South East London Updates

UPDATE 23:15: Tonight appears to be the night when - in London at least - sanity was restored. A heavy and active police presence has undoubtedly been key, but it would also be nice to think that the huge public outpouring of grief and revulsion made a few people re-evaluate what they were playing at. Aside from one opportunistic incident this afternoon, Brockley's night has passed peacefully.

UPDATE 22:15: Lots of sirens in the night, but they all seem to be pre-empting, rather than responding to problems. No significant confirmed incidents.

UPDATE 21:32: Here are 'Team Eltham' reportedly on the march towards Lewisham (via Hamble). This is like the Springfield Bear Patrol. SORRY that is not what this picture shows. Ignore it. There's no evidence they're on the move. They're still like the Springfield Bear Patrol though.

UPDATE 21:21: Lots of BCers confirm a very large group of people (approx 50) gathered in Lewisham Way, up near the war memorial, but no sign of trouble.

UPDATE 21:11: The looters are giving birth to Cameron's Big Society - Millwall vigilantes, Squatters reclaiming Ladbrokes for peace and now, apparently, a vigil in the Railway Pub by the Blackheath Conservatives. Who needs Cobra, when a thousand community initiatives can bloom to solve the problem.

UPDATE 20:57: It looks like tensions may be ratcheting up along Lee High Road. Unconfirmed suggestions on Twitter that it's related to a march by the Millwall fans towards Lewisham.

UPDATE 20:40: Lots of Millwall fans turn out to 'defend' Eltham. Photo here. Hmm... wonder why they chose Eltham.

UPDATE 20:30: Deptford Plus, the guys who prevented the Deptford Project owners from opening a new social enterprise in Deptford by squatting in their premises and who have been uttering the most relativist, platitudinous rubbish about the riots on their Twitter feed are organising a flash mob for peace right now outside the Ladbrokes in Deptford if anyone fancies it, they say bring something to sit on...

UPDATE 20:21: Police have arrested someone at the top of Manor Avenue, by Lewisham Way.

UPDATE 20:!8: Our friend who sent us the photos of fires in Clapham yesterday was just on Channel 4 News (we just caught the +1 version) berating Boris about his leadership, saying she had to have the kitchen knives out to defend herself.

UPDATE 19:55: Brockley is like Manhattan during the 2003 blackout - none of you have anything in your fridges. So the following places are confirmed open for business at the current time: Budgens (Crofton Park), Costcutter (Brockley Station), Brockley's Rock (midtown), Fishby Business (Harefield Road), Bamboo Garden (midtown).

UPDATE 18:31: Here's an image of the Brockley Cross incident taking place, courtesy of Simon:
UPDATE 18:18: The Guardian quotes the Co-Op about the damage done to the Co-Op yesterday:

"Although the vast majority of our stores have now re-opened, around a dozen remain closed due to damage incurred, including the three most seriously damaged food stores – London Road (Croydon), Hilton House (Brockley) and New Addington, which was completely destroyed by fire."

UPDATE 18:12: Just been out to have a look at Brockley Cross and Brockley Road. Both proceeding normally, lots of ordinary people going about their business. One guy putting a lick of paint on his new barber shop (of which more when normal service resumes). Quite a few groups of youths loitering around, but then there always are.

UPDATE 17:52: We just took our swollen face out to speak to the police. Confirmed one man beaten up and it appears they have caught someone for it. The smashed car was a silver Vauxhall Zafira. We asked if Brockley was likely to be a particular target tonight and they shrugged and said not especially.

UPDATE 17:42: Police now gone. Brockley Cross back to normal. The police cars struggled a little bit with the double roundabout, by the way - who says the new system does nothing for traffic calming?

UPDATE 17:36: Police just turned up en masse. Three cars and a van. Kids gone. Pretty minor stuff and Brockley Cross has seen worse, but it does not bode well. The kids were chasing someone. Suggestions on Twitter that they caught him at Upper Brockley Road and attacked him.

UPDATE 17:30: A group of about 10 16-20 year olds fighting / mucking around just ran up Geoffrey Road and possibly on to Upper Brockley Road. A rear windscreen of a car was smashed on Geoffrey.

UPDATE 17:27: Kids running around Brockley Cross chucking things around the streets as we write.

UPDATE 16:44: Greenwich was never the same since they decided to move the meridian 500m west to run through Brockley... town centre boarded up, photo here.

UPDATE 15:15: Chris reports that Surrey Quays shopping centre is now closing.

UPDATE 14:46: This is not a riot. Don't be alarmed, the Brockley Road junk shop is supposed to be like this.
We're in Brockley at the moment and keep hearing sirens in the far distance, but it may be like phantom limb syndrome, we're so used to having them there, that our brain imagines them when they aren't. No confirmed incidents anywhere.

UPDATE 14:36: Paul reports that large chunks of the high street near New Cross Gate are now closed. Many busineses in Lewisham are already confirmed to have closed early and many shops in Forest Hill and Nunhead are now closed. Lee, Catford and elsewhere all preparing for the worst.

UPDATE 14:34: Despite rumours, Forest Hill station is not closed. Cllr Harris also confirms it is untrue that riots have begun in Lewisham.

Preparations for further looting have begun with unconfirmed rumours of disturbances in a number of areas and although we are taking all of them with a large pinch of salt at this stage, we are beginning live updates again using this thread, as per last night. We'll try to stick to the facts - stories confirmed by reputable or trusted sources or from multiple reliable witnesses.


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biff bifferson said...

just seemed a shame to stop at 199 comments

Anonymous said...

The Today Programme reported it was just the EDL in Eltham. A gross distortion, but not untypical at the BBC, where three white men in a pub is an EDL meeting.

MattyinSE9 said...

It may have been none other than the scum Nick Griffin who seemed to have kicked off a load of rumours about racists running amok in Eltham. The stuff from Griffin is shocking lies. See

D said...

Economy in ruins, unemployment, London riots and now the apparent rise of the right-wing racists (ok, that bit's being denied for now but nobody will be surprised if they try to cash in on this).

As we appear to have been transported back to 1981 I'm just looking forward to Spurs winning the cup again next year.

bumbags said...

Yes, the events on Upper Brockley Rd were really horrible, and I have accurately reported them without exaggeration. The police have a couple of statements (mine being one of them) and I do hope they have caught the people involved.
After seeing the photo on the updates page, this does look like the situation kicked off at Nat's Bakes and Juices, and there was a chase onto Upper Brockley.
The police thought because of the photo taken to 'shame' the victim when he was exposed that it was gang related. The fact his 'mates' bundled him off into a car when he needed medical help would also indicate this.
I would just like to reiterate that the police were amazing, and several arrived within a few minutes.

Simon said...

Walking down Lewisham Way just now and the police have just warned me that there is a crowd of EDL supporters massing near Friendly St, potentially to confront people at the end of Upper Brockley Rd... Very bad atmosphere here, be careful...

Little Richardjohn said...

"The looters are giving birth to Cameron's Big Society "
Just make sure that the EDL don't end up as his Stormtroopers.
The riots will be used as an excuse for the biggest empowerment of the police state since 9/11.
David Davies MP/Special Constable says that anyone who has ever criticised the police is to blame. Kelvin McKenzie and Michael Gove say that there is nothing to understand and that to even seek to explain is to be a rioter by proxy.
Mops and buckets may not be enough.

Transpontine said...

@Westsider getting off topic for this thread, but just to respond to your comment I am all for art in Deptford and elsewhere, I have participated in, promoted and enjoyed many art events. I am glad Utrophia are there, and would probably have welcomed whatever Deptford Project had in mind.

I do though question any notion that the arts should be privileged above other all activities in Deptford, people there have many other needs and much as I love that art scene it offers very little to people outside of an extremely narrow social demographic. Not saying that the social centre was a great success either, but I applaud them for having a go at something different.

NAT said...

On Deptford high street the targets were the banks, a pawnbrokers and one or two bookies. I'm told Tesco had its windows smashed but havn't seen that. In each case it seems to have been window smashing rather than an attempt at entry. The independant shops seemed to have fared out OK.

Evarywhere there seems to have been violence against bookmakers which I surmised might have come from sullen 'cheated' 'punters' but Mrs. NAT (sorry ladies) tells me that some of the kids throwing stones at their windows seemed as young as ten on telly.

Any theories readers?

Jessica Butler said...

RE: Upper Brockley Road incident - the facts as described by bumbags are true. It was pretty horrific. The perpetrator also threw bricks at the victim's head and possibly attacked him with a large wooden post - there was one on the pavement but I only witnessed the tail end of the incident. I saw it happening from my window but couldn't see what/who was being attacked due to the angle and a car obscuring the view. Initially I thought perhaps it was innocuous kicking around, then a woman ran up the road screaming and I thought perhaps a cat or something small enough to be concealed by a car - it was actually the fact that the guy who did it got out his phone that made me think it was a person lying on the ground. Naively I thought perhaps he was dialling emergency services after getting cold feet but of course it makes more 'sense' that he was taking pictures. Ugh. By the time I got down all the stairs and onto the street he'd scarpered and left this poor lad there in a really bad state. I hope the police/ambulance managed to track down the people who took him away because he seriously needed medical attention and moving him was certainly not helpful.

@bumbags - Assuming you are the lovely person who stuck around when the police arrived: thank you for being helpful, supportive, and calm! A couple of passers-by flat-out refused to help at first, and then of course everyone wanted to 'help', and to be honest I felt like I was completely freaking out so I appreciated your sanity.

Very unpleasant though. Obviously one hears about the various stabbings, shootings, etc., that happen in this area periodically, but I never quite expected to see it kicking off in broad daylight outside my flat!

bumbags said...

@ Jessica Yes, that was me. You were great and gave brilliant info on phone- it was a very scary scene. I have to say when I was trying to get the victim to stay down and wait for the ambulance and turned around to see four big guys charging my way I was slightly concerned!! Was relieved they were his 'mates', rather than someone coming to finish him off, which was my first thought. So silly to move him- he'd had a LOT of head trauma. Yes, hope he's ok- but also wonder how long he'll be ok in the company he's keeping. It makes me really sad lads think this is a 'cool' way to live.
@Brockley Nick- you mentioned a man had been arrested over this- is there any more info? Where do I find this info? Thanks.

Brockley Nick said...

@Bumbags, it was what the policeman told me when I came forward as a witness. I described the man I saw and they said they thought they'd got him.

bumbags said...

@Brockley Nick Thanks for info. I hope they did catch all of the little b*£(ers.

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