Not ‘riots’ but ‘violent urban protest’

This is a chapter in a book published in 2009 which chronicles the so-called riots in Britain, usually led by black youth, since 1975. Although there are politicos who love the term ‘riot’, and admire the illustrious history of the so-called ‘mob’ in European history, this chapter argues that, sociologically, these events should be understood as ‘violent urban protest’ (rather than insurrections or  uprisings, as I argued in the Big Flame journal Revolutionary Socialism in 1982). The events of the summer of 2011, despite their dubbing by my guru Zygmunt Bauman as the actions of ‘defective consumers’, still seem to me to fit within the concept of violent urban protest. The key question, I guess, is just what kind of a protest were they?  This chapter might be useful background in the further analysis of the ‘riots’ of 2011.

Violent Urban Protest (2009)

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