Democracy and Class Struggle is pleased to publish this contribution from Comrade Emma Lewis from Brixton.The Black List refused to publish this article because of it's criticism of Black MP's.
The uprising which began on the 6th August represents the rage of the poor against decades of police violence/racism, unemployment, and poverty.
Tottenham has a long history of police killings (Mrs. Aseta Simms, Colin Roach, Mrs. Cynthia Jarrett, Joy Gardener) and struggle against police violence.
On Thursday August 4th, Mark Duggan, a 29 year old father of three was shot by the police. Normally when someone has been killed, the police inform the family first, before the name is made public. This did not happen in this case. On Saturday 6th August the family of Mark Duggan and 300 community members organized a one hour vigil outside the Police station asking for answers to their questions re his death. The vigil started at 5pm. At 9pm the people decided to end the vigil as no police officer was willing to speak to the family. While the crowd dispersed, the police attacked a 16 year old girl, smashed her with riot shields and batons. It was in response to this brutal and savage attack on this young girl, that the young men started to stone police cars and then to torch them.
We now know that Mark’s killing was part of a planned operation “Operation Trident” which is directed at “gun crime” in the Black community, and was carried out by CO19, a specialist firearms unit.
So far we have had different stories from the police about the shooting. The IPCC, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, ( known in the Black community as the ‘Independent Police Cover up Commission’) which is NOT Independent, now claims that “we may have inadvertently given misleading information to journalists” One story they gave was that there was an “exchange of fire” They have now admitted that this was not true. The police have no historical record of providing reliable information.
Lies change but the truth remains consistent.
For well over forty years now, the number of deaths in police custody has averaged one a week. Yet no police officer has been found guilty of murder or has even been charged.
Although the spark for the uprising on the 6th was the murder of Mark Duggan, and the police assault on the 16 year old girl, it is the government’s social and economic policies that led to this explosion of violence. It has been brewing for some time. The regime now seeks to shift the blame elsewhere.
Totttenham has the highest level of unemployment in London. Half the borough's children live in poverty. Youth project funding has been slashed by 75% this year, eight of the borough's 13 youth clubs have shut.
There were uprisings here, (as well as in other communities) in 1981 and in 1985. Many people who work, receive such miserly wages that they still have to claim benefits from the State in order to pay their rents. So we as taxpayers are actually subsidizing these criminal employers.
The young people who took to the streets, have grown up in a society where corruption is rampant and where criminality gets rewarded. They have seen bankers blatantly stealing the nation’s wealth, billions of pounds have been looted from public funds yet they continue to pay themselves hefty bonuses despite the “debt crisis” and they get away with it. These young people have seen MPs steal our money through fraudulent “expenses” claims and luxury lifestyles. Hospitals and other necessary services are starved of funding, and people die, this is also violence for which the regime is responsible.
No body is prosecuting the bankers for robbing us, or the politicians, Press and Police for corruption.
How can stealing a pair of trainers equate with the billions of pounds stolen by the bankers and politicians, (against whom no charges have been brought) yet these youngsters are being carted off to prison with sentences being meted out that do not reflect the crimes.
Decades of unemployment, poverty and ‘Stop and Search” (of Black men) has caused these desperately oppressed and brave young people to unite against the criminals in the regime in Whitehall.
The scandals in the Murdock Press empire highlighted the corruption of the police, this was not news to the Black community which has borne the brunt of police violence/corruption over the years. The newspapers, controlled by the ruling class, were more than willing to slander the poor with demeaning epithets trying to make injustice acceptable and perpetuating racist stereotypes.
The “flog ‘em and hang ‘em” brigade is calling for more repression, because the actions of the young have undermined the fundamentals of capitalist society by challenging private property- goods and property were targeted, not people. Much has been made of the looting, but capitalist culture radiates consumerism. Capitalist society flaunts luxury products and luxury lifestyles before these young people, who have no hope of ever attaining these things and this contributes to their alienation. The constant message is you are what you wear, what you drive etc.
Cameron has now appointed someone from the Fourth Reich to lead the Police service, so things can only get worse.
The only two Black MPs in the regime, (for Haringey and Hackney) have been baying for blood just like the fascists. They have been calling for more repression and a curtailment of the civil and human rights of the very people to whom they owe their cushy positions. These MPs are immoral, unscrupulous, despicable and without principles.
The rulers of the society are a bunch of criminals, it is criminal to steal from the public purse and to send armies to other countries to murder and to steal resources. It is criminal to bomb innocent women and children in the name of democracy.
We’ve had uprisings before. The lesson people need to learn is that the source of their misery is the capitalist system of production. The only way to break this vicious cycle is to organize to end capitalism. We don’t have to accept austerity.