We reproduce here an article about the Bristol riots of 1980 from WR30. It was an elemental revolt by a whole sector of the population against bad housing, high unemployment, spiralling prices, the all-pervading boredom of life in today's cities. Above all, it was against the brutality and arrogance of the police, whose high-handed raid on a local café provoked the revolt.
On 21 April a huge police operation aimed at a squat in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol provoked an angry response from local people. Barricades were set up and the heavily tooled-up police found themselves facing not just a handful of squatters but a long night of skirmishes with the hundreds who turned up spontaneously to join the protest. This is not the first time that a police raid has sparked off a street battle in Bristol. In 1980 a militaristic ‘anti-drugs’ bust on a West Indian owned café in the St Pauls area produced similar results.