Tuesday, August 09, 2011

London Burning

The UK is in the midst of the biggest civil unrest since the Brixton Riots of 1981. Then as now the origins of the unrest are the same: Racism, police brutality, unemployment and economic dislocation. Then as now, there is a Conservative government imposing savage social spending cuts which disporpotionately affects working class and poor people. Then as now, the trigger to the uprising is racially trageted police actions.

In 1981, the Brixton riots were triggered by the police operation Swamp 81, which targeted young inner city Blacks to prevent "street crime". In 2011, the Tottenham riot was sparked by special forces of the police aimed exclusively of gun crime among African and Carribean people. State racism is the culprit of the unrest.

The current upheavals in the UK are simply the latest eruptions of anger amongst British youth to the decimation of their educational and employment prospects. Last December, thousands of high school and university students stormed Conservative Party headquarters after the government announced massive university tuition hikes and cuts to stipends for students. The Rolls Royce carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker was attacked on Oxford Street with the chants "Off with their heads."

Public anger has been boiling since 2003 with the erosion of democracy in the UK. One million people marched through the streets of London on February 15, 2003 to prevent the British government of Tony Blair from invading Iraq. The government ignored the will of the majority of the population. In 2009, during peaceful protests of the G-20 summit, the police killed an innocent bystander, Ian Tomlinson. Each peaceful protest in the UK has been met with violent and repressive measures by the police. The Guardian newspaper investigation has revealed how the police had targeted journalists covering peaceful environmental protest actions.

Most recently, the exposure of massive criminality of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World journalists and editors hacking into phones of thousands of private citizens while the police turned a blind eye, as well as aiding and abetting in the criminal acts, has left Scotland Yard discredited. The hypocrisy displayed by the entire political and media establishment denouncing the "criminality" of oppressed youth in the revolts today while making excuses for the crimes of Rupert Murdoch is staggering. If Rupert Murdoch, who has the blood of millions of people around the world on his hands, can get away with murder, why should the oppressed youth looting shops and burning police cars be condemned?

The upheavals in London are the same as those occurring in Athens, Rome and other cities around the world. The same conditions suffered by the oppressed in London are the same as those facing Blacks in San FranciscoOakland and New York. Toronto and Montreal in Canada are also tinderboxes ready to ignite at any moment. This is just the beginning of massive social and political upheavals rocking the world. No corner of the world is immune from the tumultuous times.

The recent debt deal in Washington which will cut trillions from social spending, along with the massive losses in the financial markets spell the end of social peace for the world. The uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East are spreading to Europe. The turn to authoritarian governments in the advanced liberal democracies of the West signifies that the capitalist elite have declared war against the masses. The globe is in flames which will inevitably lead to civil wars and ultimately global war. We have arrived at the future. The future is now!

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