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Notting Hill Webcam - Live Carnival Street View

 Europe, United Kingdom, London
 

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Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event which since 1966 has taken place on the streets of Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea , London, UK each August, over two days (the August bank holiday Monday and the day beforehand). It is led by members of the Trinidad and Tobago (Trini) Caribbean population, many of whom have lived in the area since the 1950s. The carnival has attracted up to 2 million people in the past, making it the second largest street festival in the world after the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival held in that country

The roots of Carnival come from two separate but connected strands. Carnival began in January 1959 in St Pancras Town Hall as a response to the depressing state of race relations at the time; the UK's first widespread racial attacks (the Notting Hill race riots) had occurred the previous year. This carnival organised by Claudia Jones (a "Trini") who is widely recognised as 'the Mother of Notting Hill Carnival', was a huge success, despite being held indoors. The London Free School inspired festival was the first organised outside event in August 1966. The prime mover was Rhaune Laslett, who was not aware of the indoor events when she first raised the idea. This was a more diverse Notting Hill event to promote cultural unity but overlapping with earlier events by the involvement of Russ Henderson's steel band who had played at the earlier Claudia Jones events.

By 1976, the event had become definitely Caribbean in flavour, with around 150,000 people attending. However, in that year and several subsequent years, Carnival was marred by riots, in which predominantly Caribbean youths fought with police  a target due to the continuous harassment the population felt they were under. During this period, there was considerable coverage of the disorder in the press, which some felt took an unfairly negative and one-sided view of Carnival. For a while it looked as if the event would be banned. Prince Charles was one of the few establishment figures who supported the event.

In recent years, the event has been much freer from serious trouble and is generally viewed very positively by the authorities as a dynamic celebration of London's multi-cultural diversity, though dominated by the Caribbean culture in the best traditions of Rio. However, there has been controversy over the public safety aspects of holding such a well-attended event in narrow streets in a small area of London.

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