Brixton Riot 1995 - Coldharbour Lane
One lone rioter goes out in front of the crowd to taunt the police. The Brixton riots of 1995 began on 13 December after the death of 26-year-old, Wayne Douglas, in police custody. Douglas had allegedly robbed a couple in bed at knifepoint hours earlier. Trouble broke out after what had been a peaceful protest outside the Brixton Police Station where the death occurred. With several hundred people involved, the riot resulted in damage to property and vehicles in the area. Police sealed off a three-kilometre (2 mile) area around Brixton in south London.
The riot lasted for five hours. 22 people were arrested and charged with public order offences, theft and criminal damage. Three police officers were hurt
Shut Down The BNP demo - Welling 1993
This is the exact moment the "Battle of Welling" started, with a demonstrator striking police riot shield with a stick, taken from the placard he was holding. There then followed 3 hours of surreal violence with repeated police charges and bricks that had minutes before been part of suburban garden walls, falling like rain. The unreality of the day was summed up by one protester, a young lady from Scotland, who said to me, "Why can't the police understand that if they'd just let us burn the place down, none of this would have happened".
M-11 1994 - The Hand in the Chimney.
The M11 link road protest was a major anti-road protest in Leytonstone, London, United Kingdom, in the early to mid-1990s opposing the construction of the M11 Link Road, which was part of a significant local road scheme to connect traffic from the East Cross Route to the M11, avoiding urban streets. This protester had cemented his hand into a chimney on the roof of one of the houses due to be demolished. The High Court Sheriffs, had employed a stone mason to go up on a cherry picker to remove the chimney, then the man and the brickwork were carefully brought down to the ground, the masonry was placed in a barrow and he was wheeled away under arrest. The joke is that as they arrived at the police van, he pulled his hand out and dived into the crowd, never to seen again (well on that day at least).
M-11 protest The Old Chestnut Tree House - George Green Wanstead.
Wanstead-M11 Many people took turns living in the tree house. Despite the threat of eviction, people regarded it as a home. Letters addressed to “The Old Chestnut Tree-George Green Wanstead. were delivered by the Post Office.
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REVOLTING BRITONS is an exhibition about the politics of the street from anarchist thugs through to nazi scum. But not just riots, also the humour that perhaps only the British can bring to protest
The history of this exhibition is a story in it’s own right. I teamed up with fellow photo-jounalist Gary Trotter, before we founded Image Sans Frontiers, the world’s first all digital delivery picture agency, to do the show. At that time, during the Thatcher and Major premierships, there were a lot of street protests and Gary and I were, possibly because we had conflict zone experience, often commissioned to cover events that the picture desks thought might get out of hand. We covered so many that we were often referred to as “Riots’R’Us’ and we were often heard to call ourselves “The Fleet Street Expendables” as some of these assignments got quite dodgy.
I’m not anti-police, as anyone seeing myearlier show “A Quiet Night” will be able to tell, I have a lot of time for most of the people in the emergency services. I went out of my way to see that Revolting Britons presented a balanced picture. This was an exhibition about the relationship between the electorate and their politicians It’s main thrust, was that under the Thatcher/Major Conservative governments many people felt totally alienated from the political process and were more likely to take protests to the streets than to lobby an MP. It is also about the way the police are used to control the very people who pay their wages i.e. the taxpayers or their sons and daughters. When police attack a legitimate protester, and let’s face it they sometimes do, it’s odds on that it’s a young person, whose parents helped to pay for the police presence. I hope that the exhibition and it’s attendant publicity and reviews made people think about what was done by their public servants on their behalf On the other hand when anarchy reigns and the streets become a battlefield how many businesses that get damaged help to support the families of the rioters? Please see the show and start to ask your own questions