Two years ago we said, 'Everyone agrees. Things are about to gradually deteriorate.' We should have added that this gradual deterioration will inevitably be punctuated by moments where the frustrations felt by a sizeable portion of the population will explode…
To provide some context into what is going on, we have collected some of the better texts, video, and sites that have emerged on the recent London riots, together with some historical texts on riots past and on the conditions that produced them. It will continually expand – follow @everyoneagrees on Twitter to keep up.
The television is filled with lowlights. What have we done? This is not a time for analysis, but a time for action.
A community that was already hurting has now had the heart ripped out of it.
What i’ve seen is pure gratuitous violence, it is criminal damage and it is burglary.
There was black smoke coming billowing down from the corner of the high road
You are the free spirits of this city
There has been a crisis of authority and that authority is restored
Cameron’s bronzed head with its domed cupola struts out from the Italian riviera of number 10
Panic on the streets of London, on the streets of Birmingham
London simmers as the flames spread -
I wonder to myself
Is it more complex than it’s being portrayed
Well Amazon metal bats are up 5000%.
This is not an accident as the economy dives into freefall
You have to look at the top of society as well
The gospel that greed is good percolates down
We wake up and in the markets we hear about greed and fear
What you’ve seen more than anything is violent consumerism
There’s no ideological context here but the people expressing
Their anger in terms of acquisitiveness.
Is it just innate?
Well everyone agrees greed supplants anything else.
Author of Combined and Uneven Apocalypse and 'charming man' Evan Calder Williams on the London riots: 'It is brutal that people are so cut off from access to bare necessities that they have to sell drugs and are consequently jailed for life for doing so. It is brutal that a family watches their home burn because of a riot. It is brutal that police shot first. It is brutal that people need to defend their stores with baseball bats, in fear of losing them. It is brutal that people have to spend their lives working in those stores, in fear of losing them.'
The comedian's rather excellent piece on the London riots written from his home in LA.
Author of Militant Modernism and A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain on the London riots: 'Over the last few years, the ruling class has kept trying to commit suicide—financial crisis, expenses scandal, News International, the Met, financial crisis mark two—and most of us won't let them. We'd rather Keep Calm and Carry On. These kids, venal and stupid as some of their actions obviously are, don't want to carry on. They want to see the whole bloody thing burn.'
A thorough collection of videos from the riots.
Reflections on the historical connection between budget cuts and social instability. Incredibly timely.
A concept developed by Robert Kurz in a different context but worth thinking in relation to the riots.
Reflections on the 1981 riots.
Tom Vague’s classic historical sweep from the Gordon Riots in 1780 to punk and Reclaim the Streets.
Baudrillard here calls the French riots of 2005 ‘successive phases of a revolt whose end is not in sight.’
The Situationists' classic analysis of the Watts riots.
Thoughtful reflections on living in Croydon and the riots.
The Failures Manifesto, 25 Dec. 2009
The Meeting of Failures, act I, London (Sample), book, 2011
The Meeting of Failures Press Release, document, 2011
everyone agrees about the riots, Web zine, 2011
The Riot Zine is now online. Share, spread, copy!
The Meeting of Failures is available for sale.