Six police officers injured at Thatcher death celebration

2013-04-09 12:05

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London – Six British police officers were injured, one of them seriously, as they tried to break up a street party apparently celebrating the death of ex-prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

The incident in Bristol, southwest England, happened at one of a number of impromptu events across the country held by critics of the so-called Iron Lady.

Police said about 200 revellers in Bristol refused police requests to disperse.

“Bottles and cans were thrown at officers, six of whom suffered injuries,” Chief Inspector Mark Jackson of Avon and Somerset Constabulary told AFP.

“A police vehicle was damaged and one person was arrested for violent disorder. Some small bin fires were also started and the fire service attended.”

One of the officers remains in hospital with an injury that is “not life-threatening, but it is serious”, a spokesperson for the force added.

Police said the party was understood to be a celebration of Thatcher’s death but that investigations were continuing.

Street parties were also held in Glasgow in Scotland and in the south London neighbourhood of Brixton, where about 200 people toasted her passing with hip-hop and reggae songs and placards reading “Rejoice – Thatcher is dead”.

In Brixton, police said there was “low-level” disorder and the group threw a small number of objects at officers, but there were no arrests and no serious injuries.

About 300 people turned up in Glasgow and chanted “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie – dead, dead, dead.”

Thatcher, the controversial British prime minister who dominated a generation of British politics and won international acclaim for helping to end the Cold War, died yesterday aged 87 following a stroke.

Her death prompted tributes from world leaders and figures from her own era such as former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

But responses were colder from her traditional foes, including trade unions, Irish republicans and coal miners, while fierce debate continued over the legacy of her uncompromising reforms of the British economy.

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