Lewisham Says: “Blame the Government, not our Kids!”
Last night, a people’s assembly in Lewisham going by the name of Deptford United decided to organise a demonstration from Deptford High Street to Lewisham Town Hall in order to counter the notion that the urban riots were just “mindless violence”.
Tonight, at short notice, over 200 people assembled in an attempt to build solidarity and to engage with the public on the real issues behind the urban riots. Our comrades in South London Solidarity Federation (SolFed) produced a brilliant flyer, explaining what some ALARM! members have been attempting to articulate throughout. Yes, we disapprove of some of the methods used by the rioters. But we cannot simply dismiss this as mindless violence, as having no social or economic basis. The riots were an expression of rage (albeit at times poorly articulated) and we must not attempt to silence that.
The people of Lewisham were highly responsive to the demonstration, with many joining along the way, applauding, cheering and raising fists to the sky. It is clear that, although the community has gone through some hard times over the past few days, they are not prepared to let class society forget that they are STILL ANGRY at the waves of repression that have decimated our communities. Austerity, police harassment, poverty – these issues will not go away as a result of these riots, but become more prominent. We must seize this opportunity to organise as a community, to rebuild the solidarity and class identity that Thatcherism has devastated.
The next demonstration, organised by North London Unity, a people’s assembly in Hackney and in Haringey, takes place THIS SATURDAY, 1pm at Gillett Square Dalston to Tottenham Green.
All free-thinking radicals who are not afraid to critically engage with this process should come along. This is step one of rebuilding our communities politically, from the ashes of the rebellion.
As our comrades in SolFed so brilliantly put: we need to organise to take back the world that has been stolen from us.