When riots occurred in the Notting Hill section of West London in 1976, Clash members Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon joined in, hurling rocks at police. The riot, sparked by racial divide and the attempted arrest of a pickpocket, inspired this punk tune about white complacency in the face of oppressive government. While some criticized the band for lyrics they thought advocated violence ("I wanna riot"), Strummer told Rolling Stone the band wasn't violent -- even if their music was. "We're against racism and fascism," he said. "I'd like to think that we're subtle."