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© Pat Bagley

There have been quite a few comics recently about the riots in England. On one side, the rioters are declared to be low-life criminal scum. On the other side, the rioters are reacting to the destruction of their jobs and way of life by the bankers. Are both views correct?



  1. ThatGuy wrote:

    I’m in London now, and the view of most here is that the riots are people who just want to break and steal things. It should be noted, though, that the riots started after a police shooting. The victim’s family organized a peaceful protest of the police action (this coming from an area of London that is fairly poor and already had a bad relationship with the police) but unfortunately the protest turned violent. I tend to think that there are some elements of any society that just seize upon this sort of thing and use it as an excuse to go wreck part of a city.

    Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
  2. John B wrote:

    And the millionaire’s daughter caught with a car full of looted kit fits into this picture exactly how….?

    Shoplifting on steroids?

    Monday, August 15, 2011 at 1:18 am | Permalink
  3. ThatGuy wrote:

    It’s yet another person who takes advantage of some form of legitimate unrest or confusion (police brutality, economic trouble, environmental disaster or any number of things)to riot and loot not because they have a legitimate grievance but because they want to gain from the chaos. I did not mean to imply that all the looters are from the parts of London that are being looted.

    Monday, August 15, 2011 at 6:21 am | Permalink
  4. starluna wrote:

    The BBC reported yesterday that most of the people arrested so far are not from the areas that are being looted and are not part of the community of people with who have been suffering from bad behavior on the part of the police (to put it mildly). It does indeed look like some folks just took advantage of the situation. It’s sad because this is going distract from the legitimate grievances in these communities.

    Monday, August 15, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink
  5. Dan wrote:

    And the poor get the blame. Sounds familiar. As in, welfare is why the drug lords are so powerful (was told that last week).

    Monday, August 15, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  6. Don wrote:

    Curiously, I believe that both of the characterizations of the participants has a claim to a piece of the real truth. The original protests were reacting to what has been characterized as a heavy handed law enforcement response in a poor neighborhood. Most of the protestors have been reported to be local folks from the neighborhood. This changed fairly quickly, though, the composition of the participants changing from local peaceful protesters to a war zone of folks more interested in mayhem than social justice and most of whom were from other parts of England. It would appear that social networking – both telephonic and on-line – played a role in the rapid switch from locals to non-locals.

    As for the poor getting the blame, it would appear that, at least from the gubmint’s perspective (per David Cameron), there is clear recognition that there are social issues to be addressed – this from the Guardian.

    Monday, August 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink