Tottenham Riots

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bekayne
Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Ghislaine wrote:

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

So what do your think these young unemployed black youths with no future should do to improve their lives.  I think the most telling link was the one where a rioter explained that a couple of thousand of young people had gathered to protest peacefully a few months earlier.  They didn't even make the fucking news.  When people believe they have no avenue to be heard they then go to violence out of frustration and anger. 

Maybe if they lived in a real democracy they would have a voice but lets face it Blair's third way screwed this neighbourhood and others like it.  So electoral politics is a dead end.  Peacefully protesting is not even mentioned in the news. What does that leave?

If the UK was serious about ending the potential for violence it would stop the austerity measures and break up the right wing elites control of the media. Once they got back to having democratic institutions they might find the people are not willing and eager to burn down the city.  Besides these youth were probably just celebrating Guy Fawkes day early.

Quote:

LONDON -- As political and social protests grip the Middle East, are growing in Europe and a riot exploded in north London this weekend, here's a sad truth, expressed by a Londoner when asked by a television 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."

Eavesdropping from among the onlookers, I looked around. A dozen TV crews and newspaper reporters interviewing the young men everywhere.

The truth is that discontent has been simmering among Britain's urban poor for years, and few have paid attention. Social activists say one out of two children in Tottenham live in poverty. It's one of the poorest areas of Britain. Britain's worst riots in decades took place here in 1985. A policeman was hacked to death. After these riots, the same young man pointed out, "They built us a swimming pool."

http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/08/07/7292281-the-sad-truth-be...

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Good for you for actually watching the video.

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

Good for you for actually watching the video.

Don't patronize me. I posted it.

bekayne

Glasgow boy arrested for 'inciting riots' on Facebook:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/09/glasgow-boy-arrested-facebook-riots

At least the lad's happy

Early on Tuesday, he added: "Most hated man in Glasgow by any chance? Haha am (sic) all over Twitter n Google"

bekayne

Ghislaine wrote:

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?

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/a-message-to-the-youth-of-hackney/

The use of petrol bombs and the burning of buildings is not only devastatingly destructive to the institutions and businesses in our community. It puts peoples lives at risk. In Handsworth in 1985, two people died when trapped in their flat above a shop, in 2005 a similar tragedy occurred in the Lozells district of Birmingham. On Saturday night in Tottenham families with children had to flee through a burning building to escape.

6079_Smith_W

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."

 

 

Hold your pom poms. He also summed that statement up with "that is the nature of the hysterical moment". 

And when that fool interviewer asked him if he condoned what had happened he rightly bit her head off. 

The only people I see rejoicing about this event are those looking to exploit the tragedy in some way.

(edit)

Come to think of it, he might have said "historical" rather than "hysterical". But his distinction between "demonstrations that ended in conflict" and "riots" and his statement that he did not support what happened are clear enough.

 

 

dacckon dacckon's picture

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

A good article explaining the causes and effects.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Perhaps those painting these riots as "opportunistic" (what a ridiculous descriptor for something happening countrywide) should read one of the links Freedom 55 posted upthread:

Quote:
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....

A more sensible assumption, perhaps, is that you have a lot of young people with complex motives - avarice and adventure, sure, but also anger and defiance - some of whom are educated in certain traditions of resistance.  For example, The Guardian reporter Paul Lewis (who is worth following on Twitter, by the way) was surprised that Tottenham residents all knew of the IPCC and were very critical of it.  This surprise was misplaced.  Those who are most likely to suffer police repression, and thus have to make use of complaints procedures, are of course going to be in possession of certain repertoires of knowledge concerning policing and the criminal justice system.  They would make it their business to be informed, out of self-defence.  I don't buy the idea that these kids are just clueless about the political background of their oppression.  And I think they're most likely on a learning curve now, as yet undecided as to what wider political conclusions they will draw from all of this.  Like it or not, they are now part of the wider ideological crisis, now a key ingredient in the slow-motion collapse of the political leadership. How they see their involvement here, and how their perception changes, long after the smoke has cleared and the empty rhetoric has stopped, should be of some interest.

Or, Tariq Ali:

Quote:
Why is it that the same areas always erupt first, whatever the cause?

Pure accident? Might it have something to do with race and class and institutionalised poverty and the sheer grimness of everyday life?

The coalition politicians (including new New Labour, who might well sign up to a national government if the recession continues apace) with their petrified ideologies can’t say that because all three parties are equally responsible for the crisis.

They made the mess.

They privilege the wealthy. They let it be known that judges and magistrates should set an example by giving punitive sentences to protesters found with peashooters.

They never seriously question why no policeman is ever prosecuted for the 1000-plus deaths in custody since 1990.

Whatever the party, whatever the skin colour of the MP, they spout the same clichés.

Yes, we know violence on the streets in London is bad. Yes, we know that looting shops is wrong.

But why is it happening now? Why didn’t it happen last year?

Because grievances build up over time, because when the system wills the death of a young black citizen from a deprived community, it simultaneously, if subconsciously, wills the response.

Unionist

Freedom 55 wrote:

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

Can you tell the difference between the UK "rioters" and the anonymous unapprehended handful of window-smashers and cop-car torchers in Toronto?

Quote:
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.

Funny how some would legitimize the handful of G20 provocateurs, while diminishing the massive coalition of people in struggle against imperialism in all its aspects.

Anyway, calling my assessment "one of the most overly hyperbolic claims I've ever heard" has got to be one of the most overly hyperbolic claims I've ever heard.

Cool

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I've been switching between CBC and CNN at noon today, and various commentators appearing live from London suggest the Police will impose a curfew (tough to enforce - it's a huge city) and if that fails, the Army will be called in - that is, if this all continues.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Mark Duggan did not shoot at police, says IPCC

Quote:
Mark Duggan, whose shooting by police sparked London's riots, did not fire a shot at police officers before they killed him, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said on Tuesday.

Releasing the initial findings of ballistics tests, the police watchdog said a CO19 firearms officer fired two bullets, and that a bullet that lodged in a police radio was "consistent with being fired from a police gun".

One theory, not confirmed by the IPCC, is that the bullet became lodged in the radio from a ricochet or after passing through Duggan.

Duggan, 29, was killed last Thursday in Tottenham, north London, after armed officers stopped the minicab in which he was travelling.

The IPCC said Duggan was carrying a loaded gun, but it had no evidence that the weapon had been fired. It said tests were continuing.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Panic on the streets of London.

Quote:
Noone expected this. 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.

I’m stuck in the house, now, with rioting going on just down the road in Chalk Farm. Ealing and Clapham and Dalston are being trashed. Journalists are being mugged and beaten in the streets, and the riot cops are in retreat where they have appeared at all. Police stations are being set alight all over the country. This morning, as the smoke begins to clear, those of us who can sleep will wake up to a country in chaos. We will wake up to fear, and to racism, and to condemnation on left and right, none of which will stop this happening again, as the prospect of a second stock market clash teeters terrifyingly at the bottom of the news reports. Now is the time when we make our choices. Now is the time when we decide whether to descend into hate, or to put prejudice aside and work together. Now is the time when we decide what sort of country it is that we want to live in. Follow the #riotcleanup hashtag on Twitter. And take care of one another.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Thx Catchfire.  That IMO is the best piece I've read about the riots.

Of course in Canada we have no underclass of poor unemployed youth with no future who get harrased by the police on a regular basis. (sarcasm alert)

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Erik Redburn wrote:

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.

Quote:

The Bureau of Labour Statistics is reporting that the youth unemployment rate in Canada was 19.5% for the month of January, which is the highest ever rate on record.

...

Based on the numbers released by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, many young people will not be able to afford to attend school this coming year. The number of young people employed in the month of January was just 51.4%, which is the lowest January rate on record. 

...

The industry that employed the highest number of youths in January of 2011 was Leisure & Hospitality, followed closely by Retail Trade. Leisure & Hospitality includes food services, which would include all of the people working at places like McDonald's, Starbucks and Burger King.

Nothing to see in Canada all the youth are privileged and have no real grievances.  They have a bright and stellar future ahead of them with the clear choice of a $9.00 an hour job or tens of thousands of dollars of debt trying to get a degree.  What other choices can they expect?  Like the great Dickens line we are saying to them, "you want more?

N.R.KISSED

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?

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.

Nobody is "cheerleading" Some of us are seeking to understand without engaging in knee-jerk condemnation of the actions of people whose experiences and realities are vastly different than the white middle class who are making these judgements.

No one is arguing that this is planned and co-oridinated revolutionary uprising. What it is is an understandable response to decades of racism, police violence, exclusion and marginalization. Yes it is angry, messy, and dangerous, what do you expect.It is clear that you really don't have the slightest understanding of what it is to live wihtout access to education,employment, housing and facing constant harrassment from the police. The tories never cared about these communities and snivelling weasel blair and his new labour abandoned them so that they could court the bankers and Rupert Murdoch.

Commentators talk about the destruction of the communities that these actions are causing. What about the decades long assault of neo-liberalsim upon these communities and their inhabitants. This is the true source of violence, in all its forms economic, social as well as physical(police violence and harrassment.). The financial elite engaged in massive fraud and were bailed out at the expense of some of the poorest.

I'm only surprised this didn't happen earlier.

 

Erik Redburn

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Erik Redburn wrote:

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.

Quote:

The Bureau of Labour Statistics is reporting that the youth unemployment rate in Canada was 19.5% for the month of January, which is the highest ever rate on record.

...

Based on the numbers released by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, many young people will not be able to afford to attend school this coming year. The number of young people employed in the month of January was just 51.4%, which is the lowest January rate on record. 

...

The industry that employed the highest number of youths in January of 2011 was Leisure & Hospitality, followed closely by Retail Trade. Leisure & Hospitality includes food services, which would include all of the people working at places like McDonald's, Starbucks and Burger King.

Nothing to see in Canada all the youth are privileged and have no real grievances.  They have a bright and stellar future ahead of them with the clear choice of a $9.00 an hour job or tens of thousands of dollars of debt trying to get a degree.  What other choices can they expect?  Like the great Dickens line we are saying to them, "you want more?

 

Please reread my post; where do you get the idea that I ever believed that this travelling band of well dressed 'anarchists' represents the struggling youth of Canada anymore than the inner city kids rioting in England?

Erik Redburn

Unionist wrote:

Freedom 55 wrote:

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

Can you tell the difference between the UK "rioters" and the anonymous unapprehended handful of window-smashers and cop-car torchers in Toronto?

Quote:
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.

Funny how some would legitimize the handful of G20 provocateurs, while diminishing the massive coalition of people in struggle against imperialism in all its aspects.

Anyway, calling my assessment "one of the most overly hyperbolic claims I've ever heard" has got to be one of the most overly hyperbolic claims I've ever heard.

Cool

 

The MOST overly Hyperbolic EVER??????   But -but Unionist. isn't 'overly hyperbolic' kind of redundant as well?  How about 'just a tad hyperbolic'? Or is that an oxymoron now?       

The more I write the more confusing it all gets.

dacckon dacckon's picture

"The area's MP, Diane Abbott, said a London-wide curfew should be considered"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-14450248

I'm not so sure you can call this a political movement or a movement with a message against neoliberalism.
It seems more that the situation has now developed into random pockets of looting/violence from what once was a peaceful protest against the actions of the police.

 

Edit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/wintour-and-watt/2011/aug/09/diane-ab...

Edit 2: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/diane-abbott-a-tinder-...

Erik Redburn

N.R.KISSED wrote:

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?

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.

Nobody is "cheerleading" Some of us are seeking to understand without engaging in knee-jerk condemnation of the actions of people whose experiences and realities are vastly different than the white middle class who are making these judgements.

No one is arguing that this is planned and co-oridinated revolutionary uprising. What it is is an understandable response to decades of racism, police violence, exclusion and marginalization. Yes it is angry, messy, and dangerous, what do you expect.It is clear that you really don't have the slightest understanding of what it is to live wihtout access to education,employment, housing and facing constant harrassment from the police. The tories never cared about these communities and snivelling weasel blair and his new labour abandoned them so that they could court the bankers and Rupert Murdoch.

Commentators talk about the destruction of the communities that these actions are causing. What about the decades long assault of neo-liberalsim upon these communities and their inhabitants. This is the true source of violence, in all its forms economic, social as well as physical(police violence and harrassment.). The financial elite engaged in massive fraud and were bailed out at the expense of some of the poorest.

I'm only surprised this didn't happen earlier.

 

 

It must be frightening to be caught up in the middle of it Ghislaine.  It's not a desired result.   But s NRK put so well, we all need to try and understand what leads to this.  So we can all do something about it, somethin more positive and lasting than just trying to suppress it by force or deny our own responsibility as a society.  Something the Thatcherites tried to deny even existed.

dacckon dacckon's picture
6079_Smith_W

I heard on CBC that there is a Canadian connection - Research In Motion is being pressured to help the British government intercept communications between the rioters, which is done using blackberries. 

Not sure where they came to that conclusion... I can't even afford one.

 

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

Panic on the streets of London.

 

Amazing, moving, infuriating, beautiful. Thank you Catchfire. Where do you find this stuff??

Freedom 55

Unionist wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

Panic on the streets of London.

 

Amazing, moving, infuriating, beautiful. Thank you Catchfire. Where do you find this stuff??

 

post 11 Cool

6079_Smith_W

Sorry for the frivilous diversion, but if you haven't been thinking about the song cue, you're dead below the neck:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AlH2oYedfk

(those cavedwellers who don't know about the Smiths are excused, of course)

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Freedom 55 wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Amazing, moving, infuriating, beautiful. Thank you Catchfire. Where do you find this stuff??

 

post 11 Cool

Ha! Sorry for stealing your scoop, F55!

Unionist

Freedom 55 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

Panic on the streets of London.

 

Amazing, moving, infuriating, beautiful. Thank you Catchfire. Where do you find this stuff??

 

post 11 Cool

LOL! Thank you, Freedom 55. Credit where it's due. So where do you find this stuff??

Freedom 55

No worries, CF.

 

Unionist wrote:

LOL! Thank you, Freedom 55. Credit where it's due. So where do you find this stuff??

 

For better or worse, Facebook. Undecided

Tommy_Paine

I think a lot of us would like to think of this as a political riot.  And it is; but not in the way that we'd like to think of a political riot.

And then a lot would just like to condemn it as acts of violent thugs and opportunists.

But watching the BBC trying to control the narrative in their very British way shows you what is really going on.

This doesn't happen in a place where police have credibility.  This doesn't happen in a place where most people have jobs and belief that tomorrow could be better.  This doesn't happen in a place where ordinary people aren't punished for the criminality of bankers.

The hypocrisy of the British officals in all this is hillarious.

If they had done thier jobs the way they were supposed to, none of this would be happening.

Tommy_Paine

A riot about unlicenced drinking establishment issues that opportunists and criminals used to their own ends?

http://www.67riots.rutgers.edu/d_index.htm

Couldn't have been political?

Freedom 55

[url=http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/08/201189165143946889.... 'mindless' about rioters[/url]

 

Quote:
Civil disturbances never have a single, simple meaning. When the Bastille was being stormed the thieves of Paris doubtless took advantage of the mayhem to rob houses and waylay unlucky revolutionaries. Sometimes the thieves were revolutionaries. Sometimes the revolutionaries were thieves. And it is reckless to start making confident claims about events that are spread across the country and that have many different elements. In Britain over the past few days there have been clashes between the police and young people. Crowds have set buildings, cars and buses on fire. Shops have been looted and passersby have been attacked. Only a fool would announce what it all means.

We can dispense with some mistakes, though. It is wrong to say that the riots are apolitical. The trouble began on Saturday night when protesters gathered at Tottenham police station to demand that the police explain the circumstances in which a local man, Mark Duggan, had been shot dead by the police. The death of a Londoner, another black Londoner, at the hands of the police has a gruesome significance. The police are employed to keep the peace and the police shot someone dead. This is a deeply political matter. Besides, it is conventional to say how much policing in London has changed since the Brixton riots of the early eighties - but not many people mouthing the conventional wisdom have much firsthand experience of being young and poor in Britain's inner cities. 

 

More broadly, any breakdown of civil order is inescapably political. Quite large numbers of mostly young people have decided that, on balance, they want to take to the streets and attack the forces of law and order, damage property or steal goods. Their motives may differ - they are bound to differ. But their actions can only be understood adequately in political terms. While the recklessness of adrenaline has something to do with what is happening, the willingness to act is something to be explained. We should perhaps ask them what they were thinking before reaching for phrases like "mindless violence". We might actually learn something.

Quote:
The global economic crisis is at least as political as the riots we've seen in the last few days. It has lasted far longer and done far more damage. We need not draw a straight line from the decision to bail out the banks to what's going on now in London. But we must not lose sight of what both events tell us about our current condition. Those who want to see law and order restored must turn their attention to a menace that no amount of riot police will disperse; a social and political order that rewards vandalism and the looting of public property, so long as the perpetrators are sufficiently rich and powerful.

dacckon dacckon's picture

It should be interesting to the effectiveness of CCTV against the looters.

 

It is true that some of this does have a poltical and social beginning, but now its spiraled way out of control.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

dacckon wrote:
It is true that some of this does have a poltical and social beginning, but now its spiraled way out of control.

Tell me, dacckon: what, in your opinion, would be a suitable, measured and sober response to police brutality, economic warfare and decades of neglect from its "elected representatives"? 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

"Obey the law," of course. That's what "little fat Dave" said when the extremist Social Credit regime went ahead and passed all of their monstrous and repressive legislation back in 1983 ... and tens of thousands of people protested on the lawn of the legislature in Victoria. 

In "Pardon the Disturbance" Eduardo Galeano wrote: "The lords of the world only condemn violence when others practice it." Those who agree with the powerful are likely to share such views.

dacckon dacckon's picture

Something that doesn't resort to violence. Examples of sucessful nonviolent campaigners include Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, Mandela in the later half of his struggle against apartheid.

 

In other words, This.

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

 

Terrorize the local population until they give you what you want... then terrorize them a little more just because you now know you can.

6079_Smith_W

Catchfire wrote:

dacckon wrote:
It is true that some of this does have a poltical and social beginning, but now its spiraled way out of control.

Tell me, dacckon: what, in your opinion, would be a suitable, measured and sober response to police brutality, economic warfare and decades of neglect from its "elected representatives"? 

That question is based on the assumption that the riots were a planned act of strategy - or a response, as you say. 

It also sounds like your rhetorical point is that this was the right response. Correct me if I am wrong.

Not only are they not the actions of one group or one mind, but dacckon is right to say the situation is currently out of control. If there is one person or group that could stop it, I'd be interested to know who that is.

 

@ Ikosmos

And as for 1983.... a few of us remember what eventually happened.

 

 

Sven Sven's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Gandhi, King and Mandela all used nonviolence-that still doesn't mean any white priveleged person, such as yourself, has the right to demand that the dispossessed be nonviolent.  No one who is a beneficiary in any way at all of the existing order is entitled to lecture the powerless on their choice of tactics.

So, anything goes, as long as the rioters say so?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

dacckon wrote:

Something that doesn't resort to violence. Examples of sucessful nonviolent campaigners include Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, Mandela in the later half of his struggle against apartheid.

 

In other words, This.

Gandhi, King and Mandela all used nonviolence-that still doesn't mean any white priveleged person, such as yourself, has the right to demand that the dispossessed be nonviolent.  No one who is a beneficiary in any way at all of the existing order is entitled to lecture the powerless on their choice of tactics.

Basically, you're kind of on the other side of the barricades.  Effectively, I sort of am too, but at least I'm aware of my lack of moral entitlement on this issue and I'm trying to make my way to the correct side of the struggle, which means giving up any pretense that people like myself can ever claim moral superiority.  For people like us to demand that the powerless use nonviolence, admirable as it would be for them to use it, is basically the same as the police or the army complaining that those people, in resisting by other means, are making it harder for the forces of oppression to kill them.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Sven wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Gandhi, King and Mandela all used nonviolence-that still doesn't mean any white priveleged person, such as yourself, has the right to demand that the dispossessed be nonviolent.  No one who is a beneficiary in any way at all of the existing order is entitled to lecture the powerless on their choice of tactics.

So, anything goes, as long as the rioters say so?

That response sounds like the words a British cabinet minister defending the Amritsar Massacre or Bloody Sunday.  There is a lot of moral arrogance in the tone.

(edited to de-personalize my response).

Sven Sven's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Sven wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Gandhi, King and Mandela all used nonviolence-that still doesn't mean any white priveleged person, such as yourself, has the right to demand that the dispossessed be nonviolent.  No one who is a beneficiary in any way at all of the existing order is entitled to lecture the powerless on their choice of tactics.

So, anything goes, as long as the rioters say so?

You sound like a British cabinet minister defending the Amritsar Massacre or Bloody Sunday.  There is a lot of moral arrogance in your tone.

Well, you seem to be saying that whatever the rioters do as an expression of their anger is A-OK with you.

Would you draw the line anywhere?

6079_Smith_W

Again, does anyone really think people just got together in the bar one night and decided to do this? 

What is going on is the result of chronic abuse and people stretched to the breaking point. It is complete failure and an absolute tragedy. 

There is nothing good about it. It is completely unsustainable and somehow it has to be resolved.

Talking about what it means and where it is going and what is allowed is pointless - because it IS happening.

Sven Sven's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

It's not my place as a beneficiary of white privelege to judge those who revolts with any great depth.  I hope everyone chooses nonviolence, but its arrogant for anyone who isn't powerless or oppressed themselves to actually demand it.  Only those fighting the machine from that standpoint are entitled to judge.

So, even killing people would be okay?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It's not my place as a beneficiary of white middle-class privelege to judge those who revolt with any great depth.  I hope everyone chooses nonviolence, but its arrogant for anyone who isn't powerless or oppressed themselves to actually demand it.  Only those fighting the machine from that standpoint are entitled to judge.

Have you as yet condemned the Metropolitan police for their murder of Mr. Duggan, the event that sparked this uprising?  Do you ever condemn what the forces of power do to preserve their power?  Would you have condemned what the British Army did on Bloody Sunday(at a NONVIOLENT protest)or at Amritsar?  Or what the South African regime did at Sharpeville, where they shot nonviolent protesters in the back AS THE PROTESTERS ran away?

Until the forces of power never again do anything like that, neither you or I are entitled to judge those who resist them.  We have the blood of all those acts on our hands.

6079_Smith_W

Erik Redburn wrote:

Actually it was their own rep Munro who sold them out, he admitted it later

Actually I thought that was pretty obvious to everyone the day it happened.

 

Erik Redburn

ikosmos wrote:

"Obey the law," of course. That's what "little fat Dave" said when the extremist Social Credit regime went ahead and passed all of their monstrous and repressive legislation back in 1983 ... and tens of thousands of people protested on the lawn of the legislature in Victoria. 

In "Pardon the Disturbance" Eduardo Galeano wrote: "The lords of the world only condemn violence when others practice it." Those who agree with the powerful are likely to share such views.

 

Actually it was their own rep Munro who sold them out, he admitted it later; Barrett's advise to obey the law aftr unsuccesfully fighting against it was probably wise.  Whatever his failings he was saint compared to every 'socialist' who ever won office by force, and was probably the best premier we ever had.   Don't drink too much of your own compradres' bathwater.

I'd also appreciate it if you didn't make fun of his minor weight problems or relative lack of height.  Doubt he'd care much but others might.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Has anyone in Tottenham killed anyone, other than when the police murdered Mr. Duggan?

And again, how can anyone who has benefited from the existing order be entitled to judge those who resist it?

I oppose violence...but I don't have the moral authority to tell the powerless to make it easy for the powerful to kill them.

You apparently don't care what the powerful do in the name of holding power.  Morality is only to be applied to the rebels.  Your replies, Sven, truly mark you as a person who sees himself as one of Galeano's "lords of the world"-even though, in truth, you personally gain nothing from defending the existing order and all the world's police.

Oh, and 6079 Smith, I agree that what is happening in Tottenham is tragic...but that still doesn't entitle me to make sanctimonious comments about "rioters".

Sven Sven's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Has anyone in Tottenham killed anyone, other than when the police murdered Mr. Duggan?

And again, how can anyone who has benefited from the existing order be entitled to judge those who resist it?

I oppose violence...but I don't have the moral authority to tell the powerless to make it easy for the powerful to kill them.

You apparently don't care what the powerful do in the name of holding power.  Morality is only to be applied to the rebels.

Oh, and 6079 Smith, I agree that what is happening in Tottenham is tragic...but that still doesn't entitle me to make sanctimonious comments about "rioters".

You are confusing two things and putting words in my mouth.  I didn't say that I "don't care what the powerful do in the name of holding power."

I'm questioning the outer limits of your stance that non-rioters have no say regarding any actions the rioters may take.  And, as such, I simply asked you: Would that include killing people?

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

1. "Obey the law" is what the powerful say to the powerless. It's what they always say. If people on a discussion board agree with  "Obey the law" and try to ridicule those who think otherwise then they're also siding with the powerful. There's really no point in discussing it as people are obviously on opposite sides of the social divide. 

2. Barrett's political capitulation before the real fight even began (later that year) provided a real life example of the failure of social democratic leadership at a time of crisis. It was very instructive. His public comments helped to demobilize the thousands of people moved to action and demonstration. Class treason I would call that. Munroe's betrayal down the road was only the denuement.

3. I expect that if poor people rioted here in Canada we'd probably get the same blanket condemnation directed towards them from many so-called "progressives" ... and dead silence on the daily violence of a society that keeps the rich rich indefinitely.

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