I read this blog post from Amy of Spin-Off magazine which made me think about the Luddites and their motivation. Wool and cotton mills and spinning and weaving machinery were broken and burned.
The recent distubances in London have similarities to the actions of the 19th century textile workers, but also some important contrasts.
'Luddite' is a term used about someone who has a fear of new technology. I think that's a bit unfair; the Luddites weren't simply afraid of technology and progress.
Unlike the young people in our cities recently, Ned Ludd and his followers were clear about their purpose. They valued their skills and employment and were fighting for their jobs and way of life. They believed in a skill-based economy and were resisting a move to automation and unskilled jobs.
Some were executed or transported for their actions.
Although it's not proved possible to halt automation and technology, we can't shake off connections with the past. It's clear that we still feel the need to develop and use manual skills to create beautiful and useful things.