- 05/04/2012 Metro: A royal wedding, spending cuts and anger triggered the Brixton Riot
As the 30th anniversary of the Brixton riot approaches on Sunday, Metro notes that a royal wedding, public spending cuts and growing anger towards ‘the establishment’ – the same situation we have today – is the same backdrop against which the riot erupted. Here’s what the witnesses say…
- 30/12/2011 Guardian: National Archives reveals historic parallels between 2011 and 1981 riots
Thatcher government documents show similar reactions to 2011 riots, with lessons unlearned, underlying social causes ignored and mistaken remedies set to be repeated
- 29/11/2011 Gus John: Black, Asian, minority ethnic communities and inner city riots
The subject I have been asked to address is vast and it is simply impossible to do justice to it in the time I have been given. For one thing, a ‘historical perspective’ raises the question: where does history begin? …So what I want to do is say something briefly about the types of riots there have been that have involved black and ethnic minority people and to look in more detail at the riots thirty years ago, the riots in August this year and what they tell us about the society and how the nation should respond if they are not to become an even more regular occurrence in a society that remains decidedly ill at ease with itself.
- 07/08/2011, NicholeBlack.com, TOTTENHAM 1985-2011: THROUGH THE FIRE
Last night’s riots in Tottenham come exactly twenty-five years after the infamous Broadwater Farm riots in the same part of London. Not vastly dissimilar from recent events, Cynthia Jarret died whilst the police conducted a search of her home. Just the week before that Dorothy Groce was shot by police instigating the 1985 Brixton Uprisings
- 10/06/2011 Ashley Dawson: Policing the Crisis: The London Riots in Historical Perspective
The conflagration currently consuming London and other cities in the English Midlands is generating much heated debate. Little of this commentary demonstrates much of a sense of history.
- 01/12/2005 London Review of Books, Jeremy Harding: Diary
Of the many graffiti to be found in the Paris banlieues just now – and creeping into the city itself – the most apt has surely been the simple injunction: ‘Riot!’
- 2004 John Lea: From Brixton to Bradford: Ideology and Discourse on Race and Urban Violence in the United Kingdom
Recourse to riot on the part of those disposed of any other means of representing their interests or simply defending themselves from attack and harassment of various types has a long history. (Hobsbawm 1959) What is perhaps more remarkable is its survival into the mature liberal democracies of advanced capitalism…. [ see updated version of article here]
- 01/10/2001 IRR, Arun Kundnani: From Oldham to Bradford: The Violence of the Violated
From April to July 2001, the northern English towns of Oldham, Burnley and Bradford saw violent confrontations between young Asians and the police, culminating in the clashes of 7-9 July in Bradford in which 200 police officers were injured.
- VIDEO 1986 Black Audio Film Collective/John Akomfrah: Handsworth Songs
In October 1985 Britain witnessed a spate of social unrest in Birmingham and in urban centres of London. These violent events were marked by the death of an elderly black woman, Joy Gardner and a white policeman, Keith Blakelock. Handsworth Songs takes as its point of departure these events and the subsequent response by the British media.
- 17/09/1981 London Review of Books, Paul Rock: Rioting
Riots have the appearance of disorganised and confusing events, lacking clear definition and structure. They seem to be a kind of sudden rupture which is only uncertainly related to its immediate environment – life in Brixton or Southall or Toxteth.
- 16/07/1981, London Review of Books, M. Ignatieff: It’s a riot
The morning after Toxteth and Moss Side, the Daily Express front page asked its readers ‘HOW MUCH MORE MUST WE TAKE?’ This ‘we’ lends itself to easy caricature. It is ‘Outraged, Tunbridge Wells’ writ large, an army of indignant blue rinse. It is the passive ‘we’ of embattled parents, distributing blame to the ungrateful children with the aggrieved cry ‘What have we done to deserve this?’
- 19/04/1981, The Guardian: Brixton 1981, Living behind the front line of violence
The black and white neighbours of a residential street in the heart of devastated Brixton fear a return to violence unless there are radical changes
- October 1981, Race & Class, A. Sivanandan, From Resistance to Rebellion
This seminal text follows anti-racist struggles in Britain, with a specific focus of the 1981 ‘riots