Food and Frontlines: An Audiotour
In 1981, the Frontline erupted here. Some say the uprising started when the police raided Johnson’s next door – now a hairdresser. Clive Hewitt, whose family took over the All Nations in 2013, recalls the uprisings. ‘Stoke Newington police station was lucky, ‘cause people were planning to burn it down. That was the talk. Enough is enough. A lot of people have lost their lives in that place.’ Gary Molloy recalls the party atmosphere on the eve of the riots, with young people changing into their best ‘clobber’.
‘Cut Up Dub’, 1976 by Hugh Boatswain describes the policing of black men around that time:
'Wind blows cold,
Feet shuffle in the dark,
Apprehensive of Babylon
Touring the streets for the brethern.
A goin' bounce up Stokey tonight,
But a h'aint goin' run through the night.
You see Babylon got a thing:
(Nigger running in the dark) = CRIME
‘Hey boy, what have you just done?’
‘Me hafficer? - Nat a ting.’
‘Why you running then?’
‘Late sa', gotta meet de dartah.’
'Sorry son, going to have to take you in,
Lots of crimes in this area,
Come on down to the station for questioning.’
Nex' morning, black boy come from station,
No bookings, no charges,
Jus' a heapful a bruises.
Man, a' goin' bounce up Stokey tonight,
But I ain't goin' run in de dark.'