18 04 2013

We love a good riot in Bristol. When Margaret Thatcher died, we rioted. When a Tesco wanted to open in Stokes Croft, we rioted. Further back in time in 1793, when tolls were reintroduced on Bristol Bridge, we rioted. That riot culminated in a massacre as the militia were called in and 14 rioters killed.

Riot!Riot! by Michael Manson is a reissued version of a book originally published in 1997 which details the characters involved the build-up to the riot and the lack of a proper enquiry afterwards.

Manson said: “While Bristolians are flocking to the cinema to see Les Miserables based around the massacre on the barricades in Paris few realise that there were similar events in Bristol.

“Young people who had been drinking in the ale houses protested against the authorities with fatal consequences. It is a fascinating episode in the city’s history that we felt deserved to be brought to a wider audience.”

Riot! is published by Bristol Books, a community interest company who publish important and untold stories about lives, communities, places and events that have significance and interest in Bristol and the surrounding area.

The book will be launched upstairs at Renato’s Restaurant, King Street at 6pm on Thursday, April 25. Manson will read an extract from Riot! and will be signing copies, while Steve Poole, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural History at UWE, will outline the significance of the events covered in the book.



One response

18 04 2013

“When a Tesco wanted to open in Stokes Croft, we rioted.”

This is incorrect. Riot police were on the scene prior to any crowds (my wife cycled home through Stokes Croft shortly before events unfolded, so eyewitness account). They were there to evict squatters in Telepathic Heights, a squat on the other side of the road from Tesco.

The Tesco store certainly became the focus of aggression and violence, and was attacked. However, the riot was not a response to Tesco opening a store; it was a response to riot police evicting a squat.

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