I think it says a lot about the looters we’ve been seeing mug shots of on the TV that during the riots which have broken out across the country libraries in Manchester and London have been vandalised and damaged, while the only shop at Clapham Junction to avoid looting was the Waterstones. Apparently the looters aren’t big readers.
An incredibly intelligent young woman of my acquaintance posted this quote by Martin Luther King on Facebook earlier:
“When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty & shoot people dead whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up & express their anger & frustration if you refuse to hear their cries. A riot is the language of the unheard” – Martin Luther King, B’ham, Alabama, Dec 1963
On the surface an apt quote, but with respect, in this instance I disagree. What we have here is not a social protest, though it may have started out as one. I’ve worked in some rough schools in Reading and South Wales, as well as with children from pretty difficult backgrounds in Oxford, so I am aware of the challenges that some children face. Though this might be described as a by-product of these fractured backgrounds, it is not a protest against them.
This is an opportunistic mob run riot, grabbing what they can regardless of who they hurt with no aim to improve their personal circumstances, unless you count material gains such as plasma screen televisions.They are damaging the facilities which they still have left, are destroying people’s homes and livelihoods while exploiting the power of numbers. People have been killed and have had to jump for their lives from burning buildings.
I am disgusted that this is happening in this land where we really are so lucky in the opportunities life presents us when compared to other countries.