Tag Archives: Casey Rain

London Fallout: The Post Riots World

Interactive Map Riot

Most of the activity in London and other areas of England has stopped, so the information gathering has begun.

The image above is from the Guardian: “Data journalist Matt Stiles has taken our data on deprivation – and the riot incidents over the last few days and mashed the two up together. The darker reds represent poorer places, the blues are the richer areas. What do you think? Is there a correlation between the two?”

Casey Rain, of the Birmingham Riots 2011 Tumblr, has not received any major updates since August 10th. He notes:

Sky News, BBC News and other media have been painfully slow on updates, and many of you have accused them of even being biased. Of course, they are far more liable, but in this day and age they simply must evolve or people will turn elsewhere, which the 1million+ page views this blog got yesterday would indicate. As for me, I have no agenda other than to keep the people informed and safe as quickly as possible. I’m not getting paid to do this, and so I am truly humbled at some of the messages I’ve received saying I’ve put the mainstream media to shame. A few of you have even called me a hero, but I’m not. I’m just someone that believes in the power of the internet and social media as a force for good. That’s all. And the truth is that I couldn’t have done it without the thousands of you helping, submitting information, pictures and more. We should all be proud of ourselves as a community – but the real work begins now. Not just to clean up our battered streets, but to all do as much as we can to ensure these kind of events don’t happen again. No matter what your job or background there are ways we can all help. I firmly believe that.

The imminent threat of major violence may or may not be over. So we all need to stay vigilant, stay safe, and above all have compassion for each other. The unity that this has brought between us in response to these sickening acts of violence, might well be the silver lining to this incredibly dark cloud. Thank you all.

We’d heard reports of this off and on, but Reader Keisha tipped us an article from the NYT that explains the police are forcibly evicting families from public housing who had a member participate in the riots:

[David Cameron] has described the rioting as “criminality, pure and simple,” with no excuse in social deprivation, and laid out a controversial plan to make much broader use of existing powers to expel not only the rioters but also their families from the free or rent-subsidized accommodations that provide millions with cradle-to-grave homes.

“For too long we’ve taken too soft an attitude towards people that loot and pillage their own community,” Mr. Cameron told a BBC interviewer. “If you do that, you should lose your right to the sort of housing that you’ve had at subsidized rates.” He added that evictions “might help break up some of the criminal networks on some housing estates if some of these people are thrown out of their houses.”

Asked whether that would render them homeless, he replied, “They should have thought of that before they started burgling.”

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Quoted: Casey Rain on Understanding the Roots of Violence

Riots BBC Shot

It’s easy to dismiss the rioters as “scum with nothing better to do” but there are much deeper problems here. As a young, male, ethnic minority in the inner city myself, chances are, I probably know some of these people. I can relate to the feelings of helplessness. I’ve been fortunate enough to be successful as a musician myself and been able to create my own positive future, but these kids rioting don’t see themselves having a future at all. They have been failed by society as a whole, they’ve been failed by the government cutting arts funding and closing youth centres, unemployment is rife to the point where even the ones desperately trying to seek work simply can’t find it, and the boiling point to all this (Mark Duggan events) is a situation that is VERY REAL. I myself have been stopped and searched many times by police for no given reason. They raided my apartment at 6.30 in the morning once while my wife and I were asleep claiming they’d had reports of a disturbance. I’ve been questioned for gang activity that I had no part of, because of how I look and where I come from. It’s simple racial profiling, and whilst that is NOT an excuse for the behaviours of rioters, the sad fact is that it happens.

We live in pretty desperate times as a whole, and the inner city youth are at the bottom of the barrel. So whilst this behaviour IS disgusting, try and have some compassion and relate to fellow human beings who literally feel hopeless and don’t see a way out. When you think about, the right emotion to feel in some of the cases is just sadness and pity – kids robbing a flat screen TV when they see an opportunity to… because they know they’ll never be able to afford it. Is a kid robbing some trainers that different to a corrupt politician fiddling the expenses accounts, or corrupt policemen and journalists taking bribes (as we’ve seen in the phone-hacking scandals?). So what kind of example are those people setting?

Remember, most of these kids looting ARE just opportunists. It’s only the really violent ones smashing the windows, the rest just go in after them and take what they can. I have faith in humanity and I don’t think that most of these kids are bad people. I really don’t. They are the lost ones, neglected and marginalized, in many cases without the basic education to understand that there are better ways to go about life.

— Casey Rain, musician and blogger behind Birmingham Riots 2011 Tumblr, in a personal post titled “A Few Words

(Image Credit: BBC)