One main died, forty people were injured and more than three hundred others were arrested in violent clashes between police and anti-National Front party demonstrators in London, on Monday (23 April).
TV & GV Anti-National Front demonstrators and policemen in street in South hall
SV Mounted policeman PAN TO policemen on foot behind buses
SV PAN People watch from upstairs window as shopkeeper boards up his shop
SV PAN Police carrying riot shields marching
TV Cordon of policemen keeping demonstrators at bay as demonstrator hurls bag of pepper towards policemen
TV Policemen struggling to contain protesters
GV & CU Union Jack flying above South hall Town Hall as National Front members enter, giving salutes
TV Police in tussle with demonstrators
TV PAN Policemen dragging and marching away arrested demonstrators (2 shots)
TV Three policemen carry demonstrators away from action and demonstrator's head hits wall
TV Demonstrators being led away with their hands clasped over their heads
CU Prime Minister James Callaghan talking in English
CU Leader of Opposition Margaret Thatcher speaking in English
CALLAGHAN: "We must accept that the doctrines of the National Front are pernicious, they are provocative, they are too reminiscent of the Nazis to be comfortable for this country. I think no one would deny that, when they talk about first of all, of excluding citizens of this country from the vote and then secondly, sending them back where some of them came from, is reminiscent of Hitler and the Jews. And I think, I hope I believe, I'm sure, all parties would unite in condemning that and in deploring their policies."
THATCHER: "We totally condemn the racial policies of the National Front and we've no sympathy whatsoever with any extremist group, but the way to deal with them is by the ballot box and not by bricks or by bombs."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: One main died, forty people were injured and more than three hundred others were arrested in violent clashes between police and anti-National Front party demonstrators in London, on Monday (23 April). Britain's political leaders have condemned the violence, which has inflamed the general election campaign.
SYNOPSIS: The riots broke out in Southall, an area with one of the largest concentrations of Asian immigrants in London. The extreme right-wing National Front group, which is contesting the general election, had planned a campaign meeting at the local town hall. But five hours before it began huge crowds of anti-Front demonstrators, and Asian youths had gathered outside the hall and thousands of police were standing by.
As the build-up around the town hall increased, police moved in to shift groups of youths, gathering on the street corners outside. The first major clash came when police reinforcements arrived by bus. Demonstrators were alleged to have pelted police with bricks, stones, bottles, pots of white paint, and what one officer later described as "curry bombs" -- bags containing curry powder.
The fighting continued for more than half an hour and grew more violent, with demonstrators running through the streets, smashing shop windows and looting. Mounted police and other reinforcements armed with riot shields, managed to quell the violence. But it flared up again when the National Front members arrived, arms raised in "Nazi" style salutes, to attend their meeting.
Two London buses were wrecked by rioters, shops were pillaged and a policeman was stabbed in the stomach during the fighting. Twenty-one police were taken to hospital with injuries. Scotland Yard is holding an inquiry into the death of thirty-one-year-old New Zealand schoolteacher Blair Peach, following allegations that he was brutally beaten by police Mr. Peach died after undergoing brain surgery for head injuries he received in the fighting. Political leaders, Mr. James Callaghan and Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, were unanimous in their condemnation of the riots and violence at Southall.