by John Rehill
August 13, 2011
Dateline London: Over 1,200 arrested; 16,000 police, and the violence just moves to other towns. Children as young as 9 years old are being arrested by police. Prime Minister David Cameron says, “If your old enough to throw a rock through a window, your old enough to go to jail.” Are the London riots a harbinger of things to come?
Those watching the carnage both nearby and worldwide cry out:
How can these young people just run through town smashing and breaking everything-don’t they care about the things they are destroying?
What they are doing is against the law-don’t they care about the law?
Burning buildings and looting and turning over cars- don’t they know that the people who own those cars, didn’t do anything to them?
Answers: No, No, No.
Desperate people do desperate things. If there’s a message from Main Street England to Main Street America in this mayhem and chaos, it’s that hoodlums and vandals are acting badly, put on your seat belts.
In England, like every where else, it’s not just the austerity gutting the coffers or acts like the one in which police shot the unarmed and then lied to cover it up, that’s causing all of this unrest. It’s not just a few bad apples convincing others to let the thief inside of them run with somebody else’s goods. It’s a culture gone sideways, the creed of winner take all. I got mine and we don’t care about you, so get out of the way.
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John F Kennedy said, “Make a peaceful revolution impossible and you guarantee a violent one.” Why has history always proven that true so many times? Kennedy was a student of history and understood the toils of the Boxer Rebellion in China at the turn of the 20th century. He studied the rise and fall of colonialists and oligarchs in Europe and Africa. He was very familiar with how mass inequities fuel peasant revolts and how the disenfranchised can loose their self-worth and take to the streets.