Monday, 23 February 2009
Summer of Riots!
Apparently a senior police officer is predicting a summer of riots and saying that victims of the economic downturn will take to the streets to demonstrate against financial institutions.
Britain's most senior police officer with responsibility for public order raised the spectre of a return of the riots of the 1980s, with people who have lost their jobs, homes or savings becoming "footsoldiers" in a wave of potentially violent mass protests.
Superintendent David Hartshorn, who heads the Metropolitan police's public order branch, has told the Guardian that middle-class individuals who would never have considered joining demonstrations may now seek to vent their anger through protests this year.
I can certainly imagine this as a real possibility, with many ingredients flowing into the pool of discontent here in Britain. With over 200 homes repossessed each and every day, thousands become unemployed, struggling to pay for the necessities of life such as for food and the utility bills. Some of this may well bring people out on to the streets in protest. The deterioration in the economic situation already stirred riots in Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria, not forgetting Iceland and China or the 100,000 people who marched through Dublin on Saturday, to protest at government cutbacks in the face of a deepening recession and bailouts for the banks. The current financial crisis means a fall in living standards for the working class of the world. A Capitalist earthquake shaking workers like apples falling from a tree but landing on the hard concrete of reality.
Is this not evident enough that our system of society based on class ownership of the means of production and distribution in which wealth is produced the world over by wage/salary workers – doesn’t - or has ever worked in our best interests – that human needs are only met under capitalism to the extent that they can be paid for when workers are in paid employment; or that the wage system is nothing more than a form of rationing, that in reality it restricts a worker’s consumption to what he needs to keep himself in efficient working order. It means that he along with his family are deprived of the best that is available in food, clothing, housing, entertainment, travel and the like. And is this not made all the more worse because there could, on the basis of modern technology, be plenty of the best for everyone. A police officer fears violence could erupt on our streets this summer; but what about the violence that takes a home, flings a worker on the dole and allows a child to live in poverty, why don’t that count?
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