Cop vehicles and Tescos smashed in Bristol updates(Stokescroft) riot last night.(u.k.)

Posted on April 22, 2011

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Stokes Croft – legal update

  Sunday April 24,

Four people appeared at Bristol Magistrate’s Court on Saturday morning, having been held in custody since Thursday evening.

Two of them are still locked up. One person was remanded in custody after pleading guilty to one charge of possessing a petrol bomb but not guilty to a second charge of threatening someone from Tescos with it. A second person, charged with a public order offence, did not enter a plea or make an application for bail yet. The next court date for these people is April 28.

A third person was given a 12-month conditional discharge after pleading guilty to obstruct police (the original charge of assault police was dropped).

A fourth person pleaded not guilty to affray and was bailed until trial in Crown Court. Bail conditions include not only not going to Stokes Croft but also not going to the City of London or City of Westminster between April 26 & 30. Committal hearing is set for 17 June.

Bristol Burning

Published April 22, 2011

Last night (Thursday 21st April) Bristol erupted as police, attempting to evict a squat in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol, were met with fierce resistance. Hundreds of people came out to defend the building, which is opposite the site of the new Tesco Express and forms part of the local opposition against the Tesco supermarket chain. Wheelie bins were set on fire, police vehicles attacked and the Tesco branch itself was all but destroyed.

Dozens of activists have been living at Telepathic Heights, a squatted three-storey building covered in graffiti murals and stands on the Cheltenham Road which has become the frontline of community activism in the area. The  squat was due for eviction which many believe came about due to the pressure exerted on the local authorities by Tesco to make Cheltenham Road ‘safe’ for the Tesco brand. The riot lasted most of the night with road blocks and continuous running battles as hundreds of police attempted to control the angry protesters.

There has been a massive community campaign to prevent Tesco opening yet another store in Bristol, already the supemarket giant has 17 supermarkets in the city, with strong local opposition against the store in stokes Croft. Amid heavy criticism the council gave permission for the store to open.

As one eye witness report said about last night’s riot: “For a long time there was a deadlock, people stood around and shared rumours about the reason behind the army of police that had arrived unnanounced and were terrorising the neighbourhood.

There was total confusion and stokes croft (street) was mostly cordoned off, the police started making arrests and then all hell broke loose. Missiles began coming down from telepathic heights, the starting point of the problem and police braugh out dogs to clear people from the street, quite a few got bitten. Meanwhile a lot of police vans had their tyres let out. At that point the dogs retreated and the convoy of about 10 vans that were surrounded drove at speed through the crowd clipping a large number of people on their way out. Both Tesco and telepathic heights were abandoned by the police”.

It’s understood nine people have so far been arrested.

Eye witness account of the event: http://neurobonkers.com/?p=2509

More images:

 Friday April 22, 2011 10:03

squatter riot in st pauls, bristol

21.04.2011 23:10

a violent eviction by riot cops of “telepathic heights” on cheltenham rd, bristol instigated a mini riot in bristol this evening.
a squat opposite the controversial new tescos on stokes croft, bristol was stormed by riot cops this evening. by this time, with the main road already blocked to traffic for some time a large crowd had gathered. they reacted to the violence of the police by throwing missiles. running battles with riot cops around the streets of st. pauls followed.

A larger article – The Battle of Stokes Croft has just been published here:Tesco has been trying to move in to stokes croft for over 2 years and has been unable to because of huge protests. They have had to move builders in under police escort and have 24 hour roof top private security. Last weekend Tesco opened and there have been non stop protests all week.

When I arrived the police would only tell me that I could not enter stokes croft for my “health and safety” and that it was to do with Tesco. Asking around there were various different explanations. Most people said that the police were raiding protesters houses throughout stokes croft. We could see across the police line approximately 10 riot vans and a riot squad entering the famous “Telepathic heights”. A house, like a lot in the area painted from head to toe in murals. One mural on the side of the block reads “No Tesco in Stokes Croft” in huge letters. Stokes croft is known in Bristol as the cultural quarters and spansonly a few thousand square feet of concentrated cultural activity not dissimilar to Camden in central London.

At something like 10PM a huge crowd landed on the front of stokes croft drawn by the lowflying helicopter with spotlight and the army of police emerging from 12+ riot vans dressed for combat. Pretty soon tension peaked as no explanation would be given for the roadblocks and there was intimidation on both sides… Full Article

The uneasy face-off between protesters and Police at the newly opened Tesco’s on Stokes Croft erupted tonight in open violence and confrontation. 7 Ambulances and their Paramedics had to attend to take away the casualties. A spokeswoman for Avon & Somerset Police said 20 people had been arrested for Public Order offences and Criminal Damage…

image Squat in Stokes Croft (image: gobletsgallery) 0.15 Mb

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathantaphouse/sets/72157626426693575/show/

the battle of stokes croft


The Battle of #StokesCroft

WOW. I’ll update this in the morning, have just returned from a week abroad to pure and utter carnage on my doorstep. Please excuse all the errors in this – it’s been about 20 hours since I slept. (I have deadlines next week, this has been literally the most ridiculous unplanned night of my life.)

Since I got back to Bristol this evening I’ve been stuck between various police roadblocks and witnessed running battles between police and mostly random people woken in the middle of the night by the sound of police sirens and choppers. The riots kicked off shortly after 10 and have continued all night.

For those not local here is the back story:

Tesco has been trying to move in to stokes croft for over 2 years and has been unable to because of huge protests. They have had to move builders in under police escort and have 24 hour roof top private security. Last weekend Tesco opened and there have been non stop protests all week.

When I arrived the police would only tell me that I could not enter stokes croft for my “health and safety” and that it was to do with Tesco. Asking around there were various different explanations. Most people said that the police were raiding protesters houses throughout stokes croft. We could see across the police line approximately 10 riot vans and a riot squad entering the famous “Telepathic heights”. A house, like a lot in the area painted from head to toe in murals. One mural on the side of the block reads “No Tesco in Stokes Croft” in huge letters. Stokes croft is known in Bristol as the cultural quarters and spansonly a few thousand square feet of concentrated cultural activity not dissimilar to Camden in central London.

At something like 10PM a huge crowd landed on the front of stokes croft drawn by the lowflying helicopter with spotlight and the army of police emerging from 12+ riot vans dressed for combat. Pretty soon tension peaked as no explanation would be given for the roadblocks and there was intimidation on both sides.

I was on the junction of stokes croft high street when the police charged what was only at that point a croud (of about 100 but which quickly grew) down Ashley road pretty much all the way to the end of it over the course of a couple of hours. Due to the absolute confusion a number of people had emerged from their houses only to shortly find they were the wrong side of a road block and got roped in to what became a three hour running battle through pretty much all of the back streets coming off Ashley road croft and in to St Pauls, numerous burning barracades were errected and a huge amount of people were battered and bloodied by police for attempting to approach police lines to get home of find friends. By this point there was devastation everywhere. All junctions were blocked by overturned glass bottle dumpsters and makeshift neighbourhood roadblocks blocks.

Eventually what seemed like the entire residence of stokes croft emerged and pushed the police back on to stokes croft high street. For a long time there was a deadlock, people stood around and shared rumours about the reason behind the army of police that had arrived unnanounced and were terrorising the neighbourhood.

There was total confusion and stokes croft (street) was mostly cordoned off, the police started making arrests and then all hell broke loose. Missiles began coming down from telepathic heights, the starting point of the problem and police braugh out dogs to clear people from the street, quite a few got bitten. Meanwhile a lot of police vans had their tyres let out. At that point the dogs retreated and the convoy of about 10 vans that were surrounded drove at speed through the crowd clipping a large number of people on their way out. Both Tesco and telepathic heights were abandoned by the police.

At this point I decided to go home since now the police had retreated all hell was being unleashed on Tescos and hundreds of pieces of police riot gear were being handed out from the abandoned vehicles, since then the police returned and there’s been more running battles and people flooding down my street.

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