More than a dozen people were arrested last night after a demonstration in an English city centre turned violent leaving police and protesters injured, detectives said Saturday.
The disturbances in the early hours came just six days after a riot in the same area of Bristol, south west England. 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. 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 today’s violence showed it was not an anti-Tesco campaign.
Today’s problems began in the early hours when bottles were thrown at officers in Cheltenham Road – the centre of last week’s trouble.
The disturbances happened after a peaceful event earlier in the evening. Avon and Somerset Police said officers moved in to “contain a group of protesters” who were wearing masks and throwing bottles. There were then clashes between police and protesters, resulting in injuries on both sides.
Police had urged people to stay away from the area while they brought the situation under control. But the crowd grew, from around 250 or so protesters earlier in the evening to more than 400.
Officers from several forces provided support to the Avon and Somerset force.