Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Rioting: A call for attention and action
“A Londoner [was] asked by a television reporter: Is rioting the correct way to express your discontent?
"Yes," said the young man. "You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you?"
The TV reporter from Britain's ITV had no response. So the young man pressed his advantage. "Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you."
I looked around. A dozen TV crews and newspaper reporters interviewing the young men everywhere.” (reported by Martin Fletcher for NBC, quoted in Undernews)
by Larry Geller
One way to think about riots is that they are like the cancer that results from things like too much smoking or too many pesticides. You don’t condemn or condone cancer; you try to deal with it. And the things that cause it.
If we handled health problems the way we handle politics and economics, most of us would be dead right now.
Please read Sam Smith’s entire story at the link. I won’t spoil his conclusion. Read and check it out.
I think of all the peaceful activities that I have participated in which received little or no coverage. It doesn't speak well of the Hawaii media either....I am a non-violent person, respectful of property, evidently that is not good news!
I am mystified that government (here) has become so disconnected from the people who put it in place. It's nothing new. The largest peace demonstrations in history did not stop Bush from invading Iraq (though perhaps they prevented his "shock and awe"). We are seeing this again (for example) as Congress defies the will of the people in its campaign to cut Social Security even though it has nothing to do with the deficit. And on, and on, and on.
And the media have some responsibility in this. Looting is a crime, but large numbers of people in Europe feel it is necessary to get the attention of their governments and get covered by the press.
"large numbers of people in Europe feel it is necessary to get the attention of their governments."
Ulp! That's the first mistake. Why do they assume these are THEIR governments"? They are not. Most governments, including the USG is a wholey owned subsidiary of the corporate elite. There was a brief period in Ameircan history when democracy flared up and government responded to pressure and started spending money to educate and serve the people. But since at least Reagan, government has returned to its default position: representing the interests of the wealthy.England needs to recreate the Labor Party and we folks in the US could do with a democratic Party as well.