With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New images of Britain

Oppression breeds resistance
But the riots also reflect the alienation and resentment of many young people in Britain, where one million people from the ages of 16 to 24 are officially unemployed, the most since the deep recession of the mid-1980s.-- New York Times
Whether it's London, Cairo, or Chicago, sooner or later oppression produces resistance. The current "riots" in London are, in large part, a response to the obscene widening British (world) gap between rich and poor, black, brown and white. For months, all we saw coming out of Britain were the images of the $60 million dollar wedding of a parasitic royal couple, living in extravagant splendor at the expense of British taxpayers. It was an image that the corporate media wanted to project as the 2012 London Olympics draw near.

That image was only temporarily shattered by November's youth and student protests. The privatization and accompanying prohibitive cost of education is making a college degree inaccessible to all but the children of the rich and cutting off the few areas of class mobility for millions of young Brits.

Then came the Murdoch scandal, projecting an image of a multi-billionaire media monarch who used wealth and power to buy off and corrupt the police, and other illegal means to build his global empire -- and it appears he will face no criminal charges.. What clearer message could be sent to a new generation, locked in poverty, but obviously unwilling to simply roll over and die or disappear in the back streets of Brixton?

The global financial collapse and following recession has further widened that gap and is creating and expanding a permanent underclass of mainly urban, black, brown and largely immigrant youth in cities around the world. The so-called London "riots" have replaced the images Kate Middleton's $100,000 designer dresses. Police shootings of local youth may have provided the spark, but the reasons for the current urban youth revolt and "riots" go much deeper.

Despite all the talk about a "post-racial" era, conditions in urban communities here in the U.S. in many ways mirror those in London. The massive redistribution of wealth from bottom to top in the past decade, an expanding two-tier school system that increasingly excludes the poor from college and the job market, the growth an underclass of millions permanently unemployed (unemployable) youth -- the chickens inevitably come home to roost.


  1. I agree whole hartedly The thing that made this country great was that even if we have always had different wealth classes our government wold step in to try and even the playing field, Civil War, Break up of Monopolies, the end of seperate but equal, unions, Social Security, Medicaid, Medacare, and many others, but for sometime now we have forgotten about the bottom 90% of America and done what the top 2% need for their greedy pockets. This has created an corporate oligarhy taht is not concerened with this country but how they stack up aginst billionaries around the world. All your points are right because the rich want the poor and middle class to give up and what they are going to get is what happening throughout the world.

  2. Nonsense.

    This is the hooligan class destroying jobs, shops, and businesses they are both too lazy and too stupid to create themselves.

    Of course, they are trained to mouth the class-war gibberish foisted upon them by government education and government media.


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