I know you've probably already read a ton of blog posts and articles on the London Riots but I'm going to share a couple more with you from the point of view of Britain's youths.
The first is written by a 12 year old and gives a very insightful perception of the recent riots, which reassures us that hope is not lost for England's next generation. It's good to know that there are some kids out there that are switched on to what is going on and can distinguish between right and wrong. He may not know all the facts but at least he is speaking out in an intelligent way and he raises a valid point about the motives of the youths... a "mass free for all shopping spree". It certainly seems to have developed into that...
People feel the police sparked these riots in Tottenham when they shot Mark Duggan in the chest. He did have a real gun but did not fire a shot at the police. Some think that the bullet wedged in the police radio was misleading information planted by the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) to justify his murder. In my opinion this was a cold-blooded killing.
But what happened afterwards was unacceptable. The family organised a protest in Tottenham and finished outside the police station. They waited outside the station for five hours and the police didn’t come out to speak to them.
So the family got ticked off and ‘tensions boiled over’ according to the BBC. So as the aggression heightened and turned into a riot. Youths went out looting shops and torching cars. They seized the opportunity to get some trainers and not to riot in defence of Mark Duggan. And so the UK Riots began…
Youths raided JD, Foot Locker and Curry’s across South London. I feel this completely defeats the point. It makes us look like thugs who want to look good and play XBOX360’s. In Clapham the only shop that wasn’t looted was ‘Waterstones.’ No joke.
We steal trainers but not books. What are trainers going to do for us in life?
In Brixton they looted Vodafone but left the library…
The rioters have misrepresented the young community by attacking pointlessly and gaining goods that aren’t going to help them. A valid cause for protest has become a mass free for all shopping spree.
And here's another very articulate impression and foresight from a 15-year-old boy from Brixton, Joe Dolling.
The carnage that has descended over England in the past few days has had a dizzying effect, both in terms of the events themselves and the often incoherent media furore surrounding them.
I think it would be false to proclaim that such riots are a direct result of Mark Duggan’s death last week or in fact that this is a matter of basic politics; it isn’t. There is no social justice in torching cars, no sense of skewed liberation from ransacking a local bakery, no progress made from smashing windows. These events have transcended the sphere of morality created by the death of Duggan – this situation has become much more primal. It’s been almost anarchic in the past few days: no substance in the words of our ‘leaders’, little conviction in the promises of reprisal.
What has prompted such a snowball effect in the hearts of these youths? Most young rioters are likely to be on their school holidays. Speaking from experience, there is usually a suffocating sense of boredom from such an extended period of essentially doing nothing. There is no doubt that many of those involved will have also felt this – I’m sure that the on-going riots will have given them ‘something to do’. It may be as basic as this; the selfish, destructive release of pent-up energy and the feeling of rebellion it will have given them.
Media coverage can’t have helped. Tireless journalistic presence in the affected areas may have given these youths a sense of importance in their actions: they’re obviously doing something newsworthy. They’ve got a chokehold on the country and like it or not, we are asphyxiated. It’s not unreasonable to assume that there is some sort of twisted pleasure from this kind of social abuse – the feeling of camaraderie in the gang mentality obviously features here.
Unfortunately I believe that the riots are a fatal blow to the image of our generation; only time will tell if we’re now viewed as ‘Britain’s failed youth’ – for our sake I hope not. We’re much, much more than that.
Let's hope Joe Dolling's conclusion is correct and he inspires other kids in the country to think twice before they follow in the footsteps of their peers again.