While we get caught up in fussing as to how we’ll defend society against the pervasive rioting that has now died down, lets not forget that the backdrop to this was:
– Institutionally racist policing tactics whereby black communities were harassed by stop and searches on a daily basis, culminating in the execution of Mark Duggan.
– The “Hackgate” scandal implicating an intrusive and unaccountable media, a corrupt police force (they lost their commissioner and it’s increasingly apparent that police were taking bribes for information) and a corrupt political class.
– Government cuts attacking the working classes ability to exist, housing and benefits for the poor and the disabled, attacking healthcare, attacking education.
– Heavy-handed policing attacking and criminalising peaceful protestors. Manipulating and abusing the powers they hold to delegitimise the cause of protest movements.
– Undercover cops and agent provocateurs infiltrating protest movements with unaccountable and questionable actions once embedded.
Lets not forget that the response to the riots has to be viewed in light of what will fix problems versus what will only serve to deepen the antagonisms and conflict within society. What’s more is to remember that police no longer being bound by time and place for the implementation of section 60s, a normalisation and considered legitimacy of using rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons on mainland soil (atrocious and illegitimate as I consider their use in Northern Ireland) is setting up the norm for any future protest action, not just the sort of riots we saw the previous weekend. Forfeiting liberty for security will only lose you both.