Emeutes à Londres (Battersea, Lewisham, Cabden, Kilburn, Croydon), Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool et Bristol après la mort d’un jeune – 8 août 2011
London riots: conflagration and carnage in the capital and beyond
Tuesday 9 August 2011
Guardian writers report on the violence in Croydon, Birmingham, Battersea, Lewisham, Kilburn, Liverpool and Camden
Several large fires engulfed the centre of Croydon on Monday night as the unrest that has gripped London spread to one of the capital’s most southerly boroughs.
Residents said the trouble started in outlying neighbourhoods at about 7pm with 200 to 300 youths rampaging through the streets looting and setting fire to shops.
At about 9pm, the trouble had spread to the centre of Croydon where the hundred-year-old Reeves furniture shop was set alight sending flames high into the night. Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell said: "I’m sickened to see this happening in my town. My first instinct is sympathy for the businesses and residents who have been directly affected by what’s happened.
"The main building which was seen on fire at Reeves Corner is a family business called Reeves, which has been there for a century, and it’s been completely destroyed. Read more…
The first sign of trouble spreading beyond the London area came in Birmingham where up to 200 youths confronted a police cordon in the city centre and shop windows were smashed. Eyewitnesses said that police appeared to have the situation under control and it "does not look like London." An exclusion zone was established up to half a mile round the Bullring shopping centre which closed early.
Youths wearing hoods and scarves gathered after rumours on social network sites and via texts that things were "going to kick off" in the Midlands city. Bins were thrown through the windows of Jessops, LA Fitness and a McDonald’s but attempts to follow this up by looting as in Tottenham and another parts of the capital were stopped by police.
The West Midlands force said that extra officers had been deployed after tweets and other internet messages spread during the afternoon.
A pub landlord stood on guard at his doors during a brief flurry of missile throwing but by 7.30pm the police appeared to be in control of most of the city centre, with the large Pallisades mall by New Street station also closed and cordoned off.
Youths returned to the centre of Birmingham later, ransacking the local branch of Austin Reed’s whose manager Mike Golden, said: "I got a call from the alarm company saying intruders had broken into the shop. I thought it was strange for the time of day.Read more…
Dozens of youths started the night’s violence on St John’s Road at just after nine o’clock when they ransacked a Curry’s electronic store. They were joined by dozens of others, many with black hoods and scarves after a small number of riot police left the scene half an hour earlier when they came under light bombardment from projectiles.
Onlookers and locals identified many of those present as "blues, yellows and reds", members of local gangs who they said had called a truce for the evening. Along St John’s Road the windows of other stores were smashed.
The gangs ran along the road and at one point a middle-aged man and his wife pointed in the direction of a jewellers further up the road and other potential targets.
Less than 30 metres away dozens of revellers stood outside a local pub drinking beer and looking on. As it became apparent after 20 minutes of looting that the police were not coming back the looters were joined by many more. Hundreds of looters helped themselves on Clapham Junction’s main shopping street.
For close to two hours masked youths had the freedom to pillage St John’s Road targeting JD Sports, Curry’s, Footlocker and Debenhams. Curry’s was first when dozens of youths kicked in the metal shutters after a small group of riot police left the area shortly before 9pm. The looting went on there for 40 minutes until one man who had been in a local pub waded in and succeeded in dispersing the crowd. Read more…
Lewisham, a suburb of south-east London blighted by serious deprivation and unsympathetic post-war planning which turned much of its centre into a one-way gyratory, experienced a few hours of trouble on Monday although it was quiet after several hours. The centre was sealed off and police said the damage was not too serious.
"They’re testing us," an inspector said. "This wasn’t the real thing."
Later looting spread out towards Catford in the evening and the main road, for a time, appeared to be in apparent control of groups of youths with no police in sight. Several shop windows were broken and alarms rang out. But the damage appeared unfocused – one shop targeted was an optician – and chaotic.Read more…
Around 20 youths were arrested in Kilburn, north west London, on Monday evening according to local businessmen.
Eye witnesses said that some of the group were wearing balaclavas and tights over their faces when they were confronted by police at around 7.30pm.
One cafe owner said: "The police took some of them down a side road and forced them to line up against a wall. A woman with the boys was screaming at the police. There must have been four police vans," he said.Read more…
Violence also broke out in Liverpool with police dealing with "a number of isolated outbreaks of disorder" in the south of the city, Merseyside police said. Read more…
A number of police officers were also sent to Camden in north London, setting up a series of cordons following reports of trouble. Uniformed officers and riot police were patrolling on the streets near Camden Lock with some masked youths also seen in the area.
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