Stokes Croft Bristol riots (squat eviction / anti-Tesco) – 21 April 2011

As documented by local media organisation South-Blessed Community Channel

If the video does not embed properly, see the video direct here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7qeY3tEeKk

I got caught up in the riots only in so far as driving home that night with my children in the car, got diverted by the police road blocks.  I was in no position to get out and film anything with a ten-year old and a seven-year old in tow. 

Really pleased to see the events documented by South-Blessed – up to the moment citizen journalism.  Also read this eye-witness account on Bristol Indymedia.  Community Media in action! 

In the mainstream press, see this article in The Guardian with an interview with the people living in the squat, who say they had nothing to do with the (proposed or real) attacks against Tesco.

The general consensus from everyone I have spoken to about this that were there, is that the police acted in a very heavy-handed way, and the scale of the police presence in the evening was over the top, for what otherwise could have been a simple squat eviction during the day.  On that particular day at first the resistance to the squat eviction was a separate affair to the anti-Tesco backlash, but due to the inefficiency of the police action, it all rolled into one in the consciousness of the people and the media.  I believe the guys from the squat when they say that backlash against Tesco was not their agenda.  The whole event just shows how much Tesco is hated, and how passionately some of the local people feel about retaining that area as a Tesco-free zone, in a city that already has 38 of them.

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