20 arrests in violent demonstration
Published 29/04/2011 | 07:42
Some 20 people have been arrested after a demonstration in a city centre turned violent leaving police and protesters injured.
The disturbances in the early hours came just six days after a riot in the same area of Bristol.
Running skirmishes spilled out from the Stokes Croft area towards the Cabot Circus shopping centre.
Police said around 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 in the road 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.
Later, police said that Cheltenham Road had reopened after an operation to evict squatters from a property in the street. Around 20 people were arrested.
At 9.30am police, working with Bristol City Council, entered the property - known locally as the Telepathic Heights - to evict the occupants. Three of them made their way to the roof and a further 10 people were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.
Assistant Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: "We are doing everything to identify as many people who were involved in last night's disorder as possible.
"As far as we are concerned, if you were encouraging violent behaviour, then you are just as involved in the disorder as those throwing the missiles. Co-ordinated violence like we saw last night is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in Bristol."
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.