Excerpt taken from Bill Buford's (New York Review of books editor) brilliant Among the Thugs:
Buford does not offer a conclusive explanation for why he thinks that this violence occurs. However, he does write,
I was surprised by what I found; moreover, because I came away with a knowledge that I had not possessed before, I was also grateful, and surprised by that as well. I had not expected the violence to be so pleasurable....This is, if you like, the answer to the hundred-dollar question: why do young males riot every Saturday? They do it for the same reason that another generation drank too much, or smoked dope, or took hallucinogenic drugs, or behaved badly or rebelliously. Violence is their antisocial kick, their mind-altering experience, an adrenaline-induced euphoria that might be all the more powerful because it is generated by the body itself, with, I was convinced, many of the same addictive qualities that characterize synthetically-produced drugs. [he likens the experience to taking ecstasy]
The rioters were having a whale of a time according to friends who live in Hackney.