REMEMBERED: 1999 – Demonstrators marched in Westminster, London, in protest at racist violence and the recent nail bomb attacks in Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho.
TODAY (APR 17) marks the 20th anniversary of the Brixton Market nail bombing. On this day at 5.25pm, a bomb went off in the south London area, injuring 48 people.
The attack was a coordinated terror campaign carried out by a white right wing terrorist and a way to incite fear in Afro-Caribbean, Asian and LGBT places.
It was the first of three nail bomb attacks committed over a two-week period – a homemade device was detonated in Brick Lane in east London on April 24 1999 and aimed at the Asian community.
The third was a bomb which exploded at the gay bar Admiral Duncan in the heart of Soho in central London on April 30 1999, which killed three people.
The perpetrator, white supremacist David Copeland, was sentenced to six terms of life imprisonment in June 2000 after being found guilty of three counts of murder and for planting the homemade explosive devices, following an investigation by what was then the Met’s Anti-Terrorist Branch.
Speaking on the anniversary, Commander Mark McEwan said: “Two decades have passed since these abhorrent attacks which left an indelible mark on London.
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected – those who lost their lives, their family and loved ones, and all of the people who survived the attacks and continue to live with the physical and psychological trauma of what happened.
“London’s black, Asian and gay communities were the target of these bombs, but they were an affront to London as a whole, and to the diversity and unity which characterises this great city.
“In the past two decades, Londoners have shown time and time again that they wholeheartedly reject everything that attacks of this nature are intended to do – instil fear and create prejudice and conflict to divide communities.
“The anniversary of these atrocities serve as a reminder that we can never be complacent in dealing with extremism and people who harbour radical views based on racial, religious and other forms of prejudice.
Over the next two weeks, there will be a series of community events where the victims of these attacks will be commemorated.
An event will take place today outside the Iceland store in Brixton at 6pm, where the National HCAW – an organisation that was founded to mark the anniversaries of the London Nail Bomb attacks on Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho – will light three candles representing the three people who died and the three communities that were attacked.
Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.