Riot Police were called to a Brixton street-party ‘celebrating’ the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher last night, which saw local businesses vandalised as over 200 people stormed Windrush Square.
The front window of children’s charity store Barnardo’s was smashed during the mayhem. The shop has been forced to close until the premises is deemed safe, a representative from the company said, adding that the incident is now part of a police investigation.
The Foxtons real estate agency on Brixton Road was paint-bombed while two people climbed up on the Ritzy cinema’s redograph and rearranged the cinema listing letters to spell out “Margaret Thatcher Dead LOL”. An employee of the cinema said: “sadly some of the people who gathered in Windrush Square decided to hijack The Ritzy marquee and write their own messages. The vandalism caused some damage but fortunately the Ritzy staff and customers were spared.”
Police were deployed to the area after members of the crowd, many of whom had been drinking since 5pm, grew increasingly rowdy and attempted to block off the roads.
Brixton-based photographer Michael Delaney was swept up in the action last night between midnight and 3am where he documented the event in pics for the Weekender.
Mr Delaney headed out to the scene with his camera around midnight after reading about the event on twitter.
“Initially it was quite sedate. There were no more than ten police, but over the next couple of hours there were at least 20 police officers and dogs,” he said.
He describes the scene as “like a club night outside of a club.” “There was lots of music, people walking up the High Streets trying to stop cars. There was a lot of drinking but no one seemed really hammered,” he said.
The “somewhat mean-spirited” event was for the most part triggered by people trying to make a point, not necessarily politically driven though, Mr Delaney said. “The majority of the crowd was under 25 and just there to cause trouble or have fun, if you could call it that,” he said.
A few bottles were thrown at police, however for the most part the crowd would try to stop any violent outbursts that broke out. “One man tried to smash the window of Morley’s and the rest of the crowd held him back. The Barnardo’s window was smashed on the sly; I think that was just a couple of opportunists. People couldn’t understand why that happened.”
He said, by 3am the crowd started to clear after a lengthy stand-off with the police.
Images by Michael Delaney. @mikeydelaney
Featured image by Brixton Buzz: http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2013/04/hundreds-attend-thatcher-street-party-in-windrush-square-brixton-big-photo-report/