RECLAIM THE STREETS - Brixton
Archive report from Brixton protest
By Editor, Saturday 6th June 98
The main street in Brixton was successfully reclaimed from 2pm after protesters sealed off the main street after staging two dramatic fake car crashes at either end of the main shopping area.
As orange smoke billowed out from the cars, up to 3-5,000 protesters poured in to take over the street in a peaceful demonstration against the dominance of car culture.
Banners were unfurled off the top of lamp posts proclaiming, "Cars my arse!" and "Under this tarmac flows a river - dig up the Effra!" (a reference to the ancient River Effra which now lays several feet below Brixton, redirected through conduits).
The western end of Coldharbour Lane was also blocked off, allowing Prince Albert regulars to enjoy 'al fresco' drinking in the street.
In Brixton Road, reggae and techno sound systems got the protesters grooving in the sun whilst children played in the sand pits and paddling pools that were set up in street.
Free food was cooked up, the sun shone all day and Eco-Trip handed out bin liners at the end of the day to help clear up the mess.
Respect all round.
The police were incredibly restrained throughout the day - even letting one guy shin up to the top of a CCTV camera to cover up the camera with a bin liner!
Meanwhile, a second RTS party kicked off peacefully in Tottenham, where an estimated 4-6,000 took police by surprise and blocked off Tottenham High Road, setting up sound systems and reclaiming the streets.
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