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Sunday, 27 May, 2001, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
Oldham 'shocked' by violence
Damage to cars at the Live And Let Live Pub
Live And Let Live Pub: "Frightening" attack
Police, residents and community leaders have said they were shocked by the scale of the violence between police and Asian youths in Oldham on Saturday night.

Paul Barrow, landlord of the Live and Let Live pub in the Glodwick area of town, which came under attack twice, said it was terrifying.

Littered road and pavement in Oldham
"I never thought I'd see anything like this," said one resident
"There was just a big gang of them," he said.

"They all charged in, kicking us, punching us and then proceeded to attack all my customers with whatever they had in their hand - stools, bottles, glasses."

Pub regular Kenneth Berry, 59, said it was "real chaos".

"A firebomb came in one of the windows at the front and set fire to the curtains and the floor.


They were just like wild animals. I can't understand it. It was very frightening, terrible

Local resident Margaret Morrison
"We all ran into the back frightened, into the barrel room.

"There were ladies in their sixties. They were hysterical because they didn't know what was going on."

Mr Barrow said the pub attracted a mixed white and Asian clientele.

He said: "There were Asians in the pub last night. They were absolutely disgusted. They had to defend themselves like everybody else."

Margaret Morrison, 73, a former cotton worker, said she and her husband Edward both narrowly escaped being hit by two bricks thrown into their home.

She said: "It was just terrible, it was shocking. I was born in Cross Street up the road, I was 73 in February and I never thought I would see anything like this.

"They were just like wild animals. I can't understand it. It was very frightening, terrible. It made us both ill."

She said: "You could see them throwing petrol bombs and I had just moved from my seat when a brick came through the window. And upstairs another brick came through and landed on the dressing table."


There were Asians in the pub last night. They were absolutely disgusted. They had to defend themselves like everybody else

Pub regular Keith Berry
Transport manager Damian Rogers, 32, praised police for keeping the riot away from the town centre.

He said: "If they had gone into the centre it would have been mayhem. The people in the town centre were up for a fight because they had been drinking all day.

"It was really frightening in the town. They were carrying cricket bats in their hands."

Resident Keith Berry
Kenneth Berry: "Real chaos"
They "rampaged through the Glodwick area causing trouble, breaking windows and apparently assaulting an elderly Asian woman as well," he said.

Kurshid Ahmed, secretary of the Pakistani Cultural Association in Oldham, said his community was "utterly bitter" about the events.

"It's only a very small section of people in both communities," he said.

"It all started when this elderly guy was attacked and beaten. Some people thought it was robbery, others said it was a racist attack.

"But whatever it was, we all condemned that.

"But the National Front came in, they tried to march, the march was banned but they've still been coming back for three consecutive Saturdays and tried to cause problems.

"After causing problems they go away and Asian youths and police confront each other."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Paul Barrow, pub landlord
witnessed the night's events
Ashid Ali, Youth worker
believes that extremist groups such as the National Front sparked the violence
Find out more about the violence in northern England during the summer of 2001


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