Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Anyone who has witnessed the disturbances up close will know there is no simple answer to the question: who are the rioters? Attempts to use simple categorisations to describe the looters belies the complex make-up of those who have been participating.

...In the broadest sense, most of those involved have been young men from poor areas. But the generalisation cannot go much further than that. It can't be said that they are largely from one racial group.

The noble-minded Asians anecdote.
Take events in Chalk Farm, north London. First the streets contained people of all backgrounds sprinting off with bicycles looted from Evans Cycles. Three Asian men in their 40s, guarding a newsagent, discussed whether they should also take advantage of the apparent suspension of law.

"If we go for it now, we can get a bike," said one. "Don't do it," said another. Others were not so reticent; a white woman and a man emerged carrying a bike each.

...And as multi-ethnic areas from London to Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol burned, a myth was being dispelled: that so-called "black youths" are largely behind such violence.

...In Tottenham on Saturday many of those who gathered at the police station to protest against the shooting of Mark Duggan were, like him, black. But others were Asian and white.

Hints that the looters may have been white racists.
A few young men sculpted impromptu masks out of stolen pharmacy bags, making them resemble members of the youth wing of the Ku Klux Klan.

Whenever a non-indigene makes some positive intervention, it's OK to mention their race, it seems.
When another group finished ransacking a pawnbroker's and started cleaning out a local fashion boutique, an angry young black woman berated one of them. "You're taking the piss, man. That woman hand-stitches everything, she's built that shop up from nothing. It's like stealing from your mum."

Holocaust denial:
Jay Kast, 24, a youth worker from East Ham who has witnessed rioting across London over the last three nights, said he was concerned that black community leaders were wrongly identifying a problem "within".

"I've seen Turkish boys, I've seen Asian boys, I've seen grown white men," he said. "They're all out there taking part." He recognised an element of opportunism in the mass looting but said an underlying cause was that many young people felt "trapped in the system". "They're disconnected from the community and they just don't care," he said.

The rioting was even a kind of festival of multicultural togetherness:
In some senses the rioting has been unifying a cross-section of deprived young men who identify with each other, he added.

Kast gave the example of how territorial markers which would usually delineate young people's residential areas – known as 'endz', 'bits' and 'gates' – appear to have melted away.

"On a normal day it wouldn't be allowed – going in to someone else's area. A lot of them, on a normal day, wouldn't know each other and they might be fighting," Kast said.

"Now they can go wherever they want. They're recognising themselves from the people they see on the TV [rioting]. This is bringing them together."

Unadulterated and indigenous.
This is unadulterated, indigenous anger and ennui.


Anonymous said...

I think those so-called "Asians" are South Asian of either Indian or Pakistani origin. Not to confuse with the East Asians.

Those black rioters are merely unorganized thugs. High pressure police force would be more than enough to make intimidate them. But they just don't use it.

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