This text was written in August of 2011 shortly after police shot and killed a black man named Mark Duggan in North London. In the days that followed tensions between police and disaffected youth exploded into wide spread rioting and looting, Many on the left condemned the rioters. The text that follows continues to be relevant because the police will continue to kill people of color , people will continue to respond and the left will continue to condemn them for it. We hope this audio production of this pamphlet will contribute to this tension until the police are no more.
“… buried beneath the attack on the ‘crass materialism’ of the looting is a nastier worm, that of distance and sheen, that supports critique and dissent precisely to the degree it remains irrelevant and immaterial, that it is to be seen and heard and not ever felt.”
Musical interludes – Burnin and Lootin by Bob Marley
“You say of these riots, and this looting, that they are opportunistic. That they are unreasonable and stupid. That ‘this isn’t a protest, this is a riot.’ That they are ‘not political.’ That “this is about individuals using the excuse of what happened the first two nights to make sure what happens the third night is worse.’ That this is ‘havoc.’ That this is ‘criminality pure and simple.’ That they do not ‘have the right” to do this. That ‘no benefit will come in the long term,’ from ‘looting a local shop,’ ‘setting a bus on fire,’ or ‘nicking a mobile phone.’ Above all, as you, Home Secretary put it, ‘There is no excuse for violence. There is no excuse for looting.’ And we agree.”
This text was originally published on Socialism and/or Barbarism in two parts (1 & 2) a third follow up, Coda to an open letter, was published later but not included in the zine nor our audio recording.