Blog#16: “Reading the Riots” – Supplement reading of Merton

I learned about the riots that were going on in London through the videos that were shown in class. Personally I do not get involved in riots that might endanger me because it is a move towards what I think people say radical. I am a type of person who does not go to the spot light and try to be behind the scene and see what will happen – the outcome of the event. The reading about “reading the riots” states that this report is a focused study of what is not previously experienced in “nature, motivations, attitudes, and experiences of those who rioted across London and in Brminham, Manchester, Salford, Nottingham, and Liverpool.”(pdf pg., 2).

There were 270 people that were interviewed because they were directly involved in the riots in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, and Nottingham. These interviews were confidential.  There were more adults from 18-25 involve and up to 30 percent of teens were involve. But the majority ethnic people that were involved were African Americans. (This is not surprising because people of color in any place in the world are being oppressed and denied things from their home.) This report is very important because they focused on who was involved in the riots and what were their Mo vitiations as any other people wanting to get involve.

One of the motivations of the people in the riots was the treatments they were getting from the police it is 85percent the reason the riots had happen (which in the 2 videos shown in class stated). Also in the interview they state that police lack of respect and anger and due to the stop and search they were targeted most unfairly (pdf,pg.4). There were 185 interviews in long and 3 in Nottingham. The majority of the people where students and unemployed and I was surprised to find out that most of the people who were rioting are the poor people of the country. I actually interested in the polls they have created for the protesters believe what was the cause of the riots (on page 11). In addition to the people that were involve in the riots there were more men than women. There were 79percent of men a 21percent of women in the riots which people who got involve in the riots states that was the amount of women involve in the riots.

So the riots unfolded as a small-scale disorder in Tottenham in August but the protest went sour when the police shot a local black man two days earlier and this event caused an uproar of violence which was presented in future protest. The first day of the protest in August the family of Duggan wanted to speak to the senior police officer but tensions grew and two thrown police car was set on fire. Later in the evening to the night the looting in the streets which the next day in Enfield another breakout had occurred was another looting but in the stores.

However it does not matter where the riots occurs it is the reasons why they are doing these riots and one the reasons is that the “police is the biggest gang out there” and the word gang in these is “people who try and intimidate members of the public” (PDF pg.18). I find it a new phrase that the police is like a gang because I feel that the police are corrupt politicians. I have taken a sociology course called sociology of social movements. In addition some rioters wanted to have their revenge against police

I understand that these people want to hurt the police but making the riots become more than what truly was (friends and family trying to speak to the chief police officer of the killing of Duggan. But even if it was only about him the riots became more than hearing out the chief police it is about the repressed people who have to take the abuse of the police. Sadly 81percent of the people believe riots would happen again, and my opinion and what have had happen or yet to happen would occur someday.

Overall I believe what Merton trying to say is that people finds a way, in deviance action, to show the world what is going on and this is what is happening. Also as mentioned the majority of the people that is being involve in the riots are people who are unemployed and they seek the help of the government and not the being repressed by the police for being what/who they are. I think in certain situations violence is the only thing people are willing to use to show the world the sick reality and show that the people who are rebelling are rejecting the values in society and its goals but they are trying to show the world there has to be some type of change (similar to innovation).


Reading the Riots: Investigating England’s summer disorderImage


One response to “Blog#16: “Reading the Riots” – Supplement reading of Merton

  1. I understand from reading your blog that more women and those who are black and poor were more involved in the riot in London however the killing of that young black man Dugan which was an injustice prone the people to be more frustrated and exelarated their anger to a violent and deviant level. Watching this video myself was very hurtful because to see the pain and anger they were feeling was deep. For someone to come back to London just to partake in violence shows that they really wanted to be heard and needed salvation and result from that oppression that they were under. its not a great feeling not being able to find a job and experience poverty and sometimes to have to leave your country to go to an unknown place or country just to survive. i know a lot of people right now in this country that are in the same predicament. I believe the one who were strong enough to participate in this riot just could not take it anymore it was a mean to an end.
    of course violence is not the way to go about things because people will get hurt and also there were lots of people that were just taking advantage and not really for the cause being defended.
    I can’t judge because it is true that injustice and racism all in one is happening every second. I don’t know what I would do if I were in this position. we must continue to fight in peace for our rights and justice and voice our frustration. It is a must.

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