The Occupy Movement and the August Riots – a common thread?

What is described as “The most comprehensive statistics published so far on people charged over the August riots in England” have been released.

In news that will shock no-one who has the slightest idea about these things (and doesn’t have an axe to grind), the rioters have been shown to be broadly ‘poorer, younger and of lower educational achievement than average’.

But what is interesting and perhaps surprising is that only 13% of those arrested were gang members. In fact apparently ‘a government spokesman said: “In terms of the role gangs played in the disorder, most forces perceived that where gang members were involved, they generally did not play a pivotal role.”‘

At the same time there has been quite some controversy as the big progressive/leftist organisations attempt to get in on the Occupy action.

What links these two cases then is spontaneity and a wholesale rejection of traditional structures and leaderships – political and otherwise. Be it the gangs that (supposedly) run our streets to the gangs that (supposedly) run our country – it seems people are no longer willing to simply follow, to be told.

The people clearly want to decide for themselves, to take back their right to make a choice and to voice an opinion. What’s more, people are increasingly willing to get out there spontaneously to spread and share that message and that right.

Spontaneity is a kind of disorder, born of a lack of faith in the established order. But human society has a certain way about it and it will re-organise itself soon enough.

What will be very interesting will be to see how it does that and how it ends up.

We live in interesting times!


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