Even the Associated Press, one of the major mainstream media in the West, on London riots reports which core issues that ignited the widespread riots throughout London are. According to August 10th’s AP reports, the prevailing issues are the “massive poverty, unemployment and social deprivation” among not a small number of British population across the board beyond racial barriers.
Of course, the major factor which first ignited the Tottenham riots in London was apparently the centuries-old racially-motivated violence which was inflicted upon a black youth by the [white] legal authorities, i.e., the London police. The AP and other mainstream media reported the “police officers’ killing of a young black man two days ago” was the major factor.
However, the racially-motivated riots in the first place from a “black ghetto-type of poor downtrodden Tottenham” area had soon turned into something that was much bigger and more than simply a race riot, as reported in the following AP story: “The growing number of areas and youths involved in arson, rioting and looting do not appear to be driven merely out of solidarity for the young black victim of police violence last week, although that may be a factor for some.”
In other words, the initially racially-motivated riot soon had turned out to much more complicated widespread riots across the metropolitan city of London and even to some other major cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Nottingham.
The AP reports it’s mainly due to the fact that “Britain’s social decay has been seething over several decades.” It further argues “[T]he social fabric of Britain has been torn asunder by economic policies that have deliberately widened the gap between rich and poor.”
Other European countries including the United States seem not immune either from the could-be eventual outbursts which could be very much identical with the 2011 British (apparently both racially- and economically-motivated) riots since their socioeconomic, political, racial situations are not very much different from that of Britons.
The following AP news story sounds quite familiar throughout the world where neoliberal economic policies in the name of so-called globalization had been forcibly imposed upon almost the whole world for three decades now by the US/West:
“The collapse of manufacturing bases, the spawning of low-paid menial jobs, unemployment and cuts in public services and facilities have all been accompanied by systematic lowering of taxation on the rich elite. Britain’s national debt, as with that of the Europe and the US, can be attributed in large part to decades of pursuing neoliberal policies of prosperity for the rich and austerity for the poor – the burden of which is felt most keenly in inner-city neighborhoods.”
As expected, however, “British politicians, police chiefs and the media” characterized the riots with “the result of mindless criminality“ without even ever-mentioning (or simultaneously and honestly dealing with) the centuries-old and much more fundamental socio-political, economic, cultural/racial issues of its own society.
Doubtlessly the mainstream media sang the very same chorus as usual. “The Rule of the Mob” was the title of an article on the riots by the”rightwing” Daily Telegraph in London. The “Mob Rule” is the title of a report by the so-called “more liberal” newspaper Independent.
Conservative British Prime Minister “Cameron condemned” the rioters the “pure and simple criminality that must be defeated”. British Home Secretary called them the “unacceptable thuggery.” London Metropolitan Police Commissioner labeled them the “culprits.”
However, in the eyes of great majority populations around the world who were or still are mostly oppressed, enslaved, starved, robbed, raped, looted, bombed, invaded, tortured, massacred, or colonized [by the US, British, French and the likes in the West] in most third world nations, particularly now in Libya and Syria, I seriously wonder if those British (of course, US and French, too!) rulers shouldn’t have been identifed as the ones who should be “condemned and labeled” as “pure and simple criminality that must be defeated,” “unacceptable thuggery,” “culprits,” or “mobs.”
It seems the London riots look like somewhat a “naturally-outgrown or -outburst” crisis, while the so-called “human rights crises,” mostly, if not all, created by the US/West in nations like Afganistan, Cuba, DPRK, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, Venezuela, Yemen, and so on, are the “manufactured (or forcibly imposed) crises.”
Dr. Kiyul Chung who is Editor in chief at the 4th Media is also a Visiting Professor at School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University.