For All Points-Of-The-View.
From The Ramparts
Junious Ricardo Stanton
Deja Vu All Over Again
“Something has gone horribly wrong in Britain. If we are ever to confront the problems which have been exposed in the past week, it is essential to bear in mind that they do not only exist in inner-city housing estates. The culture of greed and impunity we are witnessing on our TV screens stretches right up into corporate boardrooms and the Cabinet. It embraces the police and large parts of our media. It is not just its damaged youth, but Britain itself that needs a moral reformation.” www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/08/meaning-of-british-riots.html
There was something eerily familiar with the rioting going on in London if you are old enough to remember the 60's and 70's in America or the Rodney King fiasco in the 90's. In these situations due to a long train of government indifference, police brutality and misconduct the people had a Popeye moment, “That's alls I can stands and I can't stands no more” and went off. When the US government murdered Martin Luther King Jr in 1968, all across the country in over one hundred cites Black folks had Popeye moments and lit the fires to their immediate environment. They did this because they couldn't or wouldn't set fire to downtown. The government responded by calling out the National Guard and when the fires went out they called for investigations into the causes of the riots as it they didn’t already know.
When I first heard about the riots in London I thought to myself “there's more to this than we are being told by the media”. So I went Online and read more about what was going on, I discovered the people in Tottenham in North London went off after a Black man named Mark Duggen was shot and killed by London police. To put this in proper context, Tottenham is a section of London heavily inhabited by immigrants especially people of Afro-Caribbean origin. Being Black here in the US, that’s all you need to know to intuit the conditions in Tottenham and how these brothers and sisters were viewed and treated by the Brits and the police.
Taking a page from US police, the London police said Duggen had brandished a gun and shot at them. When I read that I said to myself “hmm, that sounds familiar”. However eyewitnesses, family and friends said Duggen was unarmed and the police just shot him. That too struck a resonance to past police misconduct and brutality here in AmeriKKKa.. True to form, at first the London government and media backed the police officers’ narrative but promised a full investigation once the community protested the killing. Now facts are emerging that contradict the police narrative. The bullets allegedly fired at police are of police caliber issue. Hmmm?
What probably happened was the police started firing wildly and a few stray bullets hit one of their radios. Does my hypothesis sound familiar? Just like here in AmeriKKKa the British police have been harassing, framing and brutalizing Africans and immigrants with impunity and without redress. The community got tired of it; especially since they don't have jobs and the government is cutting social programs to pay off the banksters who ran the country into an economic ditch just like here in the US.
Duggen’s family and the Tottenham community held a peaceful vigil and protest at the Tottenham Metropolitan Police precinct station. For some reason, the London police attacked the protesters and rumors spread that the police had brutally beat a teen aged girl. The people already suffering from discriminatory police misconduct, poverty and being squeezed by the government's austerity plan to cut an gut social welfare programs lost it and fought the police back.
As word spread about the police beating of the girl via word of mouth throughout Tottenham, cell phones and other social communications the outrage spread across London and so did the violence. Next thing you know two days later, violence erupted in Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, Medway and Leichester but this time it wasn't just Black folks it was white youth too. These young people are disaffected and alienated because they are being ravaged by the class war raging throughout Europe. The reaction of the government officials was deja vu for me. When I saw pictures of a London official calling for “law and order” I had flashbacks to the 60's and 70's here in the good ol’ US of A. I recalled the state sponsored crack down on dissent by the government. I remembered and thought about the long range impact of the government’s ruthless COINTELPRO counterinsurgency campaign, the militarization of the police and its relation to our present lack of gumption and initiative in the face of increasing oppression. I thought about the governments’ callous response to our people’s plight during Hurricane Katrina and the rogue police who went on a killing rampage in New Orleans. To me the situation in England and our condition here are similar.
As I listened to the London officials denounce the looting I had flashbacks of US politicians calling for “law and order” but doing nothing about racism as a national psychosis, rampant police brutality, widespread corruption in high places and the US waging war on black and brown people around the world. Lo and behold when a few London youth were interviewed by the media, they mentioned these very issues as causes for their outrage and violent outbursts.
Former major league baseball player and manager Yogi Berra, the master of malapropism, once said, “This is deja vu all over again”. So it is.