Understanding The Riots – Where Next?
By islingtonalarm / islingtonalarm.wordpress.com
Aug 15, 2011

Since last Saturday, a situation has escalated around the UK, with eruptions of long-repressed anger in most major cities. Whilst this anger may have certainly, at times, taken on forms that we disapprove of, we all know where this anger comes from. We are all suffering at the moment. Trying to make ends meet can be a living nightmare – benefits, jobs and healthcare going down the drain whilst the cost of housing and living rises sharply. Not to mention systematic Police harassment on our streets, daily injustice and deaths in police custody. For those right at the bottom of the pile, the young and unemployed, it seems like everything they were brought up on was false. The promise of easy credit, easy access to consumer goods, an education and social support. All this just disappears into smoke when the rich decide we don’t deserve it anymore; when they are desperate to save their system from the consequences of their own greed.

We condemn:

* The police, the political elite and the media for creating an atmosphere of fear, justifying greater state repression.

* The opportunism of the EDL/BNP and other far right groups

We refuse to condemn:

* People who looted high street chain stores, pawn shops, betting shops, banks and other symbols of capitalism.

* People who attacked the police, police property, courts, probation services and other symbols of the state.

We are inspired by:

* All the people who stood up for each other in the face of attack by the police and other violent gangs

* The communities that stood outside preventing arson to neighbouring flats, houses and locally-owned businesses.

But whilst we are categorically against the arson of homes, the muggings and the burglaries, are we really surprised this is happening? Here is a whole generation brought up on Thatcherism and Blairism – two ideologies that totally glorify individualism and ruthless competition. That have gone out of their way to destroy working class solidarity and colonise our areas with wealthy young professionals. That place those who trample on their communities for their own personal gain up on pedestals. These ideologies have BRED gangster behaviour amongst the poor and the only way we can counter such behaviour is by rebuilding our community spirit NOW, in spite of these doctrines, out of the ashes of this rebellion.

We are also categorically against any notion that greater police powers are a remedy to this situation, that the violence of the state and of capitalism is somehow preferable to the violence of those in our communities. Even if it was preferable, it would solve nothing – the problem here is inequality and injustice. Only we can bring about equality and justice; working together to advance our collective interests. We believe that when we build strong communities, we have a better chance of fighting back and winning. When we assemble to support each other through the difficulties of recession, instead of hiding away in our homes. When we get on the streets to defend our communities from any kind of attack. When we strike against our bosses instead of taking it on the chin. When we allocate resources for the benefit of the many and not the few. When we organise to take back what is rightfully ours instead of submitting to the thieves in Westminster and the City. When we target the rich and the state and not each other.

Whilst the riots may have taken their toll on our communities, there is no turning back now. We cannot wish them away. The screams of our youth have been heard; its time we turned them into the battle cries of our class.

Against ALL attacks on our community! For EVERYONE against the system!

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Understanding The Riots – Where Next?