i predict a riot

August 19, 2011

The endemic racism and violence that pervades the police force in the UK has unleashed a torrent of dissent in the aftermath of the death of Mark Duggan. The riots have been labelled ‘mindless thuggery’ by the mainstream media but fail to enunciate the context of this act of rebellion nor the brutality of the police in response.  The ‘law and order’ imposed by the Tory government to deflect any attribution to the brutal cuts to social services, it self a violent act, allows the Tories to continue to assume their position of power.

The institution of the police force allows such governments to implement control and disseminate fear and hostility toward the protestors. The violation of ‘law and order’ by the rioters, the direct confrontation with the police formally challenges the rights of all citizens. As the enforcers of law, the notion of the police elicit justice, but the justice for the youth who took to the streets, youth who have no prospects for a future, who suffer through poverty and indignity is realized in the form of further police repression.

In the action of a riot, police squads are drilled to act in unity to assert their authority and regain control. Their legalized ‘mindless thuggery’ is a provoking phenomena to witness. This essay will uncover the methods to which ‘affect’ is manipulated in order to effect intimidation and silence opposition. The actions, in particular the raw responses of individual participants to the action and movement of the police in the midst of  a riot will be explored.



One Response to “i predict a riot”

  1. Salem, I like your title! You need to cite the theorists you will use (people like Walter Benjamin, as I suggested, and also Foucault, from his work on Discipline and Punish), and also state what your essay is going to be about, what you will argue. You have written 3 great paragraphs here, but you have not written an abstract, which needs to explain what is your argument, and what is at stake. Also, the role of affect…

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