The “Rotis not Riots” group is an online discussion forum formed during the August 2011 riots in England to facilitate feminist dialogue aimed at making sense of these unprecedented events.
The founders use roti (a type of unleavened bread) as a symbol to focus attention on the importance of sharing different perspectives. This reflective paper draws on the group's exchanges, exploring: the complexity of the ways in which gender intersects with the riots and their aftermath; the role of consumerism and race; the ways in which the media has framed the riots in news stories; and the ways in which criminal justice system responses have been received by both the media and the general public.
The paper concludes by examining some of the group's ideas about how Britain might move forwards through responses that are constructive rather than punitive, aimed at ensuring that all citizens feel they have a stake in both their local community and British society as a whole.
The focus of this paper is on fostering positive collective action and dialogue that involves people of all ages and backgrounds.
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