In the aftermath of yesterdays frenzied reporting on the UK riots and as tales of burning homes, personal robbery and damage to local independent business come to the fore, we ask people again to show a spirit of solidarity, resilience and a continued questioning of the accounts that are being circulated and of the narratives that are being used to frame and interpret the continuing riots.
The narrative of tragic community destruction is being deliberately deployed by the status quo to justify the continued vilification and repression of those that were rioting; a tactic that at the same time is turning communities against each other when what is really needed is a show of solidarity and strength. As photographs of kids posing with stolen bags of value range basmati rice and expensive xbox gear surface over the internet, we ask whether these riots should be framed in this way.
Personal attacks on fellow neighbors, homes and local businesses are unbearable and cause terrible agony, but the targeting of parasitic bookmakers, pawn shops and daylight loan sharks that prey on the vulnerable goes largely unreported. It is no coincidence that the media are fixated on the former and not the latter. It is an ideologically motivated and extremely cynical attempt to cover up, re brand and dismiss the deeper issues at play.
We would like to ask those that are so quick to insist that a mass insurrection, rioting, mass reclaimation or what ever you wish to call it, is to be treated as non political, what they consider to be a “valid” form of political expression and by who and what means this validity is legitimised. Let them then try and avoid this familiar conclusion preordained in a marketised discourse.
History is written by the victors. We urge people to begin to collect objective information on affected businesses, properties etc. from their local areas that could be pooled into a peoples analysis of the riots to help us reach a less parliamentary convenient conclusion. We cannot leave this job to the police, career politicians and media.