Chinese revolutionaries (Maoists) used to say:
The emperor can burn villages, but the people are forbidden to even light a candle.
But is it not true? Looking at the riots in the UK now, and the structural violence that the elites and the rich wage on us day and day out, violence which often has misery, homelessness, immiseration, disease and death as its end result. And the rich say they are not violent? Only the poor are violent?
What’s driving the riots? From Laurie Penny’s excellent blog, British Riots: Elites “Shocked” The Poor Are Rising Up Against Brutal Austerity Measures.
Angry young people with nothing to do and little to lose are turning on their own communities, and they cannot be stopped, and they know it. In one of the greatest cities in the world, society is ripping itself apart.
Violence is rarely mindless. The politics of a burning building, a smashed-in shop or a young man shot by police may be obscured even to those who lit the rags or fired the gun, but the politics are there.
No one expected this. The so-called leaders who have taken three solid days to return from their foreign holidays to a country in flames did not anticipate this. The people running Britain had absolutely no clue how desperate things had become. They thought that after thirty years of soaring inequality, in the middle of a recession, they could take away the last little things that gave people hope, the benefits, the jobs, the possibility of higher education, the support structures, and nothing would happen. They were wrong. And now my city is burning, and it will continue to burn until we stop the blanket condemnations and blind conjecture and try to understand just what has brought viral civil unrest to Britain. Let me give you a hint: it ain’t Twitter.
What do you think of these riots? Ruling classes armed with nuclear weapons screech over kids armed with rocks.
I would say that the riots are not so racial as one might think. These are not the race riots that we had in the US in the 1960’s.
The looters were about 70% Black and about 30% non-Black. Some of the non-Blacks were hard to describe – they weren’t exactly Black people, but they weren’t really White either. About 10% of looters were obviously White. Photos I saw of rioters throwing stuff at cops showed that about 70% were Black and 30% were White. Many of the White kids were also wearing masks to hide their faces. Whites seemed to be more involved in attacking cops than in looting shops.
It would be very interesting to see some sort of a racial breakdown on the rioters, or of those arrested. I think calling this a race riot is a bit simplistic. As of today, the riots are ongoing and have spread to a number of other English cities and towns. There was small scale rioting in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich in central England. In northwest England, there was low level rioting in Manchester and Salford. There was rioting in Liverpool and Bristol.
In London, rioting hit Hackney, Croyton, Clapham Junction, Peckham, Lewisham, Ealing and Camden. Rioting even hit upscale Notting Hill. Youth armed with clubs raided a fancy restaurant and robbed all the patrons of their jewelry.
Deficit hawk morons in the UK slashed police forces badly, and the much reduced forces are having a hard time coping with the riots. This is the Third Worldization of the West – in the 3rd World, police forces are typically cut to the bone, such that cops resort to crime to supplement their incomes, even holding up cars on the highway. You see, in the 3rd World, the rich won’t even pay for the police. The new austerity hawk model for the West is the 3rd World.