This situation has underlined very clearly that law and order is generally maintained by consent, not coercion. The police are not all powerful, despite their technological and organizational advantages, which is why they rely on good 'community relations'. In those areas where there are long-standing grievances and sources of resentment, it seems, that consent has been withdrawn.
Pennyred, via MakingLight:
The so-called leaders who have taken three solid days to return from their foreign holidays to a country in flames did not anticipate this. The people running Britain had absolutely no clue how desperate things had become. They thought that after thirty years of soaring inequality, in the middle of a recession, they could take away the last little things that gave people hope, the benefits, the jobs, the possibility of higher education, the support structures, and nothing would happen. They were wrong. And now my city is burning, and it will continue to burn until we stop the blanket condemnations and blind conjecture and try to understand just what has brought viral civil unrest to Britain.
zellieh via lexin
The government and the media have systematically told people that they're the problem, that they're lazy, workshy, to blame for all society's ills, that they don't deserve help, and that the government will be taking the help they do get away from them -- all in order to divert attention from tax breaks for the rich and big businesses -- and eventually, people believed them: believed that they're not part of society, that the government won't help them. That if they need any help, they'll have to help themselves.
Atrios, via Avedon Carol:
"BBC News keeps bringing people on to ask them why the rioting in London is happening, and when they try to answer the question and provide an explanation (with any validity or not, who knows) the newscasters chastise them for justifying the violence."
tyrell is collecing quotes again, here's one:
"Those firemen on live TV? Those are the kind of people with "gold-plated public sector pensions" we keep being told they don't deserve"