April 1980-81: The riots in Bristol and Brixton and their histories


April 2 is the 35th anniversary of the riots that broke out in the St Paul’s district of Bristol in 1980, the first major confrontation between black youth and the police of the Thatcher years. April 10 will be the anniversary of the Brixton riots that occurred the following year. These episodes of public disorder are often overlooked in the history of Margaret Thatcher’s Prime Ministership, but are important to understanding the confrontational nature of Thatcherism.

I wrote this article back in 2010 on how different histories of the 1980 and 1981 riots have emerged since then and how different black and left-wing activist groups interpreted the riots. And to complement this piece, in 2013 I published this article on how the histories of the 1981 riots informed how various people interpreted the 2011 riots.

That’s it for now. Once I’ve finished this book manuscript, normal blogging should resume. As usual, any feedback or comments is welcome!

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