I was going to do a huge blog about the London riots and my feelings on it but why do that when this article does it better than I could?.
It’s not often that I find myself agreeing with the SWP and if I’m honest I don’t completely agree with the whole statement posted above. Most of it resonates with me in a big way, but I think the original message of the initial riots (if there was any) vanished pretty quickly, only to be replaced with violence for violence sake.
By and large I feel that discontent was the biggest driver behind Saturday’s events in Tottenham, however it has now went beyond that.
Is it right? I’m not too sure – is violence ever truly right? Few things are truly just. Is it wrong? Hell no.
I do not know a single person who has been in a situation where violence feels like the answer. What irks me the most is when those who speak out about how wrong this kind of violence is, and how it’s something “they would never do” in similar circumstances. Let’s be clear here:
A small number of those who read this, if any at all, have a frame of reference for the kind or anger and discontent that drove the disenfranchised to take this kind of action. Society is in such a state that for many education doesn’t matter, their lives feel worthless because they live in a perpetual state of poverty. If people are ignored for so long (in the case of Tottenham – nearly two decades) and struggle to have their voices heard then violence may seem like a logical option and perhaps even the only option.
Particularly if you’ve suffered at the hands of racist police, recession, crime, lack of jobs and the kind poverty that we’re continually told should not exist in “the first world”.
Not a single person I know can relate to this. Nor can I.
But it’s important to recognise this because it’s factor that’s been overlooked in a flurry of New Right, reactionary rhetoric.
When people feel like they have no chance in life then violence is not only easy, but necessary. I may not agree, but for many it is a way of life.
I feel that’s mostly been overshadowed now though with the torrent of rioting that is sweeping England as you read this. Something which had perhaps a shred of legitimacy has been hijacked by a whole different kind of violence, with a seemingly mindless ethos.
I’m going to leave this here. As I said; the SWP statement says pretty much everything I want to say in a much more concise fashion.