Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Get your facts right

The corporate media outlets are doing their best to portray all the rioters in London and other British cities as out of control youth bent on senseless criminality. This fits nicely with their other narrative that those kids need to just get a Mcjob so that Britain will swallow the austerity measures forced upon it by the conservatives and their Quisling partners the Lib Dems.

But those narratives are both dead wrong. The riots started as a protest against the murder of a man by the police. But what the rioters are really protesting against is getting shit on by the police, the rich, multi national corporations, and upper class white politicians. In cases of massive economic inequality like these we seen in Britain today, and Spain, and Greece, and Ireland, and Portugal, and most every other country in Europe, it's the people who are being oppressed the most who strike back first. Then when it's clear that there is going to be a sustained movement to, for lack of a better term, 'stick it to the man,' others in the underclasses join in, like union members, chronically unemployed, and the underemployed, and pretty soon everybody who's been left at the station when the economic prosperity train took off joins in.

I can't say as I blame them. In fact, I'm rooting for them. I want to see them bring real and lasting change to Britain. I want them to topple the bankster government of the Tories. I want to see the protesters and rioters in London and the rest of England get what the people in the Arab countries fought for this past spring. I want a populist revolt that brings down the rigged banking system and that causes the rich to finally feel the pain we've been feeling for years and years. If this round of riots brings more taxes on the wealthy and on corporations then that's a good thing. If this round of riots halts the cuts to essential services in Britain and it helps to keep community centers open and it keeps scholarships to colleges open for the economically disadvantaged, then that's a good thing.

My bottom line is if the riots wake up progressive people to the point where we can finally do away with some of the economic inequality and injustice in the world, then that's a great thing indeed. This is as good a time as any to really fight back against the wealthy who have been oppressing us for years.


Keir said...

You're rooting for this scum?! And I'm following this blog?!
Not any more.

Kim Hambric said...

Riots start by those whole feel wronged and impotent in their lives. They want immediate action and an immediate outlet. These things can bring about change.

Some of the rioters are wronged. Many of the rioters are out of control youth bent on senseless criminality. This is what humans often do -- join in to do things they wouldn't normally do when they think they might be able to get away with it.

I live in a college town -- a fairly prosperous college town. Penn State University is full of students who do not in any way fit the description of the London rioters. The cars they drive are far newer than the 10 and 16-year old cars that sit in my garage. They have already gone and will be going further in their education than I have gone.

Several years ago, during our wonderful summer arts festival, some decided that they would get a little rowdy. The student-filled high rise apartments that line the downtown streets were stocked with kids throwing everything they could into the streets (onto other people, of course). Street lights were broken off, cars trash, things burned, people hurt. Thousands of kids running rampant. Huge amounts of damage. Why?

The following year, plans were put into place to avoid another riot. The kids were disappointed. The year after that, another riot broke out. Some people said they had come to town because they were hoping another riot would break out. In interviews with people in years following, quite a few admitted to wanting a riot to start and had plans to get one rolling.

The only reason these riots started were kids who wanted to let loose. Many thought it was their right as a college student to participate.

Sure, I can understand why oppressed youth filled Tiananmen Square. I can understand why Egypt erupted. I also understand mosh pits and can see what happens when the person next to you gets caught up in being out of control. It is exhilarating. It is infectious. It is part of our human nature. And often it is stupid and pointless. But when it is going on around you, you might not take the time to understand why it is happening. You don't ask yourself if it is stupid and pointless. You just go for it.

PENolan said...

You've probably already seen this BBC video, Doctor, but I was compelled to post this link to illustrate the "scum" Keir referenced.
Darcus Howe on BBC

When all attempts at working within the system have gone ignored, and people have been marginalized and demonized, shit happens. All it takes is a trigger. The question is when is it going to happen here?

Dr. MVM said...

It breaks my heart that you're not following me any more Kier, he said sarcastically. You're obviously for the status quo so you can kiss my ass. I suggest you click on the link that my friend Ms. Nolan left. and I suggest you read The post where this came from: ""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." It's by a London resident.

C said...

Just a few words from here across the pond...! It's interesting to read the views and I know you guys in the US have similar problems. I don't think many would question or take issue with the reasons behind what's going on here at the moment, we have a whole load of disaffected youth, cutbacks all over the place, police corruption,high unemployment, a massive divide between rich and poor but an increasing emphasis on materialism and status,etc etc and a government that takes the piss by expecting us to all pull together and form 'The Big Society' wherein we are being asked to voluntarily run our community facilities (like libraries etc.) because they don't want to fund them any more... And most of us who scrape by with very little and then see more and more good things being eroded from our communities (simply because they don't make a profit for someone somewhere) while fat cats get fatter, feel helpless. It was the shooting of Mark Duggan which triggered the first riot this time, but I think it could have been anything really, given the mess our country is in. So in essence yes most of us ordinary people can understand the root cause of the anger. But (for me) the truly sad thing about all this is that it's not the windows of 10 Downing Street being smashed or the offices of millionaire bankers or huge corporations being attacked. Most of the victims are small shops and businesses, and those people who live above them or nearby having their homes set on fire or's the ordinary folk who are feeling the fear. The people just like them in a lot of cases. And that just makes the whole thing so saddening... just so sad. That's all I can say, really..!

C said...

Oops, that wasn't just a few words was it? Sorry, got carried away!

Dr. MVM said...

Thanks for your words C. Unlike a lot of people over her in the USA, I get you. I understand your points and I fully support them. I was a kid in Detroit in the 1960's and I remember the riots there. The media and the rich kept saying that the rioters were freeloading black youth destruction but in reality it was poor people fighting back the only way they knew how.

Jim said...

Wow you really stirred up a hornet's nest Dr. Monkey!

I agree that actions speak louder than words and so far, (in particular the people of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, etc.) we Americans are getting crapped on by the uber rich and the corporations who could give a rat's ass about the USA.
You keep up the good work Dr. Monkey and go get 'em!

Ricky Shambles said...

I'm with you, man. Little out of the loop lately and it took 3 links to find out what started the mess. Bring it!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

We have to differentiate between the rioters, who have a legitimate reason for their actions,and the looters, who are opportunistic thugs, who have no fucking clue why people are rioting and are only in it for what they can scoop up.

The L said...

"Do they owe us a living? Of course they do! Of course they do?" If only Americans had half the gumption of the youth out in Europe who are tired of being shit on by the rich, this would be a different country. Instead we have the Tea Party protesting because they don't want to give up their taxes to the lowly poor.

ReaderRita said...

And I read this morning that Number 10 Downing Street's answer to the London riots is to kick the perpetrators and their families out of government housing.
Now THERE'S a good idea. Then the rich people can just step over the dying poor people on their way to the bank.
It will help them feel better about themselves in this fragile economy...