London Riots 2011 - Time For Change

I wrote these lyrics while helicopters were flying overhead and sirens blazed through the streets, I felt upset at the misrepresentation of my community and culture as a whole and wanted to speak out as i believe many others would like to do too. I was also alarmed by the reckless attitudes of those who have given up on the system and felt that only people from the community could reach out to them before things spiralled out of control.

My artist name is Skriblah DanGogh i have been a resident of the London Borough of Hackney all my life and my lyrics have always been inspired by the things i have experienced and seen growing up there. Now as a man i reflect back on experiences and try to extract the lessons and share through my artistry.

The problems that have caused this descend into anarchy is a complex mixture of politics and bad policy, class division and western style acceptable racism. These issues didn’t arise overnight nor will they go away over night, this is the first time that the entire world has been exposed to the underclass of britain. Although the media would like to portray this event as a “black” only affair the truth is many different communities exist on the bread line and struggle on a daily basis, there have been many issues from these communities raised in regards to police brutality and even I have been attacked by the police many times in my youth.

There is no structure for this emerging underclass, who literally live outside of the system and have no faith in succeeding within it.

My belief is the solution to these problem are even more complex because a lot of these issues of institutionalised racism are not recognised by the government and by the police force itself. Nor is the fact that most ethnic demographics have been disenfranchised for generations and the laws of this country alone dictate that we are servants of the queen, whereas the government is support to be the peoples servant. The truth is as a young black man who is relatively intelligent that the system is design to alienate even the most gifted “minorities” within education, the workplace and within his / her own perception of him / herself, an example being the media terms coined to avoid racial slurs “hoodies” “urban” “gangsters” etc, as a musician i know for 100% fact that the people who guarantee the perpetual “black gangster” image on our television screens and within music that effect all of the modern youth are from affluent backgrounds and are cashing in on stereotypes and shock value. The sad thing is that uneducated and underprivileged young people are being tricked into believing the hype and aspire to the same things. Now this vicious cycle has come a full 360º and the youth of today no longer care about what adult say, because time and time again they have been lied to and neglected. They have seen that crime actually does pay and the will literally get rich or die trying in a society that doesn’t even acknowledge they exist.

Skriblah DanGough

To rectify this problem you cannot patch it with a plaster or kiss it better, we need to restructure our perceptions and open real dialogue to come to a solution that works for everyone. With the scenes of looting on the television I can understand why some people would think that it may be a “black” only problem but the truth is the news, television, radio and internet has been the fear mongers pandering to the insecurities of the middle-class who live in our community within their own bubble of trendy cafes and art exhibitions.

With all this said and done, the riots, looting and civil unrest stemmed from the killing of a young man named Mark Duggan who police shot and killed because he had fired at them. The facts are that the bullet lodged in the police radio (a police ballistics report has confirmed) was a police issue bullet. Many protestors claim that Mark was shot twice in the face at close range although nobody including the police have made an official statement up until now. After the event of his death further problems arose when a 16 year old girl was attacked by multiple police officers while at a peaceful protest over the conditions of Mark’s death outside Tottenham police station. From there it spiralled out of control and will continue if something isn’t done.

I have done my best to talk to my peers and encourage them to stop the rampage, but it’s up to everyone to make an effort and not just for this brief moment of unrest but use this as an example of what happens when things are left to fester. We have the resources, the money and the scientific know how to live in peace, while feeding, clothing, housing and educating EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING ON EARTH, we may not be selfless enough to let go of the spoils of old wars yet but we can at least make a start, all of our children will have to grow up in whatever world we carve for them.


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