Bristol: ‘Burn Baby Burn!’

The chant goes up into the air as the flames of the cop van rise higher and higher, burning away a pressure that has been building for far too long.
The cop station’s windows are kicked in to the roaring joy of the crowd, its raining rocks from above on the riot cops from youths who’ve occupied part of its roof. Repeated attacks on the cop lines are visibly putting the fear into them. Bottles rain down on the cop dog unit’s failed attempt to assault the mob from behind. Riot shields and batons liberated from the cops are used to fight back, a piece of their own medicine. Others are caring for people sprayed with mace, while sound systems ring out. Another cop car is burning round the corner, this is like nothing we have seen before…

This is the scene in Bristol in 2021, 10 years since the Stokes Croft & August riots in 2011. The riot that erupted last night was a continuation of our combative memories, but from seeing so many new young uncontrollables it is the beginning of a new wave. Nothing much has changed on this prison island since 2011, if anything the conditions that led to those days are still with us, more repressive than ever. We’re being pushed over the edge, as the system of control demands either lick the boot or have our way of life extinguished. [Read More]