Timeline of the riots

Thursday 4 August

• Mark Duggan is shot dead by police in Tottenham Hale. Police claim that that there was an exchange of gunfire and one police officer was injured.

Saturday 6 August

• Mark Duggan’s family and friends hold a peaceful demonstration at Tottenham police station where senior police refuse to meet them and police assault a 16-year-old girl. Rioting follows. Police cars are attacked, a bus is set alight and shops are looted. Looting spreads to Tottenham Hale retail park and Wood Green shopping centre.

Sunday 7 August

• Disturbances erupt in Enfield and Ponders End. Shops looted and bricks thrown at police.

• Protesters in Brixton fight police, throwing rocks and bins. Shops are looted and set on fire. The tube line to Brixton is closed ‘due to civil unrest’.

• Rioting and looting spread to Wood Green and Dalston, where Turkish and Kurdish shop owners organise to protect their property; Woolwich; Leyton; Waltham Cross; Oxford Circus; Streatham.

• Clashes with police in Shepherd’s Bush, Islington and Hackney.

• Police launch Operation Withern to investigate the riots and police from other areas are drafted in.

Monday 8 August


• All 32 boroughs are placed on riot alert.

• By early evening rioting has erupted all over London, spreading to Kent and Essex. Shops are looted and in Bethnal Green, Walworth, Lewisham and Hackney youth fight the police, throwing missiles, bottles and petrol bombs. In Ealing, Richard Mannington Bowes is assaulted; he dies in hospital three days later.

• In Croydon bricks, bottles, stones and fireworks are thrown at police, shops and vehicles set alight and a large furniture shop burned down; a 26-year-old man is shot dead.

Rioting spreads across England

• Shop windows in Birmingham city centre are smashed and shops looted; a police station in Handsworth is set alight.

• Riots erupt in the Chapeltown area of Leeds, during which a young man is shot in the face; he later dies.

• Looting and fighting with police in Toxteth, Liverpool.

• A police station is attacked and car tyres set alight in St Ann’s, Nottingham.

• Protesters burn cars and confront police in Gillingham and Chatham, Kent.

• Other incidents are reported in Bristol, Epsom, Oxford, and Luton.

Tuesday 9 August

• In Winson Green, Birmingham, three men are killed in a hit-and-run while protecting a local petrol station.

• Manchester city centre is closed to all traffic after buildings are set alight. Looting begins and youth fight running battles with police.

• 80 people confront police at Salford Precinct.

• In Nottingham there is widespread rioting and attacks on police stations.

• Gloucester’s central shopping centre is looted and rioters set fire to cars and an

empty building.

• In Toxteth, Liverpool, youths hurl missiles at police, shops are looted and set on fire.

• Extensive looting in Wolverhampton, where rioters also confront police.

• Prime Minister David Cameron returns early from holiday in Italy to chair an emergency COBRA meeting. 16,000 police are deployed in London and all police leave is cancelled.

• The IPCC announces that there is no evidence that Mark Duggan fired at police.

Wednesday 10 August

• In London, vigilante groups are formed in Enfield, Eltham and Southall. Police clash with bottle-throwing vigilantes in Eltham, many of them English Defence League supporters.

• Disturbances in Liverpool, Nottingham, West Bromwich and Leicester.

• Cameron announces police can use plastic bullets and contingency plans are in place to make water cannon available.

Thursday 11 August

• Parliament is recalled to discuss the riots.

• Between 3,000 and 4,000 people have been arrested. Courts sit round-the-clock.

• An estimated £200 million worth of property has been damaged.

FRFI 223 October/November 2011


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