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Sunday, 27 May, 2001, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Oldham riots: Two perspectives
Two members of the Oldham community have tried to find reasons and solutions for Saturday night's violence between Asian youths and police.

Long-term resident Kenneth Berry, 59, said the youths involved had to learn to share their town.

Resident Keith Berry
Kenneth Berry: "We've got to live together"
"There's white people round here as well as Asian people and we've got to live together," he said.

"We're the same blood. Their fathers fought in the war just the same as anybody else.

"And it's about time they realised that we've got to live together.

"We've got to make a community. We've got to have peace. We don't want fighting. We've got to live together."

But Ashid Ali, chairman of the Oldham Bangladeshi Youth Association, said some members of the white community had provoked the trouble.

Youth worker Ashid Ali
Ashid Ali: "Clearly sparked by white youths"
Earlier on Saturday evening, he said, members of the National Front had "rampaged through the Glodwick area causing trouble, breaking windows and apparently assaulting an elderly Asian woman.

"This is what sparked off the whole incident," Mr Ali said

"For the last five Saturdays the Asian community in general stayed away from the town centre because there has been a large presence of members of the National Front."

He said they had been "threatening to actually cause damage and cause harm between ourselves and the police and the wider community.

"Unfortunately the whole of the UK will look at this as being a riot between the police and Asian youths," he said, "when it was clearly sparked by white youths who were probably members of the National Front.

"They've actually held back for so long, and things were boiling away and things were about to go out of control and yesterday it did go out of control."

Find out more about the violence in northern England during the summer of 2001


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