At the time of writing, there have been no riots in Oxford*. However, what's been going on over the last few days is clearly not just isolated local events. Here's a round up of what some Oxford-based bloggers have made of things …
Beth, blogging on The Top Soil, asks "are the riots ‘mindless thuggery’ or do they have a cause?" and what do we do – should the riots be an "aberration, rather than the pattern of society to come." She also wants a pair of discount trainers ;-)
Charlie, blogging on New Internationalist, is "surprised we haven’t seen things kick off sooner", saying "consumerist dogma and the ideologically driven collapse of community cohesion … are nothing short of incendiary." He concludes "this is probably not the last time London will burn." (Either optimistic or pessimist depending on your point of view.)
Artofactivism, in one of the most creative blogs about the riots I've read, writes "I will not condemn, and I will not align myself with the state in opposition to those on the streets, because I too am on the streets so often in anger. But where am I on the invisible line?"
Adam, bogging on Bright Green Scotland, says that calling the riots non-political is absurd. "Some say that these are not political riots. What does that make them? Apathetic riots?"
Nishma, on The Top Soil, makes some interesting global comparisons, and discusses power that "comes from those who can get away with it – and in our consumerist society is reflected by the wealth that we own."
Lasophielle, in a blog bringing some class analysis to the topic, points out that "every surge of counterpower, every explosion of dispossessed rage, every backlash against liberal democracy, has its collateral damage." And goes on to say "If this is what is rational for them [working class youth] right now, then what the hell does that say about the political class that was supposed to serve them?"
Adam, blogged again on Bright Green Scotland about his experiences of visiting Tottenham and Hackney – and his return to Oxford with rumours of local riots.
That's it for now. If you come across any other interested Oxford based blogs, please add the to the comments below.
PS – image from New Internationalist. View page for copyright details.
* I'm hedging my bets. Not because I think there will or won't be riots, I just don't want to fall into what should become known as the Cohen Trap – prediction is a dangerous game (Observer columnist Nick Cohen "No riots here. Just quiet, ever-deeper misery").