London 2011: ‘A Riot is a Political Act’ – English with Chinese translation

Fight The Power

This poem, written in the voice of a hypothetical London observer, is meant, in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. to understand the cry of the oppressed and respond with care and not with demonisation and punitive measures. 

Proper understanding must also be cultivated by authorities and representatives of the right to protest as such in a democracy, student protests, worker protests, climate protests. These are voices which have been disenfranchised from the official political procedures just as those in the streets with the Arab Spring. Police officers should perhaps include On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau in the midst of their training and education. Peaceful protest is possible and necessary in a healthy democracy.

The poem is also available here in Chinese, having been translated by Dr Wang Shunning.

 

Strangely enough, though,
rioting is a thoroughly political act –
and is symptomatic of deep crisis
in the political economic regime
(and not just in Brixton, but all
over London and Great Britain –
not to mention throughout the rest
of Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. etc.)
A riot is a political act, just as
with the long history of riots
in Britain which originally led
to our revolution
(if cutting the King’s head off
is not a riot, then
I do not know what is…)
A riot is a political and
cultural act of defiance –
– despite the efforts
to portray looting as economic
greed and vandalism –
opportunism…. (like Libya?)
It is a revolt which seeks
to shift the context of
‘business as usual’ – not merely
to pace around in the cage
of the hypocritical limitations
of the present – not to mention
the uncertainty and fraudulent
mask of the current ‘system’ –
all that is solid melts into air –
the feral children dance upon
the streets affirming a differing
future through their emphatic ‘No!’
A riot is a political act –
Economics is not politically neutral
in the world of radical inequality –
in economics, war, medicine, etc.
How many young people in Britain
could ever hope to own their own homes?
And – with the oppressive vandalism
of the public sector by the Austerity
government of cuts,
what future can any of the young
people see? A grim, bleak house?
A new inquisition, poor houses and poor laws?
food given to only those who attend mass –
Will the future be the darkness of the past,
prior even to the English Revolution —
The current disorder is political, cultural –
It is symptomatic of deep desparities of wealth and power –
A riot is a political act –
The disenfranchised in their Dionysian rage,
will seek some outlet, like a volcano –
This is the way things are with human beings.
The great task is to be honest about
the root causes of things – and to
seriously and sincerely deal with
these root causes —-
Otherwise –
“Get out of the way if you can’t lend a hand,
the times they are a-changin’” (Dylan)
..

August 7-9, 2011

 

骚乱是政治行为

(英国)J. 路赫特

足够奇怪了,尽管

骚乱是彻头彻尾的政治行为——

而且是政治经济领域

的深重危机的症候

(不仅在布里克斯顿,而是整个

伦敦以及大不列颠——

更不用说遍及欧洲的其它地区

亚洲,非洲,等等等等)

骚乱是政治行为,正如

不列颠长期的骚乱史

根本上导致了

我们的革命

(如果砍下国王的头

不是骚乱,那么

我不知道还有什么是……)

骚乱是政治的和

文化的反抗行为——

——尽管努力将

趁火打劫描绘为经济的

贪婪和汪达尔主义——

机会主义……(像利比亚?)

它是反叛,寻求

转换“照常营业”的语境——不仅仅是

在当代虚伪的限制之笼中踱步——更不用说

现行“体制”的不确定性和不正的面纱——

所有坚固的都烟消云散了——

凶猛的孩子们舞蹈于

街道,肯定一个不同的

未来,通过他们加强语气的“不”!

骚乱是政治行为——

经济不是政治中立的

在这个极度不平等的世界——

在经济,战争,药品等等之中

多少伦敦的年轻人

能够期望拥有自己的家?
而且——有了托利党和它们小小的自由民主党母狗把持的公共部门的

压迫的汪达尔主义

年轻人能看到

什么将来?糟糕的荒凉山庄?

新的宗教法庭,贫穷的房子和济贫法?

食物只救济给那些参加弥撒的人——

将来将成为过往之黑暗,

甚至有甚于英国革命——

目前的骚乱是政治的,文化的——

它是财富和权力的深深的绝望的症候——

骚乱是政治行为——
被剥夺公民权的人们在酒神的愤怒中,

会寻求某些出口,像火山——

这是人类处理事情的方式。

老实说这项大使命事关

事情的根本原因——而且

严肃而真诚地涉及

这些根本原因——

另外——

“如果你不能提供帮助就闪开,

时代在变”(狄兰)

2011年8月

(人文学院 汪顺宁 译)

Translated by Dr Wang Shunning, Department of Philosophy, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

Publication on this site is at the discretion of the editor.

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