Liverpool ’81: the voice of the unheard

34 thoughts on “Liverpool ’81: the voice of the unheard”

  1. At the time, in Liverpool 1, “Chinatown” to visitors,we tried to keep our children in the play centres in the triangle of Park lane and Great Georges, away from the “attraction” of the riots up the hill, though many of the older youth went up to watch or join in. The results are mixed, many positives as described above but ironically the key showcase improvements, the Albert Dock, the Garden Festival had little effect on the L8 community. The Garden Festival was sadly temporary, vandalism often cited as the cause of its demise, but it was just neglect, accidental or deliberate. Property developments, taking place in the past twenty years on the river front and festival site are unlikely to benefit L8. One outcome has been the mistaken popular view that the L8 area gets favourable economic treatment, compared to the [equally] deprived Anfield and other parts of North Liverpool. It is also believed, true or not, that L8 is a no go area for the police, in contrast to Croxteth and Speke. It is still the case that if you want to see housing poverty in 21st century Liverpool, catch any of the buses traveling north out of the city via Anfield and Everton or Edge Lane/Prescott Rd to Old Swan. As with Park Road, Smithdown Road, and Old Swan,they have brand new shiny giant shopping arcades. 21st Century progress indeed.

  2. Good photo piece :)

    Let’s hope the Tories don’t drag us back to riot scenes like those from the 80’s.

    There was ‘slum clearance’ around the Elephant & Castle area of London. They put everyone up in smart new flats, flats which they are now demolishing. Meanwhile a vast area where people used to live had been converted into an extensive park, but it’s an eerie place I find: you can still work out where things like streets used to run by lumps and bumps in the landscape. I really think they should have rennovated the houses which were already there – wherever possible – maintaining a sense of place.

  3. Thanks, Gerry, for such an evocative post from thirty years ago to today. I spent much of the Sunday night in the same way, on the way home from a film in Stanley House. Was similarly awestruck by the precise targetting of anger against police, with no hint of backlash against white by-standers. Other memories are of the huge force of the police lines being steadily beaten back, yard by yard, up Upper Parliament Street, a milk float of empty bottles from the dairy at the top being raided to be filled, and the smothering, choking CS gas. Much has changed, but so much remains the same, if better masked.

  4. We made the Granby 4 Streets film and are working now with the residents on creating and negotiating for what they want.
    And we are very honoured to have our film linked to this blog – the story of what has happened here, and why. We hope this ‘chink of light’ truly is the beginning of a happy ending to this long and tragic story.

    1. When I wrote this piece I never imagined that within a couple of weeks we would see a re-run of the events of 1981 in Liverpool 8, with some differences, but definite parallels. For example, how one mishandled police action can be the spark that leads to both righteous anger and destruction. How that spark can ignite a large pool of unemployed, idle, bored and socially excluded youth into the excitement of burning buildings and fighting the police. How large groups of youths from outside the community can seize the moment to try their hand at some opportunistic looting.

      Meanwhile, somewhere in the distance politicians intoxicated with the religious fervour of neo-liberalism fumble and bumble as the economic system, drained of its lifeblood by profiteers, collapses.

  5. Er, not youths Gerry, big boys – white men drove in from outside, lookin’ for lootin, as you say. Lodgie was destroyed last time and never recovered, let’s hope it is better this time, as far less ‘political’ populace, so I’m pessimistic about outcomes this time (it was bad enough last time!!).
    Great site – nice one!
    Ben

  6. Point taken about the looting,Ben, although I doubt it was exclusively outsiders – things just aren’t like that. I’m pessimistic about the outcome this time – precisely because these riots can be written off as having no political meaning, ‘pure criminality’, ‘feral youth’, etc, etc.

  7. Hi have people got positive things to say about living in l8 today as am just about to move there from a very prosperous area in the south of england.. that quite frankly starves me of creativity and bores me to tears …

    1. Cheers, Peter, glad you found the post useful. Good luck with the assignment. I’ve had a quick look at your own blog – I think it’s an interesting way to record your progress and the development of your ideas as you work through the course.

  8. Liverpool and its pivitol role in the Slave Trade, left a legacy of institutional, economic, social racism and exclusion as its legacy.
    The Toxteth Uprising, were the “chickens of 500 years of British Imperialism, Colonialism and Genocicide coming home to roost “.

    This means Liverpool is a symbolic gateway for humanities descent into human captivity, economic exploitation and spiritual cultural and political degradation of Africa, the Black Diaspora world wide and those people of colour whose people suffered the inhumanity and cruelty of the Great British Empire.
    This includes China, the Indian Sub Continent, the indigeous peoples of the Americas, both North and South, The Caribbean and Australian !
    Shame and guiltiness rests upon those institutions that propogated and profitted from this human misery and evilness.
    If you know your history , you will know this is the real truth and the real definition of the Great British Empire. However the “Real Truth is not taught in British schools”.

    The Toxteth Riots represented the struggle of, the working classes and the voiceless under classes, A multicultural and diverse community of peoples, of all colours and races coming together in an “ephinany moment of clarity” to throw of the shackles of the political Beast that had conquered and enslaved poor people across five continents of our planet.

    Young people who stood up collectively, to the might of the System and Establishment and told them in no uncertain terms…

    ” NO WE WILL NOT BEATEN AND SUBDUED INTO SUBMISSION.
    YOU TRIED TO DENY US OPPORTUNITIES TO ADVANCE IN LIFE BY TRAPPING US IN POVERTY AND IMPOVERISHED GHETTO CIRCUMSTANCES.

    YOU TRY TO CRUSH OUR SPIRIT BUT WE ARE THE ANTIDOTE TO YOUR SICK MENTALITY AND TIME WILL BE THE JUDGE OF OUR ACTIONS IN THE FIGHT FOR OUR FREEDOM AND OUR HUMAN RIGHTS.

    THIS IS OUR TOXTETH TESTIMONY AND OUR BEACON OF LIGHT IN A DARK WORLD FOR PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD TO TAKE COURAGE AND INSPIRATION IN THEIR STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM AND EQUALITY WHERE EVER THEY MAY BE…

    ONCE PEOPLE UNITE THEY CAN OVERCOME WHAT APPEARS TO BE MASSIVE HURDLES… AND INSURMOUNTABLE BARRIERS….
    TO A BETTER LIFE FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND THEIR CHILDRENS, CHILDRENS, CHILDREN
    LOVE AND UNITY ARE THE ANSWERS…”

    Liverpool and in particular Toxteth has numerous people of exceptional talents and abilities. When the powers that “think they control the city”… wake up to this reality and invest, promote, “believe in and trust” in its working class Black and White Diverse Commnities, then a beautiful and truly, awe inspiring transformation, will take place in Liverpool.
    The city that represented the enslavement and degradation of the peoples of the world, will become a city of cultural freedom for all. A city of invention and a unique world embracing creativity.
    An enclusive, multi cultural “peoples powerhouse” of a city. A vibrant and potent symbol of what can be achieved when all people are valued, respected and encourage to make a positive contribution thier society…

    “AND ARE NO LONGER, CONDEMED AND LOOKED DOWN UPON AS BEING INFERIOR OR WORTHLESS

    This is my comment 30 years on and my vision for Liverpool and its future…

    My name is LEROY COOPER, The Artist. contact number 0797 660 1341
    My art work is on exhibition at KEITH”S WINE BAR, LARK LANE, LIVERPOOL 17.

    Visit http://www.diversemag.co.uk for more examples of my written work and photographs of Toxteth and Liverpool Life. The articles are under the title

    ” LIFE IN LIVERPOOL THRU THE LENS OF LEROY COOPER”

    Visit http://www.newsfromoutside.co.uk part of the LIVERPOOL BIENNIAL 2012
    For video and blog reply written by LEROY COOPER in response to work by an artist featured in the Biennial….

    Google “LEROY COOPER, LIVERPOOL ARTIST” and click on the link for capital of culture and find links to examples of my photography, documentary film making, paintings and graphic work..

    LOVE LIFE LOVE LIVERPOOL…!

    Leroy Cooper
    FusionMEDIA33
    Intellectual Property Corporation

    30 12 12

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TOXTETH and LIVERPOOL

  9. ‘An inclusive, multi cultural powerhouse of a city. A vibrant and potent symbol of what can be achieved when all people are valued, respected and encourage to make a positive contribution their society’…I’ll go with that, Leroy. Thanks for reading and commenting. But btw – I couldn’t find your photo link on the Diverse website.

  10. Hi Gerry..go to the http://www.diversemag.co.uk website, gerry and “log in” as…
    a member / friend of the mag using…. this id…

    name : future angel
    password : bikobiko…..

    this will give you access to the magazines in which my photo-journalistic articles are published. There are five magazines out of 7 that have articles within in them…you can literally turn the pages of the magazine… I would like you to contact me early in the new year to collaborate on some web publishing projects etc for the new year, if you are interested that is…
    I have over 200,000 photos taken since 1984 of Toxteth and Liverpool that I am now ready to publish as the start up of my creative, artistic concepts to transform firstly my own LIFE… circumstances and situation but as a stepping stone to establishing

    “FusionMEDIA33 :
    Intellectual Property
    Corporation”

    As a viable channel and medium to promote not only my own artistic works but also the creativity and brillance of the talented people I have networked with locally, nationally and internationally. I think you are the kind of person I should be working with and supporting to build my enterprises and create a positive future for my self and others through the power of having an indomitable sense of self belief, sense of purpose and destiny but most importantly of all “believing in Liverpool and its peoples” ability to get things done when we put our minds to it….

    The educational benifit of my archives alone cannot be under estimated… as source material for present and more importantly future generations to see and eventually hear the voices of those people who have lived through the political, economic, social and cultural transformation and upheaval that Liverpool and Toxteth has gone through and is still going through….

    Thank you for your already immense contribution to throwing light into a “dark corner” of a very important but unheard and overlooked part of Britains social history.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Thank you for your time and future support…
    My phone number is 0797 660 1341 …

    Leroy Cooper
    31 12 12

  11. Leroy Cooper FusionMESIA33

    30 years on : A Life Lived Through The Chaos Theory .

    Leroy Cooper …. 2012
    Photographer, Journalist, Poet, Painter,
    Multi-Media Artist,DJ and Musician,

    Screenplay writer and Film Director..

    Liverpool, Toxteth, July 3rd 1981…

    An innocent motor cyclist.

    An insensitive, ignorant, right wing, racist police force.

    A city and a community suffering the full brunt of
    Margaret Hilda Thatcher’s right wing conservative policies…i.e.

    High unemployment leading to :

    Cultural, Economic and Social exclusion.
    This was the volatile and inflammable atmosphere that only required a spark to ignite centuries of racial aggression and repression in the former… “ Slave Trading ” Port of Liverpool.

    That Spark manifested in the person and personality… of Leroy Cooper.

    2
    His arrest, in the multi cultural neighbourhood of Granby Street, Toxteth, that fateful summers evening was to have earth shattering political,
    social, cultural and economic consequences for a city and a country in the last decaying death throes of post empire and of the colonial urban imperialism ”of its own multi cultural communities”.

    Even H.R.H Queen Elizabeth II was aware of the notorious name of…
    THE 1981 TOXTETH RIOTS… if only because it was the first time C.S gas was deployed in a crowd control situation on her British mainland.

    One can imagine a royal flunky informing …

    “Her Royal Highness” …

    “ Ma’am the natives are restless up North…

    A bit of a kick off by all accounts … ”

    After 4 days of confrontation between thousands of balaclava wearing urban warriors and the combined police forces of several regional divisions the score was …

    A young man, run over and crushed to death by police landrover,…

    David Moore………..

    (No police officer ever investigated, held accountable or prosecuted.

    Still no plaque on the ghetto wall to commerate David’s fall….. )

    Over 750 police officers receive hospital treatment. That no police officer was killed was remarkable.

    However in the Bridgewater Farm Riots in
    Tottenham, North London 1985 a police officer did loose his life P.C. Keith Blakelock. For which Winston Silcott was wrongly imprisoned.

    CS gas used on British mainland for the first time.

    Millions of pounds of damage due to burning and looting.

    A nation in shock, a city’s racist police force exposed and a community
    torn apart.

    The names of Toxteth, Liverpool along with Brixton, London go around the world focusing attention on the new Britain Margaret Thatcher was creating.

    4

    CAUGHT IN THE EYE OF THE STORM

    At the centre of this social and political implosion a young black man hung out to dry, the scapegoat, the sacrificial lamb… Leroy Cooper.

    Sent to HMP Hindley (Borstal) where he had to overcome a bungled attempt to plant drugs in his cell (30 valium tablets) by a racist and corrupt prison officer.

    The prison governor had smelt a rat and not wanting media attention brought to an already over stretched and incompetent prison regime dismissed the trumped up charges against Leroy Cooper.

    Leroy Cooper returned to his community with a new found political awareness, an exercise book full of poetry and a burning desire to educate and up lift himself and those around him.

    The hand of fate had dealt him a colossal social millstone.

    “ Who wants to employ the man blamed for starting a riot, a social uprising, a political and cultural revolution.”

    5

    No one could have predicted the inner strength, the creativity and
    integrity of Leroy Cooper.

    It would have been easy for him to have become another“ cocky ” thug….

    It would have been easy for him to have become

    a hooligan fooligan.

    But against the backdrop of all the… “social environmental hazards” … associated with life in a ghetto….

    e.g. unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, police harassment, economic and social exclusion, institutional racism,

    Leroy Cooper chose to walk a different path.

    Out of the chaos, that was his post 1981 life, in the fractured and divided Liverpool of 1981, Leroy Cooper was inspired to pursue a career in the Arts.

    Armed with his talent and ability for writing insightful and perceptive poetry, he embarked on a journey of self development, self discovery and self promotion.

    6
    MEDIA VAMPIRES FEED ON….
    CONFRONTATION…. EXPLOITATION…
    AND MIND MANIPULATION……

    The path Leroy Cooper chose covered the broad spectrum of “THE ARTS”

    As Performance Poet appearing in several 80’s documentaries including :

    Liverpool Black Media Groups documentary …

    “ THEY HAVEN’T DONE NOTHING ”

    BBC 1’s flagship current affairs programme
    “ PANORAMA ”

    Granada’s “ WORLD IN ACTION ”

    CHANNEL 4’s BLACK ON BLACK ….

    Leroy Cooper is an authentic…. Voice of Britain.

    The Voice of The Marginalised…

    The Voice of The Oppressed
    The Voice of The Inner City
    And yet also…A VOICE OF HOPE…

    7

    As a graffiti artist he painted the street signs of Toxteth, the red, yellow and green of Rastafarian Culture and called it an Urban Installation. Well before Banksy turned up…

    A simple yet effective way of making a statement about self determination and celebrating, a community, an identity, a culture and Liverpool’s hidden heritage.

    As an actor in 1990, he made his feature film debut in an Independent film called…

    THE FRONTLINE : Directed by PAUL HILLS : available via Amozon.com

    A music career that covers creating along with close friend Marcus Gallagher.. the internationally respected Sound System… COSMIC AMBASSADOR HI FI.

    Club Dj and M.C. Frontman for notorious House and Dance Music Producers…THE PORN KINGSon their European tours.

    Recording artist with NEW ATLANTIC.

    Pirate Radio DJ : TOXTETH COMMUNITY RADIO (TCR)

    8

    Leroy Cooper is a film director and documentary maker and has directed and filmed for BBC VIDEO NATION.

    He is a published poet, writer, photographer and journalist.

    His widely acclaimed articles…

    Life in Liverpool…Thru The Lens… of Leroy Cooper… in http://www.diversemag.co.uk … Establishing him, clearly, as the leading social commentator on Liverpool’s attempts to address 500 years of racial and working class exploitation…

    If your having trouble reading between the lines of past, present or future… local, national and international politics, them ask Leroy Cooper for his opinions. He jokingly claims…

    “ Its everyones human right and entitlement to MY opinions “

    No denying he possesses an ego… but he never steps over into naked arrogance…

    Leroy Cooper is a playwright, a writer of short stories and screenplays for films and animation.

    He jointly co-ordinated a community publishing project with Dorothy Thomas to publish an illustrated anthology of Liverpool based poets, photographers and illustrators…UNDERCURRENTS: available from Liverpool Central Library

    9

    Leroy Cooper : The Photographer and Painter

    Ultimately it is as photographer and painter that he found his vocation and a twenty year something photographic (still on going) and painting project, was born.

    Leroy Cooper has consistently taken photographs of Liverpool as well as photographic missions to other cities.
    His collection numbers over 150,000 images and presents a glimpse into his perception of…

    “THE SECRET LIFE OF LIVERPOOL.”

    A Liverpool that is only now coming to terms with its unsavoury past and seeking POSITIVE new directions for its Post Millennium Future.
    Leroy Coopers reputation and confidence allowed him to approach his subjects and to engage them in a
    “ magical moment of creativity ”…

    When the notoriously famous man takes
    your picture a little bit of REALITY stardust is sprinkled over you too.

    “Get your 15 seconds of frameFAME” …..

    10

    In a ” Leroy Cooper ” photograph.
    Leroy Cooper’s dedication, persistence and positive attitude are to be commended and celebrated.

    He brings his life experience to his work which
    is informative, educational and at the same time entertaining BUT QUESTIONING.

    Leroy Cooper knows about life at the shitty end of the stick but has gone on to achieve great things despite the negative hurdles he has had to surmount.

    The quality of his images has to be seen to be truly appreciated.

    The work speaks for itself, of the passion,of the struggle, of the anger, of the joy, of the pain, of the frustration and of the sense of overcoming
    adversity.
    Leroy coopers work speaks about the ugliness of urban poverty and decay.

    The work speaks about the inner beauty of the people who are psychologically trapped by the racism of the wider, white society in the inner city of Liverpool.

    11

    Ultimately Leroy Coopers work speaks about the celebration and regeneration of life itself. As Liverpool and Toxteth, move forward, together, towards the future with more genuine confidence.

    Leroy Cooper

    The Cosmic Painter : The New Skool Kool !

    The contrast between the black and white gritty images screams out sharply, with the vivid cosmic colours, of his paintings…

    The inner world of Leroy Cooper is one full of light a vibrating, resonating kaleidoscope of abstract forms and intense colours…

    The paintings are far more about the inner workings of person who has been forced to look inside themselves to find their inner connection to the beauty of the world inside and outside of the world of ghettoes.

    Someone seeing beyond police harassment, exclusion from the work place and the rat race of paying the mortgage and keeping up with the materiality of the Jones’s.

    12

    In recent times he has been celebrated at TATE LIVERPOOL in 2007. He specifically avoided being involved in he called the 2008…

    CAPITAL of CULTURE VULTURES…

    Not wishing to give undeserved credit
    to what he calls… ” money grabbing vultures and exploiters ” of Liverpool s Working Class Roots and Culture…

    If life is about the relationships between… peoples, their environments and their inner selves, then Leroy Cooper has been granted access to…

    “The Secret Life of Liverpool”.

    Not for him the negative images peddled by a National Media (apparently) hell bent on crucifying Liverpool through 80′s and 90′s.
    Leroy Coopers work is perceptive and full of a unique insights into everyday life that challenges the status quo and asks the reader or viewer to look at life from different angles, to open their minds and come out of their comfort zones and discover new truths that might set them free, to be truly, themselves, with no apologies.

    13
    LEROY COOPER : RECOGNITION OF A TRUE ARTIST…

    LONG OVER DUE…

    The cliche states…
    “SOME PEOPLE ARE BORN TO GREATNESS …

    OTHERS HAVE IT THRUST UPON THEM”

    In a city that is still gripped by, social and economical instability for the poor and marginalised communities.

    Leroy Cooper stands out as an inspirational figure.

    In a city where the “GANGSTER” is still the most common role model for impressionable and vulnerable inner city youth, Leroy Cooper picked up the
    pen and not the knife. He picked up, canvasses, paint brushes and spray cans not chains, knives and knuckle dusters.

    In a time where any ” wanna be… bad boy” can get hold of a…”sawn off shot gun or 9mm hand gun for hire”…to sort out any of “LIFES PROBLEMS”…

    Leroy Cooper picked up a 35mm SLR camera to disprove once and for all, media myths perpetrated about…

    “His Liverpool” and in so doing clear up…

    A 30 year character assassination, against his own character and that of his Toxteth Community.

    For nearly two years now Leroy has had a very successful exhibition of his paintings and photography at Keiths Wine Bar on Lark Lane L17, that has become the talk of the town and has been viewed by thousands of customers while enjoying good food, good wine and good company. His work is fresh, colourful, vibrant and thought provoking with such titles as, CHRIST AS FEMALE, YOUR SOUL, SON FLOWERS WITH CAT, FAULTY TOWERS and the magnificent Picasso like, THE LOVERS. If you have not been and seen, get there while they can still be seen for free OR http://www.youtube leroy cooper revealed and Google, Leroy Cooper, Liverpool artist and view the online promotional highlights.

    Recently Leroy has been meeting some of the “movers and shakers in the city” to forward his ambitions of starting his own gallery and multi-media company in Hope Street, these include Keith Blundell, Head of Tourism at Liverpool City Council, Kevin McManus, Director of MERSEYSIDEacme, Cheryl McGowan from Liverpool Galleries and Museums, Robin Ellis from George Downings Property Company. Things are all moving in the right direction for Leroy for at last the quality of his work is doing the talking for him and it is gathering positive support from whoever sees the work.

    It’s not too far fetched to say Liverpool has a true creative genuis lurking in its artistic underground that is ready to blossom and take off to Olympian heights and proportions during 2012 and 2013. As Leroy himself says…

    “The time is right to create a Black, Multi-Cultural, Diverse Arts and Multi-Media Company and Organisation that can truly represent the massive amount of talent that Liverpool has but never promotes or invests in. I am an example of that myself. It’s been 30 years that my name has been known in this city by other photographers, painters and artists, musicians, DJs and producers, writers and film makers and ordinary, everyday people from Liverpool’s social scene and street culture.

    No one can deny that my “talent, hard work and perseverance” in the face of the massive discriminational hurdles that I have had to overcome because of The 1981 Toxteth Uprising and my accidental involvement, in “the sparking out” assault of “3 police officers incident” that led to “The Riots”, is something to be proud of.

    When my career moves up a couple of notches (which it will do) and the whole city can share in my success and be genuinely appreciative of all the talented people I intend to bring through with my Multi-Media Company “FusionMEDIA33″, then we will be able to see that a change for the better has has taken place in Liverpool and Merseyside.

    Only those uneducated, ignorant racists would not wish for a better future for our city where its most talented prosper and in so doing lift Liverpool to new heights of social, cultural and economic inclusivity and excellence. For a city that has been dogged for years for being racist and backward in its attitude to race, cultural diversity. and gender issue. This would be the true beginning of the healing of very a painful past, where the place that represented the gateway into bondage and slavery becomes the gateway to creativity, freedom and equality on the global stage, setting an example and a blueprint that others will follow”

    IF DESTINY IS CALLING LEROY COOPER …
    THEN MAY BE LIVERPOOL HAS FOUND…

    ONE OF ITS “WORKING CLASS HEROES”…
    THAT JOHN LENNON SAID IT WAS…

    “SOMETHING TO BE”

    Liverpool has something to say to the whole world and Leroy Cooper is one of those who can articulate it.

    So look without prejudice , feel without fear and get to know the hidden beauty of Liverpool.

    Thank you for your time, forward this document to those you think may appreciate Liverpool’s hidden inner beauty …

    PLEASE REMEMBER….!

    ALL IMAGES ARE SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT LAW

    (PHOTOGRAPHS and PAINTINGS)

    They must not be reproduced any where

    else without the signed permission of…

    LEROY COOPER

    FusionMEDIA33

    COPYRIGHT ABUSE IS A SERIOUS

    OFFENCE AND ALL OFFENDERS

    WILL BE PURSUED AND PUNISHED

    ACCORDINGLY WITH THE FULL EXTENT

    OF BUSINESS, CORPORATE,

    COPYRIGHT LAW AND…

    MAFIA “HORSES HEAD IN YOUR BED” LAW.

    BE WARNED…! BbZINGA..!

    Leroy Cooper M.D.

    FusionMEDIA33

  12. Gerry here is a link
    to my some examples of my work at bbc website liverpool…
    I look forward to hearing from those who appreciate the time and effort
    taken over 25 years to collect, protect and preserve.
    There is a life times work waiting for the world to discover,
    that deserves a wider audience. t
    THE TIME IS NOW…!
    ENJOY THE EXAMPLES
    GET READY FOR
    THE GENIUS OF LEROY COOPER.
    ITS NOT A POINT OF DEBATE.
    ITS A SIMPLE FACT
    GET ON TO IT
    GET OVER IT
    GET ON TO IT…
    GENIUS AT WORK…!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/content/articles/2006/07/06/leroy_cooper_feature.shtml

  13. Do you not think that Lady Simey’s description of the Police as, large, beery low, illiterate, Hitlers is not as bad or even worse, as the descriptions that the journalist and the police gave of L8 residents, in the exerts you used to illustrate the endemic racism of the time. If so then if the point you are attempting to make that the police weren’t up to policing the area because of their prejudices then surly Lady Simey wasn’t up to being Chairman of the Police Committee, if she had made this kind of pre-judgement about the cops. These kind of things work both ways, I don’t have an axe to grind either way, but surely if you use prejudiced description of 1 side to illustrate how wrong they are, you can’t then use an equally prejudiced description from someone who you obviously believe is on the right side. Everything has swung so far back the other way now that we don’t even need to read an article to know who’s side it will be written from, we all know now that the right side is the anti police anti racism side, which I would argue to heavily against, it just makes us lazy, everyone is scrambling so hard to be PC and not to be seen as a racist, that no one stops to question the perceived wisdom of these things, no one dares poke their head up above the parapet in fear of it getting shot off, but anyone with half a brain if the y stop and think about it knows that bad things this way lie.

    1. I assume Lady Simey, writing in her private diary, was simply recording what she saw and heard. As the other witnesses quoted testify, tensions were running high between the police and the local community at the time. Merseyside Police would be the first to admit today that methods of policing, and training of police officers at the time were inadequate and counterproductive. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  14. why do ppl with blogs who invite comments always feel the need to moderate them first, I think there should be a law that says ppl who have comments at the end of their blogs should have to reveal that the comments have been censored first, what’s the point of having a comments section if you are not going to just let ppl say what they want, what are you afraid someone daring to have a view contrary to your own, please feel free to publish this comment if you want, but I would be obliged if you deleted my first comment (I don’t know if you would have published it anyway), but I’d prefer not to have my views included in a censored comments section, that’s what the Nazi’s did.

    1. It’s not the blogger,it’s WordPress,the organization that hosts the blog. If you are a new commentator on the blog they require the blogger to approve the comment before it is posted (not only so that the blogger can restrict offensive remarks, but also to prevent spamming). You can now respond freely on this blog.

  15. Was back in L8 for the first time in decades at the end of 2104. During the ’81 riots I lived in Falkner Square and worked in Solway Street. My father had for years been involved in running what was then Stanley House on Upper Parliament Street. I remember as a kid in the late 60’s playing snooker there on Sundays while he did admin work in the office and training in Ju Jitsu in the basement during the week. I even remember playing in Margaret Simey’s front room in the late 60’s while she, my father and other people would talk in the kitchen. The photos and records you have collated bring that place and time back into focus for me.

    In ’81 I remember coming back from a week away backpacking in France and walking down Upper Parliament Street from the Smithdown Road end through a surreal landscape of smoke, groups of police and residents standing around, and widespread destruction and thinking ‘what the **** is going on?’

    Was really impressed with the area now – things change, and even for the better sometimes!

    Thanks for a great resource.

    p.s. I don’t use my google mail address but will check in occaisionally.

    1. Thanks for those memories, Marc. I remember Stanley House, too. There was always something going on there, it was a good place to meet up with friends. I think Liberty Hall met there for a while, before moving to the Everyman Bistro. Margaret Simey, too – now there was a councillor!

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