April 29, 1992 — The Rodney King trial verdict results in widespread rioting in LA

It’s hard not to think that something may have gone wrong with the American justice system at times. For example, when several police officers (Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Rolando Solano) are caught on video beating a suspect, when those same police officers are later heard boasting about the injuries they dealt out, well, you’d expect that convicting them of the crimes that they very clearly committed would be a straightforward matter.

Unless, of course, all the cops were white while the suspect was black. Unless the jury consists of ten whites, an Asian and a Hispanic. Unless the trial is held in a jurisdiction notably more conservative than the one where these events took place. Then the complete acquittal of all four officers should be expected as a matter of course, because as we all know, justice is less important than the good name of the Los Angeles Police Department, and anyway, Rodney King must have had it coming, right?

So later that day, after the verdict is announced, these same police officers and jurors claiming to be stunned that anyone could possibly disagree with the verdict is completely believable. If you’re an idiot, that is.

The riots in Los Angeles (which lasted a week and caused 53 deaths, a thousand injuries, somewhere in the region of a billion dollars worth of property damages and kicked off sympathetic riots in other cities), while not in any way justifiable, were certainly both an understandable and a predictable response.

Los Angeles Riots, 1992 (17094267471).jpg
By Ricky BonillaLos Angeles Riots, 1992, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

As mentioned in:

Riot — 2 Chainz
Anger — Downset
Race War — Ice-T
I Wanna Riot — Rancid
Rioting — The Rugburns
Disorder — Slayer & Ice-T
Polaroid Baby — Bratmobile
Objection Overruled — Accept
Livin’ on the Edge — Aerosmith
Say Goodbye — Black Eyed Peas
Shock to the System — Billy Idol
Don’t Pray on Me — Bad Religion
April 29, 1992 (Miami) — Sublime
Porno for Pyros — Porno for Pyros
Black Girlfriend — Porno for Pyros
Never can say Goodbye — The Game
Simi Valley Blues — Branford Marsalis
Black Tie White Noise — David Bowie
Forgotten (Lost Angels) — Lamb of God
The Day tha Niggaz Took Over — Dr. Dre
Peace in L.A. — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Township Rebellion — Rage Against the Machine
We Had to Tear This Motherfucka Up — Ice Cube
Stuck Between a Rock and a White Face — One Minute Silence

September 19, 1979 — The Star Hotel in Newcastle closes down

The Star Hotel in Newcastle wasn’t what you would have expected from a town like Newcastle in the late Seventies. The front bar might have catered to sailors and dockers like most other Newcastle pubs, but the back bar had bands playing every night of the week – and completely free. (There was also a middle bar, which hosted drag shows.)

The pun was a byword in Newcastle for the rebelliousness and rowdiness of the crowds. The crackdown was a while in coming, but it was inevitable that the authorities would respond. In Septmber of 1979, the response came with brutal swiftness. It was announced that the Star Hotel was to close – and only a single week’s notice was given. Protests and petitions were organised, but to no avail.

On the final night of trading, September 19, 1979, a crowd of 4000 people gathered to drink and dance at The Star Hotel for the last time ever. As the police showed up to quell the ‘disturbance’, the night descended into violence and chaos. The Star Hotel is best remembered today for this final riot.

As mentioned in:

Star Hotel – Cold Chisel