Archiv für August 2011

Searching with my good eye closed

Smiling faces, some beneath scarves and balaclavas. This is Hackney, London. Or this was Hackney last night. It is somewhere else tonight and somewhere else again in just a couple of hours. The smiles are because the streets have been taken and nobody is afraid of the police anymore.

Some people say the burning of a police car is not political, that the looting of a shop is egotistical and thuggish, that the smashing of windows is irresponsible. For those who say this is not political they have been living in this city with their eyes shut, not seeing the massive and increasing inequality and social and economic repression. Policy. Housing policy. Urban policy. Welfare policy. Financial policy. With what results – not only are people living in shit housing, with shit jobs, getting shit from police on a daily basis – most can only look forward to more shit as the cut backs and financial crisis hit the bottom hardest.

There are also those who say it is not political because the targets are all wrong – local shops and some housing are unfortunately also amongst the victims. They also say it is not political because the looting is for the black market rather than food and necessities, or because people are stealing bikes and cameras off of spectators but this is not a neatly organised riot as some would have it. This is a reaction, a revolt, a bursting of a bubble of angst, repression, lack of options and possibility and pure boredom and depression. And once that bubble is burst everything is a potential target for revenge for a police murder, but also entertainment, gaining possessions and regaining power over ones existence for a moment, and over the whole city for some days.

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