Riots in the Ghetto Suburbs

“Riots can be frightening, violent, chaotic, and indiscriminate. They are also, undoubtedly, moments of collective social power, often of the marginalized. As the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri illustrates, riots are not limited to urban centers, but are increasingly taking place in the suburbs. Roger Wilson and Phil Neel weigh in on the shifting geography and taxonomy of riots. They give differing perspectives on how to understand riots politically.”

Phil A. Neel, New Ghettos Burning Ultra

Bristol Radical History Group

2 responses to “Riots in the Ghetto Suburbs

  1. Wondering whether there is some kind of connection, some inverse logic, that would place riots in the suburbs in relation to insurrections that are ignited in rural areas. The Spanish revolution and the indigenous peoples’s resistance movements today both rely on the incomplete disintegration of traditional life ways and the relative continuation of modes of organizing social life that maintain a radical signature to them in contradistinction to the forms of capitalism they come up against. Do the suburbs have something of that? We’re so used to the idea of the banality of the suburbs, as if they were all middle class territories with their own paranoid and neurotic eccentricity (ie The Burbs) or lives of quiet desperation (ie. American Beauty). When we look at places like Ferguson does David Cooper’s “interior Third World” make sense? Or does that suggestion imply something about the racialized bodies put at existential risk by cops and capital?

    • ah so here in the States we have older ‘rings’ (like in a tree) of suburbs that have been quasi-abandoned as richer, often whiter, people have moved into newer and bigger houses (we call them McMansions) and what’s left of the establishment often tries to make up for the lack of taxable property value by imposing all kinds of ticked-fees for various services and minor legal infractions. plus as you note the all too familiar racism/capitalism plus meth and our new cheap heroin from our war efforts in Afghanistan. As our middle-class shrinks more and more people are either ‘expulsed’ (as saskia sassen would say) or end up in the profit-making criminal ‘justice’ system.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s