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Margaret Thatcher Dead: Parties To Celebrate Former PM’s Death

The Huffington Post UK/PA

Hundreds of people gathered in city centres to hold street parties “celebrating” the death of Baroness Thatcher on Monday night.

In Glasgow revellers popped champagne while chanting “so long the witch is dead” while in Brixton one critic reorganised the letters on Ritzy Cinema’s hoarding to say “Margaret Thatcher’s dead lol.”

Police said they deployed officers to deal with around hundred people in Brixton causing “low level disorder including throwing missiles at officers.” Two women were arrested on suspicion of burglary after a shop front was smashed.

The event, organised on Facebook and Twitter, was attended by younger protesters angry at Thatcher’s legacy, as well as those who had lived through her time as Prime Minister.

A 20-year-old swigging deliberately from a bottle of milk, told the Huffington Post UK: “Cameron is just finishing off what Thatcher started.”

Lambeth Labour councillor Alex Bigham branded the event “disgraceful” on Twitter. Replying to one user of the micro-blogging site who had posted a link to the ‘Thatcher death party’ he described the party as “tasteless posturing.”

Riots took place in Brixton in 1981 during Thatcher’s time in power. Although many argued unemployment and racism lay behind the disturbances, Thatcher insisted: “Nothing, but nothing, justifies what happened.”

Another riot happened in Brixton in 1985, sparked by the shooting of Dorothy ‘Cherry’ Groce by police. Officers believed her son Michael Groce, who they were seeking for a suspected firearms offence, was hiding in the house.

He was not in the house and police were accused of not giving the required warning before firing. Cherry Groce was paralysed from the waist down and later received compensation from the Met Police.

Crowds gathered from 5pm, despite a statement from Glasgow City Council discouraging anyone from attending the event.

In somewhat ambiguous comments, a spokesman said there were health and safety issues for banning the event.

“Regardless of whether or not it’s appropriate to have a party to celebrate someone dying, this event was organised without involvement or consent from the council and we have safety concerns for anyone attending.

“Organisers of legitimate events must get permission to use the square. They must also satisfy the council that they will take safety precautions such as providing first aiders, sufficient public toilets and stewards, as well as obtaining public liability insurance. We urge people to stay away.”

However Members of organisations including the Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Working Party, the International Socialist Group, were joined by members of the public in Glasgow’s George Square later on Monday.

Anti-capitalist campaigners shouted from loudspeakers, “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie” as the crowd replied “dead, dead, dead”.

Many came prepared with cardboard party hats and streamers. Bryan Simpson, 24, who is a member of executive council for Unite the Union created the Facebook event page, Thatcher’s Deed – Party in George Square – Tonight!

More than 1,000 people said they would attend via the social networking site, with a number of people referring to the stroke that killed her as “a stroke of good luck”.

There were four other similar event pages created via Facebook calling people to attend the “death party”.

There has been preparation for the day Margaret Thatcher died for many years. Martin Chomsky, the lead singer of Chomsky Allstars, penned the song So Long Margaret Thatcher a number of years ago.

He performed the song in George Square and said: “There are mixed emotions. I was never brought up to celebrate anyone’s death but the pain she brought to Latin America, Europe and around the world should be remembered.

“I would rather that Thatcherism was dead because she is mostly to blame for what is going on today.

“She is responsible, but not solely, for the massive gap between the rich and the poor.”



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