Tag Archive | Riots

On this day May 4, 1919

The May Fourth Movement began in China with large-scale student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, Peking against the Paris Peace Conference and Japan’s Twenty-One Demands.

Students riot in Beijing

These demonstrations sparked national protests and marked the upsurge of Chinese nationalism, a shift towards political mobilization and away from cultural activities, and a move towards populist base rather than intellectual elites.

The broader use of the term “May Fourth Movement” often refers to the period during 1915-1921 more usually called the New Culture Movement.

On the afternoon of May 4th over 3,000 students of Peking University and other schools gathered together in front of Tiananmen and held a demonstration. The general opinion was that the Chinese government was “spineless”. Read More…

On this day March 31, 1990

200,000 protestors take to the streets of London to protest against the newly introduced Poll Tax (Community Charge), introduced by the Conservative government led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

By far the largest occurred in central London on Saturday March 31, 1990, shortly before the poll tax was due to come into force in England and Wales. Many believe the riot – the largest in the city in the 20th century – caused Thatcher’s downfall eight months later.

The disorder in London arose from a demonstration which began at 11am. The rioting and looting ended at 3am the next morning. This riot is sometimes called the Battle of Trafalgar, particularly by opponents of poll tax, because much of the rioting took place in Trafalgar Square. Read More…

On this day July 23, 1967

In Detroit, Michigan, one of the worst riots in United States history begins on 12th Street in the predominantly African American inner city (43 killed, 342 injured and 1,400 buildings burned).

The precipitating event was a police raid of a blind pig on the corner of 12th Street and Clairmount on the city’s near westside. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in U.S. history, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit’s 1943 race riot.

To help end the disturbance, the Michigan National Guard was ordered into Detroit by Governor George Romney and President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in United States Army troops. The result was forty-three dead, 467 injured, over 7,200 arrests and more than 2,000 buildings burned down. Read More…

On this day July 13, 1863

In New York City, opponents of conscription begin three days of rioting which will be later regarded as the worst in United States history.

The riots known at the time as Draft Week, were violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of discontent with new laws passed by Congress to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War.

The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history apart from the Civil War itself. President Abraham Lincoln sent several regiments of militia and volunteer troops to control the city. Although not the majority, many of those arrested had Irish names, according to the lists compiled by Adrian Cook in his “Armies of the Streets.” Read More…

On this day June 11, 1956

The six-day Gal Oya riots, the first ethnic riots that targeted the minority Sri Lankan Tamils in post-independent Sri Lanka, began, eventually resulting in the deaths of at least 150 people and 100 injuries.

The riots started on June 11, 1956 and continued over the next five days. Local majority Sinhalese colonists and employees of the Gal Oya settlement board commandeered government vehicles, dynamite and weapons and massacred minority Tamils by the hundreds. It is estimated that over 150 people lost their lives due in the violence. Although initially inactive, the police and army were eventually able to regain control of the situation. Read More…

Dozens dead in Jamaica fighting

Authorities in Jamaica say that gunfights in the capital Kingston have left at least 30 people dead, as hundreds of troops and police search for an alleged drug kingpin wanted by the US. At least 25 people were injured as well.

The violence has been triggered by the Jamaican government’s efforts to extradite Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the alleged leader of the “Shower Posse” group. Armed security forces stormed the Tivoli Gardens slum of western Kingston on Monday in an effort to locate Coke, who has not been found. Last week, Coke’s supporters barricaded the area in an attempt to thwart his arrest. Read More…

Thai government clash with red shirt

On Friday Thai police and army units moved in to surround and cut off the protesters main camp, meeting heavy resistance from the red shirts resulting in the deaths of two people with dozens more injured.

Severely wounded by sniper fire

Thai Army Major-General Khattiya Sawasdipol who has defected from the government forces and has been advising the Red Shirts on security and defence matters was hit in the head by a sniper’s bullet and is reportedly in a critical condition in hospital.

One of the Red Shirt leaders, Nattawut Saikuar, accuses the Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of starting a civil war. This comes as there are reports of a policeman opening fire on soldiers near a police station in Bangkok, showing that there may be divisions within the security services themselves. Both the British and American embassies in Bangkok confirm they are to close for security reasons. Read More…