UK August Riots Feature Archive
On the third day of rioting in London riots were being reported as spreading all over the capital with police resources being stretched to breaking point meaning they were unable to respond to all the incidents. It wasn’t until riots were reported in Birmingham however that it became clear that this was now a country wide issue and not just confined to London and, that the underlying issues causing the riots had gone beyond anger over the murder of Mark Duggan by armed police on Thursday.
AS SCHNEWS ASKS WHY IS LONDON BURNING?
Across the entire media spectrum the opinions are now flying thicker and faster than the half-bricks were just two nights ago. So here’s SchNEWS’ half-assed crack at explaining the recent turmoil on the streets of the U.K.
The recent riots are far too complex for a simple explanation (Maybe it’s just something about Tory governments and Royal Weddings). The facts aren’t all in yet by any means. The riots certainly weren’t ‘pure criminality’ but neither were they anything like a politicised insurrection.
Riots in different parts of the country and even different parts of the capital each had their own flavour. If they had one thing in common it was the fact that they didn’t happen in the estates – the fight was taken to the High St. Hatred of the cops and the possibility of free stuff on a long summer’s evening proved to be an intoxicating mixture. As an aside – both the footage and the roll-call of those in court right now show – this was a long way from race riot - black and white can unite – if only to loot Foot Locker. [Read more]
The fiery unrest which ignited in Tottenham a few days ago, and which has rapidly spread through London and to other towns and cities across the country, has been largely and predictably condemned by politicians and the mainstream media as mindless violence, arson, theft and thuggery. While there is no denying that a number of the attacks have badly affected local people in local communities, some of whom have lost their homes and possessions and in one case their lives, blanket condemnation of those involved in the unrest is inappropriate and conveniently draws attention away from the context in which these events are taking place.
Britain's cities, towns and rural areas alike now boast record numbers of young unemployed people, often denied benefits, with few prospects, with many of those living in urban areas facing constant harassment by the police, especially if they happen to be black, with public services being cut all around them, and quite possibly with a growing mass awareness - thanks to movements like UK UnCut - of government support for super-rich corporations at the expense of the already impoverished. The fatal shooting of Mark Duggan and subsequent police lies might have been one trigger for the 'riots' in Haringey; another is almost certainly the decision of Haringey local authority to close the majority of the borough's youth clubs in a round of public spending cuts. In any event and whatever the triggers, the roots of the unrest are deeply embedded. No amount of repressive policing and overkill sentencing is going to solve this crisis, even if it succeeds in silencing dissent in the short term.
This feature draws together and links to eye-witness accounts and independent analysis, alternative voices offering a range of views and opinions. Read indymedia features from London, Nottingham and Bristol, opinion from SolFed, Fitwatch and individual commentators, and accounts from the streets as events have unfolded.
Features on the newswires: London - Unrest Spreading | London's Burning | Tottenham riots | Bristol - feature | Nottingham - feature
Reports and analysis on the newswires: Open Letter to Cameron's Parents | Solidarity from Greece | Eon Vehicle Torched in Bristol | On the Insurrection | Manchester and Salford | St Pauls - police state | Tottenham: community pulls together | Corporations and the London Riots | Going off in Birmingham | Birmingham's Militant Consumer Tour | Birmingham, West Brom, Salford | Gravesend | Oxford | Britain's Burning | Too far - a site to identify and incriminate | Riot as a sign of desperation | UK Riots and Capitalism's Decay | Woolwich trashed | Criminality and Rewards | Unrest spreading to Hackney, Lewisham, Peckham | Peckham building on fire | A costly mistake... but we are people too | Eyewitness account from Edmonton | Stokes Croft to Tottenham | Focus on Holloway | Brixton Road pics | Fire Sale in Brixton | Tottenham Burning
Reports and analysis elsewhere: Fitwatch 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | North London SolFed | Pennie Quinton | Dan Hind | Finian Cunningham | RiotWiki Collective Analysis | Christian Fuchs | Robert Stevens | Mick Hall | Amy Goodman on Democracy Now | Tariq Ali: Why here and now?