Riots: voice of unheard, angry and alienated youth

Published on Counterfire, by Lee Jasper, December 08, 2011.

An investigation by the Guardian has revealed the real causes of August’s riots. Lee Jasper argues the facts confirm what most of on the left already knew. The continuing economic crisis has claimed millions of victims across the globe. The promise of globalisation was never anything more than simple unrestrained capitalism. The reality is that reckless casino banks having been bailed out by taxpayers are now devouring nations economies and destroying the social and economic gains made by working people right across Europe. 

We are not only witnessing a global economic crisis of enormous proportions, parallel to that we are witnessing a crisis in the political and moral legitimacy of the institutions of state. Throughout the world we are seeing the effects of this crisis in the brutal ideological economic and political attacks by the wealthy European elites on the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society. However the resistance of peoples and communities throughout the world is growing and through the Occupy movements, trade unions, the poor and disenfranchised people are mobilizing in defence of their rights on an unprecedented scale.

Throughout the world we see stiff opposition to Governments attempts to return employee terms and conditions to the industrial dark ages. Students, public sector workers, community and voluntary organisations and poor black and white working class communities are rising up in opposition to the so-called age of austerity.

Here in the UK we saw that rage explode. In August thousands of people rioted spontaneously in response to the shooting of a black man Mark Duggan in Tottenham.

The Guardian’s recent survey of young people who took part in the riots confirmed what most of on the left already knew. The riots were political in character. My own view expressed at the time was that racist and aggressive police stop and searches, the increasing number of black men dying suspicious deaths in police custody and the savage nature of public sector cuts were main motivations of the majority of rioters … //

… As we approach the new year with prospect of increased levels of racism it is imperative that the trade union campaigns against public sector cuts ensure that an anti racist approach is woven seamlessly into the fight for economic equality justice and fairness. Support for progressive campaigning organisations such as Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) and the Coalition of Resistance is vital.

Next year alongside widespread strike action we intend to redouble the fight against racism and step up our campaign for full judicial a public inquiry into all suspicious deaths in police custody. We intend to march,protest and fully mobiles all communities in the battle for social and economic justice, fairness and equality. (full long text).

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