MORNING AFTER: Mixed reactions to Margaret Thatcher death party in Brixton

Written by on April 9, 2013 in Community, Features, News, Uncategorized - 31 Comments

thatcher dead postAs street cleaners clear broken glass from pavements, and Foxtons again scrapes paint from its shiny windows, Brixton has mixed feelings this morning about the party held last night to celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s death.

The celebration, publicised through the social networking site Facebook, began at about 6pm in Windrush Square, as people came together with banners, loud hailers and a sound system. By 8pm about 150 people were dancing, chanting and drinking in a celebration of Thatcher’s passing, aged 87.

See pics and video of the gathering

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Dan, above left, said he attended the party to celebrate Thatcher’s death for his grandad

One younger reveller, Dan, 20, was holding a banner saying ‘Ding Dong’ to go with his pal’s which read ‘The Witch is Dead’. He told the Blog: “We’re celebrating the death of one of the most evil people in our history.

“I know she was before my time but she ruined our country. My Grandad has passed away himself, but he said he couldn’t wait to dance on her grave when she was dead, so today I’m doing that for him.”

He added: “Millions of people are in poverty because of her. Her being the first female Prime Minister was disgraceful because she ruined it for women. The effects of what she did are still being felt today.”

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Craig Parr, centre, of Brixton Socialist Workers Party

Party organiser Craig Parr, from Brixton Socialist Workers Party, was unapologetic. He told the Blog: “We’re here to rejoice the death of Thatcher, but her legacy lives on today. We can see that here in Brixton the poorest are suffering with the bedroom tax and benefit caps.

“If Thatcher was a good Christian woman then maybe she’ll go to heaven, but I’m an atheist so I wont worry about that.” Parr then joined in a rendition of the song “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.”

The website BuzzFeed asked 19 attendees to write about why they turned up.

Even before last night’s party began it was widely condemned by policiticians. Chuka Umunna MP said the revellers did not represent Brixton itself. He said:  “Holding a party to celebrate the death of any person is totally wrong and in extreme bad taste – to do so in respect of Baroness Thatcher on the day of her death is utterly disgraceful.”

Conservative leader in Lambeth, cllr John Whelan, branded the event “despicable.”

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The party continues into the early hours. Picture by Jeannine Mansell

Many commuters stopped on their way home to take pictures of partygoers as they danced to a loud soundsystem in Windrush Square. They partied on the spot where rioters attacked police and set fire to vehicles during the Brixton Riots under Thatcher in 1981.

The atmosphere was one of celebration, with champagne corks heard popping above the music.

Video by David Wilcock

Brixton Blog reader Sam Dodd wrote to say:  “I never liked the woman, in fact I thought she was a decidedly destructive and classist warmonger, who destroyed lives and livelihoods and was racist, bigoted, homophobic and generally an utterly, thoroughly, unpleasant person.

“But, to celebrate her death on the streets? It’s a tad tasteless. She was still a mother and has a family mourning for her right now, and whether we liked her or not we could still attempt to act with a bit more decorum instead of like we’re going along to a public stoning or hanging and cheering it on like barbarians. Leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth.”

Michael Delaney that cher police

Picture by Michael Delaney

As the clock of Lambeth Town Hall struck midnight the party continued, with revellers spreading out from Windrush Square. One demonstrator, face hidden by a scarf, climbed onto the film board of the Ritzy Cinema to rearrange the letters to read: “Margaret Thatcher Dead, LOL.” And then “Yuppies Out.”Another hung a banner from the roof proclaiming “The B*tch is Dead.”

According to police, two women were arrested on suspicion of burglary after the window of charity shop Barnardos was smashed in Brixton Road. It also appeared that red paint was thrown across the window of Foxtons. Photographer Andy Thornley, who captured much of the destruction, told the Blog that he had to dodge bottles and missiles being hurled at police officers.

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Picture by Michael Delaney

A police spokesman said: “Last night police dealt with approximately 100 people who caused low level disorder. Extra officers were called to the scene to ensure public safety and accessibility to public highways.”

This morning the right wing press came down hard on the Brixton party, and there was less bombastic coverage on the Guardian and across national media.

As Brixton sweeps its streets, and boards go up at Barnardos, one thing is clear. Thatcher’s policies still dominate today. They continue to have a resounding impact on Brixton, with its perilous lack of social housing, soaring rents and massive unemployment. Death party or not, Thatcher’s life has made its mark on Brixton.

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Windrush Square the day after. Picture by Zoe Jewell

 

 

 

About the Author

Tim Dickens is co-founder of Brixton Blog

31 Comments on "MORNING AFTER: Mixed reactions to Margaret Thatcher death party in Brixton"

  1. Mike Allen April 15, 2013 at 2:19 am · Reply

    They do the deeds their father, the devil, does. Whitewashed tombs. They have less life than a corpse.

  2. PETER April 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm · Reply

    COUDNT BELIEVE MY EYES WHATEVER YOUR POLITICS THE SCENES WERE DISGRACEFUL AND DISTASEFUL AND WRONG

  3. James April 12, 2013 at 2:10 am · Reply

    What’s this I hear about Harold Wilson actually presiding as leader over the retrenchment of the mining industry? Any factual information? Anyone know what freedom actually is? It’s base acts like this that strengthen the regrettable argument: Why we have a government that gleans away our responsibilities as human beings and charges us heavily for it.

  4. Margaret April 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm · Reply

    Socialists are quite foul people aren’t they? and such a sense of entitlement – MT got it right about the ‘enemy within’
    c.mon brixton you deserve better than this

    • NW April 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm · Reply

      Too right!

  5. Joey Durango April 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm · Reply

    Now that both Reagan and Thatcher–two demi-gods in the conservative pantheon–are dead, it is time to destroy the myths of their so-called “greatness.” We must set to the task of exposing them as the Class Warfare warriors that they really were: they fired the first salvoes in their War Against the Lower Class! It doesn’t take a degree in sociology or economics to realize that today’s inequality (stagnant wages for the 99% …and record profits and wealth for the 1%) had its genesis in Reagan and Thatcher. Ron and Maggie’s hidden agenda, their true mandate was a perverse and callous Reverse Robin Hood politics: steal from the poor and give it to the rich. The Gipper and the Iron Lady’s lasting legacy, the measure by which history will judge them, is a failed and discredited theory of TRICKLE-DOWN VOODOO ECONOMICS….aka…AUSTERITY!!!

  6. Seoirse April 10, 2013 at 10:08 am · Reply

    I come from Ireland and it’s no great secret that Thatcher is not the most popular person here. However, why would somebody have a party about the death of her? She was divisive, she lacked compassion and she didn’t do Britain many favours but, to celebrate her death, that’s just disgusting. As much as I hate to say it Thatcher did do some good in the UK. You’d been cap in hand to the IMF when she got in, she privatised most things, ruined the future of council/social housing, took the Unions down for her own benefit and brought mining areas to their knees (They were losing the country a lot of money to be fair, she could have shown more compassion though) – But, she did put your country back on the map. The UK was an ugly prospect to outside investment in the 70s, she changed that, she changed the way out economy worked. It has become unbalanced, the richest are stupidly rich and the poorest (North, generally) are extremely hateful of Thatcher for this.

    For all her bad she saved your country (economically) – Because of the population boom it was no longer attainable, a balanced economy was never going to work. She in some ways put all her eggs in one basket and on the international scale it worked, the UK’s economy improved dramatically and the UK became attractive to foreign investment again. Nationally of course it didn’t because in order to achieve that boosted economy she sacrificed large swathes of the country (the already poor).

    Just have some respect, no matter your opinion of her. Celebrating a death is vile.

  7. milk drinker April 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm · Reply

    I danced in Windrush Square last night. i’ll dance on Thatcher’s grave. I’ll dance on John Whelan’s grave. I’ll dance on Chaka Ummuna’s grave. I’ll dance on Martin McGuiness’s grave. Fuck all politicians. I come from Yorkshire. My grandad was a miner. I lived in Brixton (sadly forced out by rising middle class domination) for decades, and fought Thatcher and all that she represented since i was a teenager. yesterday was like Spiring after nuclear winter. Hopefully it was an omen, and better times are coming.

    Still dancing, drinking, planning for fun next Wednesday.

    • You April 10, 2013 at 11:47 am · Reply

      Can’t wait to dance on your grave and your siblings too.

      • Me April 10, 2013 at 8:35 pm · Reply

        haha me too!

    • PETER April 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm · Reply

      TIME TO GROW UP I THINK

  8. Ben April 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm · Reply

    All these oiks will be forgotten unless they are arrested and convicted. But Mrs T will be remembered as having done a reasonable job in turning around a country failing badly when she took over. She got elected three times and created a new consensus. Can’t find anything about vandalising public property in a socialist political thought, it does seem to be part of a subculture amongst certain dead beats. Thanks for trashing up our cinema and charity shop, what’s the moral basis of that?

    • Original BrixtonBoy April 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm · Reply

      You ignorant fool. You’re just spurting the crap you are fed from the mainstream media. To form an opinion of your own, you need to study the policies and the consequences. It’s plainly there for anyone to see if they choose to….
      ‘oiks’ – really….? where are you from..? chipping norton?

    • David April 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm · Reply

      Totally agree, these people are a disgrace.

      Thatcher was divisive, people who are brave enough to take a stand and make a decision are. Give me a Thatcher any day over the teflon say the right thing PR politicians we have across the world.

      The unions were a disgrace in the 70′s & needed smashing to make us competitive again. Anyone with a basic grasp of economics, world trade and common sense could see that. Not to say it wasn’t really tough on many communities, my family in Scotland being amongst them.

      But without doubt she was an amazing and inspiring leader and today i feel ashamed to say i am from Brixton. Shame shame shame on you people.

      • NW April 12, 2013 at 8:01 pm · Reply

        Well said Ben and David.

        • Maggie April 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm · Reply

          Yup i agree,
          go Ben!
          besides i love chipping norton
          i love sw2
          i love britain
          so should you

  9. keith April 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm · Reply

    Margaret Thatcher was responsible for the demise of Britain’s manufacturing base. The steelworks, the coal mines, the shipbuilding industry ad infinitum. We should remember that she also gave the comfort of one of her houses to General Pinochet while he waited to be deported to Argentina for war crimes. The general’s regime was responsible for the disappearance of thousands of his own people some of whom were ejected from military aeroplanes. That was the kind of government Thatcher operated. Starving working people into submission then trampling them with batten wielding overpaid police on horseback.

    She will NOT be missed.

    • David April 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm · Reply

      Her honest style of leadership will very much be missed. As will her grasp of global issues, her clarity of thinking and her reforming agenda. Those who denigrate her achievements often do not even begin to understand them.

      To compare her government to the Argentine dictator shows an utter lack of understanding. Foolish comments.

      You should be blaming the union fools for destroying our industry – they would have taken everything to collapse had she not had the foresight to privatise.. there are many things I did not agree with but I hope she rests in peace.

      Go back to school keif

    • You April 10, 2013 at 11:50 am · Reply

      You’ve been watching too many Spitting Images episodes.

  10. Francis April 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm · Reply

    The fact that such ne’er do-wells behave this way is proof that Thatch was 100% correct to cut off their benefits and try to get them to take some small measure of responsibility for themselves, their lives, their actions rather than relying on the nanny state to spoon feed them state-subsidised everything….
    Britain was in terminal decline – she saved Brixton, London, England Forever

    • Original BrixtonBoy April 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm · Reply

      Francis the fascist – what a crock of shite you write.

      • David April 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm · Reply

        I’m with Francis. Take some responsibility for your own life – the rest of us have to.. perhaps it just took a woman to tell us to snap out of it and work for what we want.

  11. My Name April 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm · Reply

    Thatcher was to blame for the bedroom tax, the rise in tuition fees, petrol price rises, the immigrants, and Jimmy Saville. Its all her fault. The last Labour goverment or this goverment had nothing to do with the mess we are in. IT ALL HER FAULT.

  12. Dan April 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm · Reply

    Considering her family are arms dealers, who have admitted to staging attempted coups, I can only hope they’re next.

  13. Teee April 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm · Reply

    It would be community spirited if the whoever scrawled the graffiti on the fencing came down & cleaned it off instead of expecting the Labour run council to do so. Oh the irony.

    • Original BrixtonBoy April 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm · Reply

      Is your surname Dious?

  14. Andrew April 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm · Reply

    If you think there is no such thing as society, then you cannot really complain about this protest.

    If you think there is such a thing as society, then you might point to this protest as evidence of that.

  15. Rob April 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm · Reply

    Even Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein (and previously the IRA) has condemned these parties. Seriously, when a guy who was a member of an organisation which tried to kill Thatcher is saying people shouldn’t be celebrating her death you might want to double check your own motives for doing so.

    I like to think that today these people would take a long hard look at their actions, but that would be crediting them with too much sense. No doubt they’ve already moved on to finding the next event or news story they can hijack for their own self promotion.

  16. Jack April 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm · Reply

    I’m sure you’re just using poetic licence, but the clock at Lambeth Town Hall doesn’t chime midnight; it stops at 11pm…

    • Rushy April 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm · Reply

      To be fair, I think the equidistant St Matthews clock chimes all night. But at 10 to rather than on the hour.

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