Hear I Rant Jamaica

London Bridge is burning down…

There are several interesting things about the recent riots in England, one of which is the propaganda campaign run by the conservative government.  That is, to make the riots seem much different to what they are, and to cover up what is going on in that country.

The first reports attempted to colour the riots as ‘criminal elements intent on looting and burning’, when it was immediately apparent that was greatly incorrect.  Criminal elements did take the opportunity presented them to carry out misdeeds, but it was clear early that they were not the spur behind the riots.

Clearly the break-out of violence across the country must have had some level of organisation behind them, and if this was criminally-driven, then that would mean that these gangs were linked.  They aren’t.  In such a situation, small local gangs don’t travel cross-country to create this level of violence.  Clearly it had to be something else.  And the government was well aware of that.

Europe currently has a high level of anarchist groups.  Though they are present on this side of the pond, they are much more active in Europe.  There are lightning rod events on this side that brings out the anarchists… world-wide headline grabbing events like G8 (Group of 8 so-called economic conferences).  When these happen in places like South America, the US or Canada, then we see these anarchists out in full, intent on creating disorganization leading to chaos.  They all converge on the chosen city, from all over the world, made easier because the conferences are well-advertised years in advance.

The same thing happens in Europe but these guys don’t necessarily wait for major conferences.  All they need is a short head-up as to the event.  They are always ready, because they are fomenters, not opportunists. It doesn’t take much for them to be out on the streets.  Just last December in London, they turned the student demonstrations against education budget cuts into something entirely malevolent.

On several visits to Britain I have gotten a glimpse or two of these guys and its clear that they aren’t ‘yobs’ (yobs- an English term to describe thugs, uncouth…. Boy spelt backwards).  I remember seeing them in a march speaking on the phones, organising small groups. It wasn’t difficult spotting them, dressed as they usually are in their trademark black, and often ‘stomper’ boots (I’ve always wondered why anarchists would have a uniform).  Looking almost like Goths, but without the heavy make-up and the dour faces.  These guys were more serious, more intense.  They had a plan and they didn’t care for anyone else but themselves and their ‘mission’.

I remember seeing 2 of them speaking and then the woman (certainly under 25) with a video camera, mounting a small embankment where professional photographers and videographers were already perched to cover the march.  She proceeded to step right in front, blocking the view of several, causing a jousting match and an exchange of words.  The latter being important because her speech was not that of a yob, but of someone with perhaps a college ed.

During the early stage of the recent riots, I told my London-based father that the anarchists were behind the spread of the disturbances… so it was no surprise when the government announced that some of those arrested were not from the ‘criminal’ class.  Since the police are infinitesimally in a better position to know who is who, I wondered by the government kept pressing the idea that the riots were caused by common thieves and looters.

A little back-story is necessary.  It all sprang from a funeral moment following the police shooting of a known criminal in Tottenham, London.  That well-publicised wake turned from a quiet family gathering, into a community demonstration against police abuse, into a riot, before spreading across Britain.

As it is turning out, though the police claimed that the criminal Mark Duggan was armed with a gun, he was shot without firing it, and the original police reports that he had fired first was a deliberately delivered lie.  The method of his killing was what set the events in motion.   I wouldn’t be surprised if the gun was planted.  After all, where there is one lie, there is the likelihood of another.

One of the things that disturbs me as well, is that rumours at first circulated that the riots were a ‘black thing’, then a ‘criminal thing’.   This is important for a number of reasons. Though not near America as yet, Britain is more and more resembling ‘the States’, especially in the areas of immigration and race.   You can see every now and again, attempts to create racial divisions by labeling blacks as criminal-minded.   It was only when images started to flood the media showing a preponderance of white flesh, that the rumours changed colour, pun intended.

PM Cameron who was vacationing abroad (interesting, since his policies have created a contracted economy where more Britons are less likely to vacation anywhere) came in late and immediately did two things.  He laid the blame on ‘criminals’, and he blamed the police for tardiness.

His blaming ‘criminals’ was based on speculation that the rioting was caused by rising frustration with government policies which has led to widespread layoffs, reduction of social services and a poor, contracting economy (sounds familiar?).  So Cameron was deflecting criticism of his government, especially coming so soon after the poisonous relationship with Rupert Murdoch and his criminally-driven News of the World and phone-hacking, and with confirmed reports and resignations linked to the British police actually accepting bribes from the newspaper.  While the Murdoch relationship won’t bring down Cameron’s government, it did leave a nasty stain that made many people even more uncomfortable with him.

Cameron blamed the police for not providing the required manpower to stop the riots earlier.  Unfortunately for him, he is cutting the police budget which will lead to a reduced police force.  These cuts are part of his economic programme.

But how can you increase unemployment, cut back on social services, create increasing disenchantment but still reduce police presence?  Havoc waiting to happen.

The other interesting report is that Cameron is seeking guidance from former Los Angeles police chief, William Bratton.  Are you freaking kidding me?  Why not go to Germany’s WWII Gestapo for help?  Oh, already done that.

Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, exclaimed, “I am not sure I want to learn about gangs from an area of America that has 400 of them”.  Boof!

Listen up, anyone really living in America, knows the American police.  If you don’t, then take a look at the current trial of 5 police officers charged with murder during the aftermath of the Katrina hurricane.  An anomaly in the US police force?  Hell, no! And neither do I think that the US police force is the best to draw riot control policies from.

The anarchists are the one’s providing the spark for these types of events.  Criminal elements take advantage, but those two are not enough to create the numbers out there.  There are quite a few people who disenchanted with Cameron’s anti-people policies and its easy for many of them to join in the fray.   It is Cameron’s policies that create the conditions.  Europeans are not as fat and complacent as American kids are.  But don’t expect the government to do anything but shift the blame.

Now, the government is going to policies which are not in the least bit surprising.  One of them is that they have evicted families from government housing if any member of that family has been part of a ‘riot’.  “If there is a member of a family who has been out there on the streets involved in these riots, where has that family been in ensuring that that individual is not involved in that activity?  …On the issue of evictions, those parents should have been making sure that their youngster was not involved in this activity… They may see they actually have to pay a price for the fact they’ve not been unknowing in what their youngsters were doing.”

Now here is the thing.  Define ‘riot’.  2) Arrested or found guilty?  Those are 2 different things.  3) Something is absolutely wrong in the western democracy, for an entire family to be held responsible for the actions of one.  You know who also did that?  Yes, the Nazis and fascists of the WWII era.  Who else?  The Israelis.

Since the riots, Cameron is also‘…looking to ban people from popular social networking sites if they are suspected of planning criminal activity’.    The words in bold are for your consideration.

Cameron said he would meet with Facebook and Twitter to  ‘…whether  it is possible to limit the spread of online messages in connection with rioting, looting and other criminal activity”.  As if we didn’t have enough to fear from social media.

Cameron is also requesting that broadcasters hand over unused footage to police in connection with the riots.   I say, in this context. No.   Cameron says that he will do whatever it takes to bring order to the nation after the acts of civil disobedience.

Interestingly, this is what Cameron said on an earlier visit to Egypt, “I am particularly keen about being able to get to Egypt and to be one of the first people there”.  One of the first people… really?

But to more relevant quotes, “What is so refreshing about what’s been happening is that this is not an Islamist revolt, this is not extremists on the streets; this is people who want to have the sort of basic freedoms that we take for granted in the UK,”. And, “’Our message, as it has been throughout this – I think we have been extremely consistent in saying that the response to the aspirations people are showing on the streets of these countries must be one of reform not repression”.  Reeeeallly.

But we need to remember that Egypt’s social media played a huge role in the Eqypt uprising.  So one man’s tweeting for change is another man’s tweeting for… aaah… change?

One thing is clear however, that sort of thing won’t happen stateside, unless it involves guys wearing black, and guys who are black.  Most Americans no longer have the capacity for rebelling against the government.  They usually sit on their fat asses, whining, waiting for some organization to subvert the political system on the basis of race and stupidity.  Republicans and teapartyers, I’m talking about ya’.


The images below were lent to me by a friend in London during last year’s student protests.  I thought I should take another look at them and share some.   See if you can spot the probable anarchists.













About the author


Writer, photographer, artist. Have been doing all three for some time. More about myself and my art can be found at http://www.louisdavisart.com, and http://www.broward.org/arts/publications/cq/2008/winter08/cq_winter08.htm