Comments

  1. MattCA181 says

    Good. Police suck. It’s funny because I don’t hurt others, I don’t steal, and I don’t behave badly ( I do drive too fast though). This isn’t because the law is hovering over me. We need to coexist. Right?

    When people get fed up with the wrongs of those in power, they are gonna go a little crazy. Especially when they have been really, really wrong. It just sucks that they aren’t burning down Scotland Yard. Target the right sources.

  2. Xtab says

    Well if you’re raised to believe that you are what you buy, or you are what kind of consumer products you possess, but that you can’t get these things because of structural inequalities due to it being a white man’s world, or however you want to put it…

    Then when the opportunity presents itself to “get paid” whether by looting shops or robbing strangers, then you’ll do it. If you’ve got no other way to make money then you’ll “get money.” If you don’t have a future, then you make your own. And if no one can stop you?

  3. Ricco says

    And what if there is an element of youthful opportunism behind the looting? And maybe it seems rather arbitrary, the torching of businesses and cars (it really is too bad that they do not go for more appropriate targets such as Scotland Yard). This is what happens when the disenfranchised finally have enough of a government that can bail out in 24 hours rich banks and corporations, then try to balance an obscene deficit on the backs of the poor and the middle class, slashing social programs, and raising the age limit for retirement.

    This is a portent of things to come, not just in England but in America and all over the world. Eventually things will quiet down, and the government will come down hard on anyone they can get a hold of, to bring fear into any future uprisings . . . but it won’t be enough.

    If the British government, and the American government continue being a government of the corporation and for the corporation, rather than the people, then chaos will eventually ensue, and the people will mindlessly tear the government apart with their bare hands, both literally and metaphorically until nothing is left but ashes.

    I guess people are crazy enough to think that the French Revolution can never be repeated.

    They are so wrong, and I just pray that when the world going Frakking crazy, that my little gay a** is hidden away in the wilderness!!

  4. Redebbm says

    These looters and rioters are terrible for being opputunistic in this situation, what is left out was the attempts of youth to be peaceful and were simply ignored. That’s why these riots boiled over. I wish safety to those in London, and hope no one is hurt.

    As a youth though I must say i never understand why youth get pissed off and riot, when they don’t vote! Vote people and you won’t have a government that makes serious austerity cuts like the coalition government has. Unfortunately what is done is done and I wish we would get more facts from this story besides the typical perspective that roudy youth are looting and rioting. Now i could probably go on for hours about the failure of the Media but i won’t.

  5. says

    The police are tools of the real power: the oligarchy. The police aren’t always angels, but they don’t deserve to be attacked.

  6. Tim says

    If you think any of these idiots have even the slightest knowledge of anything political, you should really think again. This has nothing to do with government bail outs or anything like it. These are lazy youths that have no interest in taking opportunities to make something of themselves. If you want to blame governments, blame them for making it far too easy for them and their parents to sit home in a house that has been paid for by the government watching television that is funded by the TV tax make them think that they have any sort of right for luxury. To put most of these people in jail cells for any real amount of time would be the first time any of them have lived with in consequence of action (or inaction). Not a single excuse can be made for any one of these participants. Feral is the only word.

  7. erik says

    Tim is right. This is not a protest against anything. This is simply idiots causing destruction because they think it’s funny, and because “everyone else is.” It’s madness and totally infuriating.

  8. says

    It’s not a surprise that there is anger at the police after their behavior at student protests, the payoffs and tabloid scandals and another case of civilian death at police hands. Water cannons would spark a war. The looting may be an opportunistic crime spree but there is a context. There was rioting in my area last night. The high streets job center was shut down recently to be replaced by what will be it’s 15th betting shop. The conservatives have done what they always do, taken from the poor and given to the rich.

  9. Tim says

    That is truly a shame to lose a job centre to a betting shop. Creating more place for people to develop discontent. Although, I wonder how many people out rioting even know Duggan’s name? And considering he was a known gang lord that had been followed by police for some time (as his last message to his girlfriend confirmed before his death), I’m not so sure that his death is as senseless and many would like to believe.

  10. says

    I wonder how many of the commentators above are actually British and really understand the situation?

    There is a lot wrong with England these days – but these riots aren’t political – it’s opportunistic scum smashing up the city and destroying people’s lives.

    This is one of the reasons I left the UK 6 years ago – and don’t plan on returning. The country is horribly broken…

  11. prophet says

    Common savages from foreign lands. This will certainly embolden the anti-immigration forces in Europe.

  12. ohplease says

    Call it whatever you want, but you’re living in a fantasy land if you don’t believe it’s coming to the States.

  13. Ricco says

    People do like to underestimate young people. But here is the thing, even if, as Tim says the opportunistic youth lack the slightest understanding of anything political, they understand, whether or not they can fully articulate their frustration, that they live under a government that is clearly not doing all it can for the poor, the middle class, and people of color. They are not stupid, whatever Tim and others may think. Open a history book. Whenever a system, a way of doing things begins to break down it is always accompanied by utter chaos and seemingly mindless chaos and destruction.

    People are under the wrong impression that because it is a handful of dissatisfied dissidents, rather than long-winded and hypocritical colonists, like the phony water-logged Euro-trash we like to call our forefathers, or a government-backed initiative against the people of Iraq, that there is something purely thuggish, something less-than legitimate, something almost random and gratuitously violent in the London uprisings, but it is not so.

    And anyone who thinks under the current American and British governments that one need only vote to change their worlds is naive. Anyone so wide-eyed and innocent to believe that would quickly be disillusioned on that score if they were to ever find themselves in public office. Our alleged representative in both the Congress and the Senate do not vote in our best interests, but their own best interests, and the heavily financed interests of Wall Street.

    A single vote multiplied by two million will not change the injustices of a corrupt system, and that is why The French Revolution happened, and that is why people will tear down everything in sight, and are so willing to subscribe to utter anarchy . . . because they realize that a peaceful vote is not something corporations and powerful lobbyists understand, that the vote is the very means by which they keep the villagers in control, holding just out of reach, inches from our face, a carrot dangled on a stick.

    History is filled with governments that have imploded, eroded from the inside as the rich and the privileged attempted to subjugate the poor. And as usual people erroneously think that such uprisings are unique only to the past. They are not. As long as there is systemic corruption people will eventually, however many decades or centuries, tear everything apart, reducing everything in sight to ashes and rubble, and from the ashes and rubble a new order arises.

    It remains to be seen whether or not human beings have the capacity to build from the rubble a world that is better than the world they tore apart.

    In my lifetime I have seen communism, socialism, and and now capitalism, held up as universal truths, only to show itself as fundamentally flawed and inherently sick as hundreds of years of inbreeding. We had a president who was fond of ascribing the nominative, “axis of evil,” to anyone, and any government, that did not ascribe to the capitalist views of America, but the truth is to run with any one philosophy, rather than a combination of philosophies and truths, as if it were the only truth, is but a portent of things to come.

    One need not have a knowledge of historical political unrest, and past uprisings of the disenfranchised, or if they did the eloquence to articulate their over weening dissatisfaction with a government thats rapes and pillages the poor, but that does not mean, in their guts that they see and understand very well . . . very well indeed.

    Even a child knows when something is inherently unfair.

  14. Ricco says

    . . . but that does not mean, in their guts they DO NOT see and understand very well . . . very well indeed!

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    The initial night of violence between the protesters and police I understand, and it was/is explainable. The continued rioting and looting is difficult to understand or accept. I imagine that it is especially difficult for the hard-working Britains of African and Caribbean ancestry who live in those neighborhoods. The working folks wonder, “what’s the point of tearing down everything?” And of course, the British White supremacists are having a field day (like the ones on this blog).

    The young folks in Britain should understand that once you burn down the businesses in your neighborhood it may take decades before anything is rebuilt–atleast that what happened here in the United States.

    For those who are truly protesting–your anger has to find a more productive outlet.

    For those who are simply looting–enjoy your stay in British prisons.

  16. Tim says

    If you heard any of these people that have been interviewed (both Sky and BBC have a few apiece), you will know exactly how stupid they are. “We’re showing the rich we can do what we want”. When asked who the rich were they said “the store owners”. When told that the store owners were members of their local communities that lived there and built small businesses, they replied “Well, the conservatives or who ever the politicians are. I think it’s the conservatives, I don’t know”. And this was from three lovely, smart young women that went looting for a bottle or rose wine at 9a after partying by the fires all night, which they also described as “cool”. I am not sure if there is a better depiction of stupid possible.

    Yes, they may have anger issues with their social class, but they have no idea why they do, they just become a part of an overall process of group think that actually has no basis in reality. I stand by stupid, and respect that you may not have seen these people speak.

  17. says

    And why are they stupid TIM? Because they see no point in being educated. There are no jobs for them, the larger culture excludes them, and yes, sometimes welfare can degrade motivation. But it’s not simple and simplistic responses will not help in the long run.

    Here’s a good article from the Beeb on how people become looters:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14463452 (hint: it’s not because they’re black)

    Thank you RICCO for your comment.

  18. Tim says

    I certainly agree with you that it’s not because they are black. I do hope that was meant more for Allan’s comments. I live, as most Londoners do, within close proximity to plenty of council estates. Sadly, this is where most of these looters come from. Everyone has an opportunity to make something of their lives. If they are angry enough to destroy, they should be angry enough to show the people that they feel oppress them that they’re wrong. Instead of living up to the “council trash” stereotype, prove it’s wrong. Stupid is letting others put a stigma on you and then proving them right.

  19. says

    @ TIM: yes, my “hint” was definitely for ALLAN and his others who think like that.

    I agree that people must take responsibility for their lives and not live down to negative stereotypes. But at the same time, when people feel powerless—low-wage or no jobs at all, crass consumerist culture everywhere, rich people scamming the system for even more $$, little access to social capital or financial capital to make it—then they’re going to show off what little power they have in whatever way they can.

  20. TommyOC says

    @DAVID R.: Your chances of being employed go dramatically up if you are educated.

    I’m failing to see how you can defend these people’s by saying “they see no point in being educated.” Really?

    Isn’t gainful, steady employment.. um… the POINT of getting an education?

    Now, to the point, I’m all for raging against government and I’m all for the “redistribution of wealth,” so long as you’re taking from the wealthy. Why aren’t these opportunists – without an ideology, that’s all you are – wreaking havoc in national chains or destroying the offices of corporate interests?

  21. says

    @ TOMMYOC: I totally agree with the value of education—but that value’s not obvious to these kids. Two reasons (and I’m not an expert on the UK, just a reasonably well informed Yank): 1. The British system of higher education, which used to be free, but is now fee-based (another sore spot), is highly controlled—that is, high-schoolers take tests and based on their scores are eligible to go to certain universities in a strict fashion and if they don’t “pass”, the can’t go; 2. There are so few jobs for those inexperienced youth who are looking.

    A similar pattern exists in the US, but for now, our entrepreneurial attitude, I think, is keeping us out of the violent reaction.

  22. hannah says

    i have never felt so ashamed to be British. it’s horrible to watch these people throwing things the council has provided to this city at the police. completely disgusting.

  23. Anon says

    Just wait until it happens in the USA. And it will. Again.

    You can only starve people so much, harass them so often, push them to the brink time and again before they push back.

    Whites want to write off the blacks as violent and opportunistic. White people are cruel and violent as hell – the only difference is they let the police do the dirty work of keeping the blacks in line. When you accept oppression for others that you wouldn’t accept for yourself or your family you are opportunistic and mean.

    White people refuse to even hire blacks for a lousy job. Then they turn right around and claim how lazy blacks are.

    Well London is burning, fueled by white hypocrisy and it’s nothing more than they deserve.