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My Views on the London Riots.
I just wanted to set the record straight, I have seen a lot badly informed posts on Tumblr about the current London riots, some saying “shoot them all” etc. What particularly annoys me is that people can be so ignorant as to say that it’s just mindless violence, and dumb kids wanting a new TV, using the death of Mark Duggan as an excuse. Whilst this may be the case in some instances, it’s not where it ends.
The main areas of rioting at the moment are places where people in poverty live alongside the privileged middle class, largely ignored. These communities have seen politicians and the government lie to their faces, and have been effected by recent cut backs dramatically, watching your government throw away the future of your community and get away with it does tend to cause some hostility. When people feel ignored they don’t like it, they want to be not only listened to but also want action to be taken.
Alongside this an entire generation has grown up believing they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions, simply coming from a disadvantaged background is no excuse to go around hurting strangers. However, growing up surrounded by peers who commit crime is enough to sway nearly anyone to follow the same path. And when you begin to be judged and sometimes mistreated, by police and other authoritative figures, again this injustice makes you angry.
People around London are angry. Going on marches in thousands has gotten menial press coverage and certainly hasn’t changed anything, whilst the rioting has been on my TV screen for the last 3 days solid. We’ve seen it before, all you have to do is look at previous cases of oppression in communities to notice that people get angry and lash out eventually, and once it begins, others will follow.
Guide to the North London riots
How did they start?
Reuters potentially has one of the explanations with the most clarity: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/08/us-britain-riot-idUSTRE7760G820110808
It’s not quite known the circumstances surrounding the original death of Duggan in Tottenham; originally reported/hearsay that he was shot to death after shooting at police officers. Now this is floating around:
[One police offer fired two bullets…] One killed him and the other lodged itself in the radio of another policeman who was lucky to escape injury. Mr Duggan was armed at the time but it is not clear whether he ever opened fire or even drew his weapon when police stopped him last Thursday.
Then the response took form in what eventually escalated into the form of the scenes from Tottenham. What is now yesterday evening saw these riots spread to Enfield, Brixton, etc. This has now extended to looting and arson; while Paul Lewis reports of someone being stabbed.
There’s a ‘media blackout’ going on in the UK right now (to clarify, not asked for by the Met Police, who are helpfully tweeting updates…), in an attempt for outsiders to not join in and escalate the rioting that’s already taking place. But for those who are interested, here’s some info/links/photos of what’s going on:
Live updates (hit refresh for the latest goings-on):
The Guardian is providing analysis, but it’s not as real-time updated:
Also, follow these hash tags on Twitter:
For real-time updates:
Photos of Brixton (beneath):
And to get the full-scale of the horror, photos from the original Tottenham riots:
A lot of analysis and comparison between the 1985 Tottenham riots and the ones that took place have started, beginning with Gilligan in the Telegraph:
It’s only a matter of time before the obligatory ‘police did not react quick enough’ articles will follow to give a different level of analysis…
My Top 5 companions that never were
I saw someone else’s post so this is mine. Single story characters only otherwise this would end up with Vastra, Jenny and Strax who are more or less companions anyway. Any of these i’d love in big finish…except for the dead one.
1) Duggan (City of Death)
The lovable violent cop who bumped into The Fourth Doctor and Romana II while an alien was trying to steal the Mona Lisa…long story. Had such amazing chemistry with both Four and Romana that i’m surprised he didn’t end up as a companion. He provided a nice contrast to Romana and The Doctor who where naturally thinkers where he just loved to punch everything.
2) Canton Everett Delaware III (impossible astronaut/day of the moon)
Ex FBI agent from 1969 fired for wanting to marry a man Canton met The Eleventh Doctor when he broke into the white house and helped him fight the silence. Canton was Witty and incredibly skilled and could do what many others did in the past, make sure the doctor doesn’t get his hands dirty. He’s good in a crisis quickly able to adapt to new situations….plus he’s Mark fucking Sheppard.
3) Mags (greatest show in the galaxy)
Quiet and shy Mags is not all that she seems. She is secretly a warewolf and struggles to keep this side of her under control. The Seventh Doctor met her during his trip to the Psychic circus where she was in the company of Captain cook, a man who saved her life but wished to sell her on to the circus. She helped The Doctor and Ace fight against the gods of ragnarok and prove herself. Her quiet nature would have been interesting alongside Ace and Seven and her struggle to stay in control would provide some interesting moment.
4) Rita (The God complex)
Intelligent, brave and great in a crisis Rita impressed The Eleventh Doctor almost as soon as they met in a strange hotel/prison. Rita remained calm thoughout the crisis and always kept a level head, she was the first to point out what was going on. The Eleventh Doctor was planning on taking her with him but she didn’t survive the episode. Her calm attitude would have been a nice contrast to The Doctor’s crazyness and I think her religion would have been beneficial in that it would show the audience that muslim’s are not all fanatics to be feared which I think is something we really need sometimes.
5) John Riddell (Dinosaurs on a spaceship)
Big game hunter from the early 20th century he helped the doctor on a spaceship full of dinosaurs. Charming and charismatic but unfortunately pretty chauvinistic too. He was still at his heart a good person which provides an interesting character. He could have again been a character to pretty much provide the doctor with a “gun arm”. The episode went some way to fixing his chauvinistic ways but given more episodes they could have expanded on this more.
So who are your top 5 companions that never were?
What a fucking surprise.
Duggan did not fire the first shot, amazingly Duggan didn’t fire a single shot, his gun was in a sock in his pocket.
The bullets that killed Duggan were police issue bullets, the bullets found in the police officers vest and radio, were police issue bullets.
I’d like to just say that although I don’t support the carrying of guns, let alone weapons, Duggan’s death was unjust and was just fucking murder, yet I doubt the police officers involved in his death will be prosecuted, I doubt they’ll even be named, it’s disgusting what some people can get away with.
This whole looting bullshit is making my blood boil.
Stop using Mark Duggan’s death as an excuse to run riot and cause trouble. You don’t give a fuck who he was and why he was killed.
Who do these people think they are?
What gives YOU the right to break into shops, steal goods, and then set them on fire?
You opportunist wankers.
Going into H&M, Footlocker, JD Sports.. Stealing CHEAP goods..
BUY YOUR OWN SHIT YOU TRAMPS!
That’s how you know it’s kids..
Where are the parents? Surely when they are seeing all these stolen goods they are questioning their children?
If my child came home with a 32” TV I would give them the worst beating of their life.
It just DISGUSTS me.
What kind of country do we live in?
All this “fuck the police” talk..
Do you want to live in a lawless country like Somalia? FUCK that.
If we were in any other country these people would be shot.. Instead we just get our riot shields out and arrest them. It’s pathetic.
Tax will increase because of this shit and all of us hard working individuals will pay for these hoodrats.
PLEASE step it up and show these children a lesson. It NEEDS to stop.
Frisco - Mark Duggan Tribute
Talking about real track’s this one’s definitely from the heart. I completely disagree with what happened at the riot’s and it was clearly set up by the government for their own personal gains.
The lesson from history is that we never learn the lessons from history
This quote could never be truer. Hitler did it to gain power and it’s always repeated and it’s a great way to say ‘Well look what happened, and how out of control this country is so we need to bring in tougher sanctions’. I mean University students were getting 2 years for stealing bottled water and a Mother went to jail for 6 Months just for having something given to her which was stolen. Whereas bankers that are responsible for the collapse of the UK Economy and constantly steal money from the people, cannot face jail time. Yet people are still arguing over petty shit and wasting time. Responsibility lies with each and every single one of us.
Queer Feelings: Feeling National
Discussing homo-nationalism and queer nationality as it relates to the power and privileges of normative-white-heterocentric ideologies highlight how feelings of national belonging are more often then not tied up with narratives of assimilation and depoliticization of publics. I believe we can understand the normalizing apparatus as an increasing measures of neo-liberal representations of identity, nationality and subjectivity. For example, We see this currently happening with the the “Post Mo” or post homo manifesto that claims a “Beyond Gay” identity politics that came out in Toronto’s new weekly magazine Grid this past summer.
Jasbir Puar reminds us that through this normativizing apparatus the war on terror has rehabilitated some— clearly not all or most—lesbians, gays, and queers1 to US national citizenship within a spatial-temporal domain I am invoking as ‘homo-nationalism’, short for ‘homonormative nationalism’. Homonormativity has been theorized by Lisa Duggan as a ‘new neo-liberal sexual politics’ that hinges upon ‘the possibility of a demobilized gay constituency and a privatized, depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption’ (Duggan, 2002, p. 179).
Responses like this came out from radical Toronto Queers in a revolutionary and inspirational way that used what Micheal Warner talks about in regards to “queer nations tactics of invention appropriate for gay politics both grassroots and mass mediated forms of counter cultural resistance” ( 148 ) which essentially “uses an anti-assimilationalist narrative about an anti-assimilationalist movement.” (148 )
Using Duggan’s theory of homonormativity helps to foster an idealized notion of queer identity and contradictions around community inclusion and self-representation. For example, the politics of homonormativity includes a delusion around queer liberation that has convoluted identity politics in favor of consumer rights. Community inclusion is a site of queer privilege that becomes a “citational practice” ( Bulter, 109) that involves buying into an ideal gender presentation which could be understood as “an imaginary practice of identification [that] must itself be understood as a double movement.” This duality invests in a set of symbolic laws, for me those ‘laws’ include a cultural currency that forces me to buy into an ideal of what a queer female body should look like.
Feeling national or feeling apart of a marginalized community such as (LGBTQ) amounts to a complex relationship to local and national practices of (self) representing a queer aesthetic. This interpellation process engenders a kind of fear and awareness around the violence of assimilation and the power of gender presentation.
I am able to fit into a heterosexist ideology that favors my white, able-bodied, normative-weight and feminine gender presentation. The interprellation of reading queers, their gender and experiences is a complex and dangerous conceptual logic. Belonging and inclusion within queer culture is established by sharing the same conceptual and linguistic codes that create a popular queer aesthetic. When popular aesthetics are mobilized in a politically apathetic way and the rise of “beyond gay” ideologies fosters identity politics around shame, I find myself generally concerned for the possibility of a radical queer democratic counter-public that works to transform oppressive norms around public sexual discourse and enable strategic and inspirational activism.