News Release

British Austerity and Riots

MURTAZA HUSSAIN, m8hussai at gmail.com
Hussain blogs at “Revolution by the Book” and has been guest posting at  Glenn Greenwald’s blog at Salon.com for the past week. He recently wrote the  piece, “Austerity and the Roots of Britain’s Turmoil” which states: “Had  there been a terrorist attack in Britain this past week as opposed to social  unrest, there would undoubtedly be a huge chorus of voices in the U.S. loudly  extolling the necessity of maintaining and even increasing defence spending,  but there has been no commensurate call for protecting social spending in order to avoid the danger of Britain-style unrest.

“Those seriously concerned with national security should awaken themselves to  the fact that there is absolutely nothing safe or secure about soaking your country in gasoline by ignoring, and exacerbating, the plight of its most disenfranchised citizens. Eventually an event will come along to strike a match; at which time the meaning and utility of ‘national security’ will quite viscerally move from the abstract to the concrete.”

PAUL LOEB, paul at paulloeb.org
Loeb has spent over thirty years researching and writing about citizen responsibility and empowerment. His books on citizen activism, “Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in Challenging Times” and “The Impossible Will Take a Little While: Hope in a Time of Fear,” have over 200,000 copies in print. He said today: “As we saw in the late 60s, rioting creates fear and backlash and innocent people get hurt. But those participating in the UK riots are responding to the real situation of being made economically and politically expendable, and having police shoot or abuse their friends and neighbors.

“The question is whether other movements working for a more just UK — like UK Uncut, and various union efforts — will be able to connect to the young and disaffected members of these communities and help them find more constructive ways to continue their protests against Cameron’s destructive policies, ways that involve finding powerful nonviolent ways to tell their stories, working to build every possible coalition, and most of all learning to persist.”