Den britiske premierminister David Cameron fokuserer meget på den rent politimæssige indsats mod den seneste uges uroligheder i Storbritannien. Det forstår man jo godt, for det passer ikke med hans program at tale om, hvordan folk i de berørte områder er blevet behandlet i de senere år.
Adventures and Japes har en opsummering:
A man is killed and the news story released carefully claims there were two shots fired. One killed the man, one bullet was in a police radio. Two guns at the scene. One for the police. One for the man.
His family hear the news first on tv, not after being contacted which is standard.
They try to get answers. They are ignored for several days. They insist he would never shoot at the police.A group of women go to the police station to protest peacefully. They are ignored, when standard procedure is to bring the leaders in for a chat.
A riot starts when a police officer and a woman have a disagreement. Don’t all riots start this way in the UK? A police officer and a member of the public. Observers get angry and the crowd is out of control.
The next day, a man is stopped and searched and he has nothing on him. A riot starts soon after.
The news later reveals that the second bullet was police issue and had hit the man before they went into the radio. There was no shoot out. He did have a gun but it does not appear to have been fired. It may have been appropriate to shoot him, if he was waving a gun around. That is not the point. The point is that the public were right to be suspicious of the news story because it was a careful arrangement of the truth to look like something else happened. The police did not lie this time but they did not tell the truth either.
All of this will be forgotten. That his family were treated with disrespect. That the police did not tell the truth (and expected to get away with it, because they will). That the peaceful protesters had no voice. That young men in London are sick of being stopped and searched when they have done nothing wrong.
And we will forget it because it is easier to say that there are goodies and baddies.
Selvfølgelig er det også rigtigt, som Amila påpeger, at plyndringer og hærværk i folks egne kvarterer er en meget skadelig form for “oprør”. Et “britisk forår” i stil med opstandene i Tunesien og Egypten ville have været bedre. But it ain’t all that simple, som jeg også indvender i en kommentar ovre hos Amila:
These neighbourhoods in London are really experiments in social engineering. People are crammed together in dire circumstances, in vast estates where everybody’s living in poverty, and where everybody is asked to internalize society’s values that poverty is self-inflicted, that they are really not poor and rejected by society, unable to find jobs, etc., because something is unfair, but because they are failures in life. Basically, these people are put in a box with lots of material deprivation, told that if they can’t get out it’s their fault. At the same time, the *only* way out for many (not all) young people involves crime; but if that fails they’re told they’re evil.So basically, British society has crammed a lot of people into a box with too little food, and when they turn against each other and generally act badly (as was to be expected), they are chided by idiots like Damian Thompson. This is a bit like urinating on them only afterwards to complain that they smell.
This is not to defend looting. Burning down your own neighbourhood is stupid, and a semi-violent political uprising like the one against Mubarak in Egypt would be way better. Alas, I think British society may not be ready for this just yet (Danish society even less, of course). But even so, we should be railing against the power structures that confine people in such structures where violence and rioting becomes the natural response rather than against those who react quite naturally to the situation they’re put in through no fault of their own.
Med andre ord: Hvis vi ønsker at undgå den slags uroligheder i Danmark (og vi har haft dem i mindre målestok, blandt andet i Århus-forstaden Rosenhøj for en del år siden), må vi væk fra hele det borgerlige samfunds tankegang, at de store, trøstesløse estates er fulde af folk, som er fattige, fordi de er dumme og dovne.
Folk må selv tage ansvar for at skaffe sig rigdom og succes, men i et retfærdigt samfund kan det ikke være et individuelt ansvar at sørge for, at ingen lever i fattigdom og nød. Sandheden er altså, at folk i de kvarterer, de aktuelle uroligheder udgik fra, er fattige, fordi samfundet er uretfærdigt, fordi de er blevet udplyndret i årtier – af skiftende regeringer, af et erhvervsliv, der er mest optaget af at berige sig selv, og af rovgriske supermarkedskæder som Tesco, der udsuger lokalområderne ved at udkonkurrere de lokale handlende og bagefter sætte priserne i vejret – og fordi de bliver chikaneret af politi og andre myndigheder.
Man kunne undgå opstande og plyndring ved én gang for alle at anerkende, italesætte og solidarisere sig med den uretfærdighed – og få en reel politisk bevægelse mod uretfærdigheden i stedet. Men ønsker man sig dette? David Cameron vil formentlig meget, meget hellere have de nuværende riots.