Croydon Green Party's recent statement on the riots pointed out that the reasons behind the riots were deep rooted and multifaceted. At our latest meeting, members formed a list of these factors, the idea being that if political parties failed to determine what the underlying causes for this unprecedented level of civil unrest in our borough, then what's to stop it happening again?
Members listed what they perceived to be reasons behind the riots. What quickly emerged was that some of the reasons behind the riots were more circumstantial and some were pre-disposing factors.
After much stimulating discussion, agreement was reached amongst members on what the predisposing factors behind the riots were:
- INEQUALITY WITHIN THE BOROUGH
The south of the borough has a pockets of astounding affluence, including a pocket known as 'Millionaires Row', whereas some of the northern wards are the among the most socially deprived in London. More equal societies do not experience this type social unrest.
- INEQUALITY/LACK OF (EMPLOYMENT) OPPORTUNITY AND A SENSE OF HELPLESSNESS FOR MANY YOUNG PEOPLE.
One of our members moved to the UK in 70s from Australia. He described how he wasn't aware of the concept of 'class' until he came to this country. In Australia he felt equal to everyone else.
- OTHER SOCIAL CLASSES, EG THE POLITICAL CLASS OR TAX AVOIDING SUPER RICH GETTING AWAY WITH IT.
Bang Olufsen TV (value £4500) stolen by rioter in Manchester. Bang and Olfufsen TV (value £8865) claimed by MP for Manchester Gorton, Gerald Kaufman, on expenses.
- A BREAKDOWN OF TRUST BETWEEN THE POLICE AND SECTIONS OF SOCIETY. STOP AND SEARCH IS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR
- MATERIALISM - THE STATUS DRIVEN CONSUMERIST SOCIETY WE LIVE IN
- DISCONNECTION AND DISENGAGEMENT - NOBODY CARES ABOUT ME, WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE
There are also some enabling/circumstantial factors which led to the riots in Croydon as well:
- CROWD BEHAVIOUR
- SOCIAL NETWORKING THROUGH MOBILE TECHNOLOGY
One of members pointed out that 30 years ago rioters used CB radios.
- INSUFFICIENT POLICE NUMBERS AND AN APPARENT STRATEGY TO ONLY PROTECT THE CHAIN STORES/BANKS IN THE PEDESTRIANISED ZONE
Tags croydon, greenparty