal thugs* engaging in these wanton acts of destruction and theft are only doing it because they think they can get away with it so it will be interesting to see what happens tonight when there's 16,000 police officers out on the streets.

                  I'm kind of of the opinion that while it's only property that's being destroyed, while people's lives aren't being specifically threatened then the situation hasn't escalated to the point where live ammo can be considered a proportionate response. I mean, sure, I'd like to see the Riot Act being read and heads being bashed but that's a guaranteed way to escalate the problem into something much more violent where people are going to start getting hurt and killed even. Instead I'd advocate the police use paint 'guns' with indelible dye to mark the thugs so they can then be rounded up in more peaceful circumstances.

                  My personal belief is it's evident that these riots are not politically or ideologically motivated because obvious symbols of the State, like police stations and town halls, have been spared in favour of raiding those forces of oppression like Currys, Toni & Guy the hair-dressers and Greggs the bakers.

                  *Make no mistake, it is criminal thugs, not disaffected youth striking out as a repressive system, who are orchestrating these mindless acts of violence imo.
                  _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                  _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                  _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                  _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What if the struggle were not against "the tools of state" as such, but against the entire "normal" setup of western life? All businesses, corperations and all the people who basically just get along with this setup vs. those who have never been employed, have no wish to be employed and see normal society as an enemy? (or at least a rival, as you've got to live somewhere and somehow, and frankly there's no room left by "normal" society: just ask the travelling community).

                    The equivalent to "I hate all you smug middle class gits", but being applied to the upper class; middle class; working class; you-name-it-class.

                    I suspect it itsn't: its just an oppertunity to get some stuff, though the hatered of joe-public is certainly there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "I grew up in the '30s with an unemployed father. He didn't riot. He got on his bike and he looked for work, and he kept looking 'til he found it." - Norman Tebbit, 1981
                      Without wishing to come over all Daily Mail or anything (it's my age, honest guv') when the feckless unemployed are calling honest, decent local shopkeepers 'the rich' and justifying their criminal activities by claiming they're "showing 'the rich' we can do what we like" they seem to be forgetting that it's the very things that they're attacking that is holding the system together that provides them with the means to be fecklessly unemployed in the first place.

                      As I intimate, when I watch the scenes of rioters on TV, I want Judge Dredd to swoop down and crack skulls and kick ass but that's not how it works in the real world.

                      Incidentally, there's something very odd going on at the moment, where two weeks ago the Met were being daily clobbered in the media for being hand-in-glove with Murdoch and now people are saying they want the same Met to start meting out hard justice. (In the same way as last year it was all MPs are crooks and journalists are heroes for uncovering their wrong-doing and this year it's all journalists are crooks and MPs are heroes for uncovering their wrong-doing. Does anyone else feel like they're being led on a merry dance?)
                      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My impression is that there has been a longer process of polarisation in Britain (and elsewhere too, of course) separating those who have a nice income from those who perceive themselves as "the losers" (and/or are so perceived by the former) . In between you have a police force - which is no longer composed of the nice, unarmed old Bobbies, but is a very mixed bag - often with such people who doubly despise the "rabble", because they've just escaped from that social class themselves and became cops! And who rather than try finding intelligent solutions lash out hard and dirty - wasn't there an innocent person dying on on the streets of London of a heart failure after being roughed up by cops earler this year? Many such cops are filled with hate and maintain that it is preferable they are being feared than respected - or "loved".

                        And also, the economic pressures and the appalling deterioration of civility seems to lead to a forsaking of common values and belief in a shared community ("England", "My country", "our street", whatever) - and so what remains are spontaneous tribe-like alliances who go burning and looting. Then they all go home.
                        Maybe it is even an "event character". So much today is sold as "events", who knows?
                        Last edited by L'Etranger; 08-09-2011, 12:45 PM.
                        Google ergo sum

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't know which has been the more depressing today: hearing the stories and reports about the riots and rioters, or listening to the opinions (at work and on the radio) about what should be done.
                          "Never get so attached to a poem
                          you forget truth that lacks lyricism"
                          Joanna Newsom

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Interesting piece in the BBC's magazine section IMHO:

                            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14463452

                            Many questions, some POVs, no answers, but interesting none-the-less.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Channel 4 News reports that a youth worker, a university graduate and a recent army recruit are among those (alleged) rioters who have appeared before magistrates today and been charged with public order offences, and that some people had travelled from as far afield as Kent to participate in the rioting.

                              In other developments:
                              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                              Comment

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