Tottenham Riots

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Tottenham Riots

U.K. police pledge more arrests after weekend riots

Quote:
British police on Monday promised a "momentous operation" to arrest rioters after a weekend of vandalism and looting that erupted in a disadvantaged London neighbourhood just kilometres from the site of next year's Olympic Games.

Groups of masked and hooded young people looted shops, attacked police officers and set fire to vehicles in violence that has raised questions about security ahead of the 2012 Olympics and revealed pent-up anger against the city's police. Over 160 people were arrested.

Around 35 police officers were injured, including three hit by a car while trying to make arrests in northeast London. Police commander Christine Jones said officers were "shocked at the outrageous level of violence directed against them."

 

Looting 'fuelled by social exclusion'

Quote:
After the riots came the looting. Across London windows were smashed, and shops emptied. On Monday experts said social exclusion and the breakdown of law and order could have spurred looters to disregard social norms.

"Many of the people involved are likely to have been from low-income, high-unemployment estates, and many, if not most, do not have much of a legitimate future," said criminologist and youth culture expert Professor John Pitts.

Unlike most people, some of those looting had no stake in conformity, he said. "Those things that normally constrain people are not there. Much of this was opportunism but in the middle of it there is a social question to be asked about young people with nothing to lose."

 

Quote:
[T]elevision reporter: Is rioting the correct way to express your discontent?

"Yes," said the young man. "You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you?"

The TV reporter from Britain's ITV had no response. So the young man pressed his advantage. "Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard,  more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you."

 

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I suppose we can count on babblers to join the chorus of condemnation of the "rioters" as vandals, thugs, and probably agents provocateurs....

WilderMore

Maybe the CIA was involved. Somehow.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Not likely but the IMF and its New York and London financial overseers are definitely involved.

Doug

It does seem as though things have moved beyond political reaction to simple opportunism. There's not really much political content to running around stealing cell phones and designerwear.

WilderMore

Doug wrote:

It does seem as though things have moved beyond political reaction to simple opportunism. There's not really much political content to running around stealing cell phones and designerwear.

Bart: Uh, say, are you guys crooks?
Fat Tony: Bart, is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family?
Bart: No.
Fat Tony: Well, suppose you got a large starving family. Is it wrong to steal a truckload of bread to feed them?
Bart: Uh uh.
Fat Tony: And, what if your family don't like bread? They like... cigarettes?
Bart: I guess that's okay.
Fat Tony: Now, what if instead of giving them away, you sold them at a price that was practically giving them away. Would that be a crime, Bart?
Bart: Hell, no.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Doug wrote:

It does seem as though things have moved beyond political reaction to simple opportunism. There's not really much political content to running around stealing cell phones and designerwear.

I'll guess you are not a young black person living in London with no prospects of a job or a livelihood.  But you are entitled to your privileged perspective given from behind your electronic key board that you obviously did not need to steal but somehow found the money to buy.  

What are they supposed to do vote for the Labour Party?  LOL

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yes. I suppose it is entirely coincidental and not at all political that the neighbourhoods involved are among the poorest in London.

Freedom 55

Thanks for posting those, Catchfire.

 

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/08/context-london-riots... is a context to London's riots that can't be ignored[/url]

[url=http://www.redpepper.org.uk/tottenham-this-is-what-you-get-fire/]Tottenham: 'This is what you get - fire'[/url]

N.R.KISSED

What is truly frightening is how quickly the cries of strengthening the police state goes up, those so concerned about the violence are the often the loudest in crying out for a violent police response. Just to be clear I am refering to comments I have seen on media websites not anything anyone has said here.

 

Gang of Four: He'd Send in the army

The army has it's uses
In times of civil crisis
'Allo boys! Seen any action?
Hey boys, seen any.. action?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY4gyk9puts

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgJeTwZjZF0

Phil Ochs IN the heat of the Summer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs9mKetZFQk

"In the heat of the summer
When the pavements were burning
The soul of a city was ravaged in the night
After the city sun was sinkin'

Now no one knows how it started
why the windows were shattered
But deep in the dark, someone set the spark
And then it no longer mattered.

Down the streets they were rumbling
All the tempers were ragin
Oh, where, oh, where are the white silver tongues
Who forgot to listen to the warnings?

On and On come the angry
No longer following reason
And all the stores were the target now
Where just the other day they were buyin

Drunk with the memory of the ghetto
Drunk with the lure of the looting
And the memory of the uniforms shoving with their sticks
Asking, "Are you looking for trouble?"

"No, no, no," moaned the mayor.
"It's not the way of the order.
"Oh stay in your homes, please leave us alone
"We'll be glad to talk in the morning."

"For shame, for shame," wrote the papers.
"Why the hurry to your hunger?
"Now the rubble's resting on your broken streets
"So you see what your rage has unraveled."

Baricades sadly were risin
Bricks were heavily flyin
And the loudspeaker drowned like a whisperin' sound
when compared to the angered emotions

And when the fury was over
And the Shame was replacing the anger.
So wrong, so wrong, but we've been down so long
And we had to make somebody listen
In the heat of the summer......"

 

 

 

 

Stockholm

This all sounds like a larger scale version of the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver in June. One thing i will never understand is how anyone can find it "fun" to be in a riot.

Freedom 55

Quote:

The so-called leaders who have taken three solid days to return from their foreign holidays to a country in flames did not anticipate this. The people running Britain had absolutely no clue how desperate things had become. They thought that after thirty years of soaring inequality, in the middle of a recession, they could take away the last little things that gave people hope, the benefits, the jobs, the possibility of higher education, the support structures, and nothing would happen. They were wrong. And now my city is burning, and it will continue to burn until we stop the blanket condemnations and blind conjecture and try to understand just what has brought viral civil unrest to Britain. Let me give you a hint: it ain’t Twitter.

 

 

[url=http://pennyred.blogspot.com/2011/08/panic-on-streets-of-london.html]Panic on the streets of London[/url]

Erik Redburn

M. Spector wrote:

I suppose we can count on babblers to join the chorus of condemnation of the "rioters" as vandals, thugs, and probably agents provocateurs....

 

This is hardly the same as some suburban 'anarchists' breaking windows cause they got logos on them, then running off when the cops move in.  Most of these rioters have real grievances that have been ignored too long.  And they know its just going to get worse, as they're the ones who are going to be hit hardest by the next round of 'austerity' measures.

Erik Redburn

Stockholm wrote:

This all sounds like a larger scale version of the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver in June. One thing i will never understand is how anyone can find it "fun" to be in a riot.

 

Once again Stockholm, they're not rioting for the thrill of it.  Theyre rioting because their already hopeless situation is becoming ever more desperate. 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Stockholm, don't troll this thread. Final warning, tx.

Freedom 55

Erik Redburn wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

I suppose we can count on babblers to join the chorus of condemnation of the "rioters" as vandals, thugs, and probably agents provocateurs....

 

This is hardly the same as some suburban 'anarchists' breaking windows cause they got logos on them, then running off when the cops move in.  Most of these rioters have real grievances that have been ignored too long.  And they know its just going to get worse, as they're the ones who are going to be hit hardest by the next round of 'austerity' measures.

 

Yeah. 'Cause deep down "suburban anarchists" on this side of the ocean know we'll never be hit by "austerity" measures here.

*rolls eyes*

Erik Redburn

Oh Spector was just using this to take another gratuitous swipe at Babblers who criticised the 'black boc' boneheads who messed up the protests in TO for Everyone.    It just aint the same thing for white kids wearing designer booties, sorry.  Why I 'quoted' anarchists.    

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

I just wounder what kind of jobs they can give these teens and young people when this is all over. ?

Erik Redburn

Manning call centres and printing licence plates at the nearest pen, most probably, Bec. 

Doug

Not much - and there'll be fewer jobs than there were if businesses that were affected can't or choose not to reopen where they were. So whatever gets looted is going to have to last. I suggest Harrods.

Freedom 55

Quote:
You may well say, "bollocks, they're not taking on the ruling class, they're just destroying their own nest, hurting working class people and small businesses".  I can hear this, just as I can hear the sanctimony in its enunciation.  The truth is that riots almost always hurt poor, working class people.  There's no riot that embodies a pure struggle for justice, that is not also partly a self-inflicted wound.  There is no riot without looting, without anti-social behaviour, without a mixture of bad motives and bad politics.  That still doesn't mean that the riot doesn't have a certain political focus; that it doesn't have consequences for the ability of the ruling class to keep control; that the contest with the police is somehow taking place outside of its usual context of suspicion borne of institutional racism and brutality.  The rioters here, whenever they've been asked, have made it more than abundantly clear what their motives are - most basically, repaying years of police mistreatment.

Somewhat less on your high horse, you may go on: "but even if there is some sort of mediated logic of political class struggle unfolding here, the rich have nothing to fear as this sort of destruction is at best counterproductive".  That may be correct, though it's the sort of thing people tend to assume rather than argue for.  Major riots in the twentieth century included Soweto, in South Africa, and in US inner cities in the 1960s up to and including the Watts rebellion.  Major riots in recent British history have included those in Brixton in 1981, and Broadwater Farm in 1986, as well as the poll tax riots in 1990.  It would be foolish to claim that these made no contribution to achieving the objectives of their participants.  The fact is that whatever problems riots bring to the communities affected by them - and they're real, no question - it can't just be assumed that they'restupid.  The participants may not be glibly articulate, and some of them may be engaging in indefensible behaviour, but they shouldn't just be written off as mindless, apolitical thugs.

[url=http://leninology.blogspot.com/2011/08/crisis-of-ideology-and-political.... crisis of ideology and political leadership[/url]

NDPP

With the Working Class Youth of London

http://www.workerspower.co.uk/?p=1638

"The uprisings are an expression of rage at police killings, daily police harassment, and underlying it the surge in youth unemployment and savage cuts in benefits and local services including youth services...We call on the labour movement to denounce leading and local Labour politicians who speak out not for the people but for the police, and who always put the voice of local propertied people before the voice of the propertyless youth..."

they'll be getting a taste of it here in TO, if the police carry on the way they have been...

Erik Redburn

Doug wrote:

Not much - and there'll be fewer jobs than there were if businesses that were affected can't or choose not to reopen where they were. So whatever gets looted is going to have to last. I suggest Harrods.

 

Meh, businesse can reopen, and when locals aren't employed they probably couldn't care either way.  My point is is that rage builds up if unanswered, its not a planned protest or organized event.  When there's riots there's looting, but I doubt many head out and risk busted heads and printed thumbs just for a few free trinkets. 

Doug

Catchfire wrote:

Yes. I suppose it is entirely coincidental and not at all political that the neighbourhoods involved are among the poorest in London.

 

It's interesting that they aren't all so. Ealing and Croydon aren't among the very poorest London boroughs but they've had rioting.

Caissa

Footage has emerged of a group of youths helping an injured boy to his feet and then appearing to steal the contents of his bag during disturbances in London on Monday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14456065

Ghislaine

I find it interesting that there are no women rioting? Surely there are just as many women who are poor and hopeless in this area?

Makes me think that maybe, just maybe it has more to do with machismo testosterone fuelled male rage than some type of social justice action by these young men. They are setting fire to busses and buildings and stealing cell phones, flat screen TVs, etc. Prior to these men becoming violent it was a peaceful protest against police brutality. Funny how it is always men.

Still cannot get over how some can defend large-scale arson??? Can imagine being anywhere near there. It would have been absolutely frightening, especially as a woman. When men get themselves worked up in frenzies like this they are more likely to rape, or be violent with women.

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

I suppose we can count on babblers to join the chorus of condemnation of the "rioters" as vandals, thugs, and probably agents provocateurs....

Heh. I suppose we can count on M. Spector to be utterly unable to distinguish between the most oppressed and subordinated sections of modern capitalist society striking back against their overlords in the teeth of direct police suppression (UK), and a handful of masked individual provocateurs and/or assholes sabotaging a massive anti-imperialist movement under the benevolent and indifferent eyes of the police (Toronto). Quel dommage.

 

Caissa

Some comments from Billy Bragg on Facebook.

Billy BraggBeen difficult to keep up with what's happening in London from US but looks like opportunistic looters are taking advantage of stretched police. Truth is, you can't change the world by gutting branches of JJB Sports. Unlike Boris, I won't be breaking my holiday, but if I was there, I'd be out tomorrow AM helping people like Mr Beber and others in the community to put their lives, homes and business back together

edmundoconnor

Never let a riot go to waste.

Kheiridden would feel right at home on The Daily Telegraph. Possibly The Daily Mail.

dacckon dacckon's picture

Ghislaine wrote:

I find it interesting that there are no women rioting? Surely there are just as many women who are poor and hopeless in this area?

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14458424

 

They are rioting as well. Unfortunately i feel that what will come out of this is only solutions to deal with the violent symptoms of this and not the underlying social causes.

 

Much of the violence was first caused by a supposed man with a gun in a taxi who was shot. So I'm not sure it was the right incident for these riots to occur and its unfortunate its gotten violent.

Caissa

The Socialist Workers' Party statement on the riots.

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=25645

6079_Smith_W

M. Spector wrote:

I suppose we can count on babblers to join the chorus of condemnation of the "rioters" as vandals, thugs, and probably agents provocateurs....

Well you can certainly count on us to spin it as justification for whatever we think it means.

Even a riot has to have a single, definable purpose, after all. 

And what the hell has gotten into Billy Bragg?

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And what the hell has gotten into Billy Bragg?

Fame, fortune and old age.

6079_Smith_W

Northern Shoveler wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And what the hell has gotten into Billy Bragg?

Fame, fortune and old age.

Yeah, I guess we can get away with insulting old people, eh? And as for anyone with a bigger bank account than me, pass me another brick. 

And you probably know that last statement was a joke. His statement was the most sensible thing I have read so far on this thread.

 

 

dacckon dacckon's picture

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14436001     - labour mp

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14456065 - mugging

 

Edit: full speech by labour mp who represents tottenham

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AoI4QacdyYw

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Very telling interview with journalist Darcus Howe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biJgILxGK0o&feature=player_embedded#at=248

 

Bacchus
Ghislaine

[url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8687177/London-riots-live.h... The Guardian has a live blog [/url] describing the scene.

 

Perhaps some of the cheerleaders here will reconsider when presented with the fact that there were people in some of the buildings that were set on fire. See the photo at the link of the woman jumping from a burning building.

 

Quote:

 

 

Jamie Boxell, who runs the Gun Tavern in Croydon, said seven police officers screamed at the middle woman to jump from her burning flat after she was left behind in the evacuation.

Mrs Boxell, aged 34 years said: "A guy broke into the building where this woman lives and set a sofa on fire with a lighter.

"This was about 8pm and we were standing on the roof of the pub watching it all. The pub and surrounding premises were evacuated but then we heard this screaming and a woman was standing at the window.

"They pulled the rugs from the shop next door to make a soft landing and there were seven officers shouting and screaming at her to jump. She did and they caught her. She then walked off, she was really shaken up.

...

Photographer Amy Weston - who took the picture of the woman jumping from a burning house in Croydon yesterday - has spoken about the scene.

She told The Guardian:

Quote I was told there were fires in the Church Street area, near Surrey Street Market.

By the time I drove towards it, I could already see the fires from my windscreen

There were six or seven people screaming and crying outside, and they looked like they lived at the flats that were burning. The flats were above small independent shops. A man in a white shirt was screaming that a girl was at the window and that she was ready to jump. He ran towards her but riot police had appeared and pulled him back, and they went to her instead.

As soon as she dropped, the crowds pushed back and there was no way to see what happened to her. I remember hearing people screaming that there were more people in the building. The crowds started getting angry with each other, with one group blaming another group for starting the fire.

[/url]

Caissa

British authorities might use plastic bullets to quell rioting that has swept the city for a third night and spread to other cities, a senior London police officer says.

Such bullets are "one of the tactics" being considered, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh said Tuesday. Plastic bullets have never been used before during British disturbances.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/08/09/tottenham-riots.html
I suppose in the past they have just used live ammunition.

6079_Smith_W

@ Caissa

Did he actually say that?

Is Northern Ireland not a part of Britain?

http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/violence/rubberplasticbullet.htm

Caissa

It wasn't given as a quote. I would think it's not technically a part of Britain since the official name of the UK is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Freedom 55

Ghislaine wrote:

I find it interesting that there are no women rioting?

 

Yes - fiction is interesting.

6079_Smith_W

@ Caissa

Funny that they can play with words like that to imply that this is an unprecedented step, when in fact the British invented plastic bullets and have killed people with them.

(edit)

And gotta love this quote from that CBC article you cited:

"This is the uprising of the working class. We're redistributing the wealth," said Bryn Phillips, a 28-year-old self-described anarchist, as young people emerged from the store with chocolate bars and ice cream cones.

Phillips claimed rioters were motivated by distrust of the police, and drew a link between the rage on London's street and insurgent right-wing politics in the United States.

"In America you have the Tea Party, in England you've got this," he said.

 

Freedom 55

Unionist wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

I suppose we can count on babblers to join the chorus of condemnation of the "rioters" as vandals, thugs, and probably agents provocateurs....

Heh. I suppose we can count on M. Spector to be utterly unable to distinguish between the most oppressed and subordinated sections of modern capitalist society striking back against their overlords in the teeth of direct police suppression (UK), and a handful of masked individual provocateurs and/or assholes sabotaging a massive anti-imperialist movement under the benevolent and indifferent eyes of the police (Toronto). Quel dommage.

 

Of course, M. Spector... how could you have left out assholes?

And describing the G20 protests as "a massive anti-imperialist movement" has got to be one of the most overly hyperbolic claims I've ever heard.

Freedom 55

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And what the hell has gotten into Billy Bragg?

 

Perhaps he's disillusioned that Washington, Omaha, and Los Alamos aren't burning too.

Ghislaine

Let's burn London to the ground and steal cell phones!! Clearly that is the route to socialist utopia!

Bacchus
bekayne

Caissa wrote:

The Socialist Workers' Party statement on the riots.

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=25645

Whoever wrote this doesn't seem to realize which party was in power 13 of the last 14 years

dacckon dacckon's picture

Yes Blair was a failure(Iraq, rails, us puppet, enviroment, etc)  but he did have accomplishments that should be noted. Minimum wage, decreasing unemployment from the Thatcher age, massive reductions in crime, etc.

Anyways, heres Ed Miliband. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14464136

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

That interview with Darcus Howe upthread has the following quote:

"I don't call it rioting. I call it insurrection of the people."

 

 

Ghislaine

ikosmos wrote:

That interview with Darcus Howe upthread has the following quote:

"I don't call it rioting. I call it insurrection of the people."

 

 

Except for the people fleeing for their lives from burning buildings?

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