A festival by day and a riot by night. Brixton experienced two very different community events on Sunday and in the early hours of Monday morning. Coldharbour Lane and Atlantic Rd were lined with soundsystems from 12pm until 7pm for Brixton Splash, an annual street festival with a theme this year of ‘Community Champions’. And a good community mood prevailed, with crowds of people dancing, drinking and partying through the rain.
But at midnight, long after the Splash had ended, looting sparked by the riots in Tottenham began on Brixton Rd. McDonalds, H&M and Morleys were all attacked and their windows smashed. Footlocker was heavily looted before being set on fire. It is now a mere shell of a building. The crowd – reportedly about 300 people – then moved up the hill to Currys, stealing widescreen TVs, computers and vacuum cleaners.
Many onlookers have reported a slow response from the police in Brixton. Emma Reynolds, interviewed by the BBC, said: “There were riot police near Brixton station, but there was no police presence in Effra Rd for at least 40 minutes.”
See here for a map of the London riots as they unfold.
Below is a selection of photos from both Brixton Splash and the riot later. Although the two aren’t connected, I felt it important not to forget the positive community atmosphere at Splash before the looting started during the night.
(Photo: Kaye Wiggins)
(Photo: Melissa Constantinou)
And, from midnight, the rioting:
Morleys boarded up, Monday:
Ritzy ‘open as usual’:
And not so usual – Kači Peringer describes her photo: “Huge stack of Metros still outside the station at 8pm shows what a ghost town Brixton was today after the riots. Normally all gone by 8am!”