This is alarming stuff. Unlike in Vancouver earlier this year, it’s not thrill-seeking, entitled kids taking a break from their middle-class suburban lives to do a spot of burning and looting, but groups of disaffected, disenfranchised people from the poorer parts of town engaging in a wave of social unrest (otherwise known as looting and burning). The initial trigger was a police shooting – but who knows what’s going on now. Generalised anger about cuts in public programs and the policies of the rightist government maybe. A simmering sense of hopelessness and alienation and outrage maybe. Sheer cussedness maybe. Whatever the reason or reasons, the rioting has moved from Tottenham in the north of London to suburbs way off in the south. And from London to Birmingham and other cities.
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