Oakland based Researcg & Destroy write about the Los Angeles riots and spectacle.
LOS ANGELES, March 3, 1991 – On the shoulder of the freeway, police are beating a man. Because we are in the US, and because the man is black, we will know that this is a routine event, an ordinary brutality, part of the very fabric of everyday life for non-whites. But something is exceptional this time.
A post about the Los Angeles riots, hip-hop and race in America.
Today is the 20th Anniversary of the Rodney King riots, which happened in a number of cities, but was most intense in the Los Angeles area. Over the last week, the media has been looking back at hip-hop of that era, interviewing people who were affected by the events or seeing what has changed since then (however superficial this assessment is).
In this essay written after the LA Riots of 1992, Jaime Semprun expresses a pessimistic view of the new "barbarians", the uncivilized youth who according to him have been economically marginalized by capitalism but also socially integrated by the spectacle of power and violence, and compares their social dislocation and nihilism with Hannah Arendt's characterization of the preconditions for the mass psychology of totalitarianism ("isolation and the absence of normal social relations").
Waiting for the Barbarians – Jaime Semprun
A brief account of the six days of rioting which set Los Angeles aflame following the acquittal of four police officers who were filmed beating black motorist Rodney King.
"There's a difference between frustration with the law and direct assaults upon our legal system."
- George Bush Snr., May 3rd, 1992.
Distorted by the bourgeois press, reduced to a mere 'race riot' by many on the left, the L.A. rebellion was the most serious urban uprising this century. This article seeks to grasp the full significance of these events by relating them to their context of class re-composition and capitalist restructuring.
April 29th, 1992, Los Angeles exploded in the most serious urban uprising in America this century. It took the federal army, the national guard and police from throughout the country five days to restore order, by which time residents of L.A. had appropriated millions of dollars worth of goods and destroyed a billion dollars of capitalist property.