Sunday, May 08, 2011

Stokes Croft Riots Bristol

I blogged on 23rd April 2011 that the riots in Stokes Croft Bristol occurred because of a protest at the opening of a Tesco Express in the area. Wrong!
Since high lighting this in my blog it has come to my attention, particularly through Twitter, that the riots really had nothing to do with the Tesco protest at all but was used as an excuse by a large anarchist element in the city to cause public disorder. In other words, whilst the relatively peaceful and legitimate Tesco protest was high lighted at the very beginning, it was soon hi-jacked by the "anti everything" brigade just as the anti cuts march by Unite was in London on the 26th March 2011.
In the case of Stokes Croft, the police arrived in force based on a tip off that petrol bombs were being made in a squat near to Tesco's and they were there to evict the occupants. Before long the anarchist element around the city had been alerted (mobile communications no doubt being very effective) and very soon there were hundreds in the streets causing appalling damage to properties and the squatters hurling debris, scaffold poles and slabs from the roof of the squat onto the police below. As a result, a 17 year old has been held for attempted murder of a policeman who had concrete dropped on him from above and this same person was also seen hurling a scaffold pole like a javelin into the police crowd.
Yesterday they held an "anarchist book fair" in Stokes Croft and it was said that there were up to 300 people queuing in the rain to get in.
Having visited Bristol recently I can tell you that the City Council has done a mega job in turning Bristol into a very nice place to work and live with major redevelopment of the docks area, Temple Quay and around the new shopping area Cabot Circus.
In contrast, Stokes Croft which is quite close to the city center is pretty run down and is a magnet for those seeking a more alternative existence and who wish to build a more cultural community.
Judging from the instructions put out by the anarchist element on how to avoid arrest (for all to see on Twitter) if your face was caught on the CCTV footage held by Avon Somerset police , much of the trouble was pretty premeditated but of course it was largely blamed on the police for being "heavy handed".
I must say I found it quite unsettling when reading this stuff and viewing some peoples comments on Twitter. There were also very many people living near to and in Stokes Croft itself who were vehemently opposed to the stance taken by the Tesco protesters which showed an opposing view to the statement that 95% of Stokes Croft were against the Tesco store opening. In the end anyway, the riots turned out to be nothing to do with the Tesco issue just another excuse by the "anti everything" brigade to cause as much anti social behaviour against authority as they could.
As it is, I feel a bit sorry for the Tesco protesters who perhaps had a legitimate cause but of course that's probably gone by the by, now that it has been trampled on by all this bad publicity. Shame.


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9:13 am  

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