A Meditation on Violence: The London Riots


We’ve been taught since we were young that violence is not the answer. That there are always better ways.
True.
But, there are some things we are taught that go against it.

Can you name any revolution, in history, that has not brought about violence? It’s ingrained in our teaching, our thinking: if you want something, fight for it. Ideals, ideas, passions- they all have casualties.

The riots and fires and crime happening in England right now is a vision of the end of the world. Teens looting and mugging and setting fire to cars and buses and fire bombing the police….need I say more?

Revolutions…they are understandable, right? They happen for a reasons. To put a new government into power, to gain freedom, to upturn the social status…
Do these riots, these teenager rioters, have a motive? If there was an ideal they were fighting for, we would understand it.

But, the world sees this as senseless.

A father of four was shot and killed by the police. Apparently, that’s what started this chaos. But, where does the riot fit in? The victims family wants answers. Burning a building, attacking the police, mugging your neighbours- that is not the way to get answers.

What the world sees is a bunch of teenage pissers who are running rampant. We see pictures of buildings on fire, cars ablaze. We see a war zone, with nothing at stake except for safety- and possibly reason.

It’s hard when you are young to be heard. It truly is.
Violence is the loudest form of expression. The whole country, the whole world, hears that.
Do these kids want to be heard? Is this a fire-bomb cry for help?
What’s the real reason behind all of this? Surely it’s not the death of an alleged gangster, or the taxes.

There is a reason, somewhere. I don’t know what it is, or where to even begin. Education? Living conditions? Society?
The middle class sees itself as the forgotten working class that keeps the wheels of society greased with their blood and sweat. Their children? They probably don’t factor in the thoughts of the higher ups in business and government. They’re the grunts to work factories and fight wars.

Given that situation, could that be the reason? Stuck in what seems like an endless cycle of life with an idol like Lenin, Marx, or Che?

How many posters and t-shirts have you seen bearing the face of Che? Good role model for our children? A man who ushered in Communism through violence?
It makes sense that kids, desperate for a change, would turn to havoc.

In this time, it’s worthless to call them thugs. To call what they are doing senseless violence. The root cause of all of this needs to be found. People don’t just burn down stores, attack the police and mug their neighbours because they aren’t happy with taxes or what the police have done.

In this time, send your thoughts to those that are afraid; to those that are brave; to those that are cleaning up the mess of a riot that has gotten far out of hand.

Check out @Clean_Up_London on twitter to see the great work people are doing in the face of this chaos.

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About litbandit

El Bandito Bibliotequa...or something.
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