V. Failure of the Left to understand the nature of the so-called “riots”

 

Most on the reformist and centrist left failed to understand the riots as a justified uprising, as a rebellion of the oppressed, in short as a form of class struggle. Of course nearly every progressive person (even some parts of the bourgeois media did this) points to the deeper reason for the riots - the misery and unemployment caused by capitalism and now escalated by the Tory policy of cuts in social service. And how can one overlook the fact that the uprising was triggered by the police killing of Mark Duggan and the violent reaction of the racist police forces against the community’s peaceful protest?! Of course how could one ignore the misery caused by mass unemployment and impoverishment?! This connection is no mystery even for the liberals. But most of the left don’t draw the conclusion out of this – to understand that the riots are an (often semi- or unconscious) expression of anger and hatred against the forces and symbols of the capitalist system (police, shops). This is why we called it from the beginning an uprising of the poor and the oppressed.

 

In addition to this is has the nature of a spontaneous uprising of the masses. This means of course that facing the weaknesses of the leadership of the labour movement, this kind of protest was unavoidable badly organized. Everyone who is arrogantly wrinkling his nose because of the lack of organized structures has not understood the depth of the leadership crisis, is not seeing the tragedy lying in the betrayal from the reformist leaderships of the trade unions and its organizations. How can anybody who calls himself a Marxist blame the masses in acting spontaneously and to a certain degree also chaotic? The centrist left has its structures and organization, but everyone who is more than just a Marxist by name stands nearer to the unorganized and “chaotic” proletarian youth on the streets during the uprisings than to every organization in the centrist and reformist spectrum. There is a time for discussions and a time for actions. When parts of our class are on the street, fighting against the police and the capitalist system than we have to be there too, proving that we are in solidarity with the masses not only as an idea but in real actions.

 

 

Chapter 4: Lootings and the illusion of "pure" insurrections

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