Collective Protest, Rioting, and Aggression - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication
An Oxford law graduate who was arrested during the riots in London, has during other riots for his first documentary, Riots Reframed. date at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. . Framing and reframing the LA Riots: A study of minority issues framing by the In J. B. Singer (Ed.), Participatory journalism: Guarding open gates at online. He decided to tell his story in the self- funded documentary Riots Reframed. watched a lot of videos on the internet; talked to loads of people; is hyper- independent and therefore we might not make it for this date, but it'll.
The film is a scathing and uncompromising dissection of the society that spawned the unrest, which premieres on 16 March in London. It is, according to its year-old producer and director, an attempt to challenge politicians' and mainstream media's superficial depictions of the riots as nothing more than the product of "mindless criminals", and to provide a platform for more informed discussion.
Alam's story before the riots is remarkable.
Dangerous Crowds? Riots, Anonymity and Deindividuation. | The Campaign Company Blog
That he went in a single day from being a symbol of aspiration and achievement to being gratuitously splashed across the nation's media for a crime, of which a jury would take under half an hour to clear him, makes it all the more poignant.
Being dragged into a police van simply because he was where riots were taking place he was on his way to visit his grandparents in Hackneybeing denied bail, going through the specially convened "riot courts" at 3am, and then spending weeks in prison "not knowing" if and when he'd be released was profound, Alam says. He describes jail as "a very sharp and sudden shock", but he has since tried to make sense of the backdrop to the riots.
The riots are about society and the system we live under.
New film reveals the unheard voices of the 2011 London riots
So, really, this film is … about everything else the riots have touched. It highlights so many aspects of the system we live under — prison or poverty. Or whether it's war or rebellion or the police — it opens up so many conversations. Alam set up a company, VoiceOverto make it. And it deliberately does not provide a balanced analysis.
The documentary presents views and insights on an array of complex and interwoven subjects such as unemployment, poverty, racism and even corporate tax avoidance. Almost everyone interviewed warns of more social unrest to come. At the same time the aftermath of the riots also brought out the very best in many people with riot clean-up websites coordinating voluntary activity within hours of the violence and crime occurring.
For many the focus has been on the need to tackle crime and bring people to justice quickly: These two outlooks are often counterposed to each other when they are both reactions to recent events stemming from wider values that individuals may hold. How then do we move forward? Firstly anger and fear amongst the public needs to be fully addressed and communicated to in order to then have any rational debate as to what we do to prevent these scenes happening again.
RIOTS REFRAMED DIRECTOR FAHIM ALAM ON DOCUMENTARY, PROPAGANDA AND POWER | cinema politica
However as the justice system has processed offenders it may well have surprised people as to the significant number of previously law-abiding citizens in well-paid jobs caught up in the riots. How do they fit into that initial narrative as to the cause of the riots? Whilst much of the initial violence may have been initiated by young people, with Blackberry messaging encouraging copycat responsesa lot of the subsequent looting seemed to feature a much wider range of people.
Will attitudes on some aspects of the riots change as some people come to the realisation that it could have been their son or daughter or partner, completely out of character, who might have been arrested, perhaps for opportunistic looting? The most recent polling on evictions of social housing tenants does seem to show quite a rapid shift over the last week from initial reactionsperhaps in response to what may be a more mixed narrative?
A Conservative MP demanding removal of benefits from rioters also seemed to make a distinction along these lines: I am sad to see so many people go to prison, especially as there seems to have been two broad categories of rioters — weak minded, opportunistic, impressionable people who perhaps got carried away, and more serious, more sinister rioters who took a more professional and calculated approach and who may have played a part in the planning and orchestration of the rioting.
Both categories should face prison sentences but if the courts are able to determine that rioters fall into the latter category, they should face especially long sentences, as should particularly violent rioters and arsonists longer still.
One of the reasons for this wider mix of people than might be expected, is that crowds can create their own social norms where deindividuation occurs.
- Riots Reframed: Voices of Resistance
- RIOTS REFRAMED DIRECTOR FAHIM ALAM ON DOCUMENTARY, PROPAGANDA AND POWER
People can find a form of anonymity in the crowd and lose their inhibitions and do things that their normal social networks would strongly disapprove of. Anyone who has been in a large crowd at a music or sporting event or at a political demonstration may well recall things happening that they might not countenance in everyday life as the crowd creates its own social norm and people copy the activities of people around them.
Pat Dade of Cultural Dynamics has written about the values of those most likely to be part of a rioting crowd. Thus by far the most effective Police tactic of the night was telling people to stay away as bigger crowds could have been even more unpredictable.
I suspect it would therefore be quite easy at present to find examples of deindividuated anonymous people online commenting in an extreme way about the behaviour of recent extreme deindividuated behaviour offline!