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UK Newswire Archive

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16,000 police deployed in London to put down youth revolt

10-08-2011 19:12

Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a meeting of the governmental emergency COBRA committee yesterday and called a special sitting in parliament for Thursday, in response to continuing rioting in London that has spread to other towns and cities in England.

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Social Media and the UK Riots: “Twitter Mobs”, “Facebook Mobs”, “Blackberry Mobs” and the Structural Violence of Neoliberalism

10-08-2011 19:00

“One formula [...] can be that of the mob: gullible, fickle, herdlike, low in taste and habit. [...] If [...] our purpsoe is manipulation – the persuasion of a large number of people to act, feel, think, known in certain ways – the convenient formula will be that of the masses”. — Raymond Williams

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EDL taking to the streets? Important and worrying developments.

10-08-2011 17:03

EDL taking to the streets? Youtube video of a mass of white men yelling 'England, England' whilst chasing 'looters/rioters'. Police running along with them?

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A Fitwatchers view of the riots

10-08-2011 16:55

I’ve felt a lot of emotions over the past few days ranging from joy to grief to anger. It’s been amazing to see people fighting back against the police and it’s been equally horrific to see damage to people’s homes and small shops, let alone the deaths in Birmingham yesterday.

However, today I am just angry. I feel utterly sickened at the attitude of large numbers of people who are suddenly supporting the police, who support the army being brought in, who want to see water canon and plastic bullets used on the streets.

I am livid with rage at people who have never experienced police harassment not even attempting to understand the brutalisation this causes. I know the effect it has had on me, and I’ve only experienced it through the choice of being politically active which is nothing compared to it happening on a daily basis because of your skin colour or where you live.

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Leeds: New blog set up for news and analysis

10-08-2011 15:38

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Palestine Today 08 10 2011

10-08-2011 15:13

Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, for Wednesday August 10th, 2011.

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Cowley Rd Continental re-opens mysteriously

10-08-2011 13:37

'The Continental' grocery store on Cowley Rd, East Oxford which was evicted by their landlords about 3 weeks ago has re-opened.

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Nick Griffin is in Liverpool telling lies about the riots

10-08-2011 13:29

NIck Griffin, surrounded by a group of convicted, racist thugs, is visiting Smithdown Road to peddle his own brand of violent racism.

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The Scandal of the USA's Somalia Aid Blockade

10-08-2011 12:59

The US is playing politics with the lives of starving children
Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged members of the al-Shabaab militia - the Islamist group who control 60% of famine-hit Somalia - to allow aid in. Just as in Libya, crocodile tears and hand-wringing over supposedly 'humanitarian' concerns mask predatory imperialist interests.

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Two more anti-fascists receive prison sentences

10-08-2011 12:55

Today two more UK anti-fascists were given prison sentences. Thomas Blak and Austen Jackson have been held on remand since their dodgy conviction in June, and appeared in Blackfriars court on Monday August 8th for sentencing.

Austen and Thomas were two of seven anti-fascists convicted on the basis of minimal evidence in relation to an altercation which took place between some anti-fascists and some neo-nazis near to a gig organised by the avowedly white supremacist promoters Blood and Honour. Despite the fact that there was no evidence that they had been involved in violence they were effectively fitted up and prosecuted for "conspiring" to cause violence on the basis that they were in the area to oppose the gig.

Ignoring the dubious nature of this conviction the judge continued his approach of handing down lenthgy prison sentences, sending down Thomas for 18 months and Austen for 15 months. This follows the 21 month sentences he already handed down to four anti-fascists. One further anti-fascist involved in this case is still on bail awaiting sentence.

All seven convicted are being persecuted because they were willing to stand in opposition to racism and fascism, and they fully deserve the support of anyone who considers themselves anti-racist or anti-fascist.

If you have not yet written to the prisoners please take this opportunity to do so. Messages from the outside let them know that there are many who stand in solidarity with them, and contact with people helps break down the monotony and isolation of prison life. For up to date addresses and more details on writing to the prisoners see:

Please also consider donating to their support campaign. The prisoners need money in their prison accounts in order to be able to buy what minimal "luxuries" they are permitted (cigarettes, vaguely edible food, stamps, reading material, etc.). Also many of them are being held far from family and friends, and donations can help pay for travel so they can receive personal visits. You can donate money through the Paypal link on the support group site:

Due to ongoing legal proceedings this case cannot be discussed in any more detail at this time. Please respect this and do not press for more information on this sensitive matter, or engage in online speculation.

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Analysis of the UK Riots: Life After Rioting

10-08-2011 12:55

There will be change, because this is part of something bigger. Right now, it's not just the rioters that are running around like headless chickens, most of the media is doing it too

There will be change, because this is part of something bigger. Right now, it's not just the rioters that are running around like headless chickens, most of the media is doing it too.

Most of the answers are already known, but people WILL persist in inane black-and-white models of reality, they think the causes and answers are simple, so they answer the problem first with dumbfounded outrage, then brutality, so this will escalate now, until the rioters decide it's not worth the risk.

Who wants to build when they can take a building and throw it away in the same instant? As most of their parents have lived on credit, a buy-now-pay-later culture, then hit the hard times and have to work longer hours to pay off this mindless consumption, all the aspirations that make life worth having, have been perverted. People who are told at the same instant that they MUST own this stuff, and that they CANNOT own it, are doing what seems to be the only way they can satisfy both imperatives at once.

Full Article | St Pauls and Stokes Croft Riots | Video of Bristol Riots | Attack on Police Claimed by Bristol Anarchists | Welcome to the Big Society (London imc) | Riot is a Product of Consumerism (Donnecha Delong) Criminality and Rewards (London imc)

I have a friend in Texas, who asked me if I think this might result in real change in society. I answered him and decided I wanted to publish this somewhere, so here goes... (In the unlikely event that you want to post this to a wider audience that I don't know how to reach, go for it. No need to ask, just copy and paste the lot in one piece if you think it will do any good).

There will be change, because this is part of something bigger. Right now, it's not just the rioters that are running around like headless chickens, most of the media is doing it too.

Most of the answers are already known, but people WILL persist in inane black-and-white models of reality, they think the causes and answers are simple, so they answer the problem first with dumbfounded outrage, then brutality, so this will escalate now, until the rioters decide it's not worth the risk.

I know what the answers are, most people do, when they have the time to consider them. We've had ten years or more of aspiration. But WHAT aspiration? Trainers. Alcohol. Bigger, better TV's. Life in Britain has been about holidays, home ownership, having stuff. Working. Limited visions, working blindly to maintain them. People doing this at the expense of their own children, who look around at this world and wonder where the magic is, the worth. We don't need to go down the religious and moral lines of argument, it's a purely animal thing, the question of WHY BOTHER TO LIVE? Those who riot are those who have not been given a good enough reason to live. So they see no value in building because they see a world that tells they that they should have it NOW. Who wants to build when they can take a building and throw it away in the same instant? As most of their parents have lived on credit, a buy-now-pay-later culture, then hit the hard times and have to work longer hours to pay off this mindless consumption, all the aspirations that make life worth having, have been perverted. People who are told at the same instant that they MUST own this stuff, and that they CANNOT own it, are doing what seems to be the only way they can satisfy both imperatives at once.

The state will try to criminalise them now. The problem with that is that it will punish before asking questions. Well, it will if it's as stupid and cruel as I think it is. These people have taunted a generation with their profligate wealth and consumption, and now the world gets mean and hard again, they pull up their drawbridges and seal themselves in their towers with all their remaining privilege. So far this rioting has been about the base consumption issue, but what happens next? Once this blast is over, people will ask what next? And even tonight, if policemen start hitting kids with sticks regardless of whether they are actually smashing their way into shops or not, that's when it will become explosively political. If this polarises a nation into a divide between those who have, and those who haven't, then forget the Olympics, what the world will remember of Britain is one of the most barbarous nations on Earth, one that will beat its children in the streets till the blood flows. How this develops, depends entirely on this one thing: How will those who lived the lives that created this possibility, deal with the results. Will they get self-righteous and blame their children? Or will they accept that they have made impossible contracts with those children in an attempt to maintain something that couldn't go on as it was?

I was in the same position. I left home because I couldn't find my own life while trying to live an ideal that forced me to choose between compliance or rejection. I will never be accepted by my mum because of how I handled this choice. But I did not riot, even though I chose to walk around during one to see what happened. I knew people who burnt cars and looted shops in 1986, but all that concerned me was that I wanted to find my own way, to build what I wanted once I got the time, and the space to do it, and to understand the world I was supposed to do it in. Not every lost kid wants to destroy, even when caught up in the fire. The question is: will our infamously self-righteous 'hardworking society' have the balls, and the wit, to know what it really is, or will it beat those children into submission tonight just to force its own perverted sense of order? Judging by the amount of willful ignorance, I don't have high hopes for good results. Most policemen don't want to hit children, I guess that's partly why they sometimes stood around and did nothing to stop some events. But tonight they'll have to, and I hope they can do it with lines drawn, not blood.

I could go on about how the Olympics, the eyes of the world, fast comms, the loss of authority in police, government, press, and judiciary, all conspire to make this happen now, but all that's just confluence of circumstances. All that stuff is about how the charges got fired, NOT about how they were laid in the first place! All the talking heads in all the world will have no answer if they think this just happened 'out of the blue' because no bomb this big can be ignited in a moment unless it was already laid and primed long beforehand.

I think the eventual answer will be to let people have a lot more choice in how they want to live. To compel people to 'fit in' and make them automatically criminal if they cannot do this, is wrong. Not just on principle, but in every detail. A nationwide theme park of work and morality, of compulsion to order imposed from above, is useless, it makes class war, ageism, all the crap that stokes these fires.

Maybe in the end the best answer is that people should STOP having kids unless they are genuinely interested in the lives those kids will have. To do it just because they can, or for prestige, or another working pair of hands, or because they can't be bothered to consider the results of sex, or whatever, is not a good reason. We don't need morality plays, we just have to ask: why do we want to live? And if we don't know any reason beyond some blind social imperative, should we be having kids, and expecting them to do what WE cannot and will not do? And then blaming them for perpetuating our failures? I'm lucky, I have not decided to have any so I don't have to agonise over this myself, but those I admire most are those who try for a life of their own, bring a child into that, then if something goes wrong with the child, demanding care beyond any most children ever need, and instead of blaming the child, are haunted with a sense that they themselves have failed when they haven't. If society's hard times cause the more privileged to take away help for those people while blindly forcing people to fit with aspirations based purely on possession and consumption, then it's stopped bothering to ask what it means to be human, which is the worst possible error.

I mean, WHAT ARE WE? Should we breed like the bacteria that Agent Smith eloquently despises in the Matrix? That's where we're headed. No-one's doing this to us. We do it to ourselves, if we're stupid enough to persist in it.

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Emergency Demonstration In Deprford Tonight (Wednesday)

10-08-2011 12:48

Meet 6.30pm tonight @ the anchor, Deptford High St to march to Lewisham Town Hall

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Running through riotous London

10-08-2011 12:01

A young girl of about seventeen leaned anxiously out of her front window
esterday, the streets of London were full of the rage of youth.

When I went out to photograph events, the situation was scary and volatile - but I met children who looked out for me, covering my back when I was using my camera, telling me when gangs and thieves were stalking me.

In the Hackney district of the city, the youth were intent on fighting the police. One boy told me that he was sick of being stopped and searched and that this was a settling of scores with the "Feds", as he called the police.

In 2009, Lord Carlile, reviewing police stop-and-search powers, found that Black and Asian youth in Britain were seven times more likely to be stopped and searched than whites.

Amid the volatile chaos on Monday night, criminal gangs took advantage of the situation. What self-respecting criminal gang would not? I saw a couple of 40-year-old white men heading into the middle of a stand-off between youngsters and police lines, carrying power tools and hammers. A bunch of boys were following, asking each other: "Are they are really going to do so-and-so's shop?"

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Britain's Burning

10-08-2011 11:55

"Why do they do it?"

It would be a mistake to assign a political motive to the violence, looting and arson that has exploded in various British cities over the last few nights. It’s quite possible that not a single one of the arsonists, muggers and looters burnt, mugged or robbed anyone because she thought that was the best way to achieve political reform and social justice. However, it would be equally mistaken to deny that the rioting is a direct consequence of the actions of Britain’s politicians.


We’re told that the trouble began last Saturday night 6th August. According to a BBC report (, about 300 people gathered outside a police station that night and “demanded justice”. Their protest quickly spiralled out of control.


The justice the crowd were demanding followed the killing by police of a young black man, Mark Duggan. Details of the killing are sketchy, to say the least; but according to the first report issued by the “Independent” Police Complaints Commission there is no evidence to suggest that Mr Duggan shot at the police. However, a starter’s pistol that had been converted to fire live rounds was supposedly discovered near his body.


Although it seems that Mr Duggan had been involved with local gangs, his family and friends strongly refute the suggestion that he is likely to have become involved in a shoot-out with armed police; and according to the Guardian

(, although he had previously been held on remand, he had never before been convicted of any crime. The inquest into the shooting is scheduled for December; but if numerous previous inquests into the actions of the police are anything to go by (Stephen Lawrence, Jean Charles De Menezes, Bloody Sunday, Guildford Four, Birmingham Six...., for example), anyone expecting justice would be well advised not to hold their breath.


The media coverage of the current urban unrest is unsurprisingly one-sided. Our TV screens have shown hours of coverage of those whose property has been damaged, stolen or destroyed. Many of these people are understandably angry and scared. Many others have been shrill in their demands for tougher policing, and there have been calls to use the army. All of our trusted leaders are unsurprisingly unanimous in their condemnation of the rioters, and their support of the police. We’ve heard stiff-lipped politicians and steely-eyed chief constables angrily asserting there cannot be any possible justification for the violence, and firmly promising the full retribution of the law. In the media’s ceaseless desire to provide “balanced” reporting, we’ve even seen numerous young people, many of whom are black, stridently condemning the trouble – although one or two have alluded to police oppression. We’ve seen dozens of angst-ridden commentators with puzzled frowns asking “why do they do it?” (which reminded me of George W Bush famously asking “why do they hate us?” in his apparent bewilderment at the Moslem world’s dissatisfaction with the outrages perpetrated against it by Bush’s government).


I don’t presume to speak for a single rioter. No doubt there are some who are opportunist small-time criminals. However, if one tries to take a reasonably objective view of today’s political landscape in Britain it’s pretty difficult not to believe that most of the responsibility for the rioting lies in exactly the same place as with all civil unrest of this kind since the beginning of “civilisation” – our trusted leaders.


1. Over the last thirty-odd years our trusted leaders have killed-off British manufacturing – the primary source of the nation’s wealth. They have also colluded with international banksters, trans-national corporations and foreign governments to sell-off Britain’s publicly owned infrastructure: energy and water supplies, communications and transport. Then they sold off essential public services such as health and education. They indebted the nation’s future generation to the tune of hundreds of billions (possibly trillions) of pounds with their nefarious Private Finance Initiatives. Throughout all this a very tiny handful of people have become unbelievably wealthy, whilst the vast majority of Britons have seen their wages decline, or watch their jobs disappear altogether. When they can find employment (which is not an easy thing to do) the vast majority of young Britons must now work longer hours for less money and in worse conditions than their parents did. They cannot hope to retire at the same age as their grandparents did, and they cannot hope to receive as good a pension as their grandparents had.


There might be cause for a young person to feel a little discontent with that situation.


2. Britain looks more and more like a police state than it has done since the Civil War. The police who, until not very long ago took pride in walking the streets carrying nothing more dangerous than a short truncheon and a pair of handcuffs – even when the nation was at war, now strut around in suits of armour with a small arsenal of various lethal weapons at their fingertips. They can, and do, imprison people without charge for up to two weeks. It’s impossible for people to use an airport without being subjected to rigorous, intrusive, and perfectly ridiculous, “security” checks (a direct consequence of our trusted leaders’ repulsive foreign policies); and we routinely send our young people off to distant countries dressed up as soldiers of one kind or another where they are ordered to commit acts which, if any form of real international justice existed, would undoubtedly be condemned as war crimes.


There might be cause for a young person to feel a little discontent with that situation.


3. Then, of course there is the killing of Mr Duggan itself – the supposed trigger of the current unrest. Directly pertinent to the police state which Britain has become, the killing of this young man is indicative of the total impunity with which the police believe they can act. Violent police raids are a routine daily occurrence in underprivileged neighbourhoods throughout the UK. The raids are nearly always destructive, and terrifying, and often prove utterly fruitless. And numerous completely innocent people have been killed or wounded by the police, with the subsequent “inquiries” routinely exonerating the perpetrators.


There might be cause for a young person to feel a little discontent with that situation.


Whilst it’s most probable that none of these factors are consciously passing through the mind of some young person as he loots a store or sets fire to it, it’s equally probable that at least one of these reasons explain the daily living conditions of that young person. So far we haven’t seen a lot of rioting in the streets of South Kensington or Chelsea say, or any of the leafy suburbs or gated communities where the sons and daughters of politicians, banksters, corporate executives, lawyers and company accountants while away their comfortable lives. No doubt they’re too busy studying to become the next generation of trusted leaders.


However, there might be cause for some young people to feel a little discontent with that situation.


by John Andrews 

Full article | 5 comments

Nothing ‘mindless’ about rioters

10-08-2011 11:53

Civil disturbances never have a single, simple meaning. When the Bastille was being stormed the thieves of Paris doubtless took advantage of the mayhem to rob houses and waylay unlucky revolutionaries. Sometimes the thieves were revolutionaries. Sometimes the revolutionaries were thieves. And it is reckless to start making confident claims about events that are spread across the country and that have many different elements.

In Britain over the past few days there have been clashes between the police and young people. Crowds have set buildings, cars and buses on fire. Shops have been looted and passersby have been attacked. Only a fool would announce what it all means.

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Anarchists respond to the London riots - Solidarity Federation

10-08-2011 11:44

With media sources blaming “anarchy” for the unfolding violence in London and across England, the North London Solidarity Federation has released the following statement as a response from an anarchist organisation active in the capital.

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Community pulls together, your help asked

10-08-2011 10:55

Tottenham Green Leisure Centre has become a community drop in centre for people who lost everything they have during Saturday night's riots. Volunteers are donating clothes and food to those who need them.

Individuals there include those made homeless by the rioters and those robbed in the streets during the riots.  They currently need small toys and games for the children.  Clothes for adults and children (some families have lost literely everything and have only the clothes they were wearing.  Nappies for babies are also welcome.

This is nothing to do with the council but is a community initative by local people for the local people.

For those wanting to come by and help out


Tottenham Green Leisure Centre
1 Philip Lane
N15 4JA


Bus The following buses serve bus stops on Tottenham High Road, within a five-minute walk of the Leisure Centre: 41 / 76 / 123 / 149 / 230 / 243 / 259 / 279 / 318 / 341 / 349 / 476 / W4.

Train Tottenham Hale

Tube Seven Sisters Tube station on the Victoria Line is about five minutes walk away. After leaving the station at the 'High Road' exit, walk up the hill in the direction of Enfield, and Tottenham Hotspurs' ground, and away from Stamford Hill, keeping on the left-hand pavement. After passing College of North East London, turn left into Town Hall Approach Road until you reach the Leisure Centre.

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Riots spread to Nottingham

10-08-2011 09:55

The disturbances which have swept London following the shooting of Mark Duggan by armed police on Thursday, has spread to Nottingham. According to Notts Police five of their police stations were attacked by groups of rioters last night, armed with ‘homemade incendiary devices’. Over 100 arrests have been made including a group of 10 who climbed on the roof of Nottingham High School. On Monday night there was serious disruption in and around St Anns, including an attempt to break into JD Sport in the Victoria Centre and a firebomb attack on the police station.

On the newswire: Five police stations attacked in Nottingham | Canning Circus police station firebombed | Rioting spreads to New Basford? | St Anns police station firebombed

Elsewhere: Manchester | Birmingham | London | Bristol

This is not the first time that disorder has begun in London and spread to Nottingham. In 1981, rioting in Brixton and Toxteth, Liverpool was replicated in Nottingham, centred around the Hyson Green flats (now replaced by an Asda supermarket). Indeed, the current wave of disorder has also seen incidents in Liverpool, including in Toxteth.


St Anns police station attacked with petrol bomb.

Group of youths attempt to break into shops in city centre.

Vehicles set on fire and windows smashed in St Anns.


Bulwell police station attacked with stones.

Arson at Clarendon College.

Golden Fleece pub on Mansfield road attacked.

Group climb on the roof of Nottingham High School.

Canning Circus police station attacked with petrol bomb.

Police car set on fire outside Meadows police station.

Looting attempts in city centre thwarted by heavy police presence.

Widespread arson, criminal damage and disorder in Basford, Clifton, Meadows and St Anns.

Full article

Five police stations attacked in Nottingham

10-08-2011 08:55

Rioting flared up again last night in Nottingham as five police stations were attacked with homemade incendiary devices (i.e. petrol bombs). Canning Circus, The Meadows, Oxclose Lane, Bulwell and St Ann's police stations were targeted by rioters. A police car outside the station in the Meadows was also torched.

Notts police are saying that they have arrested over 80 people in connection with the disturbances and expect this to go up to over 100. 10 were arrested at an incident where youths climbed on the roof of Nottingham High School near the Forest.

However the middle-class man-in-the-pub pundits spin this as the work of benefit-scrounging darkies engaging in 'recreational looting' the fact of the matter is that the police were the primary target of this uprising. The only other significant target, the Nottingham High School, is a symbol of elite wealth and opportunity: a fee paying school with grand buildings and extensive grounds, a short walk from the working class neighbourhoods of the Arboretum, Radford and Forest Fields.

I don't doubt that there were incidents of opportunism and vandalism of working class houses and vehicles, but the main targets were the people who hold down the poor estates - the cops who brutalise and criminalise and the schools that exclude the 'riff raff'.

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