15 arrested in protest riots
MORE than a dozen people were arrested yesterday after a demonstration in a city centre turned violent, leaving police and protesters injured.
The disturbances came just six days after a riot in the same area of Bristol.
Skirmishes spilled out from the Stokes Croft area towards the Cabot Circus shopping centre.
Police said about 400 people were involved and saw rioters breaking down residential walls and removing roof tiles to use as missiles.
They also lit fires, set up barricades and daubed graffiti throughout the area. Avon and Somerset Police said several officers suffered head, neck, back and leg injuries, and required hospital treatment after being pelted with bottles, rocks and other missiles.
A total of 15 people were arrested and more arrests were expected, the force said.
Last week’s disturbances in Stokes Croft saw a branch of Tesco Metro, which has been subject of a campaign to prevent its recent opening, attacked.
The retail giant condemned the trouble and said yesterday’s violence showed it was not an antiTesco campaign. Avon and Somerset Police said officers moved in to “contain a group of protesters” who were wearing masks and throwing bottles.
The force said neighbour- hood officers were “actively engaging” with what was a peaceful gathering earlier in the evening outside the squat known as the Telepathic Heights.
However, support was called in after a number of people became violent, put on masks and began throwing bottles at police.
A police spokesman said: “Officers had no choice but to withdraw and seek support from colleagues wearing protective clothing.”
There were then clashes between police and protesters, resulting in injuries on both sides.
The crowd of around 250 protesters grew to 400.
Action: Several officers were hurt by missiles