The Tale of Two Riots

This year has been very eventful, the raging Arab Spring which brought secular Arab youth down to Tahrir Square and brought down Tunisians and Egyptian regimes. Bahrain is teetering under protests and Syria & Libya are reeling under civil wars triggered by mass scale participatory protests, which have graduated in to full scale civil conflicts. The Arab youth had legitimate reasons of political non participation under single party and monarchic rule, which brought them (the common strata) nothing but economic deprivation while the resource rentier elite, is siphoning off millions to offshore tax havens and enjoying decadent lifestyles.  The bottom line is regarding poverty and access to opportunities of livelihood not the color of ethnicity and religion.

One week ago, British youth in London was shot dead by police which triggered off protests which spiraled off into rioting  and has lead to a 100 million pound damage in arson and looting. There is an opportunistic element to the rioting- looters packing off 57 inch LCD TV’s and upscale marts being looted. Ofcourse the Afro-Caribbean community are sharing the blame for the carnage, but i understand the UK underclass has struck back against the empire, where cutback in midst of a recession where bankers earn million pound bonuses and the commoner gets laid off. Graduate unemployment is as its worst in many years.  The jury is out- Bread and Butter issues have to be addressed otherwise, a french revolution is indeed on the cards. The french have been on the streets, the Norway massacre was in part a action against the government for its pro immigrant policies, the white under educated masses are joining right wing movements, making the specter of Right Wing Extremism, a real possibility after what happened in Oslo.

The Integration experiment has failed. Today three British Nationals were mowed down by a car in Birmingham, where they where guarding their mosques. The Black Community, often disenfranchised have hit back via petty crimes against the Asian communities which are far more successful. The Riots are directed against businesses; symbols of capitalistic success.  In an era, where being cool means having the latest I Phone and latest car to show off, the celebrity myth has taken its toll with youngsters living under a pile of debt they know will take ages to clear off at its best. Now, the iota of college debt determines the degree of affluence, a person will live in their lifetimes. Now a days, PhD’s are working as Janitors. Over-educated and Under-employed is the paradigm for the new generation except for a few industries.  The riots were coordinated via Blackberry Messengers which cannot be hacked by security forces. Riot planning has gone hi-tech and socially networked.

The times are very uncertain and vulnerable, jobs are few and far in between in this age of higher degree inflation. Marriages breaking down, social cohesion is being threatened by migration and globalization. Sociology should indeed be taken very seriously by policymakers from now on…


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