Riots in London

Bee's picture
Mon, 08/08/2011 - 10:45 -- Bee

Report from the third night of London riots:

Never fear, we are fine.

Though all the stores near me have closed, riot cops have partitioned part of the local area, armoured vehicles are streaming past, and helicopters are swooping overhead.

Comments

Bee's picture
Submitted by Bee on

"The violence on the streets is being dismissed as ‘pure criminality,’ as the work of a ‘violent minority’, as ‘opportunism.’ This is madly insufficient. It is no way to talk about viral civil unrest. Angry young people with nothing to do and little to lose are turning on their own communities, and they cannot be stopped, and they know it. Tonight, in one of the greatest cities in the world, society is ripping itself apart."

Read more: Penny Red

vkitty's picture
Submitted by vkitty on

I got a message back! She's okay, she says it's mostly in the shopping districts, not residential. Her girls are still over here in the states with their gramma. I'm not gonna worry.

But I can't help but read the stories and thinking about the actions that led to these consequences. How easy it would be for something like that to happen over here. Or maybe not. Maybe Americans are too apathetic to let something like that happen. Maybe it needs to happen. How bad does it need to get before Americans start rioting in the streets?

"Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth." -Buddha

raspberrytoast's picture

Bee- This all seems incredibly scary and stressful. I hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe.

Maatkare-Glad your friend is okay--I don't know how bad it needs to get before nation wide riots happen here, but that thought actually scares me a little. It seems strange to think that America has only been around for a couple hundred years (ish).

vkitty's picture
Submitted by vkitty on

So I just talked to my friend in Catford. Her perspective is that it's just a bunch of kids out of school with no money and nothing to do. It is not a class war, she says. I wonder how kids out of school with no money driven to violence such as this could be anything but a class war. She said that they are unafraid of the police and that shopkeepers have taken to patrolling the streets since there are not enough cops. It's weird. She made it sound like it was not a social problem, but it sounds like it is to me?

"Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth." -Buddha

vkitty's picture
Submitted by vkitty on

It's really strange, because this is my activist friend who used to chain herself to fences in protest of whatever she was protesting. I just don't see how violence of this magnitude could be see as anything but a social problem. Bored teenagers just is not a valid reason for me.

"Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth." -Buddha

turtle's picture
Submitted by turtle on

I heard back, Camden is only a mile from her and it was going down there. Today there's rumors that the rioting will start in Camden (and presumably elsewhere) at 4pm so she's gone home from work early so she can get home safely.

Yes, she's British and so very stiff upper lip like. Although she'll tell me things she won't tell fellow Brits. Another friend, in Oxford, is like, "everything fine!" - which I suppose it is in Oxford (class warfare in Oxford?).

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough. -- Emily Dickinson

You want to do what you think is right and what matters to you, and if other people don't like it, as my father would have said, they can go fuck themselves. -- Amy Bloom

turtle's picture
Submitted by turtle on

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Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough. -- Emily Dickinson

You want to do what you think is right and what matters to you, and if other people don't like it, as my father would have said, they can go fuck themselves. -- Amy Bloom

turtle's picture
Submitted by turtle on

I honestly don't know how bad it needs to get.

I mean, there are moments of large scale protests here and there's rioting every once in awhile ('specially when a sports team wins/loses, ???) and over isolated incidents (Rodney King, Stonewall, Oakland riot after the Mehserle verdict, RNC protest/"riot" in St Paul, Seattle WTO protest/riots), but it doesn't seem to catch on from city to city in the way it did in the 60s and the way it seems to be going in England.

It's a funny thing, about Americans & protesting & rioting... Not funny haha though. It's pretty bad right now in this country. This morning I heard on the radio (Democracy Now) that in a couple of American cities the unemployment rate among African Americans is 40%. Forty fucking percent. What the fuck. Anti-immigrant fervor is HIGH. The Wee Papa and I have had big discussions about why the US is different from other countries but I cannot remember what we concluded (too tired), I think something about how our government works and the amount of distance regular people feel from politics and the government....

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough. -- Emily Dickinson

You want to do what you think is right and what matters to you, and if other people don't like it, as my father would have said, they can go fuck themselves. -- Amy Bloom

Bee's picture
Submitted by Bee on

From my perspective it is spontaneous class warfare. Inarticulate, but definitely ideological. My friends and the people I hear around me on the streets agree. The really frightening part is the fact that it is so reckless.... they don't seem to care, or have anything to lose. Your friend is right that it is largely bored teenagers with nothing else to do. And that is horrifying. I grew up in poverty, in a forest, and I had other things to do.

I've been predicting some kind of violent uprising, but the scale of this has honestly surprised me.

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