29 years ago and The Brixton Riots in Images.

Just over 29 years ago, shopping in Brixton, I stepped out of a card shop and two hundred yards up the road a car exploded as the 1981 Brixton riots, against a background of poverty, tension between police and the black population and a Thatcher government, ignited.

The riots, sparked in the belief that a youth suffering stab wounds was being refused medical attention by the police, were unexpected and unprecedented. In 1981, before the almost instantaneous communication of Twitter and Facebook it took several hours for the media to work out what was going on and for the first two or three hours I was almost certainly the only photographer at probably the worst peacetime riots in England in living memory; riots that preceded a wave of civil unrest, initially across London and then across the entire country.

A good article on the riots, their causes and the aftermath can be found on Wikepedia. More pictures from this series can be seen in a gallery on this site here.

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