False Flags (Brief Reflections of Rioting in the 21st Century)


Why do we riot?

Riots in recent years have certainly shown the weak side of our humanity.  Where did our peaceful protests go?  Why can we not state our case with quiet words rather than with fire and screams?

Dear Toronto…a few bad apples turned your city into pockets of violence and seemingly made it difficult to feel Canadian in the days that followed.  We’re still trying to forget the loss of freedoms that many experienced during those days of the G20…a sad time in Toronto, Ontario and Canada…

Dear Vancouver…it’s a shame that the excitement your city displayed as the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs approached turned into disappointment.  Yet it’s even a bigger shame that so many who were not even present for the true reason for the gathering caused the rest of the world to see you as sore losers.  We know the truth.  The truth came out when the true citizens of Vancouver emerged from their homes in the days following the violence and destruction to clean up their city.  A bright spot in a dark time.

Dear London…Birmingham…Bristol…Liverpool…and elsewhere…this is not the way.  You don’t like the high rates of unemployment.  I get that.  You don’t like the police.  I can understand how some of you wouldn’t.  You are angry over the shooting of a suspect by police.  Yes, this would anger me too – police brutality certainly isn’t something I like to see.  However, is this really the way to get what you want?  London burns…her people are frightened.  This is no way for a civilized people to live.  I am all for fighting for freedom and speaking your mind.  I am not for mindless looting and criminal activity veiled by a front of civil unrest for political reasons.

Stop hiding behind your masks and your false flags.  If you riot, stop being a coward.  Show the world who you really are.

And if you aren’t able to be so brave, then perhaps you should just stay home.

English boys without your names
Ghetto stones instead of chains
Hearts and minds and U.S. planes
Nothing’s changed
And English boys without your names
Riot like the 1980’s again
The days of rage yeah nothing’s changed
More pretty flames

~ ‘False Flags’, Massive Attack

To my dear friends in London and wherever there is violence happening…my thoughts are with you.  I wish you all the best and hope you remain unscathed during these trying times.

Where do we go from here…?

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