Tottenham Riots

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I hope nobody gets killed.  Anywhere.  But you ask that question as though these people can simply be assumed to be more violent than the police, or more reckless than the system that drove them to this-as if, should they take extreme actions, we can simply assume that those actions are unjustified and that we, children of privilege, are entitled to review their choices as if we are the political equivalent of theatre critics.

Events like Tottenham don't happen in isolation.  You have to analyze the whole combination of occurrences, and understand the whole history.  We simply CAN'T just say "it's wrong that they did that", and say that as if its ever that simple or that what ever they did can be taken as a singular moment unconnected to the past and the rest of the present. 

You and I, Sven, are priveleged.  Neither of us could have any knowledge of what it feels like to be powerless.  The difference between our responses to this is that I remember that to be the case. 

I'm against attacks on innocent people, and especially against children.  I do have some limits.  But you're not really concerned about morality here.  You just want to judge the people in this situation without knowing anything about their reality.

Middle-class people, especially middle-class white people who have never experienced police brutality, or racism, or economic exploitation are obligated to shut up and listen-we have no moral authority in a situation like Tottenham.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Barrett's capitulation also helped ensure his party's defeat in the next provincial election.  Nobody who backed Bennett's hardline position on the issues involved in that strike would have voted NDP no matter what.  Only people who passionately backed the strike were going to do so.  At that point in B.C., there was no such thing as a centrist.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And Sven, if you really want to stop "riots", then don't defend the things that cause them...like right-wing economic policies that always increase unemployment, or savage cuts in the social wage, or the scapegoating of visible minorities by right-wing governments.

Then again...you probably think that everyone in Tottenham was just driven by "envy"-that they couldn't have had any REAL grievances or genuinely been victims of oppression at all.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

When violence like this takes place, Western liberal tends to view it a) as decontextualized (unrelated to decades of public policy and neglect, police brutality and enforced poverty); and b) homogeneous (motivated by a single emotion rather than variegated, paradoxical and complex). Such a move allows those insulated from such violence by geography or privilege to cast judgements upon the rioters, with whom we have little shared experience or history. They've gone "too far" (how far is too far when you have nothing to lose and have been told, repeatedly, by society that you are worth nothing?). We point, sanctmoniously, at the non-violent Civil Rights movement in America, completely ignoring its concomitant riots, violence and aggression. It's easy to set arbitrary limits--murder, assault, thievery--when you are removed from place and history.

Make no mistake: the violence seen by London over the last four nights is a spike in the trace pattern of capitalism. It's the shadow cast by the violence enacted by an economic system which not only demands inequality, it tests the limits of its margins.

Erik Redburn

Let me answer Sven here.  Of course its wrong to kill people, especially the innocent.(as innocent as any of us ever get)  But as a rightwing libertarian and one who apparently believes the creed of inequality and law of the jungle (which is all libertarianism can ever end at, in the real world), you couldn't possibly be sincere in believing invoking absolute nonviolence, up to the point of accepting a lifetime of hardship or suicide, and the slow strangling of your own community.  If a few already hardened individuals go beyond what most others would and purposely harm bystanders that cannot be held against all of them --not according to even the most modest liberal interpretation of the law.  Others you can can call collateral damage, or unfortunate casualties of war, if it helps you understand.  Difference between this and all the organized wars supported by rightwingers is its based on very real injustices which cannot be escaped or denied by most these protestors/rioters.   Injustices which have never been addressed except by further screw tightening by those who are supposed to represent them.    

Erik Redburn

Ken Burch wrote:

Barrett's capitulation also helped ensure his party's defeat in the next provincial election.  Nobody who backed Bennett's hardline position on the issues involved in that strike would have voted NDP no matter what.  Only people who passionately backed the strike were going to do so.  At that point in B.C., there was no such thing as a centrist.

 

You buying Beltovs' BS too Ken, or do you know something that us lifetime residents of BC never heard?  Or are you becming a kneejerk Marxist too?  My mother was personally affected by Munros collapse too, but always knew who was actually behind it.  And how little most others cared after it was over.  

Please don't compare Barrett with todays breed of neo-liberal frauds, whatever his very real flaws, not unless you want to hold every political leader up to similarly impossible high standards.   Ones in fact which most supposedly progressive voters rarely hold up consistently, when it comes to other peoples need to 'compromise' with reality. The lack of solidarity with others struggles combined with unrealistic expectations about our own have been a deadly combination for the left over the last thirty years of retreat and defeat.  But then none of us knew how far it would go back then.

Sven Sven's picture

Erik Redburn wrote:

Let me answer Sven here.  Of course its wrong to kill people, especially the innocent.(as innocent as any of us ever get)  But as a rightwing libertarian and one who apparently believes the creed of inequality and law of the jungle (which is all libertarianism can ever end at, in the real world), you couldn't possibly be sincere in believing in absolute nonviolence, up to the point of accepting a lifetime of hardship or suicide, and the slow strangling of your own community.  If a few already hardened individuals go beyond what most others would and purposely harm bystanders that cannot be held against all of them --not according to even the most modest liberal interpretation of the law.  Others you can can call collateral damage, or unfortunate casualties of war, if it helps you understand.  Difference between this and all the wars supported by rightwingers is its based on very real injustices which cannot be escaped by most these protestors/rioters.   Ones which have never been addressed except by further screw tightening by those who are supposed to represent them.    

I'm not a libertarian purist.  I think that society has a moral obligation to help the indigent.  Where I think I part ways with many progressives is with a broad extension of similar state benefits to the middle class.  But, I don't think that latter aspect of my views is terribly relevant in this case because, as I understand the events in the UK, the people rioting are, indeed, among the poorest of UK residents.

 

6079_Smith_W

It's also very easy to analyze this when it is not your neighbourhood that is being torched.

Sorry for being naive and all, but I'd like it to stop - preferably with some positive resolution - but there is nothing good about this, and it can't continue as it is. It needs to end somehow.

Erik Redburn

6079_Smith_W wrote:

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.

 

 

My mother, who was eventually forced from her job because of it, and then forced to sell her home for much less than its value, always suspected but it took a few years to come out.   The Labour movements leaders unfortunately are sometimes their own worst enemies, but OC the politician trying to balance interests in an actively hostile anti-labour (green etc) environment is the one who always gets the blame.   Same on the right, but they at least pay them better when they retire and sometimes defend them against the oppositions most excessive charges.   Ya Barrett was nothing but a sellout and therefore calling him a pig is ok.  Sure.

 

Erik Redburn

ikosmos wrote:

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.

 

I'll answer your predictable responses in another thread, as I get tired of the bs slung here by kneejerk combatants on both sides of most issues here and this is a late thread drift.  One time at Babble some balance could usually be found -eventually- if not overall consensus, as well as debate which went beyond partisan point scoring.   

And once again you should at least try to apologise for your childishly personal insults, or are those sort of words foreign to the fundamentalist left vocabulary as well?

Erik Redburn

6079_Smith_W wrote:
It's also very easy to analyze this when it is not your neighbourhood that is being torched. Sorry for being naive and all, but I'd like it to stop - preferably with some positive resolution - but there is nothing good about this, and it can't continue as it is. It needs to end somehow.

 

Of course it's easier if your own home isn't being torched.  But then its easy to ignore others who homes were simply taken away years ago in the Thatcher revolution, and sold to yuppies, and never had a chance to get another since.  It could all end easily if their greivances are recognised and the middleclass realisae that they can't keep bailing out the rich by selling out the poor.  (and undermining their own safety net in the process)  The poor just don't have anymore give to give anymore -they're poorer than ever- while the rich always held all the excess.  By definition.  The scarcely concealed racism among the otherwise polite has to be honestly addressed too, starting with some recognition its still a widespread problem. Better education, more equality, more contact and time could do the rest.

6079_Smith_W

*sigh*

I think I know that, Eric. 

I am saying that the situation is probably a bit different for people who are living through that violence right now. And I am also saying that it is not a sustainable situation. Either it will go back to the way it was or something will change, but the violence can only last so long.

 

Erik Redburn

Sorry but that wasn't apparent to me by your statements.   You just said it couldn't go on.  And I get too much cross flack to know what others are really thinking otherwise.   The curse of tryiong to find some common rational ground ANYWHERE politically. Especially when things are spilling over, as I have warned for years.

Anyhow the rioting won't go on forever either, even though we all know the underlyting problems won't be addressed in any real way.  Not until some of the truly powerful regain some sense that they too can lose more than they gain by dividing communities, and learn to accept their own limits like other grownups.  I doubt I'll live to see that great day.      

 

ETA:  I will apolgise for my unremitting need to explain everything to death too, but that too is a response to the never ending battle for control online.  There are better less destructive ways to actual reform too but I doubt I'll ever see that day either.

Erik Redburn

Sven wrote:

Erik Redburn wrote:

Let me answer Sven here.  Of course its wrong to kill people, especially the innocent.(as innocent as any of us ever get)  But as a rightwing libertarian and one who apparently believes the creed of inequality and law of the jungle (which is all libertarianism can ever end at, in the real world), you couldn't possibly be sincere in believing in absolute nonviolence, up to the point of accepting a lifetime of hardship or suicide, and the slow strangling of your own community.  If a few already hardened individuals go beyond what most others would and purposely harm bystanders that cannot be held against all of them --not according to even the most modest liberal interpretation of the law.  Others you can can call collateral damage, or unfortunate casualties of war, if it helps you understand.  Difference between this and all the wars supported by rightwingers is its based on very real injustices which cannot be escaped by most these protestors/rioters.   Ones which have never been addressed except by further screw tightening by those who are supposed to represent them.    

I'm not a libertarian purist.  I think that society has a moral obligation to help the indigent.  Where I think I part ways with many progressives is with a broad extension of similar state benefits to the middle class.  But, I don't think that latter aspect of my views is terribly relevant in this case because, as I understand the events in the UK, the people rioting are, indeed, among the poorest of UK residents.

 

 

Yeah they are, for the most part.  And the racism in our old home countries is unfortunately even worse than here, from the looks of it.   Anyhow, I should have been in bed 2 hours ago.  You must be a very early riser or natural born nighthawk like me.

6079_Smith_W

I can analyze things to death too, and I agree completely with your last statement. 

I just think with all the talk of what this means and what the rioters should and shouldn't do (as if anyone is paying attention) some people are missing what a dangerous, unpredictable and unstable situation it is. I can imagine there must be a lot of absolutely fucking terrified people over there right now.

I am far more concerned about the threat of loss of life, injury, and the damage to peoples' homes and livelihood than I am about how this furthers the revolution. 

Fuck, if it's gonna come it will come soon enough, and I doubt it will depend on which of us is right or wrong. 

Erik Redburn

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I can analyze things to death too, and I agree completely with your last statement. 

I just think with all the talk of what this means and what the rioters should and shouldn't do (as if anyone is paying attention) some people are missing what a dangerous, unpredictable and unstable situation it is. I can imagine there must be a lot of absolutely fucking terrified people over there right now.

I am far more concerned about the threat of loss of life, injury, and the damage to peoples' homes and livelihood than I am about how this furthers the revolution. 

Fuck, if it's gonna come it will come soon enough, and I doubt it will depend on which of us is right or wrong. 

 

I'd be frightened too and I've never been a revolutionary in the traditional meaning, but if this social refusal by our elites carries on much further, which it will unless met more effectively, violent revolution may become necessary and eventually unavoidable.   I won't shed any tears for the elites if they keep playing with this fire, and the middleclass, who never take them to account, will just have to duck the fireworks for themselves.

NDPP

UK Unrest: 'Intellectual Awakening'

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/193223.html

"A member of Iran's Majlis (parliament) says the recent wave of protests sweeping over British cities is indicative of an intellectual awakening in Britain.."

Erik Redburn

NDPP wrote:

UK Unrest: 'Intellectual Awakening'

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/193223.html

"A member of Iran's Majlis (parliament) says the recent wave of protests sweeping over British cities is indicative of an intellectual awakening in Britain.."

 

Oh Fuck Iran's Parliament!  As if THEY can seriously talk about 'intellectual awakenings' to anyone past the age of six.  Christ, the 'radical' left has got alot of growing up to do too.  No wonder the world just keeps spinning further out of EVERYONE'S control.  Goodnight dreamers.

6079_Smith_W

@ Erik

Unfortunatley it's not really the elite and middle class that are most affected here. And again, whatever my thoughts on the matter are now, I am not sure I'd see it the same way if it was in the middle of that mess with my windows boarded up and me afraid for my family.

But anyway, here's somethning else from someone who is there:

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

And people trying to protect themselves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXFuf5Cjy-A

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Closing for length. Let's try again in the morning, shall we?

ETA. Continue here.

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