Brixton riots

The interview with Darcus Howe brings up the 1981 Brixton riots…well, the BBC host assumes Howe had first-hand experience.   Either way, Howe would probably call it the “Brixton uprising.”  At the center, was a confrontation between the Metropolitan Police and protesters in South London, England. According to Wikipedia:

The main riot on 11 April, dubbed “Bloody Saturday” by TIME magazine,resulted in almost 280* injuries to police and 45* injuries to members of the public; over a hundred vehicles were burned, including 56 police vehicles; and almost 150 buildings were damaged, with thirty burned. There were 82 arrests. Reports suggested that up to 5,000 people were involved.

Here’s another take (with lyrics):


5 responses to “Brixton riots

  1. It is obvious that the causes of these riots are driven by revenge. The people of Brixton want revenge on the government. They want the government to feel the same way that they do…scared, hopeless and weak. The Brixtonites are scared of not having benefits, not getting paid enough, and ultimately non being protected by the law. They feel there is no hope that the government will understand the damage they caused and therefore not change to better the people. They have felt powerless to the government, until these riots.

  2. I think it is interesting that the same issues that sparked a riot 30 years ago is what caused the riots of today. It’s obvious that there hasn’t been a change in how the police treat citizens, and the police feel that they can treat citizens this way because that is what they witnessed in their training in the British version of police academy. The need for revenge against the police could probably be resolved in a much more humane way (peaceful protests!) but it doesn’t seem like that is a part of their culture because they lend themselves to riots.

  3. It is interesting to see how human beings behave where they are in danger. For example, losing things that are really valuable to them. I personally think that everyone could reach the level the people of Brixton did if they were in that position. Eventhough some may deny it I think that everyone would do the same if they are about to lose everything.

    • Typically, it’s those who don’t really have anything to lose that riot. Makes for a very different risk-reward calculus than a homeowner with a pension and/or children.

  4. To add to the comment above, it is usually the people that do not really have much to lose in a riot. These people can just see this social disorder as the perfect opportunity to finally feel “in control.” Many people saw these riots as an opportunity to rebel and loot to acquire things that they would otherwise never be able to afford.

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