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Bradford Riot of 2001: The Diversity of Action (From Rioting in the UK and France: A Comparative Analysis, P 71-80, 2009, David Waddington, Fabien Jobard, and Mike King, eds. - See NCJ-229457)

NCJ Number
Yasmin Hussain; Paul Bagguley
Date Published
10 pages
This analysis of individuals' participation in the 2001 riots in Bradford, England, focuses on variations in motives for rioting and the extent to which individual attitudes toward the police and violence were constantly changing in the course of the riots.
The main theme of this chapter is that there is a variety of motives and attitudes among individuals who join in the behaviors of a disorderly and rioting crowd, in contrast to the popular belief that a rioting crowd has a singular collective identity with a common purpose. Following previous violent events in Oldham and Burnley earlier in 2001, the Anti-Nazi League organized a demonstration in Bradford city center on July 7, 2001, in order to oppose a rumored march of the neofacist National Front (NF). Attacks on young Asian men and women in the city center after the demonstration had ended constituted the context of the violence in Bradford. The police reported at least 300 crimes were committed, ranging from robbery and looting to arson and assault. This chapter begins with a critical review of some recent attempts to explain violence crowd behavior or tiots. These efforts have the common focus on a collective identity in the crowd as the central dynamic of crowd behavior. The article then presents evidence from the authors own research on the Bradford riot, which is reported in more detail elsewhere (Bagguley and Hussain, 2008). The evidence shows a diversity of actions and motives within the crowd. Although superficially homogenous in being largely composed of British-Pakistani men, there was a considerable difference in their actions. The authors argue that the actions of any one individual in the course of the rioting may have varied and that both young and old were involved in the same types of behaviors.