It’s been thirty long years since the streets of Brixton responded to increasingly heavy handed policing with a full blown riot, involving up to 5,000 people.
Described as “Bloody Saturday” by TIME magazine, disturbances started on the evening on Friday, 10th April 1981 and continued to the early hours of the Sunday morning.
The human and material damage was substantial: 299 cops and 65 ‘civilians’ were injured, 61 private vehicles and 56 police vehicles were damaged or destroyed, 28 premises burned and another 117 damaged and looted.
A total of 82 arrests were made over the period.
Thirty years on
To mark the 30th anniversary of the 1981 Brixton Uprising there will be a special event held at Windrush Square and Brixton Tate library on Sunday 10th April, 2011. Here’s the press release:
Starting at 12 noon in Windrush Square and then from 1pm inside Brixton Tate library, the event will hear first hand witness accounts from members of the public on the Uprising, performances from special guests including LINTON KWESI JOHNSON, moving images and sound clips from radio and news archives, photographic stills on display and an opportunity for the public to relate their own testimonies of the Uprising to be recorded and archived by the Black Cultural Archive.
We will also debate on how Brixton has recovered from 1981 and look ahead to its future.
Read more about the Brixton riot:
[Eye witness account by the ‘We Want to Riot, Not To Work Collective’]
[Guardian: How smouldering tension erupted to set Brixton aflame]
[Guardian: Remembering the riots]
[Time Magazine piece]
Brixton video footage of the riot
Brixton video footage – the aftermath