In London a citizens inquiry into last summers riots in Tottenham has concluded that they were partly caused by high youth unemployment and toxic relations with local police Tottenham was where (RT @brendannottle: “@amworldtodaypm: The new inquiry...
In the summer of 2011, London erupted in flames. Now, it's not the first time the city has burned; it's had a rich history of conflagration within its walls and revolt in its urban sprawl. But this time it was different: the source of the unrest echoed the sounds of virtual revolutions around the globe -- inequality, incomprehension, inefficacy -- yet like the people on the streets of Tehran and Cairo, the Londoners who chose to riot also chose to leave an incredibly rich trail of information in their wakes. By using social media to organize and report, to promote and to publicize, they gave curious academics and other interested parties a trove of pickings that can be analyzed for impressive insights.
One of the university consortia in the UK who gained access to Twitter's resources worked with The Guardian newspaper to analyze the riots, asking questions about how information -- and misinformation -- spread around the microblogosphere. Twitter, the current platform of choice for news organizations, was happy to deliver an extraordinary number of tweets to the group. With over 2.6 million tweets at their disposal, they used The Guardian's global platform to deliver the insights to an impressive mainstream audience.
In this briefing Mark K Smith examines some key aspects of what happened, explanations of what may have contributed to the 'riots' and disturbances, and the implications for youth work and youth workers.
Here is a remixed ad-jamming response to Levi’s recent Go Forth “revolution chic” advertizing campaign. The mashup adds a new layer of text to re-re-contextualize the commercial’s message turning it (back) into a rallying cry for youth revolt. I say “turning it back” because the Levi’s ad, called Levi’s Legacy shamelessly co-opts Charles Bukowski’s anti-establishment poem The Laughing Heart and re-purposes it to sell their brand. ronically Levi’s was recently forced to pull the ad in the UK after public outcry when thousands of disenfranchised youth (who are being crushed by social cuts and austerity measures) decided to “go forth” and riot, for real. Levi’s might want to reconsider their marking strategy on this side of the Atlantic too in light of the Occupy Wall Street inspired protests sweeping the nation.
While politicians are decrying the UK's rioting 'mindless' and 'criminal' and media commentators are calling for sociologically nuanced understanding of the underclass and Britain's deepening inequalities, everyone is putting the spotlight on the role of social media in mobiling the worse social unrest in decades. Here is a selection of articles that explore how social media are changing the ways people mobilize for social protest as well as violent unrest:
In Space and Culture, Anita Biressi and Heather Nunn ('Video Justice: Crimes of Violence ... interrogate the 'spectacle of the law' and how media culture and social space are interlocked in new ethical and political dimensions. How do new media technologies inform the public's real and imaginary relationship with the law and policing? How does this change discourse and experience of crime and social order?
Michelle Bonner looks at the relationship between media, protest and social accountability in The International Journal of Press/Politics('Media as Social Accountability: The Case of Police Violence in Ar.... While employing very different methods than the excessive violence that is customary in Argentina, UK police methods will be the focus of scrutiny and debate, and how policing and reporting underpin democracy is a key question to the UK rioting. How can the British media become a similar forum for understanding accountability as described in the Argentinian context?
New Media & Society presents an article decribing the role of social media in moving online protests offline in Guatemala. In 'Social Media and Social Movements', Summer Harlowexamines how use of interactive features on Facebook engineered offline protests demanding an end to violence, showing how social media technologies are used in myriad ways to mobilize collective movements.
The issue isnt something Boris Johnson or Consertative/Lib/Labour can resolve. The thing is, it is the Conservative/Lib/Labour MP's who are the problem. They are part of a system which puts the stock market before the ...
Letters: It is crucial that government ministers, police officers, staff in benefits offices, and others in public positions treat everyone with respect instead of the contempt that is sometimes displayed...
Guardian-LSE study of riots – involving hundreds of interviews with participants – reveals deep antipathy towards officers...
Widespread anger and frustration at the way police engage with communities was a significant cause of the summer riots in every major city where disorder took place, the biggest study into their cause has found.
Hundreds of interviews with people who took part in the disturbances which spread across England in August revealed deep-seated and sometimes visceral antipathy towards police
The UK riots are not a Blackberry mob, not a Facebook mob and not a Twitter mob; they are the effects of the structure violence of neoliberalism. Capitalism, crisis and class are the main contexts of unrests, uproar and social media today.