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Missives From the Fiery Pit of Eternal Hell
Posted by reprehensor in General Discussion
Sat Aug 13th 2011, 08:40 AM
http://nafeez.blogspot.com/2011/08/burning...

Burning Britain: Riot Fever as a Symptom of Systemic Failure by Nafeez Ahmed

"...it would be gravely mistaken to assume that the rioting and violence erupting throughout London was motivated fundamentally by opposing police brutality exemplified in the killing of Mark Duggan. Police brutality almost certainly played a role in sparking the initial rage. Early inaccurate media reports claimed that Duggan had fired first at the SO19 police officers who were tracking him, and that the officer who was hit was only saved by the bullet lodging itself in his radio. Forensic analysis later confirmed that the bullet was in fact police-issued, throwing doubt on the whole story...

...Then the fires started. What began as a peaceful but angry demonstration against Duggan’s killing by members of Tottenham’s local community was quickly overrun and overtaken by hundreds of youths, who exploited the circumstances to cause havoc and loot local businesses. The scale of the violence on Saturday alone, and the inability of police and emergency services to respond and contain it effectively, was instrumental in inspiring youths all over London’s suburbs to mimic the violence and, quite literally, use the opportunity to take what they wanted.

Unfortunately, some activists have been confused by these events. Jodi McIntyre described the riots as an “uprising”, and suggested it should “continue in an effective manner” with better “organisation” – “Random looting”, he explained, “is not going to overcome police injustice. But until then, the language of the unheard will continue to be spoken.” But to what end should such admittedly pointless random looting therefore continue? How does exhorting its continuation in any way fit into a genuinely progressives agenda for the inclusive, community-led, radical systemic transformation necessary to overcome our converging social, political, economic and cultural crises?...

...There is no binary moral choice between support for the ‘corporate establishment’ and ‘young people’ – as if the riots somehow manifest young people challenging corporate power in a genuinely progressive way. The riots, the looting, the plunder, did not in any way constitute an “uprising” against corporate or even state power. On the contrary, the violence represented the most regressive manifestations of corporate and state inculcated values of crude materialist, market-driven hedonism. The looters and vandals were not politically-motivated, let alone progressively-inspired. On the contrary, what precisely illustrates the entirely self-destructive nature of this phenomenon is that its main victims were not the government, nor large corporates shielded by the promise of insurance pay-outs – but simply ordinary working people. If this was an uprising, it ended up targeting the very communities from which these young people came, even if these are communities from which they feel ostracized."

Continued...
http://nafeez.blogspot.com/2011/08/burning...

--------------------------

http://nafeez.blogspot.com /

Dr Nafeez Ahmed MA DPhil (Sussex) is a bestselling author and international security analyst. He is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, and has taught international relations theory, contemporary history, empire, and globalization at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex and Brunel University's Politics & History Unit. His latest book is A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Pluto Press, 2010). Previous books are The London Bombings (2006); The War on Truth (2005); Behind the War on Terror (2003); and The War on Freedom (2002). He has been an expert commentator for BBC News 24, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC World Today, BBC Asian Network, Channel 4, Sky News, C-SPAN, CNN, FOX News, Bloomberg, PBS Foreign Exchange, Al-Jazeera English, among others. Dr Ahmed’s terrorism research was used by the 9/11 Commission, and he testified in US Congress in summer 2005. He has also advised the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst; and the UK Parliamentary Select Committee for Communities on its Inquiry into 'Prevent'.
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