Reading (on) the riot act

As the  initial shock of the riots subsides then a little room for thought emerges. To help this process here is a collection of some of the more interesting initial reactions we have come across. It was mostly put together by our friend and comrade Andre and nicked from his Facebook page to increase the potential audience. If you have any suggested additions then we will attempt to include them, at least until the whole thing becomes too unwieldy. The list is rather unorganised, although there are some videos and a radio show placed at the end. The only other thing we have done is to place a couple of interesting pieces from right wing commentators at the front. We have done so because they are reactions that we wouldn’t expect to see from such quarters. When added to this earlier piece on recent scandals and crises from right wing commentator Charles Moore then we can get the impression that something is going on here, a disorientation within right wing thought perhaps? This is a possibility that is worth revisiting at some point.


‘London riots: the underclass lashes out’ Daily Telegraph. Incredible stuff from the ‘Torygraph’, e.g.

The failure of the markets goes hand in hand with human blight. Meanwhile, the view is gaining ground that social democracy, with its safety nets, its costly education and health care for all, is unsustainable in the bleak times ahead. The reality is that it is the only solution.

The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom By Peter Oborne


Interesting stuff from less unexpected sources (new stuff will be at the top):

Talk by Paul Gilroy

David Starkey is right, by ‘a close brother of Sons of Malcolm’

These riots reveal some unpalatable home truths by Hari Kunzru (The Guardian)

The other side of ‘we’re all in it together.’ By Rodrigo Nunes

The London Riots – On Consumerism coming Home to Roost – by Zygmunt Bauman

In Broadway Market – James Meek (London Review of Books)

Feral Capitalism Hits The Streets, by David Harvey

‘Nothing to lose, nothing to win’ by David Broder (The Commune)

‘In defense of Anarchy’ by Boff Whaley (The Independent)

The Salford riots and the greed of the disenfranchised (The Guardian)

An eyewitness perspective on the riots in Salford and Manchester (Indymedia)

#riotcleanup or #riotwhitewash? by The University of Strategic Optimism

#Riotcleanup: a physiognomy of an old fascism restored (The Third Estate)

London rioters resent media image of hooded teen thug (Reuters)

An open letter to those who condemn looting (Part one) by Socialism and/or Barbarism

An open letter to those who condemn looting (Part two) by Socialism and/or Barbarism

Eyes Wide Open in London by Occupied London

 Riot Thoughts by Spillway

A FITWatchers view of the riots

“Recreational looting” in perspective by John Naughton

Riots: The left must respond by James O’Nions (Red Pepper)

The Riots: A grim mirror image of neoliberal Britain by Tom Fox (Red Pepper)

Criminality and Rewards by Max von Sudo

 Britain and its Rabble (As I Please blog)

Violence at the Edge: Tottenham, Athens, Paris by Illan rua Wall (Critical Legal Thinking)

From Self-Mutilation to Self-Organisation (Nomadic Utopianism blog)

North London Solidarity Federation’s Response to the London Riots

There is a Context to London’s Riots which Cannot be Ignored by Nina Power:

‘Panic on the Streets of London’ by Laurie Penny

‘AA+ for the Rioters?’  by The Free Association

Statement by Arts Against the Cut

‘A Message to a Country on Fire’ statements by London Anti-Cuts Space

‘Five Quick Points on The Riots’ by Kenan Malik

‘Don’t Moralise, Don’t Judge, Don’t Take Pictures – It’s Time for the Riots to get radical Daniel Harvey (The Commune)

Report from members of The Commune about rioting in Hackney (The Commune)

Tottenham: Neoliberal Riots and the Possibility of Politics by William Wall (Critical Legal Thinking)

London Riot Pt 2 Arts Against the Cuts


Other stuff:

Badiou article about the ‘Banlieue riots’ in France (2005). Worth a read now.

This radio show contains a very interesting discussion of the context of the riots.

Darcus Howe on the BBC

Interesting interview from the London Streets

Interview with Tottenham local the morning of Sunday 7th August

“Truly extraordinary speech by Fearless and Brave Lady to Hackney London rioters:”

Darcus Howe and Richard Seymour on Democracy Now: Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things.