ACTIVIST/ACADEMIC/COMMUNITY


On the 7th of August 2011, a peaceful protest outside a small police station in Tottenham, North London became the ignition of four nights of riots and looting that engulfed London boroughs and cities across England, including Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, and Bristol. The four days of mass rioting amounted to £200 million worth of damage and over £300 million claimed on insurance as large companies, corner shops, community buildings and cars bore the brunt of the unrest as thousands took to the streets.

 In peoples desperate need to find that ‘cause’ for the riots, the truth is there is no single factor, history tells us that something has gone wrong with the social structures for disorder to occur. Tottenham is an area with such strong values, that has been demanding social justice and accountability constantly as each tragedy takes place, something soon was about to snap.

MEDIA COVERAGE of last summer’s riots has been heavily criticised in a damning new report seen exclusively by The Voice. The weighty 10,000-word draft report, called Media and the Riots: A Call for Action, was written by top academic Dr Leah Bassel, a social scientist at the University of Leicester, for the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust and The-Latest.com

Borrowing Langston Hughes’ evocative imagery of a dream being deferred; that dream being the ambition to escape the institutionalised abbreviation of citizenship that Black Britons routinely face in their interaction with the police, I advance the intentionally loaded proposition that the wave of civil unrest that gripped English cities in August, was racial and political and not the arbitrary and unfortunate by-product of consumerism’s allure on disenfranchised youth, living under the spectre of neo-liberal economy’s tyrannical excesses.

The riots bothered me a great deal, on two counts. First, nothing really has changed. Some kids at the bottom of the ladder are deeply alienated, they’ve taken the message of Thatcherism and Blairism and the coalition: what you have to do is hustle. Because nobody’s going to help you. And they’ve got no organised political voice, no organised black voice and no sympathetic voice on the left. That kind of anger, coupled with no political expression, leads to riots. It always has.

A few Tuesdays ago I managed to make it down to a showing of the sell-out run of The Riots at the Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn…(Review)

Tottenham MP David Lammy has not grasped the scale of the community’s mistrust of the police and the judicial system in his analysis of the August riots, says Stafford Scott.

Mark Duggan was killed twice: first, when police officers shot him dead as he emerged from a taxi. Second, when the IPCC, Police and media all colluded in covering up the real circumstances of his death. As Adam Elliott-Cooper argues, this is merely the latest example of the institutional injustice and systemic abuses at the heart of our law enforcement establishment.

The most disturbing thing about the way the nation responds to events such as the violent civil disorder last August is that politicians, the courts, the media and ‘disgusted of Wilmslow and Tunbridge Wells’ behave as if the civil unrest and those who engaged in it were suddenly visited upon an orderly, socially cohesive and consensual nation from nowhere and cannot, therefore, be treated as if they belong among us and should be guaranteed the same rights as us.

Ceasefire’s Jonathan Jacobs reviews Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow’, a best-selling landmark study of the de-facto racism of the US penal system, and points to striking parallels with the UK’s response to the recent riots.

Whenever there is a riot there are immediately two types of people: those who express utter surprise and those who express a complete lack of surprise.

It is with profound sadness that I write to you.

Sadness at the events the nation has witnessed since Thursday 4th August 2011 when a police operation in Tottenham, North London, resulted in the killing of Mark Duggan. Sadness at the lives lost and families traumatised as the civil unrest spread across London and elsewhere in the country.

It has been 7 days since dissent and disorder burned through Britain and made many of our poor communities poorer yet despite the large amount of ink and sound dedicated to public discussion on the riots the discourse has become centered on one issue, gangs….

A leading charity for black mental health said the Government must launch an inquiry into the “deep rooted social and economic inequalities” which he claims was a catalyst for the riots. The Trust said an independent inquiry like the Scarman Report, commissioned by the Government in the wake of the 1981 Brixton riots, would be able to shed light on impact social exclusion had on young people’s wellbeing.

The political culture and relationships with London’s black communities has changed dramatically since the election of Mayor Boris Johnson.  The priority of race equality policy in London, one of the most diverse cities on the face of the planet, was substantially downgraded…

The riots that shook England in 2011 are beginning to fade from memory, but the causes won’t disappear as quickly. The UK should look to France, where the anger and frustration that erupted in 2005 still simmers below the surface

All too often Young people in the UK are spoken too instead of spoken with. This is especially true when it comes to matters of policing. Profiles of the profiled is an attempt to address this imbalance.

Matilda MacAttram, Chris Bootham, writer Courttia Newland discuss.

“I will die for the cause of FUCK THE POLICE! They fuck our lives up every day!”  These were outbursts of anger and even hatred towards the police. If any part of the post-Tottenham riots had political content, this was it.

There is a great deal that I don’t understand about the world, but I do know a little about that part of it where the Kingsland Road becomes Stoke Newington Road (London N16/E8, if that’s how you work). As the dust clears from what BBC Panorama recently called The August Riots – as if to distinguish them from those to come in September, October, November and December – it is difficult to walk around without wondering whether everyone is judging everyone else on the basis of age, race, class and sartorial preference.

I want to say a few things in solidarity with the people who have suffered, the families including the family of Mark Duggan who have lost so much. I was sitting in Highbury magistrate’s court this morning, watching the magistrate giving people who had no criminal record months and months before their case would even be heard. And those young people, some of whom were not with their families but were on their own, could not have been defended successfully even by someone like Michael Mansfield. It’s a sham what’s going on down there.

Justin Baidoo from Question Time on riots and police brutality

Turkish and Kurdish Community Activists give a press speech with regards on going riots in Britain. Activist condemns British police and media for trying to clash Turkish and Kurdish community with black and other ethnic minorities.

The police murder an innocent man, then let Tottenham burn. The real story, told by local people who were there

Criminality alone is not enough of an explanation. Taking the hard line will not address the underlying problems in our society, and may make them worse.

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