APRIL'S RIOT in Bristol’s Stokes Croft is fast fading from memory, but for residents in the area the underlying issues have not been resolved. The flashpoint Tesco Express store - opposed by many residents as out of character for the area - has reopened, although campaigners have been granted the right to a Judicial Review. But the resentment towards the police remains, as does the background tension of austerity measures.
As Colin, a nurse and Stokes Croft resident says, “even now it seems difficult to fully understand what led to the riots.”
“Would you really risk ten years in jail for violent disorder to ensure the area’s distinctive character survives? The anger was aimed at easily identifiable agents of the state, a state that is enforcing austerity on us all.”
While the battle over Tesco looks set to rumble on through the courts, more than the fate of a single store is at stake. “I believe the media overplayed the whole Tesco thing. There is so much more to be angry about than a poxy little supermarket. The ‘coolness’ of Stokes Croft is also overstated. The graffiti covers of the cracks of neglect.”