Slightly off-topic, since this is a mental health blog, but sod it. This situation cannot be ignored by me. I am fucking disgusted beyond description.
As if the riots themselves were not bad enough, I am beyond appalled to see some people defending the actions of those responsible. Sorry, but WHAT?!
I can not express how offensive such sentiments are to me. As someone who has lived through riots, through bombings, shootings and other forms of “civil unrest”, I cannot fathom how anyone can think the fear, danger and destruction that is evoked in these circumstances is justified in any way. Do you know what it’s like to live with this every fucking night? How do you think ordinary, non-rioting people in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham and Liverpool must’ve felt…and must still feel? Do you care? If you don’t, then your opinion is worthless to begin with, and you should go and fuck yourselves, you selfish, sadistic fucking dickheads. If you do, how you can reconcile that sense of giving a shit about the rest of the human race with supporting those involved in this scandal is a mystery to me.
Let me get a few things clear. The Metropolitan Police certainly have a lot of questions to answer, and I utterly condemn the killing of Mark Duggan; regardless of the man’s background, killing an unarmed man is a reprehensible act for any state agency (or anyone else for that matter) to engage in. Of course you should have the right to protest if your police service is behaving in a brutal fashion. I support the point that the original protesters in Tottenham were trying to make.
Furthermore, the government is indubitably guilty of marginalising a large number of societal groups, as were many governments before them. I loathe the present administration, as previous posts on this blog will testify, and I think every single one of them should be ashamed of themselves for the way they have consistently allowed an arguable form of oppression of a number of different demographic groups within this country. Again, of course protests are justified when there is such a sense of disenfranchisement.
Protests are not riots, however. Protests are not looting and theft. Protests are not arson. Protests are not inhibiting the work of fire-fighters and the ambulance service. Protests are not attacking people, throwing firebombs at people, mugging people. All of those things? They’re crime. They’re violence.
And just while we’re at it: whilst politics in the United Kingdom is a pathetic joke that will ruin lives, at least we have the right to peacefully protest, unlike quite a few I could name. These knobs have taken that right, and twisted the living shit out of it.
You know, much as I would continue to condemn it and find it utterly repugnant, if people stuck to attacking governmental and police premises, at least I could begin to understand their horrendous actions. Let me repeat, though, that that would still be reprehensible. I remember here, during the Troubles, in many instances the Provisional IRA spread their brand of terrorism by targeting the (overwhelmingly Protestant) police and British government buildings/employees, whereas the various loyalist terrorists often sought out Catholic civilians. Neither kind of actions are forgiveable – no terrorism is – because whether you’re an agent of the state or an ordinary person, you’re still someone’s son or daughter, husband or wife, brother or sister, friend, colleague, whatever. So this would still be beyond preposterous, let me assure you – but at least there would be a very tenuous and weak attempt at an excuse.
As things stand, that doesn’t apply at all. Local businesses are being burnt to the ground – not just even big economic targets, but small, family traders doing their best just to survive. How would these thuggy little twats feel if poor Maurice Reeves was their grandfather? Don’t they care anything for the historical context of the shop he ran? Or about the fact that they’ve just effectively ruined his family’s livelihood? (Apparently not – silly questions, Pan). Don’t they realise that by burning London to the ground, by opportunistically and cravenly stealing from shops despite the alleged nobility of their cause, they are going to fuck the already fucked economy further? Don’t they realise that this will affect them? If they feel economically disenfranchised now, they’re going to feel a hell of a lot worse if they destroy half of the working premises of the world’s fucking capital. The FTSE hasn’t exactly been stable since this whole fuckstainism kicked off.
Even more disturbing again is the fact that people are being made homeless because of the riots. One woman had to risk her life by jumping from a burning building that would otherwise certainly have ended it. Jesus Christ, people, wake up! If they really care so much about social inclusion, how can it be acceptable to burn normal, civilian people out of their houses? It doesn’t compute in my head as to how that’s anything other than diametrically opposed to what the rioters claim to stand for.
Northern Ireland proves that political violence doesn’t work. When the Troubles ended, it was not because either side had achieved their aims; it was because the community at large had had enough of living in a constant state of superveillance and stoic but omnipresent terror, and we wanted representatives from each ‘side’ to work together for a brighter future for this country – for peace (a grass-roots desire has been largely successful, save for some thankfully isolated incidents). I wonder, if any of the people rioting in England in the last few days were actually alive during the Troubles, did they look upon Northern Ireland as a shithole in those days? Most people external to the province did. And yet that’s what they’re doing to their own towns and areas right now. I suppose they haven’t considered how pathetic they look on the international stage, but whether they care or not, the reality is that international relations is highly important, perhaps even crucial, in modern times, and ergo fucking up the PR of the country isn’t the most intelligent idea in the history of time.
(By the way you might, at this point, very well point out to me that both the current First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland both have ((respectively)) loyalist-related and republican-related convictions to their names ((the former for a loyalist ‘invasion’ of a town over the Eire/NI border, the latter for IRA arms charges)). Yeah. You’re right. But consider this: Peter Robinson’s charge was in the mid-1980s, Martin McGuinness’s in the early ’70s. That was a minimum of 25 years ago. It was only when they renounced violence that they got into respected ((insofar as it can be!)), serious politics).
Please. Stop this madness. People get it – you’re pissed off, and arguably with justification. But this is not the way to make your point, and to be absolutely frank, I’m not convinced that everyone involved in this even has a point (otherwise why mug people and commit acts of theft?). You are ruining beautiful, historical, cultural cities and boroughs. You are ruining ordinary people’s lives. You are ruining your very own communities – how nice will it be for you to live in a burnt-out shell for the next few years, particularly if you already feel that you live in a ghetto?
Someone is going to die if this continues. People started protesting, in part, for the very reason that someone was needlessly killed. Now they’re responding by endangering other lives – and fighting (alleged) brutality with brutality is idiotic, spectacularly counter-intuitive and, yeah, to echo pretty much everyone else – simply bloody criminal.
Stop it, you stupid, selfish philistines.
EDIT: I’ve just heard someone else has died. I don’t know who is responsible, but whatever the case, it shouldn’t have to be this way.
EDIT II: Just heard two teenage girls interviewed on the news. “Don’t you mind that you’re ruining the lives of people in your own communities?” the reporter asked. “No,” this silly little cow replied, “they’re only rich people. They need to see that we can do what we want.”
No, you fucking can’t do what you want. With rights come fucking responsibilities. You are childish and disgusting, regardless of your socio-economic class. Fuck.
- Worried about Daniel and CVM, both residents of London. I’ve tried to contact them but haven’t heard anything back yet. If either of you are reading this, please fucking contact me!
- Worried also about Seaneen, Titflasher, Magic Plum, UselessCPN and all my other lovely Twitter/blogging friends, though know from the social networks that they’re safe at present.
- I’m thinking of all the people in the affected cities and wishing them peace and safety.
- I hope those organising and participating in these riots are brought to justice. Violence, no matter what ideology it’s in the name of, is completely unreasonable.
- Social media may have been used to mobilise a lot of this shittery, but it’s also being used for good causes in response to it.
- I lay awake last night in growing unease until about 5am, listening to distant sirens and constantly-circling overhead helicopters, keeping up-to-date with news of the riots as I did. I awoke after 7 to hear that some minor trouble had kicked off here in NI, though I’ll not be surprised if it gets worse. The hoods on both sides of the divide here are always looking for an excuse.
- Disclaimer: alleged, own opinion, not reflective of anyone else’s, not a lawyer, not a social commentator, attempted to be balanced because I see the reasons for this but not the actions involved, etc etc. See last night’s look at Anders Breivik and, indeed, the entertainingly-titled ‘Disclaimer‘ page for more information if you really care.