London Riots 2011

Woodrat

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Just kind of curious 'bout what is going on there. I didn't hear much at all about it until yesterday evenin', and even so, not many news organizations in the United States seem to be reporting much of anything about it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-14460554
 

Diana

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BUT WHY?

That's really weird. o__o I want to know the trigger for all of that...
 
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Alan

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I heard briefly about the rioting on Friday, but didn't hear anything until late last night about *continued* rioting. From what I heard Friday, the riots were triggered by something the police did.

Regardless of the hows and the whys, I hope everybody is okay.
 

Torsty

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The cops shot and killed Mark Duggan(father of three) in Tottenham after they tailed his cab, which stressed him so much that for some reason he fired a shot at them. The riots are caused by young inner-city guys who are frustrated at the current climate in England and the lack of job oppertunities. And so...."hooliganism" awakens.

Anyhow, theres now a "take back the city"-movement(30.000 strong, organized through twitter) who are working to clear the streets of all the damage that is done.
 
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Fluffy

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I read about this early this morning. :/ Best wishes to them. Times are tough all around the world...
 

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Asmodeus

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Word is that the gun Mark Duggan had wasn't fired during the incident and that he was lying down with a police rifle to his back when a marksman shot him.

Duggan was an "elder" in his local community - a man respected as someone who was not be messed with. The riots originally started after his family made a peaceful protest at the police station, then one of the officers apparently clubbed his 16 year old sister.

Most people in Britain think it's a load of dumb kids being stupid. I personally think this is an explosion of pent up anger at the recession, joblessness, political bullshit and an eroded sense of purpose in today's youth.

This chaos is within all of us. If these kids don't rise up and challenge the status quo, then what's the point in them living? It's a shame people have to get hurt, but I hope something good comes from this necessary friction.
 

Childish Grumpino

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Hello Rioters. Look at your friend. Now back to me. Now at your friend. Now back to me. Sadly he isn't me, but if he stopped using petrol bombs and started using the job centre he could potentially be me. Look down. Back up. Where are we? You're at an interview with the man your friend could work for. What's in your hand? Back to me. I have it. It's an application form for the job you need. Look again. The form is now money. Anything is possible when you get a job and stop looting. I'm on a horse.
 

Asmodeus

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Not that simple when the education system fails you and there's no jobs in your area and you're suffering from depression.

I've been frequently unemployed and felt like smashing something up. Sometimes it's the only declaration you can make - the only truth you can hold onto.
 

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I think Asmo is much closer to the truth than most of the media will ever be. And with the politics...Didn't they cut a lot of funding for higher education as well?

Some of the "radicals" I know have mentioned that the sections involved with this riot are from immigrant families and largely African. Is there any truth to this? I know the UK has a lot of racism issues.
 

Woodrat

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This quote from another forum seems somewhat related.

. . . And to everyone saying the rioters have nothing to complain about and should be grateful for what they get, I have spent five years -most of my adult life- unemployed, through a mixture of bad judgement calls as a teenager and bad luck in my twenties. My standard of living wasn't actually the problem; Jobseeker's Allowance and the various other benefits one can apply for are sufficient for groceries, rent and utilities (including Internet access), replacement clothing when absolutely necessary and even an occasional luxury like a couple of beers or a new paperback once in a while.

No, the problem I had to contend with was having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do. Even in the early days, when you're still secretly viewing it as an opportunity to relax for a little while, it's exceptionally hard to make the task of looking for work fill a whole day. Skimming the various jobsites and firing off a resume and cover letter to any you've got the right skills for takes between maybe one and three hours depending on where you live and what you're qualified for. The local paper puts out a Situations Vacant section once a week, and you might stroll around the town centre or a nearby industrial park looking for Help Wanted signs every once in a while, but that still leaves you with more free time than you know what to do with. I cannot begin to describe the sheer, crushing, unrelenting boredom that sets in after about six months out of work.

People find ways to cope. Many enroll in their local college, trying to pick up extra skills and qualifications to make them more attractive to employers. Others do volunteer work for local charities, their church or a political party. Some people find a hobby that doesn't cost too much and throw all their time and energy into that for a while. And for a while, it helps.

But go much longer, and feelings much worse than boredom start to set in. You start to find the rejection letters -or the lack of them; most places don't even bother writing to say thanks but no thanks these days- emotionally hurtful, and wonder what's wrong with you that nobody will give you a job. You start to feel guilty about taking benefits out and not putting taxes in, even if you're trying as hard as you can. Then you stop trying as hard as you can, frankly; after the hundredth rejection letter, spending another morning sending out application after application all seems like a waste of effort. Depression takes hold. A lot of people attempt suicide, or find some slower way of killing themselves like alcohol or substance abuse to numb the pain for a while.

If you get through that phase, and a lot of people probably never do find their way out of it, you start to get angry. What have you done to deserve this constant, humiliating rejection? You look for a scapegoat; the government, the wealthy, God. You stew in impotent rage and frustration for weeks or months or years until finally, something snaps. That's the point when people start turning to petty crime, or knocking their wives about or starting barfights. And that's not the worst; when I hit that stage I started shopping around for a gun, and I'm still not sure if I was planning to commit armed robbery or suicide by cop.
 

Childish Grumpino

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Not that simple when the education system fails you and there's no jobs in your area and you're suffering from depression.
Agreed; I just find that joke funny.

Initially these riots were an expression of pent-up anger, definitely; from the case of Mark Duggan this has spiraled out into a situation were a lot of angry people took to the streets in a display of mass fury. It's not really about that anymore, though; it seems like it's now just a bunch of opportunists looking to throw a few bricks and steal some cool stuff.

Some of the individual stories coming out of this are pretty fucking depressing; 11 year-old girls putting bricks through windows and robbing shops. Teenagers posing as good samaritans as they loot the bags and pockets of the injured. A 68 year-old man beaten almost to death outside the home he was trying to defend.

I've heard people say these riots are a great thing. I couldn't fucking disagree more.

Also, on a slightly related note, if I hear one more person crack that 'lol Kaiser Chiefs predicted these riots' joke I'm going to beat them to death with a large stick. >:[
 

Asmodeus

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Russell Brand (no, really) makes a good point (no, really):


The state of deprivation though is, of course, the condition that many of those rioting endure as their unbending reality. No education, a weakened family unit, no money and no way of getting any. JD Sports is probably easier to desecrate if you can't afford what's in there and the few poorly paid jobs there are taken. Amidst the bleakness of this social landscape, squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity. That daily, hourly, incessantly enforces the egregious, deceitful message that you are what you wear, what you drive, what you watch and what you watch it on, in livid, neon pixels. The only light in their lives comes from these luminous corporate messages. No wonder they have their fucking hoods up.

I remember Cameron saying "hug a hoodie" but I haven't seen him doing it. Why would he? Hoodies don't vote, they've realised it's pointless, that whoever gets elected will just be a different shade of the "we don't give a toss about you" party.

Politicians don't represent the interests of people who don't vote. They barely care about the people who do vote. They look after the corporations who get them elected. Cameron only spoke out against News International when it became evident to us, US, the people, not to him (like Rose West, "He must've known") that the newspapers Murdoch controlled were happy to desecrate the dead in the pursuit of another exploitative, distracting story.

Why am I surprised that these young people behave destructively, "mindlessly", motivated only by self-interest? How should we describe the actions of the city bankers who brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? Mindful? Kind? But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that's why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.

These young people have no sense of community because they haven't been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron's mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there's no such thing.

If we don't want our young people to tear apart our communities then don't let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together.

As you have by now surely noticed, I don't know enough about politics to ponder a solution and my hands are sticky with blood money from representing corporate interests through film, television and commercials, venerating, through my endorsements and celebrity, products and a lifestyle that contributes to the alienation of an increasingly dissatisfied underclass. But I know, as we all intuitively know, the solution is all around us and it isn't political, it is spiritual. Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."
 

Asmodeus

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My MUM wrote this:


Dear Greg

Couldn't agree more. As a country we are now reaping what we've sown. The culture of 'self', the worship of money, the glorification of 'celebrities', the breakdown of the family unit, the glorification of one parent families, mass unplanned immigration, the hands of teachers and police tied, misguided human rights laws, people in high places (Government and Bankers) being allowed to lie and cheat, abuse of the Internet being unchecked, violence in every walk of life glorified through Eastender programmes and their ilk, etc etc. Along with a few others I spent the latter years of my teaching career holding on to my values against the onslaught of idiotic government directives cascaded by unthinking buffoons. If only this last week made EVERYONE think about their values. I've read a great deal of very different opinions this week but only the ones brave enough to condemn all members of society are saying the correct things. Collectively we have got to be prepared to change!

o__o

*hides from his mother behind the sofa*