In July 1981 a series of street disturbances that took place in the Liverpool 8 area of the city put Liverpool at the forefront of events that also rocked other communities as far away as Brixton and Birmingham. After four days of riots, 150 buildings had been burnt down and countless shops looted, 258 police needed hospital treatment and 160 people had been arrested. Six weeks later, when the disturbances died down, 781 police officers had been injured and 214 police vehicles damaged.
Few of the injuries to the rioters were officially recorded but some came to public attention with powerful consequences. Published to mark the 30th anniversary of what became known nationally as ‘the Toxteth Riots,’ Liverpool ’81 draws together memories of and responses to the 1981 riots from the people who were there. The book explores why the riots took place and what their consequences and legacies have been for Liverpool.
It goes on to ask what has become of the people and places most directly affected by the riots – Black and Minority Ethnic communities, and residents of what were then labelled Inner Cities, not just in Liverpool but further afield – and how these communities have reacted to and moved on over the past 30 years. Combining fascinating interviews with rioters, police and community leaders with never before published photographs, Liverpool 81 tells the story of one of the most explosive summers in recent British history. All royalties from this book will be donated to the Merseyside Black History Month Group Ltd initiative.
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