More democracy, not less….
It is as if Norway never happened, as if people across the political spectrum never praised the heroic commitment of the Norwegian people and their Prime Minister, to ‘more democracy, not less’. 3 days of riots and people have actually lost their common sense, have surrendered totally to fear and started to call for the most outrageous and totally unacceptable things. Not only is it totally unacceptable for the Army to be on the streets is a supposedly democratic country it is utterly true that the presence of the Army will only fan the flames of riot and discontent. The people rioting want a ‘war’ and putting the Army on the streets is giving them that; so, what do people honestly imagine the end result will be? It certainly will not lead to any people being any safer.
The people who insist these riots are wholly non-political are wrong. A strong political thread is running through these riots; some of the people on the rampage are opportunist criminals but others are the unheard. Laurie Penny reports thus:
In one NBC report, a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything:
“Yes,” said the young man. “You wouldn’t be talking to me now if we didn’t riot, would you?”
“Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you.”
Eavesdropping from among the onlookers, I looked around. A dozen TV crews and newspaper reporters interviewing the young men everywhere ‘’’
Furthermore, groups with clear political agendas are emerging like this one here. So, using the Army will only widen the appeal of these agendas and, in fact, in the long-run increase their potency because to all intents and purpose it proves their point. This does not mean the answer is to do nothing, the police have failed since they lack trust in communities, however, communities have started to defend themselves and this I support because unlike the state they have the right and democratic legitimacy required to take action; that action should be non-violent where possible but if that fails, the right for communities to use force does exist. Meanwhile, a political program of consistent democracy and social justice remains the only solution to these issues and the only thing that will quell, as opposed to fanning the flames.