ANARCHY IN BRIXTON: COPYCAT RIOTS AND VIOLENCE BREAKS OUT IN SOUTH LONDON

BREAKING NEWS

By Patrick Henningsen 21st Century Wire August 8, 2011 – 2:00AM GMT Less than 24 hours after riots broke in Tottenham, North London last night, a series of random incidents involving local youths snowballed into general riots in Brixton, South London Sunday evening and into Monday morning. Yesterday Brixton hosted its annual carnival, the Brixton Splash, in its sixth year, an event which saw over 30,000 people in attendance. Shortly after the event finished at 7:00pm GMT, a series of sporadic incidents between local youths and police escalated into pockets of rioting, burning and looting around central Brixton.

BRIXTON: The 1981 riots remain a pivotal event for the area, still considered one of the worst incidents of social unrest in the UK (PHOTO by Kim Aldis).

Following the dispersal of a number of gangs from the downtown area, groups of youths began to fan out into the surrounding area from 11:00PM. Eyewitness reports put looting and vandalism as far out as neighboring town centre, Streatham High Road, where JD Sports retail outlet was vandalised and looted by gangs of youths. At 1:ooAM this morning, this reporter witnessed one gang of seven hooded youths attempting to barricade a major egress out of Brixton, on Stockwell Road, pushing rubbish bins into the road in order to stop traffic passing through. The gang proceeded to hurl missiles at passing vehicles and attempt a series of car-jackings on drivers, as well as attacks on other pedestrians who were trying to head away from the violence in central Brixton. We can report that one man was seen beaten and left in the middle of road by the marauding gang as they headed towards Stockwell Station. Live footage taken of gangs hitting Footlocker store in downtown Brixton. Footage of Brixton High Street fires and riot police on the scene. Local resident Michael Martins described the evening’s events, “It was complete anarchy downtown. They were fortunate that there was already a large police presence for the festival. We’ll see tomorrow if this one was as bad as the 1981 and 1985 Brixton Riots. It’s going to set the area back for sure.” Eyewitness reports from residents described a number of shops and businesses including T-Mobile, Footlocker, Currys electronics on Effra Road and businesses situated along Coldharbour Lane, all of which were looted with some set alight by seemingly unorganised, random mobs of local youths. Local police were inundated with 999 calls regarding incidents, attacks on passers-by and violence throughout the night, and in many cases the police were unable to attend to emergencies which were happening throughout the area. Similar outbreaks of violence were reported elsewhere in London tonight, including Enfield, Wood Green, as well as reports of some incidents in London’s West End. Police are blaming “copycats” and “opportunistic” petty criminals for looting and vandalism incidents tonight. Friday night’s rioting in Tottenham North London began after an armed police officer shot dead a man after stopping a mini-cab. According to police, the victim was a suspect in an Operation Trident investigation. Stay tuned to 21st Century Wire for further reports on this event. -

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