For three nights, there have been riots in London. The Guardian reports young looters are finding they have nothing to lose and little reason to obey the “social norms.” There is a consensus building up that the violence unfolding is a result of “social exclusion,” even systemic racism.
Here’s a collection of some the video coming from the scene:
There is one must read post circulating right now that should help anyone understand what is unfolding in London. Penny Red poignantly reacts to seeing her city burn:
Violence is rarely mindless. The politics of a burning building, a smashed-in shop or a young man shot by police may be obscured even to those who lit the rags or fired the gun, but the politics are there. Unquestionably there is far, far more to these riots than the death of Mark Duggan, whose shooting sparked off the unrest on Saturday, when two police cars were set alight after a five-hour vigil at Tottenham police station. A peaceful protest over the death of a man at police hands, in a community where locals have been given every reason to mistrust the forces of law and order, is one sort of political statement. Raiding shops for technology and trainers that cost ten times as much as the benefits you’re no longer entitled to is another. A co-ordinated, viral wave of civil unrest across the poorest boroughs of Britain, with young people coming from across the capital and the country to battle the police, is another.
I’m not the only one who sees this scene unfolding and sits here going, “London’s burning with boredom now/London’s burning dial 999.” So, here is a video that features some photos from Tottenham, one of the poorest areas of London where the riots are believed to have been started: