2000-3000 Attend North London Unity Demonstration
The biggest community response to the riots yet, the streets of Hackney and Haringey made it very clear who they thought the real culprits were.
Placards attacking every cause of what David Cameron called our “sick society” were on display; the IPCC, Rupert Mordoch, mass unemployment, police brutality, austerity/’the cuts’, cheating politicians, workplace exploitation and lack of social opportunites.
It was very telling that the Met didnt even dare deploy their own officers to police it for fear of their presence being too controversial. Instead, clueless-looking bobbies from Essex, Sussex and Norfolk (!!!) were present, looking sheepish and – to be quite honest – lost in the big smoke.
The nature of the demonstration was defiant, assertive but ultimately relaxed. There were tensions when it reached the police cordon around Stoke Newington Police Station – one of the most vile, racist and murderous police stations in the UK – but nothing became of it. For those of us who have had the misfortune to end up in the clutches of Stoke Newington Police, these grudges are hard to forget.
Is it any wonder the cops have gotten such a pasting over the past week?
It was also apalling to witness an officer from Essex with a camera, videoing all the participants of the demonstration. Have they no idea how provocative and tasteless that is?
All in all though, a success. Let’s hope this is just step one to us taking our power back in our communities.
Below is the text from the official flyer. You can see the ALARM! analysis of the riots in the blog post prior to this one.
We are responding to the events of the last few days, in particular the Tottenham protest over the killing of Mark Duggan and the disturbances that followed in Tottenham and Hackney.
By coming together and calling for unity we want to encourage all sections of our local communities, young and old, black and white, residents and workers, to work together to find solutions to some of our long-standing problems.
We know there are all kinds of strong feelings and differing views. We do not claim to represent the whole community, but merely seek to promote unity in the communities in which we live and work.
Simply labelling rioters as opportunistic criminals does little to relieve tensions and provides a poor explanation for the worst riots in decades. While the shooting of Mark Duggan provided the trigger, against a background of oppressive policing, especially towards ethnic minorities, the root causes are deeper.
Our communities have been blighted by high levels of deprivation, poverty and lack of opportunity for decades. Inequality is growing and recent funding cuts to local services, particularly youth facilities, along with rising unemployment, and cuts to EMA and benefits have exacerbated the conditions in which sections of frustrated young people turned to rioting, which unfortunately has resulted in people losing their homes and small/family businesses losing their livelihoods.
Britain is a wealthy country, but with deep inequality. The economic crisis created by greedy bankers and financial speculators is further impoverishing already poor areas like Tottenham and Hackney. The £390 billion of combined wealth of the richest 1,000 people in Britain should be redirected to fund the services we all need.
In the last few months we have seen mass local protests against cuts, student occupations to defend free education, a half-a-million strong demonstration on March 26th, and 800,000 public service workers out on strike on June 30th.
We need to build on these and other inspiring local and national struggles. Let’s work together for a decent society, based not on greed, inequality and poor conditions, but on justice, freedom, sharing and co-operation.