More police means more trouble*
Tue 9 Aug 2011
From the Tory right to the liberals, politicians are calling for the government to arm the police further in order to crush the rioters.
There are calls for the use of water cannon—a brutal anti-protest weapon. But calling for more police powers is not the answer.
The police have injured many people in recent days—and on demonstrations and riots for years.
And the recent riots were sparked by the police shooting of Mark Duggan in the first place.
We don’t want more police on the streets. More “effective” policing means more deaths, more harassment, and more anger.
The last thing we need is a state with more ways of attacking ordinary people. The police are the enemy of everyone who want to see a more just, fair society.
It is the actions of the police that marginalise and criminalise so many.
It is the endless stop and search that thousands of mostly young, mostly black people face across Britain, the wholesale harassment of communities.
We should drive the police out of our estates and off our streets.
Currys isn’t part of anyone’s ‘community’
The widespread looting over the past week was condemned across the press as being driven by “greed”.
But looting is not about nicking for the sake of it.
The hypocrisy of the rich and powerful calling the poorest in society “greedy” beggars belief.
Every day we are told that our status in society depends on the price tag of the clothes we wear and the size of our TV screens.
But as unemployment and poverty increase, these ideals become increasingly difficult to achieve for most people.
And the incredulous talk of people “destroying their communities” misses the point.
Shops like TK Maxx and Currys aren’t part of anyone’s “community”. They are there to sell things people can’t afford and employ people on poverty wages.
The Tory cuts mean an even greater shift of society’s wealth from those with little to those with everything.
What we have seen on the streets over the past week has been people trying to redress that balance.