Riots in London.
Our thoughts and prayers for any friends or family that may be affected by this.
Riots in London.
Our thoughts and prayers for any friends or family that may be affected by this.
Can't respect anyone who thinks rioting is a solution to anything... and of course what comes with it is vandalism, theft, assault, and possibly more death on innocent people who had nothing to do with it or perhaps even supported the cause of the underlying riot. I always feel like we're seeing humanity at its worst when we see how many people take a tragedy and use it to their own advantage with no regards to their fellow man.
I hope that if the police involved in the initial incident are found to be at legal fault that political justice is done... but as for moral justice, I believe the opportunity for that has been washed away by those who claim to "fight" for it. ... and I believe that kind of justice is what is most important to the family and friends of the young man who got shot.
Sly... surely you don't think these people sat around the dinner table and said "lets start a riot tonight..." Such behaviour usually results from simmering tempers and pent up frustration over long periods of time, then one seminal event comes along and the whole thing busts loose. I'd bet that with vanishingly rare exceptions, if you asked people if they thought were going to riot when they got up that morning the answer would be "No". Drunken idiots as soccer games aside, these things usually flare up in a "last straw" scenario... you make it sound like a choice they made.
I'm no expert on the law, but I'm pretty sure people are arrested in riots whether they intended to be in there or not. But I think we can agree that a protest would have been better for everyone.
Don't you think it's a little naive to believe that all (or even most) of the rioters were in fact protesting the issue and not just taking advantage of a chaotic situation? You want to justify burning cop cars or even an innocent cop getting assaulted... I can actually understand that... that's a bunch of emotional people getting foolishly out of hand... but there is no justification for the collateral damage that the neighborhood faces when things like this occur. Even in natural disasters like Haiti and New Orleans... for every person that was going into a store to grab some food and water for their family there were two that were jumping into an electronics store and grabbing a TV.
When you put enough people into a situation where they can break a few laws and not be the center of attention... you get a real good look at where we are as a people.
From your responses, I gather neither of you have ever been in deeply oppressed situations where your only way to be noticed is to break the law...
Civil disobedience is a little more nuanced than what you're suggesting as well.
It was definitely a sad coincidence that the day the riots started, hollywood channel over here had scheduled Dark Blue with Kurt Russel. Check the movie, and you'll know why it was a sad coincidence. Well worth it by the way. Good movie. Shaky ending, but good movie.
The thing is that Europe has, erm, some unsettled business that may be settled now that we are experiencing what appears to be a lengthy economic crisis. Which do tend to put people on edge, especially lower classes. More than half a century of social and racial segregation in the form of a "put them on some neighborhood away from the rest of us" policy has pretty much negated the vast majority of these people with the necessary education and opportunities of the more privileged classes. The riots in Paris a few years back and the ones in London now, they aren't about the boy that got killed by the police. They are about repressed hate.
I'd like to see all these animals behind bars (and if you asked me in private, I'd tell you what I would really like). But that doesn't in any way represent me putting the blame on them. Nope. The blame is all on local and governmental authorities. If anyone on this continent actually believes social or racial segregation has been banned, they never visited a these neighborhoods and the breeding grounds for social unrest they have become. Europe ghettos. All in the name of a settlement policy that would never allow our cities to be dirtied, with what Sarkozy was called scum.
So... yeah. Riots are surprisingly far and few in between.
Certain I agree with both of you that these riots stand for much more than the situation that sparked it... it's very clear that the guy getting shot only represents the spark that lit the tinder of decades of repression... that said, I still don't understand how you can justify, or dare I say defend, harming the innocent in what is clearly a demonstration against the police and perhaps the government as a whole. We're not talking about storming city hall or rushing a police barricade... we're talking about people taking from each other when they feel they have the opportunity... I mean isn't the point of this to stand together against oppression? How do you expect to accomplish this when you're taking each other's property? Even if you disagree with my assessment of this behavior being foolish and barbaric... surely you must agree that it is, at the very least, a poor way to get things done.
I also disagree that this is a "you have to experience it to understand it" situation. In fact, I believe it's the exact opposite... you need an outside perspective and a sound state of mind to recognize the difference between those who are demonstrating for a cause and those who are out there for themselves and themselves only. The only thing you can hope for out of this is that those who do have a message manage to get it out there before it gets too muddled by those who don't care to look outside of their own lives.
Just because I might feel some compassion for some of the demonstrators and rioters does not mean that I support them breaking the law.
As for it being a demonstration against police and government... Well sometimes there's no choice, it's do that or put up with another few decades of abuse and neglect. It is a citizen's duty quiestion and challenge authority, both through the electoral process and through direct action. When this duty is not upheld, entire nations fall to oppression and dictatorship...
Also, I don't see how you can say you're not supporting it when you repeatedly suggest that sometimes it's the only way to get things done.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure we're in agreement on a good part of this, so I don't know what we're going back and forth about... just feels like a lot of miscommunication.
Totally agree with slymalestrom, there were a kernel of people that flipped out over the shooting, situation escalated - then some pushing and shoving - and before you know it - riot - There is absolutely no question that the looters are just being opportunistic thieves, and this thing is spreading now, idiots in their little gangs all over the country are starting mini riots and what have you, most of them just because they are dickheads anyway and want some rioting action of their own, teenagers wanting the police to chase them, and break windows, smash stuff up, burn cars, its just so they can boast about it in months to come, how they fronted down the riot police, did this, did that, bull........ merchants every one of them, happened here in liverpool before, happening again now
Certainly many understood the fabric of societies and worked their way out of their poverty status, or kept themselves there but firm and honest. But the majority did not. Especially the younger generation who sees life as an endless cycle of poverty in a society that prides itself of increasingly separating the haves from the haves not. Why? Well, I think because we keep chipping away at educational values and in no way our governments have devised real inclusion policies. There's also still in Europe a real unsolved racial problem. Racial tolerance isn't exactly the word I'd used to describe our societies.
Everything else becomes mob behavior. Impossible to fully understand, I would say. Not justified in any way. But as understood as something that is inevitable can be understood.
I would like to agree that having a real protest would be better, but given the way the police have treated protesters in London this decade, I think it would have been a bad joke; one more (contrived) opportunity to demonstrate kettling and "who is in control here", and ultimately that MIGHT MAKES RIGHT! You could watch police beat and arrest a bunch of peaceniks for daring to challenge their right to shoot people willy-nilly whenever they please. Now that would be real entertainment, the kind we are used to, right? Going to the cops for a permit to protest police behaviour -- something out of a dystopian farce.
Ie, why should the violence remain one-sided? Myself, I'd just move to the country, keep to myself, and become a misanthrope ;) ;) but I do have a certain respect for people who are willing to get confrontational when a confrontation is perhaps called for. It's not really up to people who were not going to do anything anyway to sit around and go, "Well I was not going to do anything myself but for those who were: you know the proper way would be the Martha Stewart way, so we can all have a good laugh at new hour." Evidentially this lacked the comedy most of us want to see in our civil disobedience.
I think it is terribly sad that modern societies have to have to events like that but I do think if there was any real sense of protest involved (I think there was), then they are right to do this before police murder becomes the kind of acceptable, almost commonplace thing in is eg, in many places in the US. The fact that it may have been corrupted by nihilism *does not illegitimize the anger*.
Of course, I don't expect it will lead to any reform (I don't think there is the political will in the elected government to stand up to the police and police abuses of power) but at least a very loud and clear sense of outrage was registered. A perhaps futile and inappropriate one, but if nothing else is possible -- because too many people have been alienated by the narrow concerns of elitist western governments then que sera, sera...