The Martin Luther King quote which heads this post was referring to riots in America but is relevant here as well. Stop and think why the riots take place in America overwhelmingly among the underprivileged black population and in this country the same happens with a disproportionate number of the black population involved as well as other underprivileged groups. The people in our country whom we have heard blaming the turmoil on criminal behaviour alone are either in denial or they are lying to themselves, for their claims to be true we would have had to be watching the biggest coincidence in history, one where they claim that disorder in society is caused my criminality and factors like unemployment, poverty and racism etc. play no part in any of it, an absurd position to take. "people riot because they are bad" well at least they don't have to waste time thinking about it once they have reached that deceitful and ludicrous conclusion.
Riots don't start spontaneously which they also seem to think, in this case it was the shooting of a black man called Mark Duggan by the Police who didn't bother to tell his family he had been killed which kicked it off, and an immediate investigation found that the gun they claim was his had not been fired as they had initially claimed. This is an area with a high black population where black youths are stopped and searched 5 times more often than white youths; do we need to go on? Were the Los Angeles riots some years ago started of their own volition or was the incident caught on camera and posted on U Tube of a black man Rodney King being savagely beaten by 6 cops with clubs have something to do with it? There are some allegedly intelligent people who are simply telling lies when they say that it was simply criminality, they are lying because they don't want to admit that society is partly to blame and they are the ones who created this society and they also govern and police it.
The slavering reactionary commentators say they should be shot on the streets which sounds rather like an incitement to violence to me but the authorities seem to ignore it while jailing people for using email etc. to incite riots. The Police who are calling for harsher sentences are the same police who are up to their necks in the Murdoch scandal as well as the sporadic killing of innocent people. The Murdoch press are also calling for tough action against rioters that's when they are not too busy hacking the phones of dead soldier's families and the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler etc. and of course the politicians who want to hang and flog were not so long ago doing their own form of looting under a different name. Now I ask you, if you were an unemployed youth living in poverty with no hope of a decent life and being constantly subjected to harassment by the police what would your reaction be if a policeman, Sun Journalist or politician were to tell you to behave? I know what mine would be, I would say something like "I'll behave if you agree to behave as well"
Jailing someone for 6 months for receiving a pair of stolen shorts from a rioter or for 4 years for inciting a riot on facebook is not the answer at least not the long term answer, the long term answer starts by accepting that for far too many in our society there is not much to look forward to and they are condemned to miserable lives while they can always catch the occasional glimpse of great wealth and opulence as it drives past them or appears on their TV screens. Just in case any of you have not heard me say this before I will say it again, this is what you must put up with and indeed expect as long as we live in a dog eat dog capitalist society. Capitalism can do many things but it cannot avoid creating losers and as long as we live in such a system we will have to put up with crime, bursting prisons, no go areas in our cities, feral children, drugs etc. etc. but hey! it doesn't have to be like this there is another way, look up the word Socialism.