Monday, August 8, 2011

London Burning

I almost always have sympathy for rioters. I get that being destructive does nothing to change things. I get that it's a losing battle. However, I understand why they're upset. There is systemic unfairness to the lower classes and young people. At times, it just takes a spark and people lash out. It's not right, but I can understand why some of the young people in the UK felt the need to flood the streets and be destructive.

While I understand the why, I also wish those who are rioting would just stop. Violent means rarely results in the ends you're after. In fact it is usually counter-productive. It allows the media and government to cast off your cause. Non-violent means are where real social change can be achieved. It may not be as gratifying as lighting shit on fire and it's a painfully slow process, but protest and civil disobedience will work. It takes the aggression out of it. That aggressive role is then forced to the government and the party that is viewed as the aggressor is usually viewed negatively by the public.

One of the worst things about this rioting is the way in which the rioters are classified. "Youths" is the word I see all over. They've put so many negative connotations on "youths." As if these people as just angsty, unemployed young people. As if there was no cause other than young people wanting to smash shit and the Police Department and government are totally blameless. Neither side is right in this.

Rioting, in reality, hurts people who are disenfranchised, as the rioters are themselves, more than it hurts the government or police department. The Police are at the very least guilty of failing to properly explain the shooting that sparks. The Government is guilty of policy that is hurtful to young men and women. The rioters my be rightfully upset, but they need to stop this now, because if they haven't already they will do irreparable harm to their aims.

Did that go in circles? I think that went in circles.

Anyway, I'm leaving for Philadelphia tomorrow. Once I got off work, I've spent most of my time today writing the posts for the next two days. I've got them scheduled so as not to miss a BEDA post.

I'll be back Thursday and I plan to tell you guys about my trip with a post that day. Although, the current plan is to drive all night after the game, so I may not be in any shape to post coherently on Thursday, so it may end up being the post on Friday.

I won't be connected at all during this trip, which I hate and love at the same time. It's nice to disconnect, but at the same time I'll be wondering what's going on with Twitter or Tumblr. It's been 3 years since I've taken a trip like this and I'm really excited about it and hopefully be having to much fun to worry about what I'm missing here on teh interwebz.

Thanks for reading



  1. The rioters are definitely shooting themselves in the foot. Teenagers, unfortunately, need to take extra caution when trying to change things because they aren't taken as seriously as adults. It sucks but it's true. But it's so easy to justify your actions and get sucked up into the mob mentality and the romance of protest and just fuck shit up. Hopefully something will come along and slap some sense into them.

    Have fun in Philly!

  2. It is very worrying that the riots has gone on for this long. David Cameron our Prime Minister has taken far too long to act. And the police are literaly helpless to do anything. Come down to hard "police brutality" nothing "too soft". As for the rioters, they are gangs of youths who contribute nothing to their communites or society in general. What you've read are the truth of the youths of the inner city areas. These areas are no go areas, dominated by drug dealings and various crimes. Ruled by gangs & criminals. Sure the cutbacks on youth clubs hasn't helped. But to loot, steal and destroy that is unforgivable. These youths do not see the "romance" of protesting, it is a golden opportunity to have a crack at the police and in the process take what you want via looting, stealing and destryoing.