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There’s A Riot Going On…

So that’s what the fuckin Police helecopter was all about.

The wife and I had just settled in, in front of the big telly to watch Tremors, the comedy horror film, when the Avon & Somerset Police chopper turned up and hovered over our house. Not an unusual occurence. We live in the very pleasant district of St Andrews, on top of a hill with spectacular views over the centre of Bristol.

As I keep keep telling friends who have never visited here, Bristol is a very beautiful and incredibly compact City. I can walk to all the good bits, like Clifton Down, the Floating harbour and all the best shopping areas within 20 minutes from my house.

But just 5 minutes walk down the hill are our ethnic areas of the Hippie district of Montpelier and the multi culti St Pauls (More later) and that is what the Chopper was watching.

Well the bloody thing was up there overhead for 3 hours or more, making so much racket that we had to close the windows cos we couldn’t hear the movie. Obviously something bigger than the usual mugging, burglary or car chase was afoot.

I started looking on the laptop to see what the fuss might be but nothing seemed to be being reported.But when I went to bed about 3am the bloody thing was still up there.

The fuss, of course was this. A riot was going on in Stokes Croft. The usual suspects, crusty’s anarchists, squatters have been protesting against the opening of a Tesco’s down there for years now. Nasty capitalist Tesco is deemed to be a threat to local businesses you see.

Um, what local businesses? There isn’t a food store worthy of the name in the whole road! There’s a couple of Massage Parlours, some very dodgy pubs and three nightclubs, but a food shop where you can get a loaf of bread and a few cans of beans nairy a one.

Stokes Croft is an armpit you see. 30 years ago it was the habitat of Irish drunks and Wino’s and there have been many attempts to “Improve” the area since, but it stubbornly refuses to be improved. It is still the road of choice for the Special Brew and substance abuse crews.

Anyway the years of protest were to no avail and the store opened. Well just like the Bolsheviks in 1917, the anarchist crusty squatters were not taking no for an answer and were preparing to firebomb the place. The Police raided the squat and it all kicked off.

April is the month famous for showers, but not of bottles, cobbles and molotov cocktails, but it seems a tradition here in Bristol, because the original St Pauls riots kicked off in April in 1980 with the first warm weather of the year. Getting your coat off and getting your eye in seem to go together round here.

Anyway, Happy Easter to you all. I’m off to Cardiff for the weekend.

Here is some decent video footage .


  1. john in cheshire says:

    I lived in Bristol for 6 months many years ago and loved the place. I shared a house in Redland, not Clifton I know. But very pleasant, civilised and white. I haven’t been back but I suspect that the ethnics have polluted the whole place. Bringing with them the white socialists who hate just about everyone. It’s a great shame and we do not deserve this as a nation.

  2. Jon in St Andrews says:

    I note the policy of this amusing little blog is “We will endeavour to avoid anything which is illegal, libellous, racist, anti-Semitic or grammatically offensive, but all else may be fair game.”

    In which case the comment above surely merits removal, nastily racist as this (happily) ex-Bristolian is… I’ve read a wide range of comments occasioned by the Stokes Croft disturbances last night, and this is the most disgusting.

  3. JuliaM says:

    I see Labour MP Kerry McCarthy has been making a tit of herself over this on Twitter and in the media, again…

  4. Paul Marks says:

    “Anarchists” who live off state benefits and attack the property of other people – thus giving an argument for the existance of the state (“to protect persons and property from your petrol bombs”). This is why I tend to say “black flaggers” to mean these “anarchcommunalists” or “mutalists” or whatever they what to be formally know as.

    By the way, John in Cheshire, I bet the only black thing about these rioters was the colour of the masks and clothing.

    Would it really matter if, for example, the manager or some staff members of the new little Tesco turned out to be black? Why would it matter?

    By the way “Tesco Express” stores are a very good idea – much better than just having vast supermarkets out of town.

  5. mike says:

    Yes Bristol is a lovely place – or at least it was last time I was there (years ago). I watched all three of those videos with disgust; those people putting the Tesco windows out and trying to overturn that police car are scum; one of them was even trying to get the petrol cap open – presumably to stick a molotov in there and set the thing alight.

  6. HSLD says:

    I went back to the village where I grew up last week and was sort of shocked to see it has turned into what looks like a retail park.
    Some of the little shops have hung in there, but the majority are now takeaways.

    I don’t know what to think about it….neccessary evil ? shit happens ? a natural and inevitable progression ?

  7. Sam Duncan says:

    David Thompson has a brilliant piece on the subject, saying exactly what I thought as I watched the woman from “No to Tesco” on Sky last night: “Nice supermarket you’ve got there. Shame if anything were to happen to it…”

    Also… violent mobs smashing up a Jewish-founded business. No uncomfortable historical parallels there, then. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Here’s a comment from the group’s website, replying to some more reasonable residents:

    “Please fuck off and die screaming of cancer you Zionist parasite scumbags.”

    Lefties: lovely people.

  8. RAB says:

    Can’t get your link to work Sam, this could be because I am on the laptop using a dongle and dongles, (or at least mine) are crap.

    But cop this ugly little threat from this moronic bitch!

    Threat to local shops and FARMERS???

    I repeat there are no local food shops worth the name. You have to walk half a mile up to the Gloucester Road to find a small Sainsbury’s and a Coop.

    A threat to Public Safety?? What the fuck is this woman on?!! It is one of the most dangerous streets in Bristol. An old aquaintance of mine OD’d there last year, and two people where stabbed to death there last year too, and I don’t think it was the Tesco checkout lady what done it!

    This has been a scumbag street since the 60s. There was a bookshop called Full Marx there until a few years ago. You can imagine what the best sellers where.

    You will notice watching the footage, that there is not one black or brown face present, and Stokes Croft is about 500 yards walk from where the St Pauls Riot of 1980 broke out. That was called a Race riot, but was nothing of the sort, it was an anti police riot, and everyone, Black and White took part.

    The bloody woman is to thick or poor to live somewhere else. Community my fuckin arse!

  9. Sam Duncan says:

    I missed off the “l” from the “.html” in the link, RAB. Stick it back on and it should work.

  10. RAB says:

    Ta Sam, lovely bit of fisking there, much better than my original post, but then I hadn’t read the silly bitches Grauniad article when I put it up.

  11. Laird says:

    What’s a “dongle”?

    BTW, “Full Marx” is a very clever name (in Britain anyway; wouldn’t mean anything to most Americans). I had thought that marxists were all missing the humor gene. Glad to see there are (or were) exceptions. They would never have come up with this, for example:

  12. Ian F4 says:

    I notice the first video in the link the swampies are commandeering (and upending) a small unmarked trailer for their impromptu roadblock, I’d guess that was the property of a local small business, like the ones they are purporting to represent.

  13. RAB says:

    A dongle is a 3G USB device you use then you can’t get free Wi Fi or a broadband connection on you laptop Laird. Mine is a pay as you go Vodofone one that is pretty useless. I am sat in my mum’s living room in Cardiff no more than 100 feet from a mast, and the connection is rated as poor. In North Wales it is barely possible to get a connection at all.

    Yes Ian F4, latest updates have the Bicycle Shop in Cheltenham road (been there 40 years) and the Bristolian cafe that a friend of mine used to own in Picton street, had windows smashed. So much for looking out for old local businesses eh?

    No word on Lacatta’s, the Italian Delecatessen, also in Picton st, but you wouldn’t want to mess with them, they are “connected” if you know what I mean.

  14. HSLD says:

    Connected Italians ? Excellent…..

    I’m imagining Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta crushing Swampy’s head in a vice :)

    Not that I’m a gangster groupie, it’s just that I find it very difficult to find any difference between organised crime and the current form of government. At least the Mafia are honest about what they are.

    And Fat Tony Salerno hasn’t sent his goons round to my house 3 times in the last couple of weeks asking why I haven’t filled in some stupid 40 page questionnaire called a ‘Census’

  15. Jonathan says:

    Hmmm , let me get this straight. The lefties are worried about a large organisation driving out competition, leaving consumers with less choice and, presumably in their view, lower quality? Wonder if they want to apply that sort of reasoning to the NHS or State Education?
    Anyone? Bueller?

  16. Sam Duncan says:

    Interesting, SH. I have North in my RSS feed and I’ve linked to a few of his posts here, but he writes so much I often give him a miss. That one must have passed me by.

    One thing that’s been on my mind during this thread is that rioting seems to be a peculiarly English phenomenon in the UK (Ulster “troubles” aside). All through the early ’80s as inner city after inner city erupted on the TV news, I was waiting for ours to kick off, and it never did. I think the last riot in Glasgow was in 1919 (the last time the Riot Act was actually read, as far as I understand). And I suspect the reason is right there in North’s article: the police. For all their faults, and many of them are the same, there’s no doubt our police are generally more sensible than their southern counterparts in dealing with the public. I’ve a mate in the force, and he says he can’t watch those Police-Action-Crime-Camera shows any more, because they drive him up the pole: if the Strathclyde polis tried half of what the blokes on those programmes get away with – threatening language and behaviour, assumption of guilt – they’d be on suspension till retirement age.

    The reason for that, I think, is the higher entry requirements and stricter training. It’s been well-known for years up here that if you can’t get into the local Police, you go down to London because they’ll take anyone. And the SNP has been able to boast of “1000 extra coppers on the beat” because they temporarily lowered those standards. Unofficially, of course: I’ve heard tell that an entire year’s intake at Tulliallan – the Scottish police college – was passed without question, on the nod from On High. I can’t be sure if that’s true, although I’ve two friends who say it’s the word in the force and they’re having to deal with a ton of useless new coppers as a result, but let’s wait and see how it goes…

  17. JuliaM says:

    “Not that I’m a gangster groupie, it’s just that I find it very difficult to find any difference between organised crime and the current form of government. At least the Mafia are honest about what they are.

    And Fat Tony Salerno hasn’t sent his goons round to my house 3 times in the last couple of weeks asking why I haven’t filled in some stupid 40 page questionnaire called a ‘Census’…”

    Unlikely to employ someone to go nosing round your bins to check you’re not putting the wrong items in, or your garden waste has too much dirt on the roots, either!

  18. JuliaM says:

    Mind you, looking at some of the specimens in those videos, if they roll over in the morning to a horse’s head beside them, they’ll just think they got REALLY lucky last night when they were out on the pull…

  19. RAB says:

    Good points Smoking and Sam. I never underestimate the capacity of Avon & Somerset police to make a bad situation worse, or basically cock it up from start to finish.

    Witness the hash they made of the murder of Jo Yeates over xmas.

    Any clues or suspects Sargeant? None sir. But her landlord looks like a right wierdo, keeps quoting Shakespeare and some bloke called Wordsworth. I think he’s a wrong un sir.

    So do I. Nick him….. Fuckwits!!

    Well the truth will out eventually here won’t it? The original police story is that they had tip offs that petrol bombs were being brought into the Squat. They raided it and found said petrol and bombs. They arrested 4 people (there are a lot more than 4 in that squat). The kerfuffle that the raid created sparked the riot, or protest as the squatters would have it.

    Now I don’t buy anyone spotting people taking fully formed petrol bombs in there, you know, with the ragwick sticking out the top of the bottle already to light. You’d do it by taking in the bottles and petrol seperately in disguised bags and assemble them there out of sight.

    But the Police swear they found some. Ok Plod prove it, show us the Molotovs.

    Now if this was an eviction of the squatters that went wrong (more than likely, 9 in the morning not 9 at night would have been the right time) then that too will come out. But I will say, having met some of the so called anarchists that they would be perfectly capable of firebombing the Tesco store.

    The fact is the Tesco store was trashed, and the ones doing the main trashing were Ninja’d up. They had more than likely been called in by mobile after the bust.

    Compared to The St Pauls Riot of 1980, it was relatively mild. Most of it caused by people coming home from the pubs and clubs that are up and down the street getting pissed off with heavy handed policing.

    The original St Pauls Riot in 1980 was triggered by one too many raids on the Black and White Cafe just around the corner from this one. The place was notorious for where you could pick up some weed, some out of hours booze, and a lady of easy virtue to share it with (the Ackee and salt fish was lovely though it actually was a cafe you see) and the whole community pitched in, Black and white, fed up with the heavy handed policing.

    All the rank and file coppers I knew at the time all said “Leave it alone, It’s doing no harm…” but the Top Rankers thought a crackdown was in order. It is ever thus.

    And of course, the only reason that 15 people got charged with Riot (a very difficult point of Law to prove, rather than criminal damage and theft) was because the Avon & Somerset police had gone from fully comprehensive insurance on their vehicles only three weeks before, to third party. Which meant that they couldn’t claim for the damage. So they scoured the law books and came up with the Riot charge, which allows you to recover from the public purse damage done to property , vehicles etc.

    All 15 got aquitted, as they should have been. Oh they were guilty of many things yes, Ghetto shopping obviously, criminal damage, receiving stolen goods, violence against the person, but Riot, No. But that is what the fuckwitted A&S Police charged them with.

    Let’s hope they have finally learnt their lesson this time.

  20. RAB says:

    Jon in St Andrews, no I didn’t like that comment either but we are very non censorious round here. The only person who has ever had a comment deleted is me, and I’m on the staff so to speak!

    Where do you drink? Perhaps we could have a beer sometime.

  21. [...] year I brought you all a couple of items about the anti Tesco riots in Stokes Croft Bristol. These were, in this Olympic year of [...]

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