1990 Poll Tax Demonstration

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Joined: 16-11-09
Nov 16 2009 18:15
1990 Poll Tax Demonstration

I am currently researching the Poll Tax Demonstrations on March 31, 1990 in central London for my master's thesis on the influence of urban spaces upon mass movements and political demonstrations. Unfortunately, I have not found all the necessary information. While reading through the testimonials on this site, I became hopeful that anyone at the demonstration might be able to answer some questions I have developed:

1) What was the demonstration route supposed to be? I understand it started in Kennington Park, and ended in Trafalgar Square via Whitehall (with a portion of the protest being diverted on to the embankment at Parliament Square), but I do not know how the demonstration moved from Kennington Park to Parliament Square. I think the demonstration used Lambeth Bridge to cross the Thames, but even if I'm right, I do not know which streets they marched down to arrive at Lambeth Bridge. If you have any knowledge of the path, I would be greatly appreciative.

2) The reports I've read suggest that Trafalgar Square has a capacity of the 70,000 people, the square quickly reached this capacity, prompting the tail-end of the demonstration to be diverted. However, the estimates for the march hover around 200,000 people, if Trafalgar Square had reached its maximum of 70,000 people, and masses of people were still pouring into Trafalgar via Whitehall and Northumberland, even if Trafalgar exceeded its capacity I am skeptical the square could house nearly three times its capacity. Where did the he additional 130,000 people go? If you have any information on where they went, I would be appreciative.

3) I know the police eventually blockaded the Whitehall and Northumberland entrance's to Trafalgar Square, were any other streets blocked off, if so which ones?

4) Did the barricades erected along the middle of Whitehall extend from parliament square to Trafalgar Square?

5) Why was the conflict restricted to the southeast corner of the square? Is this the only point of convergence between police and demonstrators? If so, what were the rest of the people in the square doing, during the violence?

Any information is greatly appreciative and VERY welcome! In any case, thank you for at least reading this.