the foundations of oppression can't be plucked up without the anger of a multitude

To You

with 2 comments

“The apparent causes are nearly always trivial and to the superficial eye unjustified. The theory of a few hooligans is not only dangerous but without sense. I know of no instance where a few hooligans have  disrupted a major public function, unless they knew or sensed that public opinion was either on their side or at least netural.” (C.L.R. James, Beyond a Boundary, 1963 – discussing a different riot on a different continent in a different decade sparked by different catalysts) 

To You

whom the police
have never spoken to rudely;
you, who have never been pushed against walls
or humiliated discriminately,
who have never been bothered by plain-clothes cops;
cannot understand why people
would cheer a police retreat
or want to throw rocks;

To you,
who do not hear
the problems of your neighbours’ lives
intrude through the walls;
you, whose children do not share
stairways, bedrooms or gardens;
who have had nannies and babysitters
and places at desirable nurseries
cannot understand why teenagers
roam the roads listlessly;

To you,
for whom failure and unemployment
never felt like a part of your destiny,
for whom budgeting is really
just choosing between luxuries;
who do not lose sleep over the rent or electricity;
cannot understand how anyone could take something
which isn’t legally their property;

To you,
who were supposedly educated
to think independently,
to be confident in your opinions,
and to challenge others’ views;
you who still believe the police, the media and the politicians
who say it was nothing but greed and broken morality
that caused three days of fighting and plundering;

To you
who don’t know anything
but what you heard on the news:

This is England now.

If police murder was rare,
and reports full, impartial and public;
If people felt that the law
protected them and defended their interests;
If people felt that there was such a thing
as society,
If it hadn’t been trampled and trodden on
And steamrollered by capital;
If we had equality and democracy
Or at least a feeling that governments do care;

Then the people round my ends
wouldn’t say when I ask them,

“Yeah it was wrong what they did;
They should have done it elsewhere.”

Written by angrysampoetry

January 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Posted in Poems, Text

Tagged with , , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. I like verse 1, verse 2 is genius in its ‘punning’. 3, 4 and 5 feel preachy and perhaps patronising. (a bit harsh). I love the end.


    January 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    • appreciate the honest response. fair too i think. too easy to wag fingers especially when you’ve got a good excuse


      January 20, 2012 at 1:06 am

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