Martin Luther King said:
"When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty and shoot people dead whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up and express their anger and frustration if you refuse to hear their cries. A riot is the language of the unheard."
The news is utterly heartbreaking to watch today - looting, rioting, buildings and cars being set alight...all the people who have lost their jobs, homes, businesses, police and public injured...
Obviously there are a lot of opportunistic mindless little bastards out there, their actions unrelated in every way to the fatal shooting by the police in Tottenham, who haven't the slightest thought for the carnage they are inflicting on their communities. And I think that this post-Facebook-Twitter-BBM environment also has a part to play in the spread of these events.
By why now? And why do all the rioters appear to be youngsters?
Like all kids, they probably don't have any conscious reasoning for behaving they way they have, but we don't have torching, rioting and looting every year. There has
to be a context.
Simply, many of these kids have lost their future. EMA no longer exists, youth services have been closed all over due to cuts, Schools Sports Partnership has been ended, they can't afford to plan a university future...and God knows how many of them will get jobs. It doesn't mean that their behaviour is remotely acceptable but I wonder how much damage has been done by promoting a society where unless you are successful or wealthy or conspicuously consuming, you're worth nothing.
Sky news is being very critical of the police, but it's hard to see how there is enough of them to go around, and it's foolhardy to send in half a dozen rozzers to confront a crowd of weapon-carrying rioters. And the prority has to be protecting people rather than property.
Good to see that Cameron and Johnson have decided to cut short their holidays - a day late and a dollar short as always.
My poor London