Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Darcus Howe Describes London Riots as an Insurrection

Darcus Howe
I was just watching the coverage of three nights of riots in London.  A BBC anchor was interviewing Darcus Howe who was a member of the British Black Panther Movement and a veteran broadcaster who co-produced Bandung File with Tariq Ali.

The anchor did not allow Howe much time or space to make his points but a few got through.

He refused to define the turmoil as riots with the underlying assumption being that the rioters are lawless thugs looting and vandalizing for no real political reason.

Howe describes what is going on as a political insurrection by the disaffected masses.  He tied the insurrection to the uprisings in Egypt and Syria and other places where masses of people are taking a stand.

It is part of the global historical moment is what Howe argues.

Watching from afar and depending on coverage from mainstream media it is hard to see what Howe is pointing to.  He struggled to tell of police victimizing black folk and poor folk in terms that describe Britain as a police state balanced against people of color and the poor.

Yet even as I think through what Howe said the images being beamed across on BBC and Sky News is about looting and mad young men acting criminally on the streets.

The authorities are raising questions of how to repulse this uprising.  Water canons?  Rubber bullets?  Armed forces?

Britain's elite and ruling class are clearly nervous.  London is after all the Olympic city and this cannot be good for narrow and self-involved capitalism.

Nonetheless, Howe is onto to something that cannot just be swept aside. 


Picture Credit

UPDATE (12:49pm South Africa):

UK Prime Minister describes rioting as "sickening".

I just found a complete video for the BBC interview discussed above. Darcus Howe is angry with the female anchor who literally accused him of being a onetime rioter (in the 1970s Howe was tried for rioting but acquitted on all charges).

Howe admonishes the anchor for disrespecting him.

Thanks to mYcHeMiCaLrOmAnCeGaL for posting this hard to find interview.



Erica said...

I sat and painfully watched this clip and it solidified what happens when whites are unwilling to confront the truth, just as the reporter did.

Mr. Howe is simply stating that it's been a long time coming. You can't sit back and think that our younger generation has no clue as to what's going on around them. They know more of what we give them credit for, and when not listened to, the ending result is not always a pleasant one.

Ridwan said...

Hey Erica:

I think a lot of folk all around the world will agree with your thinking.

That interview was a disaster but so typical of the mainstream news media that is bent on supporting the commonsense of the state.

I think also that the focus on the criminality of the riots is purposeful.

What it does is to blur the real socio-political concerns that lie beneath what is clearly an uprising.

People lose faith in the system at the point where it no longer is of value to them.

We had the same kind of revolts in SA where rioters burnt schools and hospitals.

Folks would ask why rioters would hurt themselves.

I think you know why. The hurt is not even the overriding issue anymore.

Folks are alienated and distraught.

Thanks for commenting - this post garnered 595 views on the day it was written but your comment is the only one :0)

Thank you Erica,