The British government, concerned over the recent rioting and looting in a black area of Bristol have announced that several investigations will be mounted.
GV Bristol, 1980: Police and residents of St. Pauls, Bristol running down street (2 shots)
GV Firemen fighting blaze set by rioters
CU Shattered windows of shops in St. Pauls
GV Black leader Vince Hines interviewed in 1970 on blacks and the police
CU Hines replying to question
SV 1970 Police and demonstrators with placards, scuffling, and police arresting demonstrators
GV & MVs Crowds at Notting Hill Carnival, steel bands and costumed dancers parading (2 shots)
SV Black youths running down street at Notting Hill (2 shots)
GV White youths climb railway bridge to escape crowd and missiles
CU Injured white man
SV Police chasing rioters and demonstrators with injured person carried away by ambulancemen (2 shots)
SV PAN Rubbish strewn staircase and broken windows in black neighbourhood (2 shots)
SV Black women and children along street past derelict buildings
GV Policeman with dog patrolling street and passing black youth and black man (2 shots)
MV Police officer checking credentials of black driver
SV Black youths standing, chatting on street
GV Black girls playing in school playground
SV Black, Asian and English boys climbing wire fence together
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: "What sort of relationship is there between black people and the police?"
SEQ. 5: HINES: "They complain that on the street the police will stop them and search them unnecessarily and would sort of put them up for suspicion and the police station, they assume that the youth have done something. The youths are now uptight that as it were ...I mean they're prepared to face injustices with whatever means necessary."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The British government, concerned over the recent rioting and looting in a black area of Bristol have announced that several investigations will be mounted. There will be a study of police handling of the so-called "spontaneous public disorder". And a parliamentary committee investigating racial disadvantage also will look into the cause of the Bristol violence. According to local social workers the incident was not a rare riot, pitting black against white. They said they regarded the violence as a deprived minority's rebellion against authority.
SYNOPSIS: Police and government ministers said they were taken completely by surprise by the Bristol riots. the trouble began when police staged a raid on a cafe, looking for drink and drug law violations. The cafe is a favourite gathering spot for Bristol's black youth. The raid led to a night of rooting and looting which left almost thirty people, mostly police, injured. But for black leaders it came as no surprise. This interview was recorded a decade ago.
In 1970, the black community complained of harassment by the police. They took to the streets to protest police raids on clubs frequented by blacks. Scuffles between police and demonstrators broke out when police tried to re-route the procession. By the mid 1970's the annual Notting Hill Carnival attracted thousands of people with West Indian backgrounds to participate in a weekend of music. Blacks from all over Britain converged in the narrow streets to create the mood of the traditional celebration.
But the event erupted into violence with running street battles between police and gangs of black youths. Community leaders warned then, and again after april's Bristol violence that large, disaffected groups of youngsters of West Indian extraction in London, Birmingham and other industrial cities i Britain are alienated from white society and are following their own culture. They have grown up in places like this -- the decayed inner city. One community leader charged that the young blacks live in a society that doesn't want them and has no place for them. They know it, he says, and the tendency is for them to withdraw into their own culture. A Bristol community leader said hat young blacks have the same expectations to achieve as much as their white counterparts, but not the same opportunities.
The main grudge of the young blacks, especially in London, is against the "sus" law under which police pick them up on suspicion of loitering.
Like many of Britain's poor, the black community is suffering from cuts in housing and social services, and indications for a brighter future are no promising. It means that tension which led to the Bristol riots is still in the wings, and waiting to erupt.