BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 11 December, 2001, 11:11 GMT
Signs of division remain in Burnley
Duke of York pub, Duke Bar
The Duke of York pub is a vivid reminder of the riots
By BBC News Online's community affairs reporter Cindi John

High up on the scaffolding around the Duke of York pub in Burnley's Colne Road labourers are hard at work renovating the building for re-opening next year.

Across the road newsagent Colin Dawber is glad the pub is being restored to its former glory.

The blackened building was a constant reminder of the night he watched in horror as a group of Asian rioters firebombed it.

Colin Dawber
Colin Dawber believes tension still remains

Mr Dawber said he had feared for the home he and his wife had spent 11 years creating above their business.

"After watching the lads torch the Duke of York I grabbed two fire extinguishers and sat in the shop thinking 'it's my turn next'," he said.

But the youths smashed all the windows in his premises but did not set it on fire.

He remains shocked by the level of violence in an area he has always considered to be happily bi-racial.

Mr Dawber believed the root causes had not yet been tackled.


If you're black and you go into a white area they chase you and try to beat you up

Saghir Khan

He said: "A lot of lads here are either casually employed or unemployed and though I haven't got a great deal of knowledge from the outside it seems to be the same thing with the Asian lads.

"There's fear of not having a community to live in, frustration of not having a future, not having hope and a distinct lack of roots on both sides."

Taleban taunts

In the nearby Stoneyholme district a group of Asian youths agreed with Mr Dawber that jobs were badly needed in the town.

Hanging aimlessly around on a street corner in the predominantly Asian area they complained bitterly of continuing racism and a lack of opportunities.

One of them, a 15-year-old who said he had been excluded from school, said: "There's nothing to do, so people start trouble.

Mohammed Sher Ali Miah
Mohammed Sher Ali Miah: "Taleban taunts"

"Nothing's changed since the riots, there needs to be a better youth club to occupy the kids."

Unemployed Saghir Khan, 19, said young Asians were effectively penned into certain areas of the town.

"If you're black and you go into a white area they chase you and try to beat you up," he said.

Mohammed Sher Ali Miah, of the Bangladesh Welfare Association, believed relations between communities had deteriorated since the 11 September terror attacks in the US.


I don't think the Asians here have the will to integrate and it's a real problem in this area particularly

White resident of Burnley

Mr Miah told BBC News Online: "Just last week I was shopping at a local supermarket and some white people were looking at me and saying 'Taleban is here'. So I confronted them and told them off.

"But if anyone is dressed in an Islamic fashion people round here look at them and say nasty things."

'Power to the people'

Brenda Rochester, deputy chair of the Burnley Community Alliance, was on the taskforce which produced the report into the cause of the town's riots.

She said Burnley's problems had been brewing for at least a decade and believed residents themselves were best placed to sort them out.

Mubashar Shaheen Lone and Brenda Rochester
Mubashar Shaheen Lone and Brenda Rochester say relations in their area are good

Mrs Rochester said: "The power needs to be put back into the hands of the ordinary people.

"Instead of councils and governments telling us what we need they should be listening to our problems and how we perceive what we need."

Mrs Rochester lives in an area known as Top of the Town where she said the white and Asian communities had always lived peacefully together.

Mubashar Shaheen Lone, who has run the local corner shop for nine years, shared her positive outlook.

He said: "Both communities live together and we've never had a problem before these riots. And we still don't have a problem."

'More integration needed'

But one white woman who lives a few streets away from Mr Lone's business said tension was high.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said the area had gone downhill since significant numbers of Asian families had moved in.

"Unfortunately you can't sell houses very easily in a predominantly Asian areas for anything like the price you'd get otherwise," she said.

She agreed with Home Secretary David Blunkett's controversial remarks that minorities needed to integrate better, and said there was a danger more riots might follow.

She said: "They talk in a foreign language even in front of you which is rude and makes you a bit paranoid.

"The problem is they all want to stick together.

"I don't think the Asians here have the will to integrate and it's a real problem in this area particularly," she said.

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


Background

TALKING POINT

FORUM

AUDIO VIDEO
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes