When the youth of a nation is disenfranchised from political expression, their last recourse and most basic form of expression is violence. When the politicial parties use spin and blatant lies to claim the vote of the impoverished and vulnerable persons of a nation, and then stab them in the back once in power, the poor have no other way to express their frustration and indignation than wreaking misery on others. When justice evades those who only have that to cling to, the result is a deeply emotional reaction to this misplaced trust in authority and to those who are still winning in the system. This is the story of the UK riots.
The question on everyone else's lips (if they are ever allowed to overcome their own anger) would be why so many young people smashed so much of London in just three days of destruction.
For this impoverished class who like everyone else aims for satisfaction, respect and hope, the final splinter that held them intact was removed from them.
Maybe we should be reminded of what their world looks like. The advertising flashed into their minds keeps reminding them of the need to consume and as the jobs dry up their inability to fulfil this need with new objects to maintain them distracted emotionally staggers them to the monotony of facing up to their brokenness, their emptiness. Then comes the moment when the reality that even in death they will not receive justice, as happened in the alleged murder of Mark Duggan. It is then, inflamed by the police's customary disregard for emotional expression and desire to protect its own (especially when also under attack themselves from recent reviews of the service) that they react in the only way they can.
Frustration is common to all, especially in these economically unstable times, but most have ways of expressing it, and it is unlikely anyone will help the least favoured of society in that way, especially as that bridge to this underclass, social welfare, is gradually diminished by a Tory government hell-bent on neo-liberal, market-driven politics.
It is clear that when the authorities totally dismiss the basic rights of this section of the population, this group will want to vent their anger into some form of response. When crime is an everyday part of survival and the police are the common enemy, prison is no longer feared and to get their own back at those who curtail their enjoyment, they serve their own justice on the police and the propertied class.
The looting is just a mere realisation once the anger is vented, that they must live another day and they need those objects to make themselves feel content throughout the long winter as an alternative to drugs or more violence.
The press only represent their readers and never represent the poor's true hopes, desires and outcries, stereotyping them as criminals and destroying their ability to function healthily in a society ruled by the commodities they cannot afford.
Such is the fate of this underclass of British society, many who are black, because of the imperialistic, colonialist policies of the British for hundreds of years whose racist, jingoist past rarely lifts these people past the roles of the slaves of the white supremacist. Their is no respect for their different culture or of the pain that is ongoing within their families because of this rejection as they try to prove themselves to be worthy partners in the building of this country. Their humility and humanity far outweighs the proud middle class, whose conservative, egocentric views see only profit and property as the only denonimators on which to judge people.
Maybe this moment of disbelief should be used to re-evaluate what a multi-cultural society really means, and not to think that the poor will ever have the same opportunities or starting point as the white middle class who participates in business and politics and therefore have avenues for expression. If they do not, as I suspect will happen, the only recourse of the middle class will be more repression, which only leads to more violence, a spiral that will only stop when the prisons are full to overflowing or the last shop has been broken.
Original article on IMC London: http://london.indymedia.org/articles/9873