Saturday, July 09, 2011

Short Hot Summer 1981: London

Number five in a series of posts on the 1981 summer riots - following on from Southall, Liverpool Manchester and Wood Green, on Thursday July 9th, crowds were on the streets in various parts of London with sporadic clashes with police:

'London police quickly quelled what threatned to be a riot early yesterday evening in Woolwich, south-east London. About 200 black and Asian youths ran through the town centre smashing 15 shop windows and overturning two cars. There was some looting. The youths were outnumbered by police who quickly dispersed them. 27 arrests were made… In Lewisham, eight youths were arrested after clashes in which goods were looted from Chiesman’s department store. About 100 black youths in Deptford threw bottles at a police car.

Twenty youths were arrested in Stoke Newington after bricks and bottles were thrown at the police… Several hundred youths were moved on by police from Dalston, east London. The youths, black and white in about equal numbers, gathered in Kingsland High Street and Dalston Lane. Several hundred police patrolled the streets. Street fighting broke out last night in Fulham with minor clashes between police and youths. Seven youths were arrested, six black and one white’ (Times, 10 July 1981)

In Balham High Road 'Around 35 shops were damaged in a wave of violence which started shortly after midnight when some 200 youths roamed the streets. Worst hit was the Argos Discount Store where hundreds of pounds worth of goods were stolen' (South London Press, 14 July 1981).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember this well. I was working as a temporary caretaker and a delivery boy arrived and said in the office 'there's going to be a riot tomorrow in Holloway'. In the event, he was wrong and it was down the Kingsland road from Stoke Newington to Dalston. There was a carnival atmosphere of 'the World turned upside down' combined with some low esteem looting and much random police violence.