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FAIR Bradford Report

In the summer of 2001 a number of northern towns became the focus for a series of social disturbances. In Bradford on the 7th July 2001, wide scale disturbances went on
for many hours causing millions of pounds worth of damage.

Coincidentally, the disturbances were on the same day that Bradford Council and the Home Secretary had banned a National Front march through the city centre, even though many supporters and activists still arrived, insisting the march would proceed. Reports in the local media at the time, suggested that unrest was sparked off as these far-right extremists left a local pub threatening violence and verbally abusing locals.

This resulted in the local community of mainly Asian Muslims being forced to defend itself or face violent attack. The national media however portrayed the disturbances as
riots instigated by Asian Muslims, preferring to ignore the role of the far right in creating fear and inciting racial and religious tension.

White people who took part in the disturbances, some of whom threw petrol bombs, were charged with minimal offences, resulting in community service and minor sentences. Asian Muslims however, were charged with ‘riot’, despite their actions being often no more than throwing stones or simply being in the area. These extreme charges have seen excessive sentencing, ranging from four to eight years, sometimes merely for throwing a stone.

The report by FAIR looks at the riots, the background and subsequent sentencing of the rioters.  It also focuses on the campaign by the families of the rioters, the Fair Justics for All campaign.

Download the Bradford Report (PDF)