If you’ve been following the London riots (or, even just have a passing interest), I highly recommend that you read Laurie Penny’s post “Panic on the streets of London“. I haven’t yet digested it enough to know what to say. It blasts the idea that this is just about people wanting an excuse to cause chaos – yes, that’s probably the motivation for some, but there’s more to it than that. Here’s a excerpt:
Riots … are not about poor parenting, or youth services being cut, or any of the other snap explanations that media pundits have been trotting out: structural inequalities, as a friend of mine remarked today, are not solved by a few pool tables. People riot because it makes them feel powerful, even if only for a night. People riot because they have spent their whole lives being told that they are good for nothing, and they realise that together they can do anything – literally, anything at all.