Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bestwood Riots - Student Grant Speaks

No idea who Indymedia poster 'FTP' is, but he sees the actions of an organised criminal gang (who produced a 'spontaneous' riot when their leaders were banged up) as a hopeful sign of a community rising in solidarity against State oppression - which of course it was !

The Bestwood story was covered here and more answers revealed here.

Recent news reports have revealed an incident of unrest in Nottingham in which people built barricades and fought police - prefiguring the mass revolt which could become more frequent in the face of widespread repression ...

The kinds of societies where this kind of thing happens more often than in Britain - societies like France and Greece for example - generally have far more liberties and less neoliberalism than here. Hence, to create a world worth living in, the state must be forced to "tolerate" this kind of thing more and more often.

Let us hope this kind of unrest from each and every aggrieved group becomes more frequent; the state can only lose, and our rights and welfare can only gain as a result ...

Reading between the lines, it's probably more complicated than the coverage allows - this particular group probably feel singled out, perhaps they were on the receiving end of a moral panic, or perhaps the proof of guilt is dodgy or mitigating circumstances were not recognised. Maybe on some level they see through the justifications for the state itself, and simply view a violence by the state against their own as an attack by an external agent. All this is just speculation however - the voices of the insurgents have been elided from the coverage.

More broadly though, I think insurrections will become more common because people are increasingly prevented from protesting and taking direct action by other means, and large swathes of people are denied a voice in society - so they seize the only voice they can. (This is what I'm referring to as repression). These people are obviously very aggrieved about something, and yet this isn't even being explained really in the media, as to why they're revolting ...

He's right - it wasn't fully explained at the time because Colin Gunn's name was still withheld, as enquiries into his bent police contacts continued.

The problem here is that closed-minded people assume their own ethical preferences to be obvious, and use these pseudo-obvious preferences as a basis for violence against others (such as prison sentences). It is this very closed-minded exclusion of the voice of the other which makes social insurrection inevitable - these bigots are causing the very problems which they then jump up and down in rage about.

If you aren't shocked by the utter irrationality and closed-mindedness of this judge's comments - with his utter incapacity to even conceive of what an ethical relation to the other might involve - then chances are you're similarly trapped in your own conception and similarly complicit in reproducing the necessity of social violence.


I wonder if Blithering Bunny knows the identity of 'FTP'. If he doesn't teach sociology he's obviously been exposed to it, with devastating mental consequences. This chap makes John Hutnyk look like The Dumb One.

4 comments:

JuliaM said...

"...the judge provides no rational argument as to why people should not engage in these acts. He's just stamping his foot, jumping up and down and going "we can't be having this! because i say so!" It's absurdly authoritarian."

'These acts' referring to burning cars, building barricades, and rioting. Because some criminal scum were sent down, and the riotees didn't like it.

Words fail me, for once....

Anonymous said...

Let me guess - he is middle-class, certainly public sector, probably "teaching" in higher education or is in some sort of research role. Lives in a comfortable, low-crime area.

I doubt that anyone who lives in an area blighted by crime and anti-social behaviour would view 'the state' as an oppressive force. He would be begging for the state to actually be an 'oppressing force', instead of the languid and disinterested 'force' it is now.

Anonymous said...

He also made this odd comment:

"someone getting a life sentence for attempted murder which I suspect is unusually harsh"

Is it "unusually harsh"? The sentence for attempted murder is the same as murder - you don't get time off because you weren't competent enough to finish the job. Intent is everything.

alex zeka said...

"More broadly though, I think insurrections will become more common because people are increasingly prevented from protesting and taking direct action by other means, and large swathes of people are denied a voice in society - so they seize the only voice they can. (This is what I'm referring to as repression). These people are obviously very aggrieved about something, and yet this isn't even being explained really in the media, as to why they're revolting ... "

This, interetingly enough, is remarkably accurate. 'Hate speech' laws, which result in predicting a Muslim attack on London being a crime despite precisely this transpiring, are doing what he describes. In a slight nod to my leftie side, I should add that the stiltiffying atmosphere of corporations is having a similar effect on the expression of native working class concerns. And, yes, we can expect riots as various genetically distant ethnies, prevented from segregating, do what Darwin predicts they'll do and attempt to remove competing genes from their environs.

The short way to describe all that would be: I predict a riot.

(Btw, I find the jab at sociology in distinctly poor taste. Sociology is the study of irrational behaviour, not the irrational study of behaviour.)