UK riots: updates and discussion

Submitted by Ramona on August 6, 2011

Forum thread for discussion and updates of the riots which have swept the UK, and which began in Tottenham, here:

Seeing photos on twitter of burning police cars and apparently 200 riot police sent out to deal with crowds.

Police shot and killed a guy called Mark Duggan earlier this week, more info here

Photos like and popping up on twitter...

admin: thread name changed from "Riot in Tottenham, London, in response to police killings?" as the riots spread

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 6, 2011

Posters on Twitter are saying that people are gathering at the police station. Still just rumours at this point, mind...

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 6, 2011

in response to police killings?

Apparently, yes - if this very brief report is anything to go by:

http://www.lbc.co.uk/tottenham-rioters-burn-police-cars-photos-43291/album/tottenham_rioters_set_fire_to_police_cars/1315#20355

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 6, 2011

I can't get Capital FM, but maybe you can:
http://www.capitalfm.com/on-air/news-travel/uk-world-news/police-cars-attacked-after-tottenham-shooting/

Ramona

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ramona on August 6, 2011

Twitter rumour mill going a bit mental, people saying shots have been fired, cops have deserted after having too many rocks thrown at them etc etc. 5live had a bit of coverage.

Haringey solidarity group's twitter @_HSG_ says people are building barricades in the street

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 6, 2011

BBC has an interview with an eyewitness, who says the cops were scared and ran away from rioters chasing them.

Ramona

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ramona on August 6, 2011

5 Live saying it's quiet at the moment, with a stand off between protesters and cops, twitter saying mounted units been seen on their way.

jef costello

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on August 6, 2011

I have heard 200 riot police from reliable source, seen the same pics as the rest of you, not sure about other numbers. Seen a picture that looks as if shop corner at bruce grove station is on fire.

Ramona

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ramona on August 6, 2011

EDL blame "the Muslims"...

http://twitpic.com /622g27

DZA

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by DZA on August 6, 2011

fuckin EDL...

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 6, 2011

Paul Lewis has been tweeting from the scene but he says he's getting out of there. In his words: 'It's getting a bit hairy now'.

Also they're saying that the fire brigade isn't being sent in 'for fear of being attacked'.

jef costello

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on August 6, 2011

Fire brigade are putting out the fire in the shop now, the bus and at least a couple cars are still on fire. I'm wwatching on sky news, I moved out today.

mons

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mons on August 6, 2011

From twitter:

Reliable source: one of the buildings on fire is Tottenham Police Station

But who knows?

communal_pie

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by communal_pie on August 6, 2011

Saw about 5 police vans with what (squinting) looked like riot police thru the windows.. and a few police cars, blazing from stoke newington police station up stamford hill into (presumably) tottenham high road. This was about 45 minutes ago.

jef costello

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on August 6, 2011

mons

From twitter:

Reliable source: one of the buildings on fire is Tottenham Police Station

But who knows?

Doubtful, no pictures of it and all of the fires are hundreds of yards away with a thick lot of police in the way.

AbstractAnt

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by AbstractAnt on August 7, 2011

And then he apologized for his Islamaphobia. :)

It took a while...

AbstractAnt

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by AbstractAnt on August 7, 2011

http://postimage.org/image/2jp1hervo/

And then he apologized for his Islamaphobia. :)

It took a while...

no1

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 7, 2011

Regarding the original incident on Thursday when the police killed Mark Duggan, the Evening Standard had an eyewitness who said Duggan was shot while lying on the floor:

"I came around the corner and saw about six unmarked police cars cornering a people carrier near a bus stop.
"I heard the police shout something like 'Don't move' and I saw them drag the driver out of the car. I don't know if they dragged the other guy out in the passenger seat. He was the one who got shot - the passenger.
"About three or four police officers had both men pinned on the ground at gunpoint. They were really big guns and then I heard four loud shots. The police shot him on the floor."

http://www.thisislondon.co​.uk/standard/article-23975​846-man-shot-dead-by-polic​e-in-tottenham.do

There's also a Channel 4 interview with a friend of Duggan, talking about systematic police harrassment of Duggan and people from the same estate:
http://www.channel4.com/news/mp-calls-for-calm-after-north-london-street-shooting

jef costello

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on August 7, 2011

The police statements were pretty odd, they normally don't hesitate to slur people so the fact that they didn't immediately blame him for shooting a police officer (which turned out not to have happened) didn't sit right. Now they're talking about a bullet lodged in a radio and again not mentioning whose bullet and how it got there. The police are hiding something but it isn't clear what yet.

Armchair Anarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Armchair Anarchist on August 7, 2011

7.35pm: Initial ballistics tests on the bullet that lodged in a police officer's radio when Mark Duggan died on Thursday night show it was a police issue bullet, the Guardian understands.

The Guardian's crime correspondent, Sandra Laville, reports:

The revelation will fuel the fury in Tottenham about the killing of Mark Duggan by armed officers.

It also undermines suggestions that there was an exchange of fire between Duggan and the police before he died.

The bullet which was found lodged in the radio of one of the officers at the scene is still undergoing forensic tests. But reliable sources have said the first ballistics examinations suggested it was a police issue bullet.

These are very distinct as the Metropolitan Police uses dum dum type hollowed out bullets designed not to pass through an object.

The early suggestion from the IPCC was that the Met officers had returned fire after someone in the minicab opened fire. But the result of the ballistics early test suggests both shots fired came from the police.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/blog/2011/aug/07/tottenham-riots-police-duggan-live#block-44[/QUOTE]

888

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by 888 on August 7, 2011

Riots in Enfield now?

gypsy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on August 7, 2011

Just saw a young guy on bbc news 24 say he saw anarchists coming to riot in tottenham.

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 7, 2011

gypsy

Just saw a young guy on bbc news 24 say he saw anarchists coming to riot in tottenham.

Does 'Anarchist' in this case translate to 'masked up individuals'?

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 7, 2011

Tottenham riots: Mob violence hits Enfield - police charge looters
Police officers baton-charged looters amid violent scenes in Enfield Town, as social disorder spreads after troubles in Tottenham.
A crowd of up to 200 people clashed with police outside Enfield Town train station this evening, say reports. A police van was attacked and damaged.
Groups of looters broke into entertainment store HMV in Enfield Town’s main shopping street to steal stock, say reports.
Earlier, rioters in Enfield moved from the edge of the borough in Southbury Road back into Enfield town, from where police had earlier driven them back.
Clashes between riot police and looters will alarm residents of Enfield Town, which is a peaceful suburb in an affluent part of the north London borough.

http://www.london24.com/news/crime/tottenham_riots_mob_violence_hits_enfield_police_charge_looters_1_987022

arminius

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by arminius on August 7, 2011

no1

Regarding the original incident on Thursday when the police killed Mark Duggan, the Evening Standard had an eyewitness who said Duggan was shot while lying on the floor:

"I came around the corner and saw about six unmarked police cars cornering a people carrier near a bus stop.
"I heard the police shout something like 'Don't move' and I saw them drag the driver out of the car. I don't know if they dragged the other guy out in the passenger seat. He was the one who got shot - the passenger.
"About three or four police officers had both men pinned on the ground at gunpoint. They were really big guns and then I heard four loud shots. The police shot him on the floor."

http://www.thisislondon.co​.uk/standard/article-23975​846-man-shot-dead-by-polic​e-in-tottenham.do

There's also a Channel 4 interview with a friend of Duggan, talking about systematic police harrassment of Duggan and people from the same estate:
http://www.channel4.com/news/mp-calls-for-calm-after-north-london-street-shooting

This link seems shut down:

http://www.thisislondon.co​.uk/standard/article-23975​846-man-shot-dead-by-polic​e-in-tottenham.do

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 7, 2011

Twitter's reporting that petrol bombs are being thrown at cars on the A10 while rioters are moving onto Ponders End.

Also seen the armoured personal carriers are out.

How far will this spread? Will it reach other cities?

EDIT: moving onto Bow!

Good link: http://thewestlondoner.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/breaking-new-riots-in-enfield/

EDIT 2: 17 year old stabbed in Enfield

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 7, 2011

Seems like two groups of, for lack of a better term, fuckheads are conflicting now. Apparently, anyway.

radicalgraffiti

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on August 7, 2011

I think this is what you where linking to arminius

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23975846-man-shot-dead-by-police-in-tottenham.do

not sure why your link didn't work

arminius

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by arminius on August 7, 2011

Thanks, rg!

Mouzone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mouzone on August 8, 2011

Anyone got any news from the streets of Brixton, seeing quite a lot of reports on twitter. FITwatcher is tweeting some interesting stuff...

http://twitter.com/#!/fitwatcher

http://www.met.police.uk/pressbureau/Bur08/page01.htm

I, along with the vast majority of Londoners, condemn this mindless criminality.

From the people who brought you Simon Harwood.

D

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by D on August 8, 2011

I worry about how the state will react to this, I can only see them use this as an excuse to use much more repressive, aggressive tactics.

I also think we shouldnt fall into the trap of seeing all this as only positive. I mean I think smashing up police shit and looting from big stores is fine but some of this seems to be just smashing up communities, with quite a few regular people's homes burned down.

Reading comments online from locals quite a few are very scared and really detest a lot of what is happening.

Mouzone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mouzone on August 8, 2011

Sky news reporting it was Anarchists http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16045476

How on earth did he verify this?

gypsy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on August 8, 2011

D

I also think we shouldnt fall into the trap of seeing all this as only positive. I mean I think smashing up police shit and looting from big stores is fine but some of this seems to be just smashing up communities, with quite a few regular people's homes burned down.

Reading comments online from locals quite a few are very scared and really detest a lot of what is happening.

I agree some of the stuff that is going on is just stupid and burning and breaking into other peoples houses shows a total disregard to other peoples welfare. Although I am not going to lose sleep over shops being looted.

http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16045476

In the video the reporter actually blames anarchists.

Alex...

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alex... on August 8, 2011

Just walked down to Brixton, looked messy, not on the scale of Tottenham though. Brixton Road and the tube station are both taped off, street looks completely wrecked, lots of smashed windows, people saying a lot of shops looted. Shops broken into on Coldharbour Lane as well, cops everywhere.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 8, 2011

Talk of Catford and Bromley tonight...I guess with 1 million unemployed, they can carry on midweek!

Can I just say, WRT this talk of closing youth centres etc. I remember when I was under 18, every 'young person' issue was either linked to - or alternatively 'resolved' by - "opening more youth centres". Are we really to assume that people are rioting over a lack of games of pool and under-18 discos?

I'd suggest some possible motivations are: endemic unemployment, anti-police sentiment, a violent environment and the desire to 'take liberties', inflation parallel to conspicuous consumption, a sense of competition between different postcodes, etc, etc. The flames have been fanned by Twitter, but most of the comments seem to be from spectators, many of whom are condemning it. The rioters themselves are (mostly!) savvy enough to stay away from it.

Bearing this in mind, rather than wringing our hands calling for more youth centres, we should talking about benefit issues and police brutality.

gypsy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on August 8, 2011

Caiman del Barrio

Bearing this in mind, rather than wringing our hands calling for more youth centres, we should talking about benefit issues and police brutality.

Its a combination of these things. Since there has been massive cuts in services for youngsters it is inevitable that some of the people involved in the riots would have been doing something else. Where I live a boxing club in a deprived area which deals with many children with behaviour problems has just had its funding cut and has had to close.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 8, 2011

lol...

Even so, I dunno. There seems to be a kinda root assumption that these 'kids' need to be controlled or restrained, 'otherwise they'll turn feral'.

If this is the start of the British Uprising, then I'd like to point out how loyal it was to national history. The attempt import of protest camps from hot countries has failed, the Brits will stick to violent street confrontation lol...

gypsy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on August 8, 2011

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London and Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, described the scenes of the last two nights as "disgusting and shocking" and said the police did a good job.

He added: "Obviously there are people in this city, sadly, who are intent on violence, who are looking for the opportunity to steal and set fire to buildings and create a sense of mayhem, whether they're anarchists or part of organised gangs or just feral youth frankly, who fancy a new pair of trainers."

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 8, 2011

Nice to see the Police, Social workers, Politcians and Youth spokespeople have used the term 'anarchy' to describe the worst acts of violence.

Apparently one of the people looting Curry's was bellowing quotes from Emma Goldman and Kroptokin from inside...

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 8, 2011

Hackney now. And - apparently - all you Londoners have got to brace yourselves:

http://www.eecho.ie/news/world/london-braced-for-third-night-of-riots-515832.html

Chilli Sauce

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on August 8, 2011

Apparently it's been confirmed that there was no gun fight at all before that dude was killed.

Also Caiman, fucking Cutty, what a sexy, sexy bastard.

martinh

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by martinh on August 8, 2011

All over the news, got sent home early because it was meant to kick off at 4. Burning cars in Lewisham, burning shop and bus in Peckham. Definitely an element of postcode competition. Suspect this is going to end badly. Rumours of New Cross and Clapham going up, tho no idea if it is true.

Martin

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 8, 2011

Hearing that it's kicking off in Catford too. Rumours of the JD Sports being looted and the McDonalds being torched.

What the fuck is happening?

a.t.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by a.t. on August 8, 2011

Reports and rumours of looting/police confrontation in Birmingham now, perhaps it will expand beyond London as in '81.

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 8, 2011

Yeah Brum and Leeds are apparently about to kick off

kheym

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by kheym on August 8, 2011

ad birmingham: http://birminghamriots2011.tumblr.com/

Chilli Sauce

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on August 8, 2011

Today's Evening Standard has officially blamed "organised crime gangs and anarchists" for the escalating situation in Tottenham.

kheym

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by kheym on August 8, 2011

watch the fights:
http://rt.com/on-air/london-hackney-riots-streets/

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 8, 2011

I heard Ken Livingstone on talkSHITE earlier blaming it on tory cuts, but that doesn't sit well with me. I get the impression that this was inevitable and Mark Duggan's murder was just the spark, Tories or Labour, cuts or no cuts.

Are the participants just going shopping or are they demanding that they be recognised using the only means possible, like those during the 2005 French riots, what?

Just trying to understand it all really...

communal_pie

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by communal_pie on August 8, 2011

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2023596/MELANIE-PHILLIPS-Our-police-trusted-So-SHOULDNT-Dave-ask-Americas-cop-run-Met.html#ixzz1UPrudvQT

Nice, turn the met into an american-style police force.. the dream of all 4 previous governments in power.

Then they can 'tightly control the youths', all they need to add to that is legalisation of firearms for all cops.

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 8, 2011

I'm conflicted about these riots. They obviously have social and economic causes... the media theme of 'mindless yobs' is too simplistic.

Yet I've heard a lot of people I know... members of my old community, who are scared, frightened and angry at these events.

I can't see how this is a positive thing for the British working classes.

kheym

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by kheym on August 8, 2011

why are they so quick with demolishing taht burnt out building in tottenham?! preparations for the olympic games?

flaneur

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by flaneur on August 8, 2011

Hit proper Sauf London too now, fires lit in Sutton in boutiques stores like ASDA and Matalan and shops looted in Clapham.

DZA

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by DZA on August 8, 2011

I have friends asking me if I'm still an anarchist because of this. So fucking frustrating! they don't see this is a result of capitalism, it isn't anarchism. Fucks sake.

Aflwydd

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Aflwydd on August 8, 2011

Auto

I'm conflicted about these riots. They obviously have social and economic causes... the media theme of 'mindless yobs' is too simplistic.

Yet I've heard a lot of people I know... members of my old community, who are scared, frightened and angry at these events.

I can't see how this is a positive thing for the British working classes.

It just shows how nihilistic many of the youth of today are. Being a 'youth of today', I see people around the town who just don't give a shit about anything. After spending their adolescence being antagonised, patronised, and having any true freedom restricted by parents and authority, it's hardly a surprise that when the chance springs up to do whatever they want, they take it.

This inhuman system of organising society attempts to beat the life out of youngsters through schooling and indocrinated parents, and most teenage rebellion is a reaction to this. Maybe it's about time we take responsibility for we are doing to the adolescents in this society instead of denouncing them as 'mindless thugs'.

Sadly, we live in a band aid society. The root of the problem is always ignored and these events will happen again and again until that root is tackled. Once again, politicians are showing themselves to be craven cretins who will as usual absolve themselves of any blame. Well fucking done.

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 8, 2011

I've seen a lot of my facebook friends referring to this as 'anarchy'. Calling for water cannon, the army. Saying 'where are the police?' 'where is the government?'

These riots will only serve to strengthen the state's hand, I think.

D

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by D on August 8, 2011

seems like its took a big turn for the worse

fires all over the place, random cars getting destroyed. people attacked

I hope it stops

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 8, 2011

dp

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 8, 2011

In Lewisham a gang turned up mob-handed at a pub and started robbing punters of mobile phones.

I'm sorry, but that's no fucking working-class heroics.

radicalgraffiti

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on August 8, 2011

Now in birmingham too, reports of a primark being burnt, and looting

radicalgraffiti

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on August 8, 2011

double post

gypsy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on August 8, 2011

radicalgraffiti

Now in birmingham too, reports of a primark being burnt, and looting

Yep been there this evening, widespread looting. On a positive note I saw these skateboarder lads attack and chase off this guy who was trying to rob an old man.

888

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by 888 on August 8, 2011

Auto

In Lewisham a gang turned up mob-handed at a pub and started robbing punters of mobile phones.

I'm sorry, but that's no fucking working-class heroics.

It's possible this happened but wild rumours also spread in times like these...

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 8, 2011

People rob mobile phones every day of the week (there were gangs and individuals nicking stuff in Parliament Square in December, ffs); same goes for other bad stuff going on - you don't need a riot for that. To want it to stop,as someone shitting his pants said, is to want it to not go further , to want it not to become more consistently against this society and those who defend it; but to want it to stop is to want young people not to go through their baptism of fire, to discover who are their true friends and true enemies; criticise, sure, distinguish between the stupid stuff that comes after 20 years of repressive counter-revolution in a society which has increasingly destroyed all sense of connection and solidarity at an unprecedented rate - but to want it to stop is to support the State.

Social contestation doesn't progress according to an Anarchist Instruction Manual, surprise surprise.

Jared

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jared on August 8, 2011

Guardian article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/08/looting-fuelled-by-social-exclusion

playinghob

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by playinghob on August 8, 2011

Just got in from work an hour or so ago. Police cars and fire engines everywhere. Spent some time checking out what's happening. It's not very nice in my area. Gangs of youths (boys and girls) from three estates (Fulham Ct, Clem Atlee and West Ken) wandering around in groups of up to 30 and attacking people - actually witnessed two Somali's getting attacked. Also randomly swinging punches at passers-by. Neighbours told me that earlier in the evening tourists from nearby hotels were systematically robbed (this I didnt witness). I observed local shop keepers, mainly Muslim from various backgrounds, standing guard over their shops with sticks and iron bars. After observing proceedings myself and two male friends headed home as we actually started to feel very unsafe. Not very nice. I live off North End Road in Fulham btw.

thegonzokid

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by thegonzokid on August 8, 2011

No problem with cop cars being attacked, indifferent to shops being looted, but working-class people being burned out of their homes is fucking tragic.

However bad things get, you do not shit on your own class.

a.t.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by a.t. on August 9, 2011

Liverpool now, Toxteth is burning apparently. No to make useless historical parallels but it really looks like it could be a 1981 moment.

Serge Forward

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on August 9, 2011

Without wanting to patronise, I think there are some pretty naive comments in this thread. Maybe it's down to some folk just being 'riot romantics' after watching things kick off in Greece, memories of the Poll Tax and other highly politicised street fighting.

But it takes all sorts to make a riot, and riots, by nature, are generally uncontrollable affairs. Those involved may be politically sussed, class conscious and are people who do the right thing... or they may involve political fuckwits who don't give a shit about anyone or anything. Obviously, riots can be progressive, revolutionary or reactionary. But in a cultural environment so depoliticised and purposely dumbed down as it is in the UK, then the chances of some people not acting like utter shits is probably going to be low.

That said, in spite of the negative elements, I'd still say these riots are largely positive because nothing makes the ruling class shit themselves more than when working class people start to smash shit up and go full fuckin mental.

The down side, however, is there's a good chance that those negative elements may just get a lot worse.

thegonzokid

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by thegonzokid on August 9, 2011

a.t.

Liverpool now, Toxteth is burning apparently. No to make useless historical parallels but it really looks like it could be a 1981 moment.

Yeah, I'm watching it out my back window. Lots of hoodies milling about, police chopper overhead. A few friends have been evacuated about a mile away, cars set on fire.

Refused

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Refused on August 9, 2011

I've heard about informal Turkish & Asian community defence squads forming around Green Lanes and Dalston.

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 9, 2011

yes, i think we should be careful not to belly ache when 'the people' don't kick a fuss in the ways our left-wing schemas say they should.

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 9, 2011

If another anti cuts demo was to be suggested or organised soon would there be any chance it could direct, even slowly, more of this energy and anger towards a progressive cause and not on the average person?

a.t.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by a.t. on August 9, 2011

Judging from my facebook neswfeed at least (needless to say hardly that meaningful) the reaction has been pretty much uniformly negative, many of these who are now shit-talking the rioters are people who supported the student protests, even when they got violent, last year. Hearing a lot of talk about 'chavs' and support for the army being sent in(!).

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 9, 2011

Your student friends who are condemning these guys are doing it because they are 'chavs', 'criminals' and 'thugs' right. Brilliant. The debate is so circular 'they are criminals and thugs because they are criminals and thugs'.

When have we ever allowed twitter and facebook feeds colour our analysis! What we are seeing now is what we see every time there is social unrest.

jonathan cottam

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jonathan cottam on August 9, 2011

I can't believe how wishy washy some of you so-called anarchists are, tho not all or most of course. what do you think revolution looks like? all nice and politically correct of course. This anger is the real (as opposed to those who think they are) working class, which has had no industrial employment since the Thatcher era, and no where else to go because we are not generally smart or educated enough to become white collar, and now they take away the placebo of benefits, what else would happen? of course it doesn't look nice, I have had no hope my whole life and i don't give a shit if they start torching women and children, fuck yeah, let it burn baby burn. get real!

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 9, 2011

So is there another the wider anarchist movement can even do? A counter-esuq protest to redirect.. ANYTHING?

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 9, 2011

jonathan cottam

, I have had no hope my whole life and i don't give a shit if they start torching women and children, fuck yeah, let it burn baby burn. get real!

Was it Bakunin or Malatesta who said that gem?

a.t.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by a.t. on August 9, 2011

I'm not saying it should 'colour our analysis', just noting one particular trend, partly in response to Baronarchist's idea of fusing the riots with the anti-cuts movement and showing just one instance of a gulf between people involved in the anti-cuts movement and the rioters. I thought my disclaimer would be enough to show that it wasn't really an important point.

a.t.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by a.t. on August 9, 2011

Stokes Croft, Bristol at it now apparently, for the second time this year

bastarx

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on August 9, 2011

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the anti-social attacks are simply complete fabrications by the cops/media. If this continues it also wouldn't be out of the question for the cops to do some of these things themselves or pay their fascist/criminal mates to do so if they haven't already.

neutral

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by neutral on August 9, 2011

Baronarchist

So is there another the wider anarchist movement can even do? A counter-esuq protest to redirect.. ANYTHING?

Exactly. I'm new to this, and undoubtedly naive, but it seems like there should be something we can do to help or contribute? Clean up crews in working class neighbourhoods? A chance for red and black flags to appear in contrast to the violence and destruction of capitalism? Just feels so useless to watch and do nothing (even if that may be the best thing to do?)

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 9, 2011

There have been reports that rioting has broken out in Bolton, it's been estimated that £200,000 worth of improvements have been made to the town centre! :p

bastarx

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on August 9, 2011

neutral

Baronarchist

So is there another the wider anarchist movement can even do? A counter-esuq protest to redirect.. ANYTHING?

Exactly. I'm new to this, and undoubtedly naive, but it seems like there should be somethiung we can do to help or contribute? Clean up crews in working class neighbourhoods? A chance for red and black flags to appear in contrast to the violence and destruction of capitalism? Just feels so useless to watch and do nothing (even if that may be the best thing to do?)

Um maybe join in with the prole revolt. Let the council workers get the overtime pay for the clean up and leave the brand positioning to ad agencies.

D

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by D on August 9, 2011

Samotnaf

People rob mobile phones every day of the week (there were gangs and individuals nicking stuff in Parliament Square in December, ffs); same goes for other bad stuff going on - you don't need a riot for that. To want it to stop,as someone shitting his pants said, is to want it to not go further , to want it not to become more consistently against this society and those who defend it; but to want it to stop is to want young people not to go through their baptism of fire, to discover who are their true friends and true enemies; criticise, sure, distinguish between the stupid stuff that comes after 20 years of repressive counter-revolution in a society which has increasingly destroyed all sense of connection and solidarity at an unprecedented rate - but to want it to stop is to support the State.

Social contestation doesn't progress according to an Anarchist Instruction Manual, surprise surprise.

is that meant to be some kind of dig at me? What do you want macho points or something?

I said I want it stop because its seemed to turn worse (as in more smahing up of communities and regular people) and its making a lot of people really scared. There are lots of the things the state tries to stop which I also want to stop - like child abuse, domestic violence etc Does that mean I'm lining up with the state in these cases too?

Gerostock

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Gerostock on August 9, 2011

Every political sect is in an ecstasy of narrative pushing. Polish far-right news is opining on its front pages that the riots are a result of the multiracial construction of North London; Telegraph Tories are telling us it's a result of the liberalized and ineffective police service, teachers not being allowed to thrash pupils, bring back national service, smash the wogs etc; and the left is saying that it's a result of social dislocation and Tory cuts. I haven't heard a convincing argument for any of these analyses yet.

BBC News reporting that the proletarian class-rioters have stormed the Bastille of North London -- The Sony Distribution Centre in Enfield -- and liberated 250 workers from their jobs. They'll be signing on at their local jobcentre tomorrow provided it hasn't also been burned down.

RedEd

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by RedEd on August 9, 2011

delete!

Jared

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jared on August 9, 2011

Another article on the riots: http://hanariaz.com/2011/08/07/contextualizing-violence-tottenham-riots/

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 9, 2011

Bristol.
D:

Samotnaf wrote:

People rob mobile phones every day of the week (there were gangs and individuals nicking stuff in Parliament Square in December, ffs); same goes for other bad stuff going on - you don't need a riot for that. To want it to stop,as someone shitting his pants said, is to want it to not go further , to want it not to become more consistently against this society and those who defend it; but to want it to stop is to want young people not to go through their baptism of fire, to discover who are their true friends and true enemies; criticise, sure, distinguish between the stupid stuff that comes after 20 years of repressive counter-revolution in a society which has increasingly destroyed all sense of connection and solidarity at an unprecedented rate - but to want it to stop is to support the State.

Social contestation doesn't progress according to an Anarchist Instruction Manual, surprise surprise.

is that meant to be some kind of dig at me? What do you want macho points or something?

I said I want it stop because its seemed to turn worse (as in more smahing up of communities and regular people) and its making a lot of people really scared. There are lots of the things the state tries to stop which I also want to stop - like child abuse, domestic violence etc Does that mean I'm lining up with the state in these cases too?

Making a comparison with child abuse and domestic violence is doing the same thing as the media/the State: riots, as others here have said, are contradictory, but all you've done is reduce support for the riots as "scoring macho points", which is the kind of leftist/feminist ideological crap that used to be thrown at anyone who supported riots (some called the riots of miners during the '84-85 strike "macho" as well), and you use it to avoid my main point:

To want it to stop... is to want it to not go further , to want it not to become more consistently against this society and those who defend it; but to want it to stop is to want young people not to go through their baptism of fire, to discover who are their true friends and true enemies; criticise, sure, distinguish between the stupid stuff that comes after 20 years of repressive counter-revolution in a society which has increasingly destroyed all sense of connection and solidarity at an unprecedented rate...

Horrible though some of these mad "nihilist" (for want of a better word) type things are, as I (and others) said , these things happen outside of riots as well - and they sure as hell will increasingly happen without riots. To want them to stop is to side with the forces that prevent any (inevitably uneven) progress towards an attack on this futureless society.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 9, 2011

Instead of asking, as all the forces of this society ask in order to maintain their ideological grip on the minds of the masses and to work out ways of maintaining their real hold on miserable social relations, why the riots have happened, we should be asking why they haven't happened in the past and what stops them going further and improving on their quality (which latter, some people are asking here).

Juan Conatz

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Juan Conatz on August 9, 2011

Riots are nasty stuff. I know ya'll ain't really had them over there in a while (at least on that scale and intensity), so yall might think of them in an idealized form, but the Watts Riots were ugly. The Detroit riots were ugly. The LA riots were ugly. And so on.

The content of them can be something revolutionaries find favorable, such as fighting back against the police, or at least, understandable, such as the burning of stores, factories and places of work. But it's also a time to settle scores that have nothing to do with the state and capital. It's a time when 'anti-social' crimes that happen everyday are magnified because of the situation.

There's a video circulating Twitter showing a man who was beat up. A group of people pretend to help him up, and then steal the items from his backpack. There are similar incidents that are happening all across the Western world, in every American city, right now. About 15 blocks away, on a Monday night, there are probably drunken college kids doing the same thing. Yesterday, a 17 year old was shot twice in the chest while riding his bike on the street I'm painting a house on. Last night, a homeless just trying to get some change from people so he could ride the bus downtown was detained by the police for pretty much no reason, right as I exited a bar. This is the violence of everyday life.

I can understand the riots. I can understand being unemployed for long stretches, moving from apartment to apartment, trying to avoid homeless. You try to keep your head up, despite wondering how you're gonna keep your phone on, put money on your bus pass, get pants with no holes in them, etc but at a certain point you wanna unleash everything you have at everyone and everything, and you don't care about the consequences to yourself or others, because you don't give a fuck.

The arrogant, clueless suburban bitch riding in an Escalade? You wanna see that woman carjacked. The mean mugging muthafucka with the fake chain on the bus? You wanna pistol whip the scowl off that bitch, snatch his chain and make him apologize. The cop following you in a corner store in an area of the city you don't look like you belong in? You hope his vest fails tonight and he catches two in the chest.

Poverty is absolute poison. It can make you do and think stuff you would never do in a different situation. It makes you ungrateful and even spiteful to the very people trying to help you. People that you care about. Well meaning state workers. Your own family. It makes you wish that your experience was generalized across the population, and a riot, however limited, however ultimately counterproductive, seems like a good bet to accomplish that.

D

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by D on August 9, 2011

Samotnaf

Bristol.
D:

Samotnaf wrote:

People rob mobile phones every day of the week (there were gangs and individuals nicking stuff in Parliament Square in December, ffs); same goes for other bad stuff going on - you don't need a riot for that. To want it to stop,as someone shitting his pants said, is to want it to not go further , to want it not to become more consistently against this society and those who defend it; but to want it to stop is to want young people not to go through their baptism of fire, to discover who are their true friends and true enemies; criticise, sure, distinguish between the stupid stuff that comes after 20 years of repressive counter-revolution in a society which has increasingly destroyed all sense of connection and solidarity at an unprecedented rate - but to want it to stop is to support the State.

Social contestation doesn't progress according to an Anarchist Instruction Manual, surprise surprise.

is that meant to be some kind of dig at me? What do you want macho points or something?

I said I want it stop because its seemed to turn worse (as in more smahing up of communities and regular people) and its making a lot of people really scared. There are lots of the things the state tries to stop which I also want to stop - like child abuse, domestic violence etc Does that mean I'm lining up with the state in these cases too?

Making a comparison with child abuse and domestic violence is doing the same thing as the media/the State: riots, as others here have said, are contradictory, but all you've done is reduce support for the riots as "scoring macho points", which is the kind of leftist/feminist ideological crap that used to be thrown at anyone who supported riots (some called the riots of miners during the '84-85 strike "macho" as well), and you use it to avoid my main point:

To want it to stop... is to want it to not go further , to want it not to become more consistently against this society and those who defend it; but to want it to stop is to want young people not to go through their baptism of fire, to discover who are their true friends and true enemies; criticise, sure, distinguish between the stupid stuff that comes after 20 years of repressive counter-revolution in a society which has increasingly destroyed all sense of connection and solidarity at an unprecedented rate...

Horrible though some of these mad "nihilist" (for want of a better word) type things are, as I (and others) said , these things happen outside of riots as well - and they sure as hell will increasingly happen without riots. To want them to stop is to side with the forces that prevent any (inevitably uneven) progress towards an attack on this futureless society.

you have completely misunderstood my post.

I asked if you wanted macho points for saying 'someone shitting his pants' (in reference to me) not for supporting the riots. Saying that is just a snide comment which I expect from people who think being tough is what you should judge a person on.

I also wasn't trying to compare the riots to child abuse/domestic violence. just that wanting something to stop that the satte also wants to stop does not equal support for the state. Also an attack on this society is not always inherently good. Facsim attacks this society but leads it in an even worse direction. Thats not to say thats what this riot is neccearrily doing but its wrong IMO to look at any working class rebellion against the existing order as progressive.

I think this riot has had some good points, like communities showing they wont take police brutality and lots of people geting free shit. But setting fires and smashing cars and homes is nothing but bad. Most people in the areas where this is happening seem to me to want it to end

Skraeling

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Skraeling on August 9, 2011

Peter

neutral

Baronarchist

So is there another the wider anarchist movement can even do? A counter-esuq protest to redirect.. ANYTHING?

Exactly. I'm new to this, and undoubtedly naive, but it seems like there should be somethiung we can do to help or contribute? Clean up crews in working class neighbourhoods? A chance for red and black flags to appear in contrast to the violence and destruction of capitalism? Just feels so useless to watch and do nothing (even if that may be the best thing to do?)

Um maybe join in with the prole revolt. Let the council workers get the overtime pay for the clean up and leave the brand positioning to ad agencies.

Lol! Spot on Peter.

Anarchists sending in clean up crews after the riots are over? I reckon get yerself and yr mates together, get a shopping trolley or backpack or something, and join in with the mass proletarian shopping expedition. Take for yourself what you need. Maybe try and spread the looting and riots to new areas if it all possible and practical. Far from me to suggest it, but why not rip up the City of London? Or a big shopping mall or something? Or since the coppers are way overstretched maybe someone could burn down that bloody silly and awful tourist ferris wheel thingy that is besides the Thames? (only joking) (of course)

holy shit, I am going to quote the Situationists:

The Los Angeles rebellion was a rebellion against the commodity...Like the young delinquents of all the advanced countries...the Los Angeles blacks take modern capitalist propaganda, its publicity of abundance, literally. They want to possess now all the objects shown and abstractly accessible, because they want to use them. In this way they are challenging their exchange-value...Through theft and gift they rediscover a use that immediately refutes the oppressive rationality of the commodity, revealing its relations and even its production to be arbitrary and unnecessary. The looting of the Watts district was the most direct realization of the distorted principle: 'To each according to their false needs' — needs determined and produced by the economic system which the very act of looting rejects.

That's what many proles in the UK are now doing. Tho of course the SI's analyis is limited eg. the distinction between "real" and "false" desires, and "real" and "false" needs.

While looting shouldn't be glorified, as it's clearly a limited form of class-based self-organisation. To state the obvious, rioting is a temporary and spontaneous rampage, a venting of anger, that doesn't offer constructive alternatives. Looting fixes responsibility on the retailer rather than the producer, and is thus limited to the realm of consumption. However, the SI do make a case that looting is a distorted example of communist distribution in action, in that people were taking freely from stores according to their needs.

Sure these riots are messy, violent, contradictory, and contain nihilist tendencies, and working class people beating up and stealing from each other. But don't forget prole shopping is a partial overcoming of the commodity form, and overcoming that form necessarily involves negating it, including mass destruction and looting....

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on August 9, 2011

Interesting enough article in the Graun:

Those condemning the events of the past couple of nights in north London and elsewhere would do well to take a step back and consider the bigger picture: a country in which the richest 10% are now 100 times better off than the poorest, where consumerism predicated on personal debt has been pushed for years as the solution to a faltering economy, and where, according to the OECD, social mobility is worse than any other developed country.

As Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett point out in The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, phenomena usually described as "social problems" (crime, ill-health, imprisonment rates, mental illness) are far more common in unequal societies than ones with better economic distribution and less gap between the richest and the poorest. Decades of individualism, competition and state-encouraged selfishness – combined with a systematic crushing of unions and the ever-increasing criminalisation of dissent – have made Britain one of the most unequal countries in the developed world.

The rumour mill is saying there were some antics in Manchester last night, with cars being burnt in the south of the city. I should know better later on today.

cantdocartwheels

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by cantdocartwheels on August 9, 2011

Samotnaf

People rob mobile phones every day of the week (there were gangs and individuals nicking stuff in Parliament Square in December, ffs); same goes for other bad stuff going on - you don't need a riot for that. To want it to stop,as someone shitting his pants said, is to want it to not go further , to want it not to become more consistently against this society and those who defend it; but to want it to stop is to want young people not to go through their baptism of fire, to discover who are their true friends and true enemies; criticise, sure, distinguish between the stupid stuff that comes after 20 years of repressive counter-revolution in a society which has increasingly destroyed all sense of connection and solidarity at an unprecedented rate - but to want it to stop is to support the State.

Social contestation doesn't progress according to an Anarchist Instruction Manual, surprise surprise.

insults aside this is pretty much spot for on, i mean for example strikes aren't 'nice' they're messy as fuck, look at the miners strike instance or imagine what an education strike throughut the gcse's would be like, hell even j30 involved having solidarity with people in the pcs who we might not like

Like samotnaf says we need to pick out the good and criticse the bad, i increasingly think this needs amore physical response, in terms of street meetings by anarchists and anti-cuts groups.

Rob Ray

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on August 9, 2011

I can't believe how wishy washy some of you so-called anarchists are, tho not all or most of course. what do you think revolution looks like?

Probably it looks like this. However that's not to say that people with progressive politics should cheerlead burning innocent workers out of their homes because "it's just what happens." Surely part of the point of being political is to draw the line at what hurts your own class and try and influence people not to just burn shit at random?

And if we don't, then who do you think the people burned out, their friends and family and the people just like them who weren't rioting and have gotten scared will turn to? Fuck me try "collateral is gonna happen" with them and see how far it gets you...

Malva

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Malva on August 9, 2011

Some of my thoughts on the riots I wrote up elsewhere:

I don't like this 'mindless' term. These kids have feelings and thoughts like anyone else. They have been pushed around by police all of their lives. They are constantly bombarded with advertising and consumer culture. At the same time they come from areas of endemic poverty and violence. Often they are displaced communities and live in council housing. Now that the passifier of benefits has been removed and there are even less jobs all of these issues are coming to a head. No wonder that they react to a member of their community being murdered by police as a catalyst for realising the logic of commodity society. I find it fascinating that both the 'Left' and 'Right', liberal or conservative, are condemning these riots. The only thing wrong with them is their nihilistic element. All it needs is for these kids to become conscious of the significance of their actions for this to turn into a liberating revolutionary situation. If that doesn't happen and the nihilism continues then its the fault of everyone condemning the real concerns of these kids, the libs and the cons, and propagating capitalist ideology be it of the SWP, the Labour Party, The Guardian or the Tories and Lib Dems, The Daily Mail. This is a problem with the essential way our society is organised and cannot be 'fixed'. Moreover, social unrest such as this is going to become more and more frequent in the coming years. This isn't just the Tories 'fault' and Labour does not embody any solution to the problems of the British working class. It is the bizarre religious fanaticism with which we let commodities, work, exchange, money and capital organise our society that is the real problem.

Also, has no one evoked this yet? http://youtu.be/9AlH2oYedfk

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 9, 2011

Not everyone is feeling increased support for the police, it seems. From the Guardian Liveblog:

Great to see the Twitter cleanups and Mare street was spotless this morning!

Perhaps Haringey council would like to explain why our street in Tottenham which was filled with looting rioters from the retail park all saturday night has not seen a cleanup (we did it ourselves on Sunday but there's still a lot of rubbish lying around, it just keeps coming from somewhere) and perhaps the Met would like to explain why they didn't come out to our road despite tens of phonecalls from residents.

We've not even seen any PCSOs checking people are OK, and there are some elderly people too scared to go out.

Obviously there's a lot going on. Obviously. But the parts of the community that weren't alienated from the police before are rapidly becoming so.

Leo

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on August 9, 2011

I've heard about informal Turkish & Asian community defence squads forming around Green Lanes and Dalston.

Yes, this has been given a rather large coverage in the Turkish media. These people are mostly shopkeepers against the protests, I presume?

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Valeriano Orob… on August 9, 2011

Despite the looting and the problems ahead coming from the inhuman rebelion against an inhuman society, this should be considered:

Misery is always
somewhat shameful, somewhat sacrilegious, to reformists. First of all they don’t
understand what everyday misery really is, and therefore they don’t understand
the violence that it generates. We affirm that the poor are united only in the
breaking of all social controls and the annihilation of all laws; otherwise, they
do not in any way form a community. The poor can only recognize each other
in the expression of their dissatisfaction. Through this, the overturning of the
situation takes place and they find themselves united in confronting a common
enemy.
The day after the beautiful uprising in Handsworth, an English police
chief deplored the fact that the people looked upon the thing as entertainment,
just like soccer hooliganism (...)

The moment that the bourgeoisie and the state finish organizing the separation
that defines the poor and makes their existence utterly unlivable is also
the moment that creates the conditions for an overturning of the situation.
What separates people and precisely makes poor people of them, is also what
identifies them. The poor don’t know each other; they recognize each other.

In Marseilles, at the beginning of September 1985, after a pursuit following a
failed robbery, police shot down one of the young robbers near the La Paternelle
neighborhood. The inhabitants of the area rose up in revolt and attacked the
cops, who had to retreat after a vigorous exchange of rocks and grenades. Police
and journalists were surprised because the unfortunate victim was not from the
area or even an Arab (if he had been from the area, police would have had to
confront an upheaval as violent as those of Brixton and Tottenham). The young
people who live in La Paternelle are almost all Arabs and immediately recognized
themselves in the fate that the police reserved for the unknown youth,
since they suffer exactly the same harsh and painful conditions. Even in the
Les Halles neighborhood of Paris, which is psycho-geographically the opposite
of the suburban neighborhoods of Marseilles, the arrest of a small-time drug
dealer led four hundred people to gather and attack the police and the rich area
at the center of Paris (this happened last year in September). Here an attempt
was made to overcome the contradictory reign of indifference and futility in Les
Halles."

Os Cangaceiros, 1985

Standfield

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Standfield on August 9, 2011

Malva

Also, has no one evoked this yet? http://youtu.be/9AlH2oYedfk

Funnily enough, we had just left the Morrissey gig in Brixton Acadamy when it was just starting to kick off. During the gig he went on a rant about the student riots, something along the lines of this:

"I never watch the telly. But this year there was something I couldn't stop watching. The student riots. I saw the kids finally have enough. And Camel and Charles? What happened to them made me laugh for weeks and weeks and weeks." He then followed it up by saying, "Has David Cameron ever been to Tottenham?"

This got huge cheers.

All day during Brixton Splash (Reggae/Dub festival) you could tell it would kick off. It was a friendly atmosphere, but a few words were being said to the Police every now and again. After the Morrissey gig, there didn't seem much police around, just a couple of riot vans near the Coldharbour Lane/Brixton Hill junction. We had a pint in the Hootenanny, then around midnight the selector said, "there's a riot outside people, stay in here". So of course everyone pretty much left to check out what was going on. Next door people were literally walking into Halfords and riding out. But again, not much police around, considering. Currys was done it too, and looted. But we never felt unsafe. One person said people were getting so confident they were actually trying on shoes in Foot Locker before they nicked them!

It's been a strange atmosphere here since then. Last night was quite eerie. I finished work and cycled past numerous gangs of kids marching around the backstreets of Brixton Hill, it was like something out of a film. People (I saw a few old-boys too) were joining them from their homes. I didn't feel unsafe, but I can understand why some people would. My house mate had just come back from Croydon, and he said there were kids on he bus really charged up.

There had been grafitti and smashing during the day too (Tescos near New Park Road got hit quite bad). All the major shops have been boarded up in Brixton and Streatham.

Here at least, I haven't seen any destruction of private property and houses that we've been seeing on the news in other places.

I'm going to go for a little ride now around town, and maybe into Clapham too see what's going on.

ajjohnstone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ajjohnstone on August 9, 2011

Maybe when the rioters who are looting the shops start dumping the I-pods and the I-phones in Thames i will start thinking there might be a revolution going on.

Maybe when they ransack Tescos and steal the food to re-distribute the old and the sick, the poor and needy will i start thinking they represent a true community spirit and not just the individualism spawned by years of Thatcher and Blair, and copy-catting the greed and theft of the bankers.

gypsy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on August 9, 2011

Bristol Council is blaming small numbers of anarchists for the looting and violence in Bristol last night!

Malva

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Malva on August 9, 2011

Maybe when the rioters who are looting the shops start dumping the I-pods and the I-phones in Thames i will start thinking there might be a revolution going on.

Nobody thinks this is a revolution but it is an outpouring of resentment that challenges much of the dominant political discourse in the UK since the eighties. People are radicalised against the contemporary system and that opens up a space for radical ideas such as anarchism to become a material force. I think that is what we should working on. Though I say 'we' I am not in the UK but after Millbank and now this I wish I was. Whatever the rights or wrongs of what is happening this is people making their own history. The violence is not surprising given the violence this society encourages and practices everyday. (I would also point out that appropriating technology is probably more constructive than throwing it in the Thames).

Malva

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Malva on August 9, 2011

Funnily enough, we had just left the Morrissey gig in Brixton Acadamy when it was just starting to kick off. During the gig he went on a rant about the student riots, something along the lines of this:

"I never watch the telly. But this year there was something I couldn't stop watching. The student riots. I saw the kids finally have enough. And Camel and Charles? What happened to them made me laugh for weeks and weeks and weeks." He then followed it up by saying, "Has David Cameron ever been to Tottenham?"

That dude is a true poet! We need a revival of the radical spirit of the music in the late 70s and 80s.

kheym

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by kheym on August 9, 2011

the future looks bright considering increased surveillance, the coming recession and unaffordable education.

I hope these youths stay that radical and don't obey, and hopefully soon they'll realise that a plasma tv (or the little money made by selling it) doesn't change anything about their situation. and hopefully there are enough of them, so they can't be all locked away (apparently, london's prisons are full).

DZA

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by DZA on August 9, 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/09/bristol-riots-youths-clash-police?intcmp=239

Looks like Bristol rioters are a bit more on target if this article is anything to go by haha.

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 9, 2011

I'm 17 now, poor and felt the same way as I assume they did for a long time and it's easy to become counter-productive in those situations. I suppose even if actual knowledge of a movement aiming to better these circumstances can get through, it'll curb the nihilistic tendencies and focus them on genuine problems. With the student protests/unrest and now this we could have a revolutionary potential to a degree.

Worked with me anyway.

Entdinglichung

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on August 9, 2011

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/a-dead-man-a-crucial-question-should-police-have-shot-mark-duggan-2334133.html

Investigators yesterday refused to confirm reports that initial results from the tests by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service suggested that the bullet fragments were from police-issue ammunition, meaning they could not have been from a weapon fired by Mr Duggan and casting doubt on claims that he was killed in an exchange of gunfire. According to reports last night, the suspected gang member was carrying a starter pistol modified to fire live bullets.

The Independent understands that the shrapnel being analysed was from a hollow-point or dumdum bullet found in the handset of a sharpshooter from Scotland Yard's elite CO19 firearms unit, whose officers use this type of ammunition.

Similar ammunition, favoured for its devastating effects, is also circulating among criminal gangs and has been seized in raids against underworld quartermasters in recent years.

Initial reports after the shooting five days ago suggested that the officer had been saved by the bullet striking his radio and it had been fired from the handgun later recovered from the taxi carrying Mr Duggan, who was then fatally wounded by another marksman.

But it was suggested yesterday that the 29-year-old was instead killed by one of two rounds fired by a CO19 officer who feared the target was about to open fire. Investigators are trying to establish whether it was the second of these two bullets were struck the police team member's radio.

Evidence that the father-of-four did not brandish a firearm and that a CO19 officer came close to killing one of his colleagues will only worsen the tensions that have brought violence and looting to the streets.

piter

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 9, 2011

Maybe when the rioters who are looting the shops start dumping the I-pods and the I-phones in Thames i will start thinking there might be a revolution going on.

Maybe when they ransack Tescos and steal the food to re-distribute the old and the sick, the poor and needy will i start thinking they represent a true community spirit and not just the individualism spawned by years of Thatcher and Blair, and copy-catting the greed and theft of the bankers.

that is a simplistic view about riots and revolution.

as has been said, theses things are contradictory as is actual society.

sure a riot is not a revolution, but a revolution implies that property is attacked and it is attacked in a riot. so it makes it also a positive experience for people inolved in it. it makes people experience a time when the bourgeoisie hold on society is contested. and that's a good thing. that's what we need to show to people about riots. a revolution may start like a riot but goes on from contesting the actual rules to establishing new ones and new relations between people.

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 9, 2011

There's talk of vigilante groups being set up tonight to defend communities against looters.

This could all go very bad...

Valeriano Orob…

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Valeriano Orob… on August 9, 2011

This has been posted today in a spanish paper (excuse the google translation):

The context

- On July 31, 2011 the Guardian published a video on the situation in Haringey (where the riots began) interviewing young people about the situation in the district following the closure of community centers for young people (following a 75% budget cut ). Everyone agreed that his situation was a vulnerability and extreme poverty, no job prospects in a dysfunctional and violent. The last interview statement: "There will be riots." No experts were needed because: the neighborhood he was announcing loudly.

- Since 1998, 333 people have died while in police custody or police custody. No police or political leader has ever been convicted of any of these events. In recent years, cases like Charles de Menezes, killed in cold blood by police in the subway for 'alleged' terrorist, and Ian Tomlinson, who died of a heart attack after a police charge, only came to light thanks to the people and the media provided evidence of the falsity of the detective story. In the case of Mark Duggan, the police report, until yesterday, was that he had fired first. Today we know that the only other shot at the scene of the case also came from a police weapon.

- Street violence and looting are not assets of youth in marginal areas. The situations of violence and chaos attract people from all profiles (one of the riots against the police most important in recent years in our country occurred in Pozuelo de Alarcón, the town with more income per capita of Madrid). There is, therefore, not necessarily political message of protest in the looting. What there is an unmistakable symptom of social dislocation. In the case of London, also emerged a widespread sentiment fueled anti-police in some cases for legitimate reasons (mentioned in the previous section), but also by a popular culture of violence and confrontation (youth call the police 'feds' like FBI agents outside Los Angeles and London).

- Similarly, the London police in a state of extreme demoralization. A police scandals (the recent cases referred to which is added the corruption scandal uncovered by the News of The World and the resignation of senior) add 25% pay cuts, threats of layoffs and growing outrage at the situation in the country that draws many players to the positions of those against whom they are commanded to act. Additionally, the establishment in recent years by police officers and politicians to focus on potential terrorists and legitimate social movements, widespread raids in poor and aggressive tactics in the demonstrations, leaving the worst security forces prepared to face real problems of public order and today.

Although much of the vandalism this time in London is not political or defensible, the riots are likely to face austerity policies. To provide this type of event, however, must be memory: the history, memory of events and social dynamics, happy and unhappy, that led us here. To manage the crisis have to know that apart from politicians and markets, there are people in this world. People, look where you said enough. And, in the absence of hope, in the absence of a collective project, in the absence of a shared story of building a better future, rage and destruction only serve as catharsis possible. Who has nothing to lose, we lose nothing by skipping all the rules.

http://blogs.publico.es/civismos-incivicos/2011/08/09/londons-burning/

sort it out frosty

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by sort it out frosty on August 9, 2011

Phenomenology of angry nihilism

Anger is the expression of strength that has been repressed for too long, offended and abused, the anger of those who suddenly understand that they are 'too young to go rotten'. Its primary manifestation opens up a horizon characterised by universal destruction. As you are in a blind rage you look around you searching for something to destroy, to hurl at a wall or to break with your own hands; the body is felt to be a damaging instrument. Anything can be destroyed! Anger, therefore, manifests itself as a nihilist horizon. As they can desire nothing for themselves, these second-class lives decide to desire that this nothing be realized (as nothing).

But nihilism, this disturbing guest, presents itself in different forms. The less evident is the most widespread, but it is also the most popular: it is the subtle nihilism of the authoritarian management of the existent that pervades everything. It annihilates life and takes away its strength in order to lead it to the preformed structures of order and discipline, production and consumerism, resignation and cynicism. The current social system is nihilist and the citizens who submit to it are also unconsciously nihilist as they accept various forms of voluntary slavery and drag their lives on without passion every day. As they have absorbed the lesson of economy and the imaginary of the value of consumables, their life is based on calculations of costs and benefits, on the separation between means and ends and on resignation to the current misery in the illusory hope that it will be better tomorrow. The nihilist operation of dominion articulates itself in two complementary movements: on the one hand it despoils, alienates and robs, on the other it dresses up, creates illusions and blinds people. But the emptiness upon which this twofold operation stands and finds its substance becomes evident when the second movement (the false satisfaction of illusions) does not work any more: when school, work and the institutions of the spectacular civilized society no longer grip existences that, as a consequence, remain in the proclaimed metastasis of their alienation.

When such metastasis shows itself blindingly, when it inflicts inhuman senseless death, it can explode in angry nihilism : as they perceive the nullity that surrounds them and erodes their life, nameless individuals decide to give it back to its nothing. Angry nihilism wants exactly nothing and realizes perfectly how everything surrounding it has only to be swallowed up in its vacuity. The explosion of angry nihilism, which frees and explodes bad passions, can also be seen as pure fun generated by a nausea for the existent; but that is exactly how it turns into destructive euphoria.

Following the era of cynicism, opportunism and fear, in the present generalised proletarianisation of the life of each and every one, what struggles are possible? We are sorry to disappoint the indefatigable officers of human progress, but these struggles also involve the total destruction of what surrounds us. Once upon a time someone said: 'Nihilists...make just one more effort to be revolutionaries': it's a short step from wanting nothing to wanting everything. But we also say: 'Revolutionaries...make just one more effort to be nihilists' - it takes a bit of courage to be up to one's rage. But where will all this take us? Did not you realise? It will take us nowhere... And anyway, where do you think you are going, all of you?

sort it out frosty

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by sort it out frosty on August 9, 2011

SPREAD THE FIRES, FUCK SOCIETY, LOOT WOT U LIKE FUCK THE REST lol

followers of Anarchism, dont you have any anarchy in your hearts? ;)

ajjohnstone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ajjohnstone on August 9, 2011

"...as has been said, theses things are contradictory as is actual society..."

"...There's talk of vigilante groups being set up tonight to defend communities against looters...."

Hmmm...now, who shall we sympathise and support...the rioter or the vigilante ..?

piter

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 9, 2011

Hmmm...now, who shall we sympathise and support...the rioter or the vigilante ..?

we shall critically sympathise the rioters, showing what is good (bourgeoisie rule and property contested) and also what is bad (hurting working class fellows) in the riots.

no1

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 9, 2011

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast urged the British police to exercise restraint against protesters.

Mehman-Parast asked the British government to start dialogue with the protesters and to listen to their demands in order to calm the situation down.

He also called on the independent human rights organizations to investigate the killing in order to protect the civil rights and civil liberties.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9005180674

soc

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by soc on August 9, 2011

I'm with Samotnaf on this one. I saw things evolving in hackney and it wasn't that controversial as D describing the whole riot. People were on the streets, and not just "hoodies" and they didn't look so scared. They looked somewhat puzzled, and when the police turned up, you could see the tension between them and the cops. Things were rough, and noone should be surprised that there were casualties of all sorts. Criminality is part of the everydays of a capitalism, esp. alone urban areas. Criminality has the same casualties during festivals, demonstrations and so on. Mugging and bullying is clearly something we need to protect ourselves, because it's directed against the weakest always.

If someone only looked the BBC could get a very scary experience during the whole evening and night, but within these forums I guess noone is really surprised that how exegarated and falsified the BBC and other msm reports are. After all, if we take the whole thing in account, there's an almost surprisingly low number of physical casualties given the momentum of the events (as far as I know there was a man shot dead in Croydon).

Let's cool your heads and think. This didn't come about by accident. The story goes from milibank through march26. There's a generation that is completetely abadoned in any terms. As much we hate consumer society, we grew up in this and our needs and our feelings are fit to our state of affairs. These kids ditto. They don't give a fuck about rules, and they see things what they are: goods that you need to secure, by any means. That's what we do, that's what the rich do, that's what they do. Nihilism is the fabric of capitalist society. All you get is the fetish of commodity. And since the whole distribution of the goods are utterly chaotic already, they have taken advantage of this chaos. The point is clearly made IMO: we need to take advantage of it too!

Rioting is not revolutionary act on its own, true. But as revolutionary thinking goes, this is a time of scarcity for the working class, and consequently this is really our crises. Either we solve it, or there will be no ending in the line of government solutions. And we already know what we can expect from the bosses. So here's a good time to act: But every delusion has to be put aside: Times of scarcity, and reproduction crises does not carry inherent revolutionary values.

I hope this didn't reach its tipping point yet. As the police lost control yesterday, tonight, if things will kick in, it's gonna be more hairy. So I would call my comrades here and elsewhere: If ever, now is the time to gather your comrades in your community, organise selfdefense (vs. vigilantes, police and muggers), organise healthcare, organise food supply.

Similarily to the November of Paris, there was no clear underlying political motivation. And there will never be. But there are common sentiments between us and the rioters in the last days. We should not forget that!

Malva

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Malva on August 9, 2011

@soc Totally agree.

batswill

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by batswill on August 9, 2011

sort it out frosty

Phenomenology of angry nihilism

Anger is the expression of strength that has been repressed for too long, offended and abused, the anger of those who suddenly understand that they are 'too young to go rotten'. Its primary manifestation opens up a horizon characterised by universal destruction. As you are in a blind rage you look around you searching for something to destroy, to hurl at a wall or to break with your own hands; the body is felt to be a damaging instrument. Anything can be destroyed! Anger, therefore, manifests itself as a nihilist horizon. As they can desire nothing for themselves, these second-class lives decide to desire that this nothing be realized (as nothing).

But nihilism, this disturbing guest, presents itself in different forms. The less evident is the most widespread, but it is also the most popular: it is the subtle nihilism of the authoritarian management of the existent that pervades everything. It annihilates life and takes away its strength in order to lead it to the preformed structures of order and discipline, production and consumerism, resignation and cynicism. The current social system is nihilist and the citizens who submit to it are also unconsciously nihilist as they accept various forms of voluntary slavery and drag their lives on without passion every day. As they have absorbed the lesson of economy and the imaginary of the value of consumables, their life is based on calculations of costs and benefits, on the separation between means and ends and on resignation to the current misery in the illusory hope that it will be better tomorrow. The nihilist operation of dominion articulates itself in two complementary movements: on the one hand it despoils, alienates and robs, on the other it dresses up, creates illusions and blinds people. But the emptiness upon which this twofold operation stands and finds its substance becomes evident when the second movement (the false satisfaction of illusions) does not work any more: when school, work and the institutions of the spectacular civilized society no longer grip existences that, as a consequence, remain in the proclaimed metastasis of their alienation.

When such metastasis shows itself blindingly, when it inflicts inhuman senseless death, it can explode in angry nihilism : as they perceive the nullity that surrounds them and erodes their life, nameless individuals decide to give it back to its nothing. Angry nihilism wants exactly nothing and realizes perfectly how everything surrounding it has only to be swallowed up in its vacuity. The explosion of angry nihilism, which frees and explodes bad passions, can also be seen as pure fun generated by a nausea for the existent; but that is exactly how it turns into destructive euphoria.

Following the era of cynicism, opportunism and fear, in the present generalised proletarianisation of the life of each and every one, what struggles are possible? We are sorry to disappoint the indefatigable officers of human progress, but these struggles also involve the total destruction of what surrounds us. Once upon a time someone said: 'Nihilists...make just one more effort to be revolutionaries': it's a short step from wanting nothing to wanting everything. But we also say: 'Revolutionaries...make just one more effort to be nihilists' - it takes a bit of courage to be up to one's rage. But where will all this take us? Did not you realise? It will take us nowhere... And anyway, where do you think you are going, all of you?

Oh yeah! U know that thing, 8-)

Entdinglichung

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on August 9, 2011

no1

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast urged the British police to exercise restraint against protesters.

Mehman-Parast asked the British government to start dialogue with the protesters and to listen to their demands in order to calm the situation down.

He also called on the independent human rights organizations to investigate the killing in order to protect the civil rights and civil liberties.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9005180674

restraint against protesters in Iran = using life ammunition, steel batons & knives

Entdinglichung

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on August 9, 2011

London rioters: 'Showing the rich we do what we want': http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14458424

D

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by D on August 9, 2011

"When poor kids steal things and ruin people lives it's called sheer criminality. When rich grown ups do it it's called austerity".

my mates' FB update

Besides a few good ones like this, There seems to unfortunately be loads of really reactionary and bigoted shit as well. Calls to 'bring in the army' seem pretty widespread and the open classism and racism is rearing it's ugly head in a very horrible way

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 9, 2011

Is there anything actually happening at the moment? I'm seeing a lot of panic and not much actual information.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 9, 2011

Lots of sirens but all quiet AFAIC...

Moves in Deptford to set up a community anti-arson team. If one shop goes up, all the flats on the High St are at risk.

no1

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 9, 2011

Entdinglichung

restraint against protesters in Iran = using life ammunition, steel batons & knives

yeah, I was just surprised to see that the Iranian government seem to have a sense of humour by trolling the British like that.

Gerostock

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Gerostock on August 9, 2011

we shall critically sympathise the rioters, showing what is good (bourgeoisie rule and property contested)

You people are admin: no flaming. This is a warning

Toms

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Toms on August 9, 2011

IT Crowd writer asked people to gather information on rioters and has also been campaigning for twitter to handover the user information of rioters to the police...

http://twitter.com/#!/Glinner/status/100887550348111872

radicalgraffiti

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on August 9, 2011

Gerostock

we shall critically sympathise the rioters, showing what is good (bourgeoisie rule and property contested)

You people are fucking deluded.

how so?

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 9, 2011

piter

we shall critically sympathise the rioters

Bit hard to do that if your house is on fire...

Tojiah

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on August 9, 2011

Caiman del Barrio

piter

we shall critically sympathise the rioters

Bit hard to do that if your house is on fire...

Not to be trite, but surely this would have been an issue had there been a firefighters` strike, too.

Entdinglichung

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on August 9, 2011

no1

Entdinglichung

restraint against protesters in Iran = using life ammunition, steel batons & knives

yeah, I was just surprised to see that the Iranian government seem to have a sense of humour by trolling the British like that.

I do not think that this is sense of humour, probably, they are interpreting the riots in britain as a sign that the return of the "hidden imam" is nigh

piter

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 9, 2011

Quote:

we shall critically sympathise the rioters, showing what is good (bourgeoisie rule and property contested)

You people are fucking deluded.

why deluded?

I'm not saying that the rioters are all doing it to make a clear statement or something against the existing social order (it is far from that I guess).
but whatever the aim of the rioters are, it do contest the existing rules
(and I think some of them, impossible to know if its a minority or a majority, are doing it, at least also to express their revolt against the actual order).

Steven.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 9, 2011

a.t.

Judging from my facebook neswfeed at least (needless to say hardly that meaningful) the reaction has been pretty much uniformly negative, many of these who are now shit-talking the rioters are people who supported the student protests, even when they got violent, last year. Hearing a lot of talk about 'chavs' and support for the army being sent in(!).

same from many of my friends, quite disappointing really

subprole

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by subprole on August 9, 2011

uk news on the excellent 'signalfire': http://signalfire.org/?tag=united-kingdom

aloeveraone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on August 9, 2011

From the Guardian liveblog

3.41pm: Computer hackers have defaced the official website of BlackBerry owner Research In Motion, in a retaliatory attack over the company's pledge to assist the police investigation into the London riots.

Our colleague Josh Halliday has more details:

The Inside BlackBerry blog was hacked into on Tuesday afternoon by a group calling themselves TeamPoison. In a statement posted on the BlackBerry website, the hackers said:

Dear RIM;

You Will _NOT_ assist the UK Police because if u do innocent members of the public who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and owned a blackberry will get charged for no reason at all, the Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment ... if you do assist the police by giving them chat logs, gps locations, customer information & access to peoples BlackBerryMessengers you will regret it, we have access to your database which includes your employees information; e.g – Addresses, Names, Phone Numbers etc. – now if u assist the police, we _WILL_ make this information public and pass it onto rioters…. do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps? Think about it…. and don't think that the police will protect your employees, the police can't protect themselves let alone protect others….. if you make the wrong choice your database will be made public, save yourself the embarrassment and make the right choice. don't be a puppet..

p.s – we do not condone in innocent people being attacked in these riots nor do we condone in small businesses being looted, but we are all for the rioters that are engaging in attacks on the police and government…. and before anyone says "the blackberry employees are innocent" no they are not! They are the ones that would be assisting the police.

The hackers said they defaced the website "in response" to this statement made by RIM on Monday: "We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can."

A spokesman for RIM said the firm was looking into the apparent website hack.

jesuithitsquad

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jesuithitsquad on August 9, 2011

revol68

i'd be getting myself a laptop, and if i could persuade a mate to help with a car, a couple of flat screens, though if I was really thinking it through i'd hit jewelers and other high value low weight/volume targets.

these muppets going after off licences "woah dream big", like seriously, unless you're grabbing the aged whiskeys, wines or champagne you are a tard or more likely a giddy 14 year old.

and a few pairs of jeans would be nice too.

aloeveraone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on August 9, 2011

Statement from North London SolFed:

With media sources blaming “anarchy” for the unfolding violence in London and across England, the North London Solidarity Federation felt a response from an anarchist organisation active in the capital would be appropriate.

Over the last few days, riots have caused significant damage to parts of London, to shop-fronts, homes and cars. On the left, we hear the ever-present cry that poverty has caused this. On the right, that gangsters and anti-social elements are taking advantage of tragedy. Both are true. The looting and riots seen over the past number of days are a complex phenomenon and contain many currents.

It is no accident that the riots are happening now, as the support nets for Britain's disenfranchised are dragged away and people are left to fall into the abyss, beaten as they fall by the batons of the Metropolitan Police. But there should be no excuses for the burning of homes, the terrorising of working people. Whoever did such things has no cause for support.

The fury of the estates is what it is, ugly and uncontrolled. But not unpredictable. Britain has hidden away its social problems for decades, corralled them with a brutal picket of armed men. Growing up in the estates often means never leaving them, unless it's in the back of a police van. In the 1980s, these same problems led to Toxteth. In the '90s, contributed to the Poll Tax riots. And now we have them again - because the problems are not only still there, they're getting worse.

Police harassment and brutality are part of everyday life in estates all around the UK. Barely-liveable benefits systems have decayed and been withdrawn. In Hackney, the street-level support workers who came from the estates and knew the kids, could work with them in their troubles have been told they will no longer be paid. Rent is rising and state-sponsored jobs which used to bring money into the area are being cut back in the name of a shift to unpaid "big society" roles. People who always had very little now have nothing. Nothing to lose.

And the media's own role in all of this should not be discounted. For all the talk of the “peaceful protest” that preceded events in Tottenham, the media wouldn't have touched the story if all that happened was a vigil outside a police station. Police violence and protests against it happen all the time. It's only when the other side responds with violence (on legitimate targets or not) that the media feels the need to give it any sort of coverage.

So there should be no shock that people living lives of poverty and violence have at last gone to war. It should be no shock that people are looting plasma screen TVs that will pay for a couple of months' rent and leaving books they can't sell on the shelves. For many, this is the only form of economic redistribution they will see in the coming years as they continue a fruitless search for jobs.

Much has been made of the fact that the rioters were attacking “their own communities.” But riots don't occur within a social vacuum. Riots in the eighties tended to be directed in a more targeted way; avoiding innocents and focusing on targets more representative of class and race oppression: police, police stations, and shops. What's happened since the eighties? Consecutive governments have gone to great lengths to destroy any sort of notion of working class solidarity and identity. Is it any surprise, then, that these rioters turn on other members of our class?

The Solidarity Federation is based in resistance through workplace struggle. We are not involved in the looting and unlike the knee-jerk right or even the sympathetic-but-condemnatory commentators from the left, we will not condemn or condone those we don't know for taking back some of the wealth they have been denied all their lives.

But as revolutionaries, we cannot condone attacks on working people, on the innocent. Burning out shops with homes above them, people's transport to work, muggings and the like are an attack on our own and should be resisted as strongly as any other measure from government "austerity" politics, to price-gouging landlords, to bosses intent on stealing our labour. Tonight and for as long as it takes, people should band together to defend themselves when such violence threatens homes and communities.

We believe that the legitimate anger of the rioters can be far more powerful if it is directed in a collective, democratic way and seeks not to victimise other workers, but to create a world free of the exploitation and inequality inherent to capitalism.

North London Solidarity Federation

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on August 9, 2011

Kicking off in Manchester and Salford.

It looks like the initial targets in Salford precinct were the Money Shop (moneylenders who prey on low-income people with massive interests rates and penalty charges) and the housing office, as well as the police. Salford Market has now been set on fire.

In the city centre Miss Selfridges is on fire, the Diesel shop and a super-pretentious patisserie on Deansgate have been smashed up, and the Ugg shop has been looted. Holland and Barratt, 3 and Orange on Market street have been smashed up.

Talking about it at work, we think there's a good likelihood of it kicking off in Moss Side the inner-city areas with lots of pissed off, unemployed young men; Hulme, Longsight, Levenshulme, Miles Platting, Harpurhey, Beswick, Crumpsall etc.

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on August 9, 2011

Some posh shops on St Anne's square are being looted apparently.

A friend it town has seen some people getting battered by the police, one of them getting their head split open.

leeroy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by leeroy on August 9, 2011

Entdinglichung

London rioters: 'Showing the rich we do what we want': http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14458424

Someone emailed me this with the subject "CHILLING", but I found it quite heartening. What I found troubling about the riots was the way looting and arson seemed to target other working class people, but these two clearly feel that their targets are the police and the bosses - whether the bosses are members of the local community or not.

Soapy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Soapy on August 9, 2011

Pretty good aljazeera commentary on the riots, surprising if anyone here is familiar with their disgraceful coverage of the Greek unrest. http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/08/201189165143946889.html

aloeveraone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on August 9, 2011

As an aside, I'd like to link to a documentary called Crips and Bloods: Made in America. This is an amazing documentary on its own, but the relevant part here is roughly the first thirty minutes or so. It gives background on the subjugation and police harassment felt by the black community in LA, very similar to the stop and search harassment by police in London against poorer communities. The film then goes on to discuss the Watts riots of 1965 in depth and more or less from the point of view of the rioters with commentary from several people involved. It goes into how the riots led to a spring of youth empowerment and activism until the black power movements of the late 60s and early 70s were gunned down and locked away.

Anyway, the reason I'm putting it here is because the film involves discussion on the legitimacy of violence and looting, riots as guerrilla warfare, media manipulation, and most other serious discussions that I've heard with regard to the UK riots. Better yet, much of the discussion in the film is from participants in the battles, either through archival footage or more current interviews with participants who've had time to reflect on their actions.

Some choice quotes:
"You cannot whoop us. We're already dead. We're already beaten down; we've been beaten down for four hundred years. We've already got the wounds - inside and outside our bodies. How you gonna hurt us? You cannot threaten us. You cannot frighten us. We live in the most frightening places under the most frightening conditions. We are immune to fear. We are immune to harm. You have stepped into a cesspool. You the only one whose gonna get infected."

"They called it a riot. It was no riot; we knew what the hell we were doing."

"What you're seeing is guerrilla warfare, but the reason you can't say it is because you never gave the so-called negro credit for having enough intelligence to be strategists enough to practice guerrilla warfare."

"The looting didn't undermine anything because we're talking about desperate people. We're talking about people who have nothing - who see no hope."

By the way, if anyone knows where I can watch other documentaries that are basically "pro-riot," I would appreciate it. I've never found too many.

jef costello

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on August 9, 2011

Django

Kicking off in Manchester and Salford.

It looks like the initial targets in Salford precinct were the Money Shop (moneylenders who prey on low-income people with massive interests rates and penalty charges) and the housing office, as well as the police.

Fuckem, if I was still there I'd be tempted to light up Brighthouse.

Even up here in the sticks the staff in the pound shop were talking about rumours that they were going to be targetted and there was a menacing group of about 8 kids in the shopping centre.

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on August 9, 2011

Looks like bother is spreading out to towns in the North West. I'm hearing there's loads of lads congregating in Bolton town centre, there's fires in Middleton and a mate got a brick thrown at him in Blackburn on the way home from work by some kids who also tried to set Primark on fire.

I reckon all the football will be cancelled this weekend.

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 9, 2011

i'm going into salford tomorrow so probs will report back. i've posted solfed's response on facebook anway.

Refused

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Refused on August 9, 2011

Re the community defence groups, all I know is last night there were a few asian lads trying to stop homes and shops being set on fire/smashed. Sounds fair enough to me.

Tonight apparently football fans are "protecting Eltham" and there's a "vigilante group running Enfield". I've seen this played out as local communities losing faith in the state and the police to protect them, but I'm not sure about the motives of this lot.

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on August 9, 2011

I can smell smoke outside here, and a big group of teenage lads went past - looks like they were heading into town. Cops were following them at a distance.

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 9, 2011

So it's all kicking off in Manchester while a load of Manchester's coppers are in London?

Rob Ray

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on August 9, 2011

"mindless"

Mark.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 9, 2011

Auto

So it's all kicking off in Manchester

http://twitpic.com/63j8ia

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 9, 2011

BBC News reporting that a police station in Nottingham has been firebombed. No injuries reported.

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on August 9, 2011

From earlier on tonight:

[youtube]xsS8kTQkjf[/youtube]

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 9, 2011

I've heard rumours that the EDL and even the NF are out tonight. Now we always get these sort of rumours, so I'm skeptical - but has anyone heard any confirmation of these things?

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on August 9, 2011

Auto

So it's all kicking off in Manchester while a load of Manchester's coppers are in London?

Yeah, apparently the Welsh police have arrived in Manchester now.

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 9, 2011

Video of a large crowd of men running through the streets of Enfield chanting 'England, England'.

http://www.twitvid.com/embed.php?guid=DWZPW&autoplay=0

I get the feeling that things could turn nasty...

Refused

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Refused on August 9, 2011

Django

Auto

So it's all kicking off in Manchester while a load of Manchester's coppers are in London?

Yeah, apparently the Welsh police have arrived in Manchester now.

I'm starting to see a pattern forming here. :|

Mouzone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mouzone on August 10, 2011

Ramona

EDL fail in Eltham, get kettled on a roundabout by the cops

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/c9mnsq

Worrying :-(

bastarx

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on August 10, 2011

Auto

BBC News reporting that a police station in Nottingham has been firebombed. No injuries reported.

Better luck next time.

D

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by D on August 10, 2011

3 muslims have been killed in Birmingham. Run over whilst apparently protecting shops

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 10, 2011

Video showing the 'vigilantes' in Eltham. Including 'EDL' chants.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeX8y0JQNqI&feature=share

I hope we don't see an upswing in right wing activity off the back of these riots.

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 10, 2011

Really good interview made during the riots in Hackney with a local.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmo8DG1gno4

This should be spread around!

bastarx

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on August 10, 2011

Below is a Facebook status update from a Londoner I met in Thailand a few years ago, Asian guy, early 30s:

Thats right....carry on cutting public sector personnel recruitment, shutting down youth clubs, keeping the division between the poor and rich, lower and upper classes, ethnic segregation, unemployment... Our government created this mess, now clear it up! the UK uprising starts here...this is just the beggining

Nothing remarkable except he's an ex member of The Met.

little_brother

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by little_brother on August 10, 2011

Local BBC on Nottingham with video - 5 police stations hit in total last night. Nearly 100 arrests. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-14472172

Nottingham Indymedia on same: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/1983

Anatta

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anatta on August 23, 2011

Watching it in last night it seemed to be mostly thrill seeking kids and people taking advantage of the chaos to do a spot of looting. Looking at the shops that had been targeted though its tempting to see something getting close to class-consciousness in it - on my road both the shops that were attacked were pawn shops.

It was clear from the outset that people weren't been attacked - as all the callers to local radio made clear. Even so, as others have said, the general response seems to be 'call in the tanks' / 'bring in the army' etc. Which is to say, a revolutionary moment seems some way away!

yourmum

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by yourmum on August 10, 2011

jamie oliver tweets:

"so sad to see whats happening in UK with these Riots!all gone mad !time to get our country back now we need 2 come down hard on these idiots"

a bit later:

"sadly my restaurant in Birmingham got smashed up windows all gone whole area closed, cant open, staff and customers all safe!!thankfully jox"

http://twitter.com/#!/jamieoliver

mons

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mons on August 10, 2011

There's been some relatively minor stuff in Oxford too - in Barton, Headington, Cowley, Botley, Littlemore (where a guy's in hospital after fires) and also Blackbird Leys (where there was rioting about 20 years ago, it's one of the biggest council estates in europe and where IWCA do/did most of their stuff in Oxford - would be interesting to know the IWCA reaction to this if there is one as from what I read they seemed quite entrenched in the community). A McDonalds, cars and a bar have been burnt.

The only people I know who I think are involved with it from my old school are all definitely poor, anti-police, disempowered, etc. but they're also the people who mug ordinary people on a day-to-day basis. Pretty mixed reaction from non-politico locals apart from that, but mainly negative.

Also more minor stuff going on in Banbury, Milton Keynes, High Wycombe, Slough and Reading (though for most those places all I've heard about is a couple of arrests, not sure what has actually been happening). I presume if it's this widespread and in cities/towns as small as these, it must be pretty much everywhere around the UK.

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 10, 2011

but they're also the people who mug ordinary people on a day-to-day basis.

This is a funny thing to address. Yeah working class inner city youth mug people, but should we really be joining the chorus of condemnation? Someone has tried to mug me before (luckily, I had nothing and we ended up chatting for a bit), it's not cool and I didn't enjoy it, but the people are not passive working class angels either.

D

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by D on August 10, 2011

Arbeiten

but they're also the people who mug ordinary people on a day-to-day basis.

This is a funny thing to address. Yeah working class inner city youth mug people, but should we really be joining the chorus of condemnation? Someone has tried to mug me before (luckily, I had nothing and we ended up chatting for a bit), it's not cool and I didn't enjoy it, but the people are not passive working class angels either.

surely it depends on what the issue is, if its people getting mugged then we should absolutely condem them. Looting from shops is very different. Although I can also see how people find it intimidating if they see the people doing it as the same ones who mug them (Not saying this is the reality but just public perception). as this probably makes them see it as purely individual opportunism rather than something done ethically or having class conscious.

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 10, 2011

I just wasn't sure by your first post whether it was you saying you believe looters are also muggers, or whether you think other people think looters are also muggers.

Also, I think it is worth pursuing this further. What is a mugger? do these people actually recognize the people who mugged them as also looters (then, fair enough), or is it just some shite condescending prejudice based on what inner city working class youth look like. If it is the latter kind, then I don't have much sympathy. It's that same attitude that has been a contributing factor to this in the first place. police sees a kid, 'oh he/she looks like a mugger', lets stop search him/her.

D

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by D on August 10, 2011

Arbeiten

I just wasn't sure by your first post whether it was you saying you believe looters are also muggers, or whether you think other people think looters are also muggers.

Also, I think it is worth pursuing this further. What is a mugger? do these people actually recognize the people who mugged them as also looters (then, fair enough), or is it just some shite condescending prejudice based on what inner city working class youth look like. If it is the latter kind, then I don't have much sympathy. It's that same attitude that has been a contributing factor to this in the first place. police sees a kid, 'oh he/she looks like a mugger', lets stop search him/her.

I think you have confused me with another poster, I didnt bring up muggers and looters that was someone else.

As to your question I would imagine most people conflating muggers with looters are doing so on the basis of some idea of what 'a mugger' looks like. This is often of course a result of prejudice and media propaganda but I think its worth pointing out that lots of people are disprportionatly victims of crime committed by people dressed a certain way.If I'm walking down my area and I see a group of male youths in hoodies then I do become more alert to the possibility they might try something with me as its happened to me loads of times.

I used to wears hoodies and stuff and dress like what some would call a 'hoodlum' and even then I would be wary of others dressed like me. I dont think that makes it prejudice.

aloeveraone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on August 10, 2011

Looks like the reaction from the public as a whole - or at least the ones that are polled - is going to be pretty bad.

Guardian liveblog:

11.35am: This YouGov poll – which shows a third of those surveyed would back police use of live ammunition when tackling rioters – is full of startling numbers:

As rioting continues for a fourth night, the poll for the Sun has found that there is widespread support among British adults for a range of tactics to be made available to the police:

• 90% think the police should be able to use water cannon when dealing with rioters
• 33% say police should be able to use firearms/live ammunition
• 77% support using the army to help deal with the situation
• 57% feel David Cameron is dealing with the situation badly
• 85% believe either a majority or most of those taking part in the riots will go unpunished

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 10, 2011

The video going around of the Manchester police beating teens up on bikes... that has been linked around my office as a positive video.

These riots really are strengthening the hand of the authoritarians...

Malva

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Malva on August 10, 2011

Some good reporting: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/London+rioters+resent+media+image+hooded+teen+thug/5233682/story.html

CRUD

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on August 11, 2011

COPS, prison guards, private security firms, large capitalists, politicians, military personnel and so on are all shit. Any person in a position of authority with little to no accountability is going to abuse his/her power.

COPS in America have been going ape shit for decades....you can see videos on youtube of them beating mentally handicap people, beating underage girls, knocking out mothers with babies at their side....elderly people being tazerd to death (we're talking 90 years old), a man being shot in the back while face down and handcuffed....kids on skatboards being assaulted by COPS, elderly women being pulled out of their cars and tazed for speeding, prison guards setting up death matches in prison, solders assassinating scores of innocent civilians....just brutality from every angle coming from the state. By their definition the state is in a state of "anarchy" (chaos). Add the current economic condition into the mix and America could blow up next. The recent Oscar Grant murder sparked some outrage but nothing on the scale we're seeing in England at the moment.

Some of the people out there looting and such should keep in mind who the enemy is...I have no pity for corporate store fronts being looted but harming fellow working class peoples is fucked.

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 11, 2011

I went into Salford today for a short while, but didn't see anything though (tbh I was avoiding it). The Salford Star (a council-funded dissident mag) has been covering it with pics as well. The first article is surprisingly sympathetic, comparing it to Shameless. Lots of residents were terrified though, which is very shitty.

However, the office of new labourite expenses fiddler and war mongerer MP Hazel Blear was targeted which was fucking A!!

Contrast the comments below each of the two articles - it gives me hope that despite the media onslaught their can be some unity IF these young people choose their targets wisely.

Nate

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Nate on August 11, 2011

From looking on facebook the EDL are trying to make a lot out of this (and the EDL are on facebook... ugh)
And, can anyone confirm this?
http://www.grandestrategy.com/2011/08/105403030201-edl-to-firebomb-mosques.html

Intifada1988

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Intifada1988 on August 11, 2011

You guys are lucky they are even letting this happen. Forget about strengthening the authoritarian hand

If this happend here, stateside, people would surely be dead now. Shit it happens everyday with out the riots. 11 unarmed people have been killed by police in my town this year. Same shit different day as they say

soc

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by soc on August 11, 2011

Demo in Athens in solidarity to the UK uprising

Our greek comrades are closer than ever.

Afternoon Thursday, August 4, outside the metro station Tottenham, armed police stopped a taxi in which the board MarkDuggan.

At 18:41, Mark was found dead by a bullet in the chest while receiving a second ball after the last breath, pinned in his right biceps. "

Own thytesidia victims everywhere. Each home is treated as a source resistance of the enemy. ToKratospyrovolei and kills and has made clear its objective either in Paris or in Greece or Totennam. But even in Syria and throughout the Arab world guns of Power is the only line of defense of the sovereignty of overlords collapsing. The rulers think they can ensure their salvation by sacrificing society.

Faced with this threat all that's left is fear because the other instruments of manipulation and integration time ago ceased to operate. This. DIRECT DEMOCRACY ghost hovers there, everywhere in the squares around the world.

ALL CALLS TO GATHER IN THE ASSEMBLY OF THE CONSTITUTION ON THURSDAY IN MARCH AND 6pm 7 THE BRITISH AND SPANISH EMBASSY.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY EVERYWHERE

Antiauthoritarian MOVEMENT IN ATHENS

jef costello

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on August 11, 2011

yourmum

jamie oliver tweets:

"so sad to see whats happening in UK with these Riots!all gone mad !time to get our country back now we need 2 come down hard on these idiots"

a bit later:

"sadly my restaurant in Birmingham got smashed up windows all gone whole area closed, cant open, staff and customers all safe!!thankfully jox"

http://twitter.com/#!/jamieoliver

One more reason to support the rioters.

One thing that's gone largely unreported is that the job centre was set on fire as well (it's next to the carpet place) I saw a message about it, but largely forgot as this thing got big. That's going to cause some people problems, although they were trying to shut it down anyway, apparently 3 job centres in the borough was too many and it made more sense to close the one near where most of the people who need it live. I've also been told that people can claim back property damage from the police under the riot act but they have to claim within 14 days.

Mouzone

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mouzone on August 11, 2011

http://nathanieltapley.com/2011/08/10/an-open-letter-to-david-camerons-parents/

Thought this was bang on

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 11, 2011

Did anyone else ever hear the average idiot, from liberals to fascists to the 'i hate immigrants and the BNP' personality-less reactionary call for the French revolution? I always seemed to hear that a lot, even on TV.

The revolution which killed at least 17,000 people? And plenty of criminals used to rob and loot?

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 11, 2011

The prime minister promised he would do "whatever it takes" to restore order to the streets as he set out a range of measures aimed at helping businesses and homeowners affected by the riots.

They included:

To look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via social media when "we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality"

Plans to look at whether wider powers of curfew and dispersal orders were needed

New powers for police to order people to remove facemasks where criminality is suspected

Courts could be given tougher sentencing powers

Landlords could be given more power to evict criminals from social housing

Plans to extend the system of gang injunctions across the country and build on anti-gang programmes, similar to those in the US

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 11, 2011

LOL! anti-gang measures similar to the US! Yes lets do that, because the US is gang free! I try to not really take everything that is said by our populist politicians too seriously in the earlier days. Remember when Trees'r'May was going to bring in water cannons late last year?

The only one that really riles me is the thing about evictions.

Anatta

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anatta on August 23, 2011

Arbeiten

The only one that really riles me is the thing about evictions.

Local media seem to be cheer-leading this.

Entdinglichung

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on August 11, 2011

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/08/11/rioting-nottingham-different-pattern

Whilst rioting in other parts of the country continued to focus on looting and disruption in city centres, Nottingham witnessed a slightly different pattern of events.

The first round of rioting sparked in the St Ann’s area of Nottingham on Monday night, with cars set alight, houses pelted with bricks and stones and the fire-bombing of the car park at the local police station. The trouble spilled into town where youths attempted to break into the Victoria Shopping centre and the JD Sports outlet inside. This attempt was swiftly halted by the police.

On Tuesday morning, the centre of Nottingham appeared very much as normal. Shops were open, the outdoor furniture – much of it metal – remained outside coffee shops, restaurants and bars. Nottingham’s ‘Riviera’ – a fake beech and amusements in the central Market Square – remained in operation. The only signs of disruption were to be found in a small area of the Victoria centre and on the streets of St Ann’s where many cars had been set alight.

This quiet situation started to change after 4pm when barriers were erected around the ‘Riviera’, tables and chairs started to disappear from the square and shops started to be boarded up.

The events that unfolded throughout the evening did include some attempts at looting – the most ‘successful’ of which was an attack on a small jewellery shop – but none of the large stores suffered the same fate as other parts of the country. One pub on Mansfield Road was also attacked but potential looters could not get inside.

The first major incident came when up to twenty youths took to the roof of Nottingham’s Girls High School, a private school sandwiched between Forest Fields and city campus of Nottingham Trent University. The police response was swift and overwhelming. Bystanders were kept well away and within a short space of time the roof was cleared. Ten young people were arrested.

A short time later, a group of 30 to 40 men marched up to Canning Circus Police Station -which will be familiar to fans of crime fiction from John Harvey’s ‘Resnik’ books – and threw fire bombs (footage of this is circulating on Twitter). The entrance to the station was engulfed in flames but no substantial damage was done. There were further attacks on police stations in and around the city.

Later still, windows were smashed at Clarendon College – a further education college very close to the city centre – and fire bombs thrown inside. Damage here was more significant.

The main focus of the riots was not looting but symbols of prestige – the High School – and power – police stations. To what extent these actions were planned and premeditated is unknown but the wherewithal required to prepare, carry and use firebombs seems to suggest some sort of ‘plan’.

So, something ‘different’ happened in Nottingham last night. The ‘difference’ was not just the targets chosen but the numbers involved. Available reports indicate that those involved in rioting moved in small groups, no more than 40, in contrast to the hundreds gathered in other parts of the country.

The reasons for this ‘difference’ must include the history of the last round of rioting almost exactly thirty years ago, as well as the nature of city today. The exact reason remains unknown.

cantdocartwheels

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by cantdocartwheels on August 11, 2011

manchester rioting was a bit more focused also, blears getting done twice is a good example
http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=1061
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/aug/10/hazel-blears-car-attacked

Joseph Kay

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on August 11, 2011

Here's a Socialist Party response.

SP

Liverpool & District Socialist Party is appalled at the current rioting which has resulted in the destruction of working peoples' homes, workplaces, and the community facilities and shops they rely on.

We recognise that there are those who are using the riots to engage in criminal activity and this is to be condemned. In condemning the wanton destruction we believe that the conditions for the initial disturbances have been created by mass unemployment, social deprivation and the massive cuts which have been imposed by the Con-Dem government and implemented by local authorities.

So they conclude it's really about youth out of jobs, but condemn them for fighting, then plug Youth Fight For Jobs and a load of mental transitional demands they know full well are impossible were they ever to take the council again :wall:

Joseph Kay

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on August 11, 2011

aloeveraone

Looks like the reaction from the public as a whole - or at least the ones that are polled - is going to be pretty bad.

i'm not inclined to pay too much attention to opinion polls. so much is in the framing of the question, and it assumes an absent depth, conviction and consistency to 'beliefs' formed on the fly. for example some of the same people who were on my facebook calling for the army, supporting the Met etc also liked my status saying i hoped all my mates had new trainers and TVs. 'the government should take decisive steps to cut the deficit' / 'strongly agree' // 'the government should maintain investment in the NHS and vital services' / 'strongly agree' etc.

Anatta

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anatta on August 11, 2011

The Guardian article is from 2009 :confused:

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 11, 2011

The Guardian article is from 2009

:lol: it is! hahahaha! fail!, Still her car deserved it....

Ramona

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ramona on August 11, 2011

So they've started sentencing people, a kid in Manchester just got four months for "swearing and ranting at police", someone else got 10 months for stealing a £3.50 bottle of water.

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 11, 2011

flippin' 'eck, CALL THE ARMY I SAY! nearly a year for a bottle of water!

Anatta

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anatta on August 11, 2011

Listening to 5 Live yesterday they had politicians from all three major parties, practically falling over themselves to be seen to be in favour of the most strict reforms to the law. There seems to be a real taste for a shift to the right in the country.

It worries me that at the core of most people's anger about the looting and rioting seems to be a general hatred of what I guess people perceive as 'chav' culture - people are speaking opening about 'ferral scum', and 'rats' etc. And I think the reason that people hate this section of society so much is that they don't seem to be obeying the ingrained work ethic of the rest of society. There certainly seems to be little taste for examining or challenging these norms.

As an aside, The Sun and I think The Star both had front-pages with screaming headlines along the lines of 'Anarchy In The UK' today. I've seen plenty of discussion on other (non-political) forums about anarchists organising this, based mainly i think on leaflets that were distributed in london advising on how to get out of being charged if you get arrested rioting.

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 11, 2011

Yeah thats a difficult one (your last point Anatta), anarchos get bad public rep. whatever happens. I mean, those armchair politicians arn't really our constituency anyway so we shouldn't spend too much time worrying about their scorn. They are probably the same people who think 'liking' a facebook page in favour of the police is a mode of political action.

This whole debacle has shown really how spiteful the class hatred in this country is, an absolute refusal to try and understand the complex issues that are staring us right in the face.

What we have to do now is something like what is happening in Hackney and Deptford. Try and re-articulate this around anti-governmental sentiment instead of jumping on the bloody securitocracy bandwagon. The facebook group for the Tottenham march on saturday has a lot of positive responses on it.

As for the major parties falling over themselves, they have been since the election of Tony Blair....

Malva

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Malva on August 11, 2011

I think the reason that people hate this section of society so much is that they don't seem to be obeying the ingrained work ethic of the rest of society. There certainly seems to be little taste for examining or challenging these norms.

Yes! This is so true. The fetishisation of labour is a big part of what is driving liberals and leftists to this anti working class sentiment.

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 11, 2011

Ramona

So they've started sentencing people, a kid in Manchester just got four months for "swearing and ranting at police", someone else got 10 months for stealing a £3.50 bottle of water.

Do you a link for that?

Some more people have been sentenced in Manchester:

http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1455374_instant-justice-faces-of-first-men-jailed-for-their-part-in-manchester-and-salford-riots

I find their occupations interesting, I mean it's like a real life Fight Club.

Anatta

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anatta on August 11, 2011

[quote=Arbeiten]
This whole debacle has shown really how spiteful the class hatred in this country is, an absolute refusal to try and understand the complex issues that are staring us right in the face. [quote]

I agree, it's really very depressing in that respect

What we have to do now is something like what is happening in Hackney and Deptford. Try and re-articulate this around anti-governmental sentiment

Agree

jef costello

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on August 11, 2011

wojtek

Ramona

So they've started sentencing people, a kid in Manchester just got four months for "swearing and ranting at police", someone else got 10 months for stealing a £3.50 bottle of water.

Do you a link for that?

Some more people have been sentenced in Manchester:

http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1455374_instant-justice-faces-of-first-men-jailed-for-their-part-in-manchester-and-salford-riots

I find their occupations interesting, I mean it's like a real life Fight Club.

Jason Ulett, 38, of Woodward Court, Ancoats, swore at and struggled with officers who suspected him of being a looter because he was wearing dark hooded clothing and riding a bicycle outside Sainsburys at Whitworth Street, which had been vandalised by a mob.

Mr Ulett was jailed for 10 weeks and told that he should have cycled away from the violence instead of making trouble for officers facing ‘incredible odds’.

this sounds like the worst of them at a first glance, police really are pathetic bullies.

jesuithitsquad

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jesuithitsquad on August 11, 2011

Anatta

And I think the reason that people hate this section of society so much is that they don't seem to be obeying the ingrained work ethic of the rest of society. There certainly seems to be little taste for examining or challenging these norms.

this is really well stated.

CRUD

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on August 11, 2011

Arbeiten

LOL! anti-gang measures similar to the US! Yes lets do that, because the US is gang free! I try to not really take everything that is said by our populist politicians too seriously in the earlier days. Remember when Trees'r'May was going to bring in water cannons late last year?

The only one that really riles me is the thing about evictions.

Water cannons? In the USA the national guard would be brought in and people would be shot and beaten to death by 'authorities'. The 'anti gang' measures are largely what are filling our prisons now seeing they put a 'gang enhancement' on any initial charges a person may get. This doesn't always mean the person in question is actually in a gang- he/she may just have a friend or two in a gang- he/she may "look like a gang member" (that's definitely up for subjective interpretation)...the evictions are another fucked up thing- in public housing if a kid is arrested the parents or grandparents will be evicted and made homeless.

It basically looks like the right wing in your country wants to create a prison industrial complex similar to that of the USA. That would be a shame and you guys should fight this tooth and nail. Especially since hard economic times are ahead. This is usually where the "reserve army of labor" ends up these days.....prison (at least in America).

regoose jeter

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by regoose jeter on August 11, 2011

In my community there were isolated incidents of arson, which were preceded by the riots. A parked car was set alight to, which might have been a failed car bomb, however, a burning vehicle is a means of creating an explosion. So this was terrorists, certainly, but the local Fire Brigade had it under control, while it was parked in a side street where there are several businesses of Yiddish speakers, therefore, when referring to this terrorist attack, it is certain to be antisemitic also, and the car was left outside a Pentacostal Church. Several private cars were sweeping the area and many of the people from the community were in hot pursuit.

redsdisease

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by redsdisease on August 12, 2011

regoose jeter

A parked car was set alight to, which might have been a failed car bomb, however, a burning vehicle is a means of creating an explosion. So this was terrorists, certainly

Sorry, but do you have any particular reasons for thinking it was a car bomb? From what I can see, it seems that there were a lot of burning cars during the riots, what makes you think this one was different from all those others?

Cars aren't particularly difficult to set on fire and don't normally explode with enough force to cause real damage to the surroundings.

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 12, 2011

It seems to me that after the reactionary backlash against the riots, there's now possibly something of a backlash against the backlash. A few people I know who were part of the 'crackdown hard' brigade during the riots themselves have now softened slightly in their opinions - largely, I think, after hearing the hard right rhetoric from the politicians.

What do people think?

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 12, 2011

Yeah CRUD, I wasn't laughing because I think the US system is good, it actually creates gang members. Have you read the last section of Foucault's Discipline and Punish, he makes a point about the whole prison and police system actually creating criminality. Prisons are friggin' training grounds for gang members!

Auto, I have not yet seen any backlash against the backlash. Just a shit storm of class hatred. That video of the cops smashing that kid in has left loads of people with raging fuckin hard authoritarian erections.....

no1

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 12, 2011

Auto

It seems to me that after the reactionary backlash against the riots, there's now possibly something of a backlash against the backlash. A few people I know who were part of the 'crackdown hard' brigade during the riots themselves have now softened slightly in their opinions - largely, I think, after hearing the hard right rhetoric from the politicians.

What do people think?

I hope so, but I guess the thing about having principled politics is that we'll be doing what we'd be doing anyway, regardless of whether it makes us popular or not

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 12, 2011

Oh of course, I'm not suggesting that anarchists should be 'following the crowd' - and a certain amount of those reposting comments about 'understanding' the causes of the riots will be liberals trying to score points against conservatives, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

It makes me wonder how much of the 'hang 'em and shoot 'em' rhetoric is from people who actually believe it and how much of it comes from fear and confusion during breakdowns in established order.

no1

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 12, 2011

yeah agree - if you watch the telly the message about how the world works is clearly "capitalism or barbarism".

Anatta

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anatta on August 12, 2011

Auto

It makes me wonder how much of the 'hang 'em and shoot 'em' rhetoric is from people who actually believe it and how much of it comes from fear and confusion during breakdowns in established order.

I wonder how much of it stems from bitterness. I mean, most people have pretty shitty lives even if they are relatively comfortable. So when they see people disregarding laws and helping themselves to plasma TVs and the like, in the absence of any notion of an alternative way of living own lives, it gives them the perfect target onto which to pour their anger and resentment.

Most people simply do not consider for a second that there is an alternative to the current consumer capitalism that they live in, so when people break the rules and seemingly get away with it, it makes them angry.

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 12, 2011

The latest edition of the Novara Radio Show is on the unrest:

http://soundcloud.com/guydemaupassant/novara-tuesday-9th-august-2011

Auto

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 12, 2011

Another aspect of the response to the riot I can't stand is the Liberal perspective on these poor areas of the country. It makes out that everyone in these areas are completely helpless victims. That they are all so crushed by their poverty that they are in desperate need of 'help' and 'services' from outside (usually from the state). If that help is taken away (by the 'Tory Cuts') then they have no hope.

Now there's truth in some of that -capitalism makes a lot of areas really shit places to live, and to an extent people are trapped by their class and by their conditions - But they're not helpless. They're human beings with all the agency, decision making and power that all human beings have. When people were rioting and looting they were expressing all those things. It wasn't directed, and how revolutionary it was is up for debate - but this was not the so called 'cry of the helpless' that the liberal left are making it out to be.

If Anarchists do have anything to bring to the table in the post-riot discourse it's raising the point that these people aren't helpless - they have the power and the ability to make huge changes - but it has to come from within their own communities and can't be relied upon to come from outside (government, the middle-classes, the police).

With all of the things that have been happening, I get the feeling that there is a real hunger for social justice, even if people don't have the 'political' language to express it.

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 12, 2011

Anarchism in the Independent, without wanting to derail the thread are Chumbawumba any good?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boff-whalley-in-defence-of-anarchy-2336159.html

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 12, 2011

they are literally the worst thing that happened to music n Britain.

But the article isn't bad!

no1

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 12, 2011

First eviction notice served:

A council tenant whose son has appeared in court charged in connection with Monday night’s disturbances in Clapham Junction will today (Friday) be served with an eviction notice.
The tenant is believed to be the first in the country to now be facing the prospect of losing their council-owned home as a result of Monday night's rioting and looting.
The notice is the first stage in the legal process of eviction. The notice gives warning that the council will be seeking possession of the property and that an application will be made to the courts seeking the tenant's eviction. The final decision will rest with a judge sitting at the county court.

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/10626/first_rioter_given_eviction_notice

Explanation of the legality of collective punishment:

The council is able to commence eviction proceedings against this tenant for breaching their tenancy agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, which applies to all the council's rented accommodation, all tenants, their household members and visitors are forbidden from a range of criminal and anti-social activities. Breaches of the agreement render them liable to eviction.

Armchair Anarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Armchair Anarchist on August 12, 2011

I thought it was ok as well. Although,

Some self-proclaimed anarchists you may have heard of: George Melly, John Cage, Noam Chomsky, Emma Goldman, Germaine Greer, Henry Miller, Joseph Proudhon, Malcolm McLaren, Mike Harding

Surely someone's having a giraffe...

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 12, 2011

This council eviction thing is beyond a fucking joke, what short sited populist shit....

subprole

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by subprole on August 12, 2011

http://signalfire.org/?p=13188

With the looters and against the left

“We are not involved in the looting and unlike the knee-jerk right or even the sympathetic-but-condemnatory commentators from the left, we will not condemn or condone those we don’t know for taking back some of the wealth they have been denied all their lives.”

North London Solidarity Federation

“This is counter-productive behaviour whose only results will be division amongst working-class communities and an excuse for the state to step up its use of force.”

Post on the blog of UK libertarian socialist group the Commune

“It is not for communists to condemn the riots. They are a sign of capitalism’s crisis and decay. Neither do we romanticise the riotous act as an effective form of struggle against capitalist exploitation.”

Internationalist Communist Tendency

The potential for communism today is not centered in the orderly struggles of well off minorities of the class to defend their privileges against encroaching restructuring. Struggles all too often draped in national flags, defined by whiteness and speaking in the discourse of democracy. The coming social revolution will not be an orderly civil affair resolved upon by a majority vote in Syntagma or any other square peacefully occupied by the indignant and naive.

No on the contrary our hope for the future lies in the real majority of the class which is excluded, unemployed, precarious, malnourished, and “criminal”. Not in the hopeless demands of unionized workers for the restoration of a lost social contract or in populist movements for reform which take the moral high ground on a terrain defined by the mass media and petty bourgeois notions of what is “respectable”.

The systematic looting and destruction which has swept England is of course completely insufficient in and of itself for the development of autonomous proletarian politics. It is however a thousand times preferable to the demands for democracy which buried the Arab Spring in a cosmetic restructuring of the state. The mass appropriation of Nikes and Iphones without explanation or justification is like any struggle for higher wages and fewer hours of work a direct assertion of the material needs of the class-and as such immeasurably closer to the living content of communist politics then any nationalist and reformist movement with a “coherent” message.

Those who identify more with the vigilante gangs of the petty-bourgeois defending their small enterprises (where proletarians are exploited, humiliated and cheated everyday), then with working class youth carrying out the dictatorial expropriation of the social wealth show clearly that they are not revolutionaries but cops in waiting-and should be treated accordingly.

piter

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 12, 2011

I think the solfed text, and the others cited here should be criticised but the end of this statement is really posturing and bad posturing.
everyone knows that the groups cited here are not identifying with "vigilante gangs of the petty-bourgeois defending their small enterprises". and saying they are is just silly and idiotic polemics...nothing to do with constructive critique....

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 12, 2011

No, there were a few rumours, but no rioting. I'm not sure why that wasn't the case, I mean it's not for a lack of good looting targets. There's about four pawn brokers, several bookies and a flash 'grand arcade' which I feel like burning down Angry Brigade style whenever I go inside. With regards the statement, it's probably just the Dave 'striking is Communism' Whelan getting paranoid in his old age, bless...

Aflwydd

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Aflwydd on August 12, 2011

The Welsh are nearly as smug about nothing happening in Cardiff as they were about the tuition fees. I've heard a fair few 'best police force in Britain' comments on the social networking sites. You would think they had won a Rugby match.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 12, 2011

I've been internet-free for a few days, and would like eventually to reply to some of the stuff here, but for the moment here's a large (possibly excessive) bit of cut-and-paste about the looting in the riots of 30 years ago, which supports those who support looting and undermines the ideology of those who don't:

SUMMER SALES
"Shopping should be an emotional experience. People should want to drop in." -
Mr.Quayle, director at Woolworths’ “21st Century Shopping Ltd.”, new name for Woolies in Bristol (The Times, 14/2/82).
"Just doing a bit of window shopping" -
Wood Green rioter, 1981 (LBC, July, 1981).
There are certain situations when dropping into a shop is a truly emotional experience. That's when people start to smash that blatantly seductive parader of the beauty of possessions, the shop window which reflects back to you the ugliness of your fundamental dispossession. Don't the vast majority dream of wrecking that fragile separation? At the same time as it titillates us with things we’ve been told we want, it prevents us from grasping them. When we smash a shop window, it's not only the miraculous display of things (with their artistic image association and their ideological free gifts) that gets shattered, but also the 'reasonable' cops in our head. The objects become what they always were - just objects, whilst the bourgeois rationale that hypocritically distinguishes between theft and property also appears for what it is: bullshit to keep us impotently yearning. How can those who resign themselves to a world which is meant to be expectantly gazed at know the simple beauty of the delightful anger hurling the brick shattering the repressive splits of this fragmented vicarious life? Perhaps they mutter "Greed...Resentment" as they greedily clutch onto their narrow resentment of those who are having a smashing time. One guy during the riot days of ’81 smashed every window in Barkers on his own - and never tried to even take anything. Often people smashed shop windows in order to nick nothing more than what they could far more easily steal from Woolworth’s on a crowded shopping day with little risk. And the greedy slander this contempt for the law and order of things as 'greed'. When stolen cameras were used as missiles (Wood Green) and TVs were dropped onto the heads of cops (Liverpool), it was the Holy Trinity of the Commodity, the Media & the State which were being wrecked. When a thirsty kid in Brixton swapped some jewellery for a can of cold coke, exchange value was being subverted by the value of desire. Yet still ‘socially aware’ pedagogues could smugly moralise about ‘greed’ along with the Daily Mirror and the rest of the capitalist media. Greed had fuck-all to do with it - and only "socialist" specialists, and other politicians, had a material interest in belittling the looting to this lowest common denominator.
It is the game of dare that shatters the vulnerable veil separating the dispossessed from the "wealth" this world has to offer, at the same time shattering the ideology of exchange that separates people from each other; looting is a collective activity that unites us on the basis of an immediate break with our habitual submission to space & things. In those July days, youths often stole things in order to give them away as presents to attractive strangers who, by means of such give and take, were no longer so strange. But shopping keeps us apart, making everyone the policeman of their own encounters, reducing everyone to the banality of shop assistants arid customers, workers and consumers, enervating queues and digits on a till. Products of competing businesses and the separation of production from distribution, shops perpetuate the nonsensical degrading form of organising things, the commodity form, which not only insults everyone's imagination and dignity, but is also bureaucratic, inefficient and wasteful. Any proletarian with an ounce of audacity rightly goes out and liberates them on the basic class recognition of a simple re-distribution of wealth. But it would be merely ideological cheer-leading to sociologically 'justify' looting in terms, say, of bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots. Such moralistic reformists want to turn looting into a struggle for equality under the law of exchange, and thus usually reduce the explanation for looting as being to do with unemployment, and only unemployment. That way looting can become 'safe' and not really the concern of those workers who are a bit higher up the commodity's ladder than the unemployed. “Understandable, but inexcusable”, as Claire Doyle from the Militant Tendency condescendingly put it. The Right, since they had no reason to express any sympathy for the rioters, were usually a bit more sussed. Breakfast TVs' fuehrer, Tory M.P. Jonathan Aitken, complained about what "took place in the prosperous and peaceful towns of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells”, where "hundreds of teenagers ran amok in the streets” and "petrol bombs were thrown and a number of shop windows were smashed.” Choosing his words carefully, he stated, "I do not think that any objective observer could see there any of the symptoms of decay, deprivation and degradation that we have heard so much about in inner cities in other parts of the country.” Of course, it's never "objective observers” who experience the prosperous passivity of sweet English towns as symptomatic of the decay of their desires ,the deprivation of their intelligence and the degradation of their humanity: only subjective participants can experience that. Meanwhile, specialists in 'objectivity’ content themselves with teaching the masses. "Youth is a force which can be used for the destruction of society, or for the re-building of society. That is what the House and the Nation should be about. That is what our leaderships should be about, on both sides of the House. The art of politics is to change the negative or destructive to the positive. The young should be turned to a proper purpose that will benefit us all.”, said Sir Hugh Fraser, Tory M.P. (of course, the art of attacking politics is to try to make sure that the negative or destructive don't get changed into "positive” forces [like the Falklands War?] whose proper purpose is to turn the intimidation of youth into a profitable unit which would be of benefit to the leadership of commodity society ). Didactic arrogance is not, however, the prerogative of the Right. Leftist SWP leader, Tony Cliff, said at a meeting in Liverpool at the time, "Because they have not been organised the kids have been attacking shops when they should have been attacking factories. We must teach them to take the bakery and not just the bread”. The Left, left behind by a movement of kids who were teaching their parents, had to pretend they knew it all as usual, and that the kids were too thick to make the revolution according to their blueprints. Again the Right were a bit clearer: "The French revolutionaries were most interested in securing bread; they were asked to eat cake, but they wanted bread. They are surely strange revolutionaries in our streets today, whose first motivation is to steal the products of a capitalist consumer society. I do not see those people as the traditional vanguards of the proletariat. I see them as people who have...rather less of a need for bread. " (John Butcher, M.P.).
Then there are those urban reformers who were really frightened by the extent to which urban dereliction contributed to the trashing and burning of those nice little shops in poor neighbourhoods, the "horrific” consequences of high rise estates, desolate spaces, barren streets After all, such conditions destroy that convenient informal network of vigilance and surveillance which, including authority figures such as teachers, parents, shopkeepers, local businessmen, publicans, etc., made the job of the cops a fuck of a lot easier: one way or another people were always 'known' to each other. But increasing anonymity has meant that the local shop could be done in without much risk of being made to pay the cost. Behind the veil of good intentions there's that inherent class bias in which small business interests come first in their apparently damning indictments of urban development. They just want to try to recreate the conditions which they pretend once bound otherwise class-divided 'communities’ together. That's why they tend to sensationalise street crime. But their greatest fear is the kind of explosion of class war which has no compunction about attacking small businesses, which is exactly what happened on Britain’s streets between July 4th and 13th, 1981. In response, one M.P. suggested that "...corporations might engage in marketing studies... They might suggest to neighbourhood retailers how they could make the shopping precinct more attractive, and they might wish to get involved in giving the area a facelift... improve, say, the appearance of the shop frontage.” (Anthony Steen, July 16th 1981 ). Doesn't this show the poverty of all aestheticised architecture? It's all just fancy icing coating the rotten cake of market relations, the appearance of an attractive facelift hiding the contempt of the commodity.
The basic disgust youth developed then for the petit-bourgeois mediocrity of shopkeepers was also disgust for the polite policing which is encouraged not only by the reformers but also by the dominant class (after all, Thatcher’s father was a grocer ). This disgust often transcended racial considerations also. For instance, the same Asian shopkeepers who had a 'sympathetic’ meeting with Thatcher in Southall after the white fascist attacks on their shops, got smashed up a week later by Asian kids. Those who identify with their present means of survival, always always side with the perpetuators of their misery in the end, regardless of their colour - and black and white youth are beginning to recognise it. It's not too difficult to see that behind the shopkeepers’ "May I be of any assistance sir?", behind the "Thank you” and "Please” and the occasional smile, lurk petty-minded shrivelled little tyrants,who think they're free because they're 'their own boss', content with their island of illusory dictatorship, where power is reduced to short-changing. Regardless of their longing for some fantasised former simplicity and local autonomy, regardless of the fact that, like Covent Gardens' "Alternative Bookshop", they might call themselves anarchists and certainly moan about central government, they almost invariably call the cops. Such dreary respect for the graveyard of the present was smashed with every stone thrown. Until the proletariat seizes and transforms the economy, pillage will always be the minimum expression of life.
Looting implies mass communal direct power, unmediated by buying & selling, by cops & specialists: it is the necessary ‘chaos’ through which we must pass in order to organise the distribution of things on a rational and playful human basis. Theft, particularly mass theft, gives you the chance to re-invent the use of a thing beyond the resigned individuals' normal submission to the insult of its market value the use to which the Economy demands the individual sacrifice himself to, for which degrading irrationality all the Property Laws are the tedious justification. Against this complicated normality, the rioters have shown the abnormal simplicity of a creative use of space and time. In Keswick, bikers smashed up the theatre, getting away with some of the costumes. In Manchester we saw something a little better than the ultra-leftists’ wet dream of a Free Transport System when rioters stole milk floats and concrete mixers to attack the cops. In Brixton, space invaders machines from 'Space City’ were used as barricades against the real space invaders – the cops and the traffic, a neat way of showing how the idiocy of the leisure spectacle can easily be turned against the perpetuators of this idiocy. A whining Sunday Mirror hack wrote that whilst standing outside a smashed half-looted clothes shop, a young woman came up to him and said, "May I be of any assistance, sir? I'm sure we can find something your size. And if we can't find anything today, I'm certain we'll have something in stock tomorrow." Here, humour, normally unserious, safely separate, compensatory and evasive, re-discovered it's point - sharpened, this time, by life, by reality: here, unlike in The Young Ones, The Comic Strip or the rest of the Alternative Decomposition crew, the juxtaposition of incongruities was used to directly challenge the irrationality of the present. Not only was nothing pre-scripted, but the old scripts were spontaneously turned upside down. The parody of politeness, armed by the practical situation of mass subversion, reveals the miserable stupidity of the complicity of individuals with the roles the division of labour demands of them. No wonder the Sunday Mirror mercenary moaned about how bizarre It all was: jokes ain’t wot they used to be.
Some "revolutionaries" complained that the kids at Finsbury Park looted gold in order to re-sell it. To them it's an expression of class solidarity when workers go on wildcat strike for a wage rise, but when marginals riot and also get what amounts to a wage rise, these workerists become purists and put down this expropriation as perpetuating commodity relations. Nevertheless, it's possible that one day survivalism and its "compensations” will be superseded to such an extent that gold bars will end up like the £300 cameras in Wood Green: as ammunition - their only use value. Until then, the theft of gold for re-selling merely shocks the dominant class because it mirrors the contradictory irrationalities of the market economy the dominant class is based on. Theft, like hustling, may be necessary but hardly sufficient: such acts assert the self-direction of the masses against the tyrannical misery of the Commodity on one level, yet on another level undermines this practical position by perpetuating its' rules, expressing the decomposition of the system and its' values without in itself posing an exit. Obviously whilst this world is not opposed by an explicitly intelligent global confrontation, posing practically the supersession of the commodity economy, it would be self-defeating to lob the gold at our enemies. Until global anger has carried us that far, the necessity of determining our existence will inevitably be riddled with the subtle contradictions of The Market. Until then, theft is necessary: but pumping it up or putting it down are just different ways of pumping oneself up or of putting oneself down, stopping a more profound questioning. Until we truly do go over "the edge of the abyss, beyond which lay anarchy, the breakdown of law and social catastrophe" (The Guardian, referring to the riots) quite a few more questions are going to have to be posed and answered.

- from:
http://libcom.org/library/who-gives-toss

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Red Marriott on August 12, 2011

Armchair Anarchist

I thought it was ok as well. Although,

Some self-proclaimed anarchists you may have heard of: George Melly, John Cage, Noam Chomsky, Emma Goldman, Germaine Greer, Henry Miller, Joseph Proudhon, Malcolm McLaren, Mike Harding

Surely someone's having a giraffe...

But surely, Armchair, you're aware of the old folkie as one of the founding fathers of your political tendency? His seminal text;

Spartacus

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spartacus on August 13, 2011

over here in australia the abc has mostly just been recycling bbc coverage, but on their "yoof" radio station triple j they had a brit on putting forward a fairly pro-rioter stance on their current affairs programme which wasn't bad - you can listen to it on their website (it's friday's episode) http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hack/

aren't the uk's prisons already pretty overcrowded as it is? so won't a huge increase in angry pissed off inmates increase the risk of a major prison rebellion?

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 13, 2011

Some interesting comments from looters here:
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story/uk-riots-looters-feel-no-remorse-london/1/147949.html

Shorty

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Shorty on August 13, 2011

http://libcom.org/library/transitional-phase-crisis-era-riots

Starting to read this, trying to find a framework in which to place and understand the riots. Yay nay?

action_now

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by action_now on August 13, 2011

Shorty

http://libcom.org/library/transitional-phase-crisis-era-riots

Starting to read this, trying to find a framework in which to place and understand the riots. Yay nay?

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Alfredo_M._Bonanno__From_Riot_to_Insurrection__Analysis_for_an_anarchist_perspective_against_post-industrial_capitalism.html

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 13, 2011

The Chinese free market Stalinist "Communist" Party take on the riots :

It's been a good couple of weeks for China’s conservative press and a bad one for the image of liberal governments, as democracies battle crises ....... These crises will certainly not be forgotten by defenders of one-party rule eager to find evidence of democratic countries’ failings.

But Chinese media have followed the English riots with particularly intense interest, making it a lead story for days – and casting it as a reflection of fundamental problems in English and European society. An editorial in Guangming Daily (Chinese link), a party newspaper, argues: ‘In reality, the disturbances in London are a reflection of Europe’s sickness: years of high welfare payments, excessive personal liberties, and an increase in foreign immigration have rendered it impossible for the lowest rungs of society to enjoy material well-being.’ .... Adherents to such views have found ample confirmation in the British media – a China Daily translation of a Daily Mailcolumn has become popular on the Chinese networking site Renren. It argues that British youth are ‘wild beasts...they respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others.’

Conservative papers especially have picked up on illiberal comments like British Prime Minister David Cameron’s suggestion that social networking websites should be blocked to maintain order. The Global Times, a conservative, but relatively independent, newspaper owned by the People's Daily has had Cameron's proposal to block access to Facebook and Twitter as a lead story in its special coverage of the riots all day. As James Fallows writes at the Atlantic, he will undoubtedly be quoted for years whenever China comes under fire for limiting access to controversial information.

The riots have also given Chinese media a chance to put Western netizens under a microscope – in a feature that will be familiar to readers of the popular ChinaSmack, Chinese media outlets have gathered and translated outrageous comments from Western news stories: ‘Just send the army in to take care of it. Bring in martial law already jeez’ or ‘Muslims suck. Assimilateor [sic] get the hell out of the West. We don’t want your inferior culture being imposed on us.’ Comments like these will only reinforce the standard Xinhua editorial argument that Western liberalism is a facade, an easy prescription for other countries, but quickly dropped when push comes to shove.

Pictures of burning buildings in London, like Standard and Poor’s downgrade of US debt last week, will have a long shelf life in the repertoires of apologists for authoritarian rule. As a friend of mine asked me this week – with the United States paralyzed, the European economy in tatters, and England in chaos, whose model is looking good now?

....While pluralism, equality, and individual freedom are all of very great worth, achieving them in practice clearly comes at a very great price.

http://the-diplomat.com/china-power/2011/08/13/how-china-sees-english-riots/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+the-diplomat+%28The+Diplomat+RSS%29

I love that "British youth are ‘wild beasts...they respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others." So seizing or destroying property is as basic as eating, drinking and having sex. Says it all really (the opposite is also true: starving, dehydration, celibacy and not seizing or destroying property relations is a mark of "civilisation" as we know it - for some now, for many, if not most, of those reading this, the possible future).

What Debord said about the integrated spectacle seems pertinent here:

In 1967 I distinguished two rival and successive forms of spectacular power, the concentrated and the diffuse. Both of them floated above real society, as its goal and its lie. The former, placing in the fore the ideology grouped around a dictatorial personality, had accompanied the totalitarian counter-revolution, Nazi as well as Stalinist. The latter, driving salaried workers to freely operate their choice upon the great variety of new commodities that confront them, had represented the Americanization of the world, a process which in some respects frightened but also successfully seduced those countries where it had been possible to maintain traditional forms of bourgeois democracy. Since then a third form has been established, through the rational combination of these two, and on the basis of a victory of the form which had showed itself stronger: the diffuse. This is the integrated spectacle, which has since tended to impose itself globally....

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 13, 2011

subprole

Those who identify more with the vigilante gangs of the petty-bourgeois defending their small enterprises (where proletarians are exploited, humiliated and cheated everyday), then with working class youth carrying out the dictatorial expropriation of the social wealth show clearly that they are not revolutionaries but cops in waiting-and should be treated accordingly.

[/quote]

Yet more abstracted academic insurrecionist tripe.

How many times do I need to repeat that the looters in my area were local gang kids?

i am sick and fucking tired of every old cunt putting their oar in on one or other side of this fucking binary established by the mainstream media (who, lest we forget, were just about as discredited as possible this time last week but have now reasserted themselves accordingly). Some of the stuff I've seen written - including by groups with members on this site - has smacked of chin-strokign ivory towers, patronising bullshit. As if the hoods trashing my road wouldn't have loved to mug your hipster-punk poseur asses!

Mark.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 13, 2011

Those who identify more with the vigilante gangs of the petty-bourgeois defending their small enterprises (where proletarians are exploited, humiliated and cheated everyday), then with working class youth carrying out the dictatorial expropriation of the social wealth show clearly that they are not revolutionaries but cops in waiting-and should be treated accordingly.

I posted this on another thread:

Chilli Sauce

I'm not sure about about "local businesses" thing...

Where I am "local businesses" would mostly translate as Asian shops, restaurants and takeaways, one reason I'm glad that nothing kicked off here.

This is hypothetical, but if something did kick off here what would the "vigilante gangs of the petty-bourgeois defending their small enterprises" (local translation: Asian shopkeepers) be supposed to do - just let their shops be trashed by "working class youth carrying out the dictatorial expropriation of the social wealth" (local translation: mainly white kids from the estates)?

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 13, 2011

[quote=Caiman del Barrio]subprole

[i]
Yet more abstracted academic insurrecionist tripe.

How many times do I need to repeat that the looters in my area were local gang kids?

i am sick and fucking tired of every old cunt putting their oar in on one or other side of this fucking binary established by the mainstream media (who, lest we forget, were just about as discredited as possible this time last week but have now reasserted themselves accordingly). Some of the stuff I've seen written - including by groups with members on this site - has smacked of chin-strokign ivory towers, patronising bullshit. As if the hoods trashing my road wouldn't have loved to mug your hipster-punk poseur asses!

That seems to be a pretty generalised statement. If people are implying every single rioter was a Robin Hood-esque, exploited and class conscious prole, then that of course is foolish but it doesn't do much good falling into the average reactionary, Daily Mail fan category of baseless opinions. Riots and revolts are often, if not always hijacked by criminality; that's not to say any 'vigilante' protecting their livelihood is doing anything remotely immoral. I'm sure a lot of the vigilantes were violent, thuggish 'british bulldog' types we'd usually be fighting against, psychically or figuratively. I think most anarchists can surely agree proletarian looting from huge corporations which vacuum profits from the community/workers and use third world exploitation to further their wealth is acceptable, but muggings, arson and home invasion is unacceptable.

Gerostock

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Gerostock on August 13, 2011

working class youth carrying out the dictatorial expropriation of the social wealth

This sort of crap used to irritate me; now it just makes me chuckle. The only sentiment behind the riots besides the opportunism of the gangland scumbags was anger in it's crudest expression. Anybody who sees a profound revolutionary Marxist ethos is deluded. The fact that the justified anger of the urban working class is expressing itself in dumb violence reflects another failure of the left to direct these energies to a positive goal, and a victory for the Tories. The Cabinet has probably spent the last few months terrified that anger would express itself in the Greek or Spanish fashion. They're probably still celebrating.

Wellclose Square

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Wellclose Square on August 13, 2011

I saw this comment to an article on the occupied london website:

I continue to think this: If we can dispute the method: to burn and to destroy houses, businesses of peers will give arguments to the dominant political class to divide our class. The explosive anger of these last days is ‘legitimized’ by the violence with which the capitalist, oppressive system uses to subject the people to its destructive and wild will. We can oppose to an uncontrolled violence, to the expression which makes mistakes about targets…..
Nevertheless we have to show solidarity in front of the attempt of division which will come from the dominant class. For the greater part, the rioting demonstrators are young, very young.

The latter point is very important. Apart from verbal declarations of solidarity with those arraigned on all sorts of charges, are there any practical steps to directly support those charged (people derided, implicitly, by some 'oppositionists' here as mere social criminals rather than 'sussed' political criminals)?

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 13, 2011

Demo against council house eviction in SW London this Thurs: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=263018167043693

Baronarchist - you call my comment a foolish generalisation then end up agreeing with it? Check the context, I was referring to the insurrecionist binary above! Quite clearly last week's events spiralled off in all directions.

Mark.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 13, 2011

Wellclose Square - the only possibility that has really occurred to me is some kind of opposition to councils trying to evict people who get convicted, or whose children get convicted.

Edit: cross posted with Caiman - I'm glad to see something's happening.

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 13, 2011

Caiman del Barrio

Demo against council house eviction in SW London this Thurs: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=263018167043693

Baronarchist - you call my comment a foolish generalisation then end up agreeing with it? Check the context, I was referring to the insurrecionist binary above! Quite clearly last week's events spiralled off in all directions.

Ah ok, I couldn't work out your exact comments, so I called those supporting all the rioters foolish and those condemning them all to hold baseless opinions. It seemed like a few anarchists (though I admit I obviously misinterpreted your point) held the opinion there were only 'rioters' and all involved were ransacking normal people's homes, as that's what he media has largely portrayed. It's the binary opposite to the 'all cops are good' idiot rhetoric.

Baronarchist

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Baronarchist on August 13, 2011

Mark.

A message from Greater Manchester Police

They seem quite proud to have jailed a mother of two who didn't take part in any looting. To think we're now in a situation where we get told that, then see the sentence 'There are no excuses!' after and still have to deal with people who claim the State has no where near enough power.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 13, 2011

Gerostock:

Anybody who sees a profound revolutionary Marxist ethos is deluded. The fact that the justified anger of the urban working class is expressing itself in dumb violence reflects another failure of the left to direct these energies to a positive goal

And this from the guy who supported the Falklands war (itself a product of the '81 riots) because, despite bad intentions, the result was "good" (ho ho): see http://libcom.org/forums/news/what-argentinian-claim-falklands-18062011

Whose "dumb violence"? Whose intelligent violence? And what"s wrong with

anger in it's crudest expression

. Clearly crudity is upsetting for those who think being sophisticated in their violence is worth defending (sophisticated violence = Thatcher's Falklands War...? or what, Gerostock?).

Those who judge things purely intellectually on their "good" or "bad" intentions ignore the fact that we have to concentrate on the results if we want a revolution against this society. These riots, as i've said before, have to go forward and to condemn them on the basis that they don't fit a stereotype that no one is making ("a profound revolutionary Marxist ethos") is reactionary shit.

Wellclose quotes occupied london , which expresses it well:

I continue to think this: If we can dispute the method: to burn and to destroy houses, businesses of peers will give arguments to the dominant political class to divide our class. The explosive anger of these last days is ‘legitimized’ by the violence with which the capitalist, oppressive system uses to subject the people to its destructive and wild will. We can oppose to an uncontrolled violence, to the expression which makes mistakes about targets…..
Nevertheless we have to show solidarity in front of the attempt of division which will come from the dominant class. For the greater part, the rioting demonstrators are young, very young.

Youth today have been deprived, in any practical sense, of the radical history of the struggles of over 150 years that led up to the riots of 1981. These riots were comparatively a lot more friendly and less crazily desperate (though even this cricture of the present riots has been grossly exaggerated by the media and the ruling society generally , which also conveniently forgets for the moment how many people get killed/mugged, etc. outside of riotous situations). Not suprisingly then, given the repressions of the last 20 years of virtual silence, these youths hit out in sometimes mad ways, but then the Left, so beloved of Gerostock, and of which s/he is a part, also do this, but in a far less "crude" manner (e.g. support for one vicious set of rulers against another)....Crudity involves a risk with one's life, whereas sophistication doesn't even involve this: it's just a show of opposition.

If the young are going to develop a clearer class consciousness, it's certainly not by repressing their desire to expropriate the expropriators by looting, but of contributing towards these subversive acts becoming explicit forms of opposition. Which is already happening to a certain extent:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story/uk-riots-looters-feel-no-remorse-london/1/147949.html

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 14, 2011

Some more opinions of some of those that partook in the riots here. This is I think something which has really been lacking, at least in the media coverage.

'London rioters resent media image of hooded teen thug'

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20110813015250643

Also with regards this:

wojtek

The latest edition of the Novara Radio Show is on the unrest:

http://soundcloud.com/guydemaupassant/novara-tuesday-9th-august-2011

At 45:30 mins, one of the presenters reads out one of the bbm (?) messages which goes as follows:

"Everyone from all sides of London meet up at the heart of London Central OXFORD CIRCUS! Bear(?) shops are gonna get smashed up, get some free stuff. Fuck the feds, we will send them back with OUR RIOT :) Dead ends and colour war(?) for now so if you see a brother SALUTE if you see a fed SHOOT. Everyone run wild. All of London and others invited. Pure terror and havoc and free stuff. Just smash windows and cart out the stuff you want. Oxford Circus 9pm. We don't need pussy old feds to run the streets and put our brothers in jail. Also tool up. It's a free world so have fun running wild shopping :) Oxford Circus 9pm. IF YOU SEE A FED STOPPING A BROTHER JUMP HIM. Niggas will be lurking about. All blacked out, we will strike at 9:15 to 9:30. Make sure you're there, see you there. Remember the location Oxford Circus. Must re-broadcast to all contacts."

Obviously it's just one message and bound to be analysed to the point of redundancy, but I still think it may be worth considering.

As far as I know it's unknown whether it was written by a gang member or a citizen.

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 14, 2011

oops double post

Gerostock

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Gerostock on August 14, 2011

Samotnaf

]And this from the guy who supported the Falklands war

lol

MJ

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MJ on August 14, 2011

What is being done by communists in England to call support to those evicted and/or imprisoned?

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 14, 2011

Anyone seen this?:

one of the most audacious actions last Monday was the atack on shops in Sloane Square by youngsters from the nearby council estates. Hugo Boss and other rich shops looted. A harbinger of things to come in a city where conspicuous wealth gloats at the poverty nearby.’The first frisson of fear flickers on the faces of the bon viveurs’. In Notting Hill diners in rich restaurants were robbed of their wallets and jewellry.

http://ianbone.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/the-attack-on-sloane-square/

Bone's an all-over-the-place demagoguic populist but he sometimes has interesting information.

Mike Harman

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 14, 2011

Bear(?) shops

Bear = "lots of". Well it should be spelled 'bare' too :)

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bare has more.

D

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by D on August 14, 2011

wojtek

Some more opinions of some of those that partook in the riots here. This is I think something which has really been lacking, at least in the media coverage.

'London rioters resent media image of hooded teen thug'

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20110813015250643

Also with regards this:

wojtek

The latest edition of the Novara Radio Show is on the unrest:

http://soundcloud.com/guydemaupassant/novara-tuesday-9th-august-2011

At 45:30 mins, one of the presenters reads out one of the bbm (?) messages which goes as follows:

"Everyone from all sides of London meet up at the heart of London Central OXFORD CIRCUS! Bear(?) shops are gonna get smashed up, get some free stuff. Fuck the feds, we will send them back with OUR RIOT :) Dead ends and colour war(?) for now so if you see a brother SALUTE if you see a fed SHOOT. Everyone run wild. All of London and others invited. Pure terror and havoc and free stuff. Just smash windows and cart out the stuff you want. Oxford Circus 9pm. We don't need pussy old feds to run the streets and put our brothers in jail. Also tool up. It's a free world so have fun running wild shopping :) Oxford Circus 9pm. IF YOU SEE A FED STOPPING A BROTHER JUMP HIM. Niggas will be lurking about. All blacked out, we will strike at 9:15 to 9:30. Make sure you're there, see you there. Remember the location Oxford Circus. Must re-broadcast to all contacts."

Obviously it's just one message and bound to be analysed to the point of redundancy, but I still it may be worth considering.

As far as I know it's unknown whether it was written by a gang member or a citizen.

'bare' = a lot

'dead endz and colour war' = lets stop the fighting between areas (eg. Tottenham vs Hackney etc) and let's stop some of the 'gang' fights where people wear colours to show what side they are on.

I think that message kind of shows the mixed elements to the riots. On the one hand there are positives like youths targetting their rage against police rather than each other and on the other hand there is the glorifying of 'terror' and 'havoc'

I think questioning wheather it's written by a 'gang member' or a citezen is not a good thing to do. These 'gangs' the police speak of are just generally groups of youths that hang around with each other on the streets and sometimes do anti-social stuff. None of this dequalifies them from being a 'citizen'. That distinction is exactly what the media/politicians have been trying to emphasise IMO

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 14, 2011

Mike Harman

Bear(?) shops

Bear = "lots of". Well it should be spelled 'bare' too :)

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bare has more.

Sorry, the northern youth haven't carried out the dictatorial expropriation of the south's social linguistic wealth yet. Academic insurrectionists are not best pleased with us.

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 14, 2011

This sort of crap used to irritate me; now it just makes me chuckle. The only sentiment behind the riots besides the opportunism of the gangland scumbags was anger in it's crudest expression. Anybody who sees a profound revolutionary Marxist ethos is deluded.

While I too am slightly irritated by the blind celebration faux poetic violence, I find it ten times more irritating, actually infuriating, when people call these people 'scumbags'. If the failure to articulate the riots properly into a legitimate expression of anger was part the failure of the left, then it's this sort of crude class hatred that compounds 'the left' (whoever they are) failure. Perhaps you should join the New Labour front bench, I'm sure they would love you....

Gerostock

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Gerostock on August 14, 2011

Arbeiten

This sort of crap used to irritate me; now it just makes me chuckle. The only sentiment behind the riots besides the opportunism of the gangland scumbags was anger in it's crudest expression. Anybody who sees a profound revolutionary Marxist ethos is deluded.

While I too am slightly irritated by the blind celebration faux poetic violence, I find it ten times more irritating, actually infuriating, when people call these people 'scumbags'. If the failure to articulate the riots properly into a legitimate expression of anger was part the failure of the left, then it's this sort of crude class hatred that compounds 'the left' (whoever they are) failure. Perhaps you should join the New Labour front bench, I'm sure they would love you....

I called the gangs scumbags, not the rioters. Maybe if you read more thoroughly you'd be less infuriated.

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 14, 2011

I'm reading it pretty carefully (a little bit more annoyed that you have suggested I didn't the first time), and I would still argue that that distinction is not made firm enough (if at all). Even so, given the structure of a 'gang' (of which I don't claim to be an expert), is everyone in the gang from the small runners at the bottom to the guys at the top etc, etc all equally bagged in scummary? Do we know how much organized gang activity influenced these riots? Or are we making the horrible mistake of presuming this happened in the city - there are gangs in the city = therefore it was perpetrated by gangs. This is a difficult issue and i don't think we should be involved in blind piñata blame stick waving. There were certainly gang elements involved, but as wojtek's post shows, the inter-gang violence was side lined for the larger picture*. That seems to me like the largest problem with gang violence, is that they kill and maim one and other. If that is sidelined then I don't see this is a particularly blaring gang issue?

I had hoped that people on this board would ease off on the scum language (apart from when talking about Tories of course, who are all equally filthy c**ts from top to bottom).

*and we can moan about what we thought about the larger picture all we want. I personally think that is a bit of a blind alley because, whatever this was, it was massively disparate and contradictory.

Wellclose Square

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Wellclose Square on August 14, 2011

Arbeiten

I'm reading it pretty carefully (a little bit more annoyed that you have suggested I didn't the first time), and I would still argue that that distinction is not made firm enough (if at all). Even so, given the structure of a 'gang' (of which I don't claim to be an expert), is everyone in the gang from the small runners at the bottom to the guys at the top etc, etc all equally bagged in scummary? Do we know how much organized gang activity influenced these riots? Or are we making the horrible mistake of presuming this happened in the city - there are gangs in the city = therefore it was perpetrated by gangs. This is a difficult issue and i don't think we should be involved in blind piñata blame stick waving. There were certainly gang elements involved, but as wojtek's post shows, the inter-gang violence was side lined for the larger picture*. That seems to me like the largest problem with gang violence, is that they kill and maim one and other. If that is sidelined then I don't see this is a particularly blaring gang issue?

I had hoped that people on this board would ease off on the scum language (apart from when talking about Tories of course, who are all equally filthy c**ts from top to bottom).

*and we can moan about what we thought about the larger picture all we want. I personally think that is a bit of a blind alley because, whatever this was, it was massively disparate and contradictory.

Agree with you here. The 'gang' = scum equation only works if you want to put down or devalue the whole thing and line up with the chorus of condemnation, which of course 'we' don't. In terms of the undoubted episodes of indiscriminate violence, I'm wondering whether a 'natural', meteorological metaphor is appropriate to describe the insurrection in all its 'good' and 'bad' dimensions - a storm that's been building up and waiting to break, which is indiscriminate in its effects when it's broken... perhaps? The air has been 'cleared' (temporarily), to be filled by the clamour for class justice on the one hand, and reflections on where we (including the BMX-riding 'chavs', held face down on a pavement at gunpoint by police in Manchester yesterday for NOTHING) go from here.

Wellclose Square

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Wellclose Square on August 14, 2011

This in The Guardian:

I managed to extract from another boy the information that he had been down to Woolwich with his "boys". I have known him for nearly two years and have witnessed him suffering at the hands of Woolwich gangs. The last time he had been in the area, more than 12 months ago, he had been almost fatally stabbed. Rivalries that nearly ended his life were, for that night, put aside: "Nah, Bruv," he told me. "Last night London was free.

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Red Marriott on August 14, 2011

Agree with Arbeiten & Wellclose above. By now it should be clear that - in order to avoid the simplistic good or evil absolutes offered up by the media and its mouths - to have a useful discussion about all this one has to qualify from the start what seems positive and what reactionary within the complexities. So using vague undefined terms like "gangland" begs the question, and at worst is a way of conveniently dismissing - without much thought - the real complexities and contradictions. "Gangland" as in the traditional professional criminal 'gangland-style killing' arena? Or "gangland" as in territorial youth turf/postcode identities? Or as in mix of the two, more common in the US? Or the leadership of such gang businesses, or their rank'n'file footsoldiers/street hustlers - who may have different, opposing, attitudes to the riots?

But worth remembering there was also a gang truce during and after the 1992 LA riot - but it didn't hold very long before things went back to normal rivalries.

Wellclose Square

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Wellclose Square on August 14, 2011

Red Marriott

But worth remembering there was also a gang truce during and after the 1992 LA riot - but it didn't hold very long before things went back to normal rivalries.

I remember this. Is it too much of a pipedream for current London rivalries to be suspended (leaving aside Spurs and Arsenal ;) ) while the repression continues... and beyond? What's the scope for some kind of 'No War But the Class War' take on all this (writing as a pedantic, technophobic old git)?

Suddenly, it seems like all the seemingly dated King Mob/UAWM-type stuff of the late '60s is relevant again... or am I going off on one?

kheym

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by kheym on August 15, 2011

that seems relevant:
http://player.vimeo.com/video/12400916
src: http://www.marcsilver.net/#work

bootsy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bootsy on August 15, 2011

This article was written by an ex-member of the IWCA who now lives in New Zealand.

soc

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by soc on August 15, 2011

MJ

What is being done by communists in England to call support to those evicted and/or imprisoned?

That's a fair question. There are plenty of choice, we should get together these possibilities according to our strength.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 15, 2011

Worrying Twitter rumours:

-a criminal solicitor claims that police in Notting Hill have been instructed to round up all black men known to them (?)

-a magistrate in Camberwell claims that the govt has ordered courts to jail all rioters

piter

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 15, 2011

Arbeiten wrote:

Quote Gerostock:

This sort of crap used to irritate me; now it just makes me chuckle. The only sentiment behind the riots besides the opportunism of the gangland scumbags was anger in it's crudest expression. Anybody who sees a profound revolutionary Marxist ethos is deluded.

quote Arbeiten : While I too am slightly irritated by the blind celebration faux poetic violence, I find it ten times more irritating, actually infuriating, when people call these people 'scumbags'. If the failure to articulate the riots properly into a legitimate expression of anger was part the failure of the left, then it's this sort of crude class hatred that compounds 'the left' (whoever they are) failure. Perhaps you should join the New Labour front bench, I'm sure they would love you....

quote Gerostock : I called the gangs scumbags, not the rioters. Maybe if you read more thoroughly you'd be less infuriated.

so rioters don't equates gang members, maybe you should have recognised this earlier...

and maybe then we shall see in the riots something else than a failure...(and if we talk of a failure of "the left" it is that the youth (and not so youth by the way) don't let their anger to be sucked in "respectable" political activity such as supporting "the left").
yes we still live under capitalist relations that means we haven't yet succeeded to destroy it, we know that...
the question is what in the riots point to the reproduction of capital and what point to its destruction and replacement by something else, and what are we doing with it .

baboon

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on August 15, 2011

I denounce the state and its repression but I don't think that looting is a positive aspect of class struggle nor is it any move towards the unity of interests of the working class. In fact I would say that it goes in the opposite direction.

There is no situation here of rising class struggle, and even less so of any revolutionary development. But it's interesting to look at how looters were dealt with in the Russian Revolution (I'm not making any strict analogy with today, which is totally different but just a general point on looting during a revolutionary upheaval).

In "Year One of the Russian Revolution", Victor Serge confronts the question of looting by quoting a report by Antonov-Ovseyenko:
"The problem was particularly serious with the cellars of the Winter Palace. The Preobrazhensky regiment, which had been put in charge of them, got drunk and became quite useless. The Pavlovsky regiment, our sure revolutionary shield, went the same way. Teams of soldiers were sent, picked from various regiments: they too got drunk. The workers' committees attempted no further resistance. The crowd had to be dispersed by armoured cars, whose crews were soon reeling to. By nightfall it had become a wild orgy. 'Let's drink up the Romanov leftovers', they sang gaily in the crowd. Order was restored in the end by sailors fresh from Helsinki, men or iron who had been more used to killing than drinking. In the suburbs of Vassili-Ostov, the Finland regiment, which was led by anarcho-syndicalists, decided to shoot the looters on the spot and blow up the wine cellars."
And Serge adds: "These devotees of liberty took no half-measures and a good job too".

Another situation which also doesn't directly correspond to the present riots was in one situation in New Orleans where half-a-dozen cops with pistols drawn and aimed at other coppers, gave cover-fire to the "looters", mostly young men who were taking from a supermarket water, baby food, nappies, sanitary towels and so on which were badly needed in the terrible conditions of the Astrodome.

This recent looting is not a revolutionary act but a reflection of bourgeois ideology as, very clearly for me, is the idea of violence to workers, their homes and local shops being "collatoral damage" - a capitalist-speak straight from the Pentagon.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 15, 2011

Youth run amok on the UK's streets for several nights in a row, signalling their dissatisfaction with and disengagement from just about everything, as well as the utter inability of the revolutionary movement to be relevant to them.

The state's reaction - cheerled by the majority of the working class - is to jail upwards of 3000 people for all sorts of menial offenses, evict folk from their homes, cut their benefits, and mobilise water cannons and social media censorship "for next time".

Baboon responds with a tokenistic condemnation and quotes from the Russian Revolution.

FML :wall:

action_now

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by action_now on August 15, 2011

you really wouldn't have thought that this was a radical poltics forum, judging by loads of these posts.

flaneur

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by flaneur on August 15, 2011

Given the massive support the Branscombe beach looters enjoyed from the ICC, I'm surprised to see Baboon's dismissal of these ones.

MD

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MD on August 15, 2011

I still think that An open letter to those who condemn looting (part 1 and part 2 ) is the best response and analysis from radicals sofar....

miles

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by miles on August 15, 2011

flaneur

Given the massive support the Branscombe beach looters enjoyed from the ICC, I'm surprised to see Baboon's dismissal of these ones.

I went back and found the thread on Branscombe - I didn't look through the whole thing, but I think you've got it completely wrong, we condemned the looting, especially posts from demogorgon.

Baboon responds with a tokenistic condemnation and quotes from the Russian Revolution.

I don't think there's anything wrong with quoting events from the russian revolution - if they're relevant to your point (which they were to the point baboon was making). However in russia in 1917 there was an organised working class which was in the process of organising a revolution. There's plenty to learn fgrom the events in russia, however I think it's not necessarily directly relevant here. Lots of commentators, including in todays Guardian have pointed out the similarities with the events in France in 2005 (which were then followed by the student CPE movement in 2006...)

The ICC has published a statement on the riots. People have commented to us that there seems to be a substantial / long winded introduction to it, before we say anything substantive about the riots. The reason for that is because we wanted to place things in a context, as the text from SOLFED (the substantial majority of which the ICC supports) does, in opposition to the general hysteria and immediate taking of one position or another by the mainstream press / liberals etc..

To quote a part of it, in support of baboons post:

Do the riots we have seen in the UK this past week provide a method for fighting back, for taking control, for uniting our forces, for carving out a different future for ourselves? Many of those taking part in the riots were clearly expressing their anger against the police and against the possessors of wealth, who they see as the main cause of their own poverty. But almost immediately the riots threw up more negative elements, darker attitudes fed by decades of social disintegration in the poorest urban areas, of gang culture, of buying into the dominant philosophies of every man for himself and ‘get rich or die trying’. This is how an initial protest against police repression got derailed by a chaos of frankly anti-social and anti-working class actions: intimidation and mugging of individuals, trashing of small neighbourhood shops, attacks on fire and ambulance crews, and the indiscriminate burning of buildings, often with their residents still inside. Such actions offer absolutely no perspective for standing up to the thieving system we live under. On the contrary, they only serve to widen divisions among those who suffer from the system. Faced with attacks on local shops and buildings, some residents armed themselves with baseball bats and formed ‘protection units’. Others volunteered for clean-up operations the day after the riots. Many ordinary people complained about the lack of police presence and demanded stronger measures.Who will profit most from these divisions? The ruling class and its state

flaneur

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by flaneur on August 15, 2011

Spikymike

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on August 15, 2011

Re: baboon's contribution.

'Collateral damage' does occur in both capitalist and class wars (and these riots are most clearly part of the class war whatever their mix of positive and negative) but we pro-revolutionaries should not of course justify it even though the hypocritical politicians always do in their wars against each other and us.

Rebelious working class youth cannot be expected to wait on the rest of the class anymore than other sections of workers in struggle should be expected to wait for the 'appropriate' level of class wide struggle (as judged by the revolutionary vanguard no doubt!).

Class unity is a product of confrontation through struggle as much within the class as between classes.

Mass looting is objectively against commodity society even if the looters subjectivity isn't.

And why should looters restrict themselves to 'necessities'. I like champaign, why shouldn't they?

baboons other quotes are worrying - is this what the ICC and it's supporters have in mind for the rest of us when our joyous rebellion really takes off? Otherwise they are just irrelevant to current circumstances.

babboon would seem to be more at home with some of the more conservative elements posting on the (otherwise) interesting discussion threads at 'the commune'.

I have hesitated to post on these threads before since hasty judgements without knowledge are often embarrassing when not plain dangerous, and frankly I don't identify materially with the situation or actions of the young looters or ideologically with the 'A' list activists, but pro-revolutionaries cannot stand in condemnation of fellow workers in struggle (even if we are critical) and especially given the current vengefull onslaught from the whole capitalist establishment.

There have been a number of much better posts and articles more recently on libcom dealing with the contradictions and appropriate responses but baboons was not one of them.

Perhaps more could be said about the contradictions not just in the 'riots and looting' but also in the responses of other workers affected - the only possible positive approach I've seen there sofar has been from London Solfed.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 15, 2011

Miles and miles of endless dreary leninoid garbage, baboonish comparisons with situations of genuine scarcity...you've really lost the plot (if you ever had it): flaneur was being ironic, I guess. Your condemnations of the Branscombe looters, the most basic uncontroversial working class appropriation which only the most bourgeois commentators sneered at at the time, shows how utterly out of touch you are and always have been. The fact that you use "communist" language shows how the manipulation of such terminology means fuck-all; after all, Kautsky and Stalin also used communist language. You're talking in your sleep.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 15, 2011

And when is the ICC going

to shoot the looters on the spot and blow up the wine cellars.

????????????????????

If this was from people who'd never posted on this site before, you'd think they were Tories.

Arbeiten

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on August 15, 2011

you really wouldn't have thought that this was a radical poltics forum, judging by loads of these posts.

yes be RADat all costs :roll:

I'm throwing my weight behind the anti-russia quarter here. The sooner we pull our heads out of Lenin et al.'s asses the sooner we can begin to comprehend what is going on. Oi, David down Mare Street read Lenin's Imperialism the highest stage of Capitalism next time you riot! (this is a joke, please don;t get to upset and charge me with the maximum life sentence of offences against intellectualism).

But worth remembering there was also a gang truce during and after the 1992 LA riot - but it didn't hold very long before things went back to normal rivalries.

This is a good point Red Marriot, and is much more relevant than comparisons to peasants in 1916 Russia. This should be used as a lesson in something....I'm not sure what yet though. When I have thought about it more (and i have more time), maybe I will unfold it further!.....

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 15, 2011

The gang truce point is interesting...I seem to remember there being a shooting in Croydon which was assumed to be gang-related? In the hysterical rush in which everything happened, I may have IPCC'd ( ;) ) those facts into a narrative though...

jef costello

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on August 15, 2011

The gang problem in London is overstated and although there are some bad things happening I'm not sure if things are any worse than when people got hysterical about gangs when I was at school, or a few years before I started secondary school when my school and the other school would have mass fights every week. To suggest that gang culture in London is like the gang culture in LA (as I understand it) is simply not true and I think the idea of gangs is another one used to demonise people on the streets and also to shut down debate.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 15, 2011

http://caimandelbarrio.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/too-mad-to-be-insane-looting-marches-and-the-reaction-in-deptford-high-street/

A assembly member writes about Deptford...

miles

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by miles on August 15, 2011

jef costello

The gang problem in London is overstated and although there are some bad things happening I'm not sure if things are any worse than when people got hysterical about gangs when I was at school, or a few years before I started secondary school when my school and the other school would have mass fights every week.

This seems a bit anecdotal - the thing is, when I was at secondary school (mid/late 80s) there were very few gangs at all in my area that I remember. Which, of course, is also anecdotal, but I would say that, perhaps, over a longer space of time you can see how things have changed. According to this, now Waltham Forest is one of the worst areas in London for gangs...

jef costello

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on August 15, 2011

It is anecdotal, but I haven't done in-depth studies of the papers over the last 15-20 years, I just think that the scare stoires don't seem to have changed that much since I started reading the papers.

proletarian.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by proletarian. on August 15, 2011

Some discussion on the riots.

[youtube]jqA9-QGhvZs[/youtube]

A street discussion on the riots etc...Which wouldn't have happened otherwise.

And the last Circled A radio show is worth a listen too.

Show #15 (10.8.2011) London Riots Special

baboon

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on August 15, 2011

I thought it useful to try to show that there was more to looting than looting=positive by looking at how some class conscious anarcho-syndicalists approached a specific issue in revolutionary Russia and how some NOPD cops approached a specific issue in Katrina-struck New Orleans.
I support the ICC's position that the looters par excellence are the bourgeoisie who are looting the planet to the point of destruction.
I think that in contradiction to the riots in France in 2005 (followed by the very positive anti-CPE movement) the large chain shops in Britain acted as something of a lightning rod preventing more localised grief and damage. In the riot-torn banilieus of Paris (and elsewhere) there were no large shops or chain stores which meant that the local working class got the brunt of the violence.

As an anecdote, I was in a gang in Highbury and around the Angel in the early sixties and there were constant battles with other gangs, mayhem and murder. And we were all working.

action_now

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by action_now on August 15, 2011

what's your point.

gypsy

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on August 15, 2011

baboon

I thought it useful to try to show that there was more to looting than looting=positive by looking at how some class conscious anarcho-syndicalists approached a specific issue in revolutionary Russia and how some NOPD cops approached a specific issue in Katrina-struck New Orleans.
I support the ICC's position that the looters par excellence are the bourgeoisie who are looting the planet to the point of destruction.
I think that in contradiction to the riots in France in 2005 (followed by the very positive anti-CPE movement) the large chain shops in Britain acted as something of a lightning rod preventing more localised grief and damage. In the riot-torn banilieus of Paris (and elsewhere) there were no large shops or chain stores which meant that the local working class got the brunt of the violence.

As an anecdote, I was in a gang in Highbury and around the Angel in the early sixties and there were constant battles with other gangs, mayhem and murder. And we were all working.

I didn't know you were in the ICC.

bricolage

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bricolage on August 15, 2011

Caiman del Barrio

The gang truce point is interesting...I seem to remember there being a shooting in Croydon which was assumed to be gang-related? In the hysterical rush in which everything happened, I may have IPCC'd ( ;) ) those facts into a narrative though...

I'm not sure about Croydon, someone got shot there but I don't know whether it was gang related. I mean you could even question whether it was 'riot related', the media suddenly got in a rush to report everything and anything as part of a coherent series of events despite the often disparate nature of it all. One guy tried to rob a corner shop in Streatham on Sunday night and it was reported in the Evening Standard as RIOT, but are they really acting like people don't try and rob shops on the high street on a regular basis? It's like they just discovered bad things happen in London.

Regarding gangs there was a fight at Kings hospital A&E on the Sunday apparently between two gang members but what was more noticeable was perhaps the lack of gang related violence which leads me to towards the truce line. One thing I was thinking about though was related to something I once about the 2005 French riots which noted that alongside the dominant conflict of banlieue vs state (to be very reductionist) there was a lower running one (which I wouldn't actually call a conflict) of banlieue vs banlieue where there was a sense of trying to outdo each other say in number of burnt cars. In the case of London for example Brixton was hit on Sunday and then Peckham on Monday. So alongside being inspired by actions in other place there might have also been a desire to try and outdo them. Clearly not a dominant 'cause' of the rioting but maybe something that played a role. Dunno though really, just speculation.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on August 16, 2011

Some people here have been down on the banlieux riots in France in November 2005 and then compared them unfavourably with the " very positive" anti-CPE movement starting a few months later. But the separation is false: a lot of the most active students who launched the anti-CPE movement in the universities were directly inspired by the banlieux riots; also, there were as many, though different, contradictions in the anti-CPE movement as in the banlieux riots, as there always are in social movements, the Russian revolution included, of course. If you reduce things to your pet "correct" way to revolt you don't attempt to constantly dissect what is radical, what takes the struggle forward, and what represses the struggle. There is nothing fluid in this "correct line" dogma. It is usually a "party line" - ie the pressure of the collectivity, with its hierarchy of specialists in intellectual interpretation, insists that a fixed position, preferably with a public statement used to advertise the group, be imposed on the interpretation of the events.

Mike Harman

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 16, 2011

there was a sense of trying to outdo each other say in number of burnt cars. In the case of London for example Brixton was hit on Sunday and then Peckham on Monday. So alongside being inspired by actions in other place there might have also been a desire to try and outdo them.

I'm sure I saw this in the Guardian et al. described as 'postcode rivalry' right around when the riots started spreading.

cantdocartwheels

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by cantdocartwheels on August 16, 2011

pathetic from the ICC, fucking hell your as bad as the SP or something who i was with n a stall the other day and i was the only one defendin events (an unpopular stance with some people who came and talked to us i can tell you). Anyways a week later, 3000 arrests later and you still want to go around condemning people, well tis is a non-flaming forum and all that so ill keep schtum, but i know what my opinion is of that sort of behaviour from so called socialists.

I support the ICC's position that the looters par excellence are the bourgeoisie who are looting the planet to the point of destruction.

oh good one, because no-ones thought of saying this cliche yet, its not just the same simplistic bollocks thats on every swp placard now,

Anyways, talk schmalk, i've heard enough pointleaa internet/and non-internet chatter from people not doing shit ths week to last a lifetime.

Alf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alf on August 16, 2011

We have been very cautious about taking part in this thread because emotions run high when dealing with these issues. We spent some time drawing up a statement which made it very clear that we have absolutely no solidarity with the bourgeoisie's hysterical campaign against the rioters. We were impressed by Solfed's thoughtful statement and still feel that there is a basis for having a debate among revolutionaries in which a serious critique of looting can be accepted as part of the discussion. The argument that looting is an expression of class consciousness or a form of attack on commodity relations should be open to question without accusations that those who disagree are somehow on the side of the police. If things calm down a bit, perhaps the discussion can be developed. But if you want to criticise the ICC, refer to our statement and not to Baboon's post. Baboon is very close to us, but he is not a member of the ICC and does not take part in all our discussions. His initial post, focusing on a very different situation, was bound to get the reaction it did.

piter

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 16, 2011

Samotnaf wrote :
Some people here have been down on the banlieux riots in France in November 2005 and then compared them unfavourably with the " very positive" anti-CPE movement starting a few months later. But the separation is false: a lot of the most active students who launched the anti-CPE movement in the universities were directly inspired by the banlieux riots

I also think that it is not really relevant to distinguish one "good" movement anti-CPE and one "bad" the riots in the banlieux in 2005. both were contradictory, with positive and negative aspetcs...but each one in a very different way. and to see the nature of each one we have to see at the same time how they were linked (the general context, how the first inspired the second, etc...) and also how they were very different.

and I'm not sure the first inspired that much the second, maybe by building a context of social unrest, but the banlieux riots were in the Paris region and the places the more active in France for the student movement (yes the movement against CPE was not only that) for the last years are Rennes and Toulouse maybe as much as Paris. in Paris some people took part in both but maybe you are exagerating a bit that point and its influence on the anti-CPE movement (I'm not sure of that in the case of the Paris region, my point of view is influenced by the fact that I took part in it as a student in Besançon at the time...).

anyway I think a reason why militants and organisations often compare unfavourably riots with other movements is because they feel a lot more comfortable with the second, being able to express/lead/recruit, etc., in them and not that much in riots...this being a part of the complex/contradictory nature of both the riots and of more "directed" movement.

Authored on
August 6, 2011