The chickens are coming home to roost. 30 years of reactionary,criminal, anti-people policies are being effectively trashed by rioters in London, and now I just got a report that it is spreading to another city. The police state tactics of the past no longer seem to be working, for as the Guardian has reported The Met’s preferred tactic in recent years has been the controversial “kettle”, in which large numbers of police are drafted in to contain protesters, sometimes for hours on end. But roaming groups of youths cannot be effectively kettled. Get that kiddies? Not that I think rioting is the best way to bring about social change, but the ever-moving tactic employed by these youth ought to be applied in non-violent mass protests. Perhaps there is no need to be kettled, illegally arrested and brutalized like in Toronto?
Update – Rioting has spread to Liverpool and Birmingham. It seems that everything in sight is a target for these youths, so there is little overt political content to this riot. It is an inchoate reaction, but one based upon years of government policies that have destroyed community and social linkages. No doubt all the usual suspects will blame the youth, but the real blame goes to the system that created the potential for this devastation.
Update – best article I have read so far –
Update – Excellent on the spot blog report. Just this one quote alone is worth pages of coprolite press garbage – Riots are about power, and they are about catharsis. They are not about poor parenting, or youth services being cut, or any of the other snap explanations that media pundits have been trotting out: structural inequalities, as a friend of mine remarked today, are not solved by a few pool tables. People riot because it makes them feel powerful, even if only for a night. People riot because they have spent their whole lives being told that they are good for nothing, and they realise that together they can do anything – literally, anything at all. See – http://pennyred.blogspot.com/2011/08/panic-on-streets-of-london.html