The recent riots that started in Tottenham, North London and spread first to other parts of London and then around the whole country have drawn widespread condemnation from most of the country and, rather disappointingly, the majority of my friends. I am looking here to put forward an alternative response that, hopefully, they won't dismiss in a knee-jerk fashion. The main problem is that people miss things that the state are doing and the reasons for them; they miss the hidden (and sometimes not especially well-hidden) bias in every single news article, and they take as gospel everything they read in the bourgeois newspapers. Every article you read in the newspapers attempts to brainwash you to condemn all young people (and immigrants) and view them as the cause of the problems we all face in our everyday lives, thus taking the blame away from the real source of the problem, the system that keeps them all in their privileged positions, capitalism. Without capitalism, you would have no disillusioned youth, as the young people of almost the entire world are as angry as they are because there is no prosperity, no jobs, and violent protests are the only way to express these emotions.
"Why?" I hear you ask. Well imagine this: in response to their situation, working people, predominantly the young, go on a march against the government. They have a very good day out, shout a lot and wave banners, but what will really come of this? Exactly the same as came out of the anti Iraq-war protests- absolutely nothing. OK, scenario two: in response to their situation, the youth of this country go to the ballot box and vote out the Tory government. So Labour come back in- the second XI of the ruling class. The cuts are slower, but still happen, and unemployment still rises, all to save the system of capitalism. So what, I ask you, is left for the working class masses of this country to do? Can you still not see why people are drawn to rioting, however unproductive these particular riots have been in a political sense?
Another major problem comes when people suggest that the only 'legitimate' protest is peaceful. The reason the state supports and fosters this viewpoint is that they don't feel threatened by it and the reason for this is that peaceful protest doesn't make the blindest bit of difference. The only protests that usher in real change are ones that leave the location they are held in ruins. I say that with no blood-lust or sick joy, simply the pragmatic knowledge that the ruling class does not care about our feelings; the privileged top tier of society does not bat and eyelid when the majority of working people are coming dangerously close to poverty, they do not take notice when we feel angry at our situation and show it peacefully. The only way to get them to take notice is to actually threaten their position on the highest rung of the socio-economic scale, and only direct action can achieve that. I am not an anarchist, but when the time comes for a real revolution, violent protests/rioting will be part of it, mark my words.