White Riot: The week Notting Hill exploded

With Carnival looming, here's an old article on how its 1959 forerunner was founded from the embers of racial violence by the Trinidadian activist Claudia Jones.

August 29, 2008, The Independent

As darkness fell and the Notting Hill Carnival drew to a close last Monday, Europe's largest street party descended into mayhem. For more than two hours a mob of around 40 young men fought running battles with police on the streets of west London. The roots of the violence may have been different, but the images of flying bricks and bottles, of broken glass and other debris, evoked memories of 50 years ago.

Back in August 1958, Notting Hill had been seething with violence all summer. Then, the west London neighbourhood was a place of grimy streets and decrepit, overcrowded tenements, a far cry from the chi-chi neighbourhood it is today. The Saturday before the area finally exploded, nine white youths had embarked on what one of them called a "nigger hunting expedition" around Notting Hill. They were armed with iron bars, blocks of wood, an air pistol and a knife. By the time they'd finished, five black men were in hospital, three in a grave condition...

Continues here: www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/white-riot-the-week-notting-hill-exploded-912105.html

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