April 11 - 1981 - The Brixton Riot

Brixton was the home of the largest Afro-Caribbean community in Britain in 1981, a community which had only existed in Britain for a little over thirty years. Beginning with the MV Empire Windrush's voyage from Kingston to London in 1948, more and more people from the Caribbean moved to Britain, and in 1981 the community was particularly suffering from the country's economic recession. To add to the economic problems, crime was a consistent problem in Brixton. Combating that, the Metropolitan Police unveiled Operation Swamp 81, which relied on increasing the police presence in the area and stopping more individuals under the "sus law." After a stabbing and general confusion on the night of April 10, 1981, the people of Brixton came out in large numbers the next day. The riot would be dispersed by 1 AM the next morning, and although there were a number of injuries and considerable property damage, no one died in the riot. Yet the riot caused enough worry to warrant a special commission, which issued the Scarman Report, whose suggestions were never taken up.

William Floyd