Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Regarding London Riots

Well a small tweet I wrote to express my thoughts about London riots yesterday gained a little reaction from NY Times, CNN , Daily Dish.Of course it is not my tweet only but the tweets of my follow Egyptian bloggers and tweeps , we are now proud revolution/protesting experts worldwide Winking smile 

I insist on my point view that when you loot , when you destroy other’s people properties you do not object the murder of a young man but rather you are using his murder to justify your actions as a form of anger; this is not anger for sure , this is another thing.

I know there is more deeper issue when it comes to what is taking place in London , I know there are more angles we as foreigners do not fully understand whether economic or social or political factors. I know there is a difference between our situation and what is taking place whether in Britain or in Greece , still I do not like that some of our Egyptian protesters think how cool and great what has happened in London is.

I know that some activists think that our revolution was too peaceful to achieve anything , well guess we have achieved something and peaceful revolutions were successful through out history , look to how India took its independence and look to peaceful revolution of East Germany.

If you have a cause , a just cause you will not burn your follow citizen shop or destroy his car because your issue is not with him , you are punishing him for no reason. Already I read many comments in British News websites also tweets on twitter from Angry citizens that now are taking the police side and believe Mark Duggan was a terrible criminal without even waiting for the results of the inquiry currently taking place because of all the looting and violence that took place yesterday.

I can understand when angry citizens burn a police station that was actually turned in to a torture house in a country like Egypt or like Tunisia , I can understand when citizens set the ruling party’s HQ in countries like Egypt and Syria but I do not understand when residential houses and shops owned by regular citizens are being destroyed or torched or looted.

I do not live in ivory tower because I know  in hunger revolutions things can be very ugly and very violent. “And believe me when I tell you that all people expected this to happen in Egypt”

By the way read our dear Sarah Carr’s Love me I’m a looter.


  1. "When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty and shoot people dead whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up and express their anger and frustration if you refuse to hear their cries. A riot is the language of the unheard." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. I am a Londoner born and bred and have been living in Cairo for the last 12 months (including through the revolution.)

    There is no connection between the shooting of Mark Duggan http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/08/mark-duggan-profile-tottenham-shooting [this was no Tahrir martyr] and the opportunistic widespread looting all over London - it was more of an excuse for ppl to go on a bender, steal and burn London.

    UK has been going under economic restrictions and the poor (though their living standards can easily be considered to be better than the middle class in Egypt) have been slowly having their government benefits withdrawn as the government has less money to spend - and there are less low paid jobs around for ppl.

    I appreciate that this may be a novel idea in Egypt where people actually work and graft for a living, but in a welfare state like the UK if you do not have a job or are low income you are 'entitled' to welfare benefits.
    They give you money to live, if you do not have a house (and you have children) they give you a house to live in, if you are 'poor' you have free school meals for your children - medical care is free - and it is considered an essential need to go on holiday once a year http://www.jrf.org.uk/focus-issue/minimum-income-standards (imagine if the biggest concern for the poor in Egypt was that they felt that they all had the right to be able to go to Marsa Matruh for 2 weeks every year!)
    In Egypt food is distributed during Ramadan and some people only get to taste meat during Eid - so there is no comparison between the urban poor of the UK and the poor in Egypt.

    Now given the UK is a richer country than Egypt and living standards are higher, there are more consumer items available for ppl - and you saw this as in the looters were stealing plasma TVs, watches and designer clothes - this was nothing more than opportunistic brigandage.

    During the revolution - Carrefour in Maadi was looted - and the people who are revolting in the streets in London are the same type of ppl as these armed gangs who took advantage of when the police vanished for a few days in February in Egypt.

    Whilst in Egypt the neighbourhoods protected on another and guarded one another at night (I was proud to be able to stand with my Egyptian neighbours in looking after our local area and neighbours) - in London it is more an attitude of do not get involved as you may get hurt - hence the looting is watched like a football match and nobody dares intervene.

    These are not poor hungry people revolting like we had in Cairo, these are an underclass of people who feel marginalised from wider society and have not been brought up with enough of a moral compass to know that stealing and burning is wrong.

    I was proud to be in Egypt during the revolution, and I am glad that I am spending Ramadan in Cairo and not in London.

  3. these links should help you get a better picture of what's happening in the UK, particularly England


    more than 300 people(mostly minorities) have died in police detention(torture and sometimes shot at point blank) in England over the past 10 years, not a single copper has been charged.

    interesting article written about a week ago. how the Tories budget-cut plans affected the youth

  4. http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/08/09/london.riots.egyptian.bloggers/index.html

    you must visit :) zeinobia in cnn news

  5. The riots in the U.K. these few days are not because of race, religion, someone getting shot by the police, anarkists, racists, kids with nothing to do, people who have no job, people who don't agree with the goverment, These rioters are THUGS pure & simple & in my view on a par with the Nazis in the 30's except they wear hoodies like the cowards they are & not swastikas. They are putting innocent people in danger with their actions. There is no demonstration other than to demonstrate the contempt they have for people's livelyhoods and well being. Don't look at what the rioters are doing in the night but look at what the people of these cities are doing during the light of day. Helping each other to clear away the broken glass, the burnt remains of peoples homes. The rioters are in the minority they have nothing to do with revolution.

  6. Britain is well known for it's class distinctions. The English dislike the Irish, Scotts, Welsh, etc and have several class distinctions amongst themselves based on heritage, wealth, social affiliation, etc.
    This situation has led to a stratified society ruled by the wealthy who control power.

  7. but we did have some looting in egypt as well. like carefour. everything there was robbed. but the scale of the looting in cairo is surprisingly smaller than london. cairo is much more crowded third world city and there was no police anywhere. Plus citizens stopped the vandalism and protected the houses and shops with nothing but sticks and kitchen knives. i think this calls for extensive social research because it breaks all the stereotypes. btw really proud of you ya Zeina =) @madee7a

  8. I look forward to returning to Cairo. I so enjoyed my last visit. Thank you for sharing and allowing me to come into your world. I would like to be a blessing to you each and everyday. Please share my site with so I may be a blessing to them as well. You can visit me at http://perrythepastor.blogspot.com/

  9. Zenobia you should stop all your prissy moralising and look at the situation in the UK objectively. The riots are widespread and therefore a social fact, with a social cause.
    the government's disregard for the common people parallels the Egyptian, but is much less extreme.
    it's funny to see the English government criminalising all of them and calling for tear gas, riot gear and even the army to deal with the situation, rather than responding with questions as to why so many people in so many areas joined in, and what might be wrong in society.
    There are far more criminals among the English rioters, than among Egyyptian protesters, for sure, but still both governments dismiis the idea that the disturbances might be motiviated by legitimate anger. That allows them to criminalise those involved and then finally attack them. Once the general public have accepted their depiction as criminals, pure and simple, ugly repression can go ahead and the causes can be forgotten about!
    Guess there's no regional innovation in repression, it's the same all over!

  10. England is going through a period of economic, political, social turmoil. What is the cause of it? In my opinion, during the decade prior to the US/GW Bush induced economic crash of 2007/2008 and ongoing, life was bearable (1997-2007). Now with a conservative (deficit-obsessed,austerity embracing) government the future seems to have vanished especially for the young. The US ,at least has a dynamic, forward-looking black President, a novel accomplishment. The coalition in the UK has a program with only one aim, eliminate deficit/debt and good times will roll again. By concentrating on only one dimension of public affairs, the conservatives are in the process of allowing all the others to
    be lost. Thatcher was saved by a lovely,timely gift of a war that boosted patriotism even though many were suffering from her bizarre ideology. This won't happen again. The government must answer for the condition of the country, they can't evade the question of their competence.


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