Lambeth Council have announced they will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the terrifying scenes witnessed at the Brixton riots with a full-scale re-enactment. The riot will be the centre-piece of a two day jamboree which local officials hope will boost the area's economy and encourage tourism.
Festivities will centre on Railton Road, scene of the original carnage, where police were attacked with petrol bombs and bricks. And after months of planning, Councillor Browning believes Lambeth will host a faithful rendering of the horror that shook Britain three decades ago.
"We have really done our research and have sourced many of the original plastic riot shields used on the day so the whole thing should have a very authentic feel. But as the police back then found out they weren't fire-proof. As a result the few remaining shields are incomplete or misshapen at best and will offer little protection, so it's really quite fortunate that the high cost of petrol has severely limited the number of Molotov cocktails we could procure for the celebrations".
The organisers are particularly proud to reveal that the re-enactment will feature over 200 of the original participants, with both the police and the rioters being well-represented. "Some understandably took a little convincing," continued Councillor Browning, "but we managed to sign up all of the main players which is great. We're thrilled by the uptake, although since quite a few of those involved are now well into their seventies the venue needed to be made wheelchair-friendly. This meant there were some unexpected cost implications but with everyone mindful of the discrimination laws we didn't want to see anyone denied access on health and safety grounds.
Councillor Browning added, "We're lucky the original riot was in April as it meant we got this event through before the cuts to Council spending come into effect. It is a sad indictment of the coalition's parsimony that other reconstructions around London won't now see the light of day, depriving our youngsters the chance to experience the pea soupers of the fifties, the worst nights of the Blitz or the plague."