(...) Two African-Carribean pensioners were watching from the street. One said, “It’s not just this country, there’s uprisings everywhere. It’s the whole world. Everyone’s fed up, no one has anything.”
The media and the political establishment have responded with blatant class prejudice.
Every riot contains contradictory elements, precisely because it is spontaneous.
They emerge suddenly—but they are part of a wider revolt against an arrogant elite who live a life of privilege and have disdain for the poor.
People did steal. In some cases they stole necessities, in others luxuries—the ones we are bombarded with the idea that we will be unfulfilled unless we own.
One witness said, “This is about as empowered as many of these lads will ever feel. That’s the real tragedy.”
(...) Jay Kast, 24, a youth worker from East Ham who has witnessed rioting across London over the last three nights, said he was concerned that black community leaders were wrongly identifying a problem "within".
"I've seen Turkish boys, I've seen Asian boys, I've seen grown white men," he said. "They're all out there taking part." He recognised an element of opportunism in the mass looting but said an underlying cause was that many young people felt "trapped in the system". "They're disconnected from the community and they just don't care," he said.
In some senses the rioting has been unifying a cross-section of deprived young men who identify with each other, he added.
Kast gave the example of how territorial markers which would usually delineate young people's residential areas – known as 'endz', 'bits' and 'gates' – appear to have melted away.
"On a normal day it wouldn't be allowed – going in to someone else's area. A lot of them, on a normal day, wouldn't know each other and they might be fighting," Kast said.
"Now they can go wherever they want. They're recognising themselves from the people they see on the TV [rioting]. This is bringing them together."
(...) Le pays s'interroge sur les raisons de ces violences, les plus graves depuis des décennies.
La classe politique et la police y voient de la "violence gratuite et du vol opportuniste, ni plus ni moins", selon les termes du vice-Premier ministre, Nick Clegg.
Mais les habitants des quartiers concernés et certains commentateurs les attribuent aux tensions entre les jeunes et la police, aux difficultés économiques en cette période d'austérité et aux écarts de richesse croissants.
De nombreux émeutiers, qui viennent souvent de quartiers où le chômage règne, se disent marginalisés et crient leur rejet du "système".
"C'est nous contre eux, les policiers, le système. Ils appellent tout ça du pillage et de la criminalité. Mais ça n'a rien à voir. C'est juste la haine profonde du système", confie un jeune d'Hackney, théâtre de violences lundi.
(...) Manchester's youth live in a City that has just closed its entire Youth Service. Earlier this year anti cuts campaigners launched a high profile letter, signed by hundreds, including leading trades unionists and academics warning Council leaders that the 'cuts are set to create conditions similar to those seen in this city in the early 1980′s under the Thatcher government.’ Manchester last saw riots in the Moss Side area. Today the rioters hit the city center, where £ millions have been spent as the shopping areas have been refurbished. In contrast council estates have faced decades of neglect.