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August 9, 2011

IconRiots spread to Birmingham’s Gay Village

Violence and looting took place in Birmingham’s Gay Village last night as riots hit the the UK’s second city.

A man was attacked in Hurst Street whilst looters raided the nearby Tesco Express. A small gang of people pulled him to the ground and stamped on his head in what is rumoured to have been a homophobic attack.

“Fortunately, a car pulled up and they got the guy into the car and drove off to safety,” said a spokesperson from the nearby Missing Bar.

Bars and clubs throughout the Village closed as violence spread through Birmingham’s city centre. Representatives from a number of the venues stated that they had not been issued any advice or contacted by the police.

Debbie Pardoe of Equator Bar stayed in her venue overnight in case of looting. “This is my livelihood, and I need to protect this venue from these people,” she said. “I’m also keeping an eye on the other venues in my sight. It’s been a really scary experience. Seeing the Tesco Express being smashed up and looted made me feel very sick.”

A hardware store and hair salon were also reported to be have been looted. Riot police arrived in the Village in response to the violence in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Shops were damaged and looted throughout Birmingham’s commercial centre and an unmanned police station in Handsworth was torched as riots spread from the capital yesterday.

Rioting also took place in Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham. The violent disturbances began on Saturday after a demonstration in Tottenham turned violent. Protesters objected to the death of Mark Duggan, who was fatally shot by police last week.

Individuals around the country are responding to damage caused by rioters with “Riot Cleanup” initiatives.

[via Midlands Zone]

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Ruth Pearce

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