11/04/81: Brixton riots

On Saturday 11 April 1981 fierce fighting and rioting broke out in the London suburb of Brixton. At approx. 4:45pm two police officers searched and arrested a young black taxi driver, taking him away.  Missiles were thrown at the police van as it left. This led to more police reinforcements and led to the worst day of the rioting.  The rioters were mostly young black men but they were now joined by young whites.  Looting began, police vans were overturned and bricks, bottles, and petrol bombs were thrown, setting fire to both police and private cars. There were also a number of attacks on retail and commercial premises and bars.

pic.: Peter Murphy
pic: PA

text source: blackpast.org

for various eye-witness accounts see: Remembering the riots (theguardian.com)

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