Millions rejoiced as the news came through of MAGGIE THATCHER’s demise yesterday.
The ex-PM, responsible for the deaths of thousands of working class people, the destruction of the mining industry and a clampdown on all things fun, died following a stroke at the Ritz in London yesterday.
It wasn’t long before plans were in place for parties across the country. Bristol was of course included and the texts were soon flying around; ‘Chelsea Road, Easton, 8 o’clock!’
To start with the crowd outside the CHELSEA INN was a little thin, but after about an hour it grew to contain several hundred revellers of all ages – and sound systems too!
The mob was in great spirits, with hours of singing, dancing, drinking and chatting, with the newly renamed ‘Thatcher’s Cold’ the cider of choice.
Some dressed as miners, some wore Maggie masks, some were so overwhelmed with emotion they just didn’t give a flying picket what they looked like! Chants such as ‘I would rather be a miner than a scab’ and ‘MAGGIE, MAGGIE, MAGGIE – DEAD! DEAD! DEAD!’ filled the night air as the flames from the bonfire danced to her death.
One local resident told The Bristolian:
It was a great night, with everyone in high spirits. Loads of people of different ages there, various levels of drunk and overriding community spirit and large disdain for the Tories.
But later on, things turned sour…
The crowd had thinned quite a lot and it seemed like the party was winding down.
Then it all got a bit nasty just after midnight. About ten vans full of Thatcher’s Boot Boys turned up to piss in our champagne.
Getting into formation further up the street, in full riot gear, it was obvious what was coming.
They started advancing down the street with riot shields and batons in hand. A lot of people left then, but some obviously weren’t gonna hand the street over to them and let this blatant act of intimidation work.
Bottles rained down on the advancing police line for a bit. A few people came away with bloodied faces after blows from the police, but you won’t read that in the Post!
The police eventually pushed people up Chelsea Road and past the Plough. Most people left here, but some stayed around arguing with the boys in blue, and each other which was disappointing to see.
There were a few idiots, as there always are at any parties. I think people at the party could have dealt with them though; nobody needed dozens of tooled-up, mobbed-up thugs coming in to kick things off properly.
I did read reports elsewhere after saying that most of the people there were from outside the area. That’s rubbish as far as I could tell – loads of faces I recognised from pubs around this way. Seems to be a case of people trying to blame what happened on these mysterious ‘outsiders coming in to start trouble’ that we always hear of, rather than locals. What I saw was an angry reaction to an obvious act of provocation from the police, it’s just a shame that the night ended in violence as a result of their actions.
According to other news reports, there was just one arrest. 6 police officers were reportedly injured, with one staying in hospital overnight.