In the Media

Rioter profile: 'If it was to happen close to the election it might be more damaging'

PUBLISHED December 6, 2011

An unemployed man, 22, who was present at both the Manchester and Salford riots

An unemployed 22-year-old man, 22, who was present at both the Manchester and Salford riots

We had total control of the precinct. There's a massive police station there, and they couldn't do anything. It was ours for a day.

Salford had its own character. It was more like a party atmosphere. Everyone was stood around, drinking on the street, smoking weed, having a laugh. People weren't threatening the public.

There was people there to get on a rob [loot], there for the spectacle, there to have a go at police. And then people there for all of the above. We hate the police, hate the government, got no opportunities ...

Manchester was like a bloodbath. The police were mental, using TAU [Tactical Aid Unit] vans as weapons. It was serious. We went to Manchester and we was only there for an hour. We thought: "This is madness; let's go back to Salford."

These aren't gangs. Gangs to me means the Bloods and Crips in LA. The kids just did what they wanted to do 'cos they wanted to do it, not because some gang boss orchestrated it to get back at the police.

There's thousands of people operating all over the city in organised crime. Obviously you have to work together to operate. But in terms of power structure, there isn't one.

I became involved in the riots in Salford because it was a chance to tell the police, tell the government, and tell everyone else for that matter that we get fucking hacked off around here and we won't stand for it.

Those that were involved in it, it just strengthened everyone ? those that haven't been put away for it anyway.

It was a seismic event. I never expected in my lifetime to see riots like that in Britain. I think the sentencing of the prisoners is an absolute disgrace. They've just thrown the rulebook out; there's political involvement in the judiciary.

If it was to happen again, closer to the election, who knows, it might be more damaging. I think they think they dealt with it by coming down hard, but I don't think that's gonna make a difference. The only thing they listen to is force. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds