1932 Old Market Riot Map

On Tuesday 23rd February an estimated 3,000 to 15,000 protesters from the National Unemployed Workers' Movement (NUWM) march to protest about a cut in unemployment benefits. The police had banned the march but the NUWM were not deterred. The peaceful procession followed a winding route but ended up on Old Market Street where they were faced by a double row of police with batons drawn and backed up by mounted officers at the junction with Castle Street. The marchers were unaware that the Chief […]

Bread or Batons?: The Old Market ‘riots’

The pictures on this page were found in Bristol Central Reference Library, to reproduce please email refandinfo@bristol.gov.uk The April and August 'riots' of 2011 in Bristol, along with those of the 1980s, have been characterised as being exceptional events in the city's history. However, Bristol has a long history of violent disturbances from the food and price 'riots' of the 18th Century, through the reform uprisings of 1831 to 'Black Friday' in 1892. One period which has received less […]

Old Market March and Police Riot – 80th Anniversary

Miscellaneous 2012
February 23rd 1932 was the scene of a confrontation between the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement and the police. To mark the 80th anniversary, historians Roger Ball and Dave Backwith will consider the impact of the events of that day and the wider context of the struggles of the unemployed during the great depression. Dave backwith is a researcher of Bristol’s working class history in the inter war years particularly 1919 and the unemployed workers movement in the 1930's. He is a family and […]

Bread Or Batons?

Unemployed Workers Struggles’ in 1930s Bristol

Bread Or Batons? Font Cover
The banking crisis of 2008 and the following deep recession experienced by the world economy have led to mass unemployment and poverty in the U.K. Massive public sector cuts along with huge financial bonuses for the wealthy have exacerbated the systemic divisions between ‘rich and poor’ which lie at the heart of the neo-liberal economy. For many commentators the spectre of economic depression has raised its ugly head once again. It thus seems apt to look back at Bristol in the period of the last […]

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