LONDON -- With broadcasters, columnists and editorialists absorbed in chronicling Margaret Thatcher's life, times and demise, Britons on Tuesday mulled the ideological divide that her critics and even some of her admirers depicted as deepening during her years as prime minister.
While many current and former politicians seemed to form lines to offer their reaction to her death of a stroke at age 87 on Monday, and radio shows were filled with recordings of her best-known utterances, some isolated protests broke out overnight in London, Bristol and Glasgow, reflecting the same social schism between haves and have-nots that characterized the debate over her legacy.
Hundreds of her opponents gathered at the site of violent protests against her policies in the 1980s, with a small crowd in Brixton, in south London -- where anti-Thatcher riots broke out in 1981 -- chanting, "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie -- Dead, Dead, Dead."
The protest was reminiscent of the early days of the Thatcher era, when joblessness soared as faltering industries were denied subsidies and a record 10,000 businesses went bankrupt. "Things will get worse before they get better," she said at the time, depicting the economic malaise as a legacy of left-wing rule. With riots in Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol as well as Brixton, Mrs. Thatcher later recalled 1981 as the worst of her 11 years in office.
At what was billed as a celebratory street party in the southwestern city of Bristol overnight, around 200 people clashed with police officers trying to disperse them early on Tuesday, the police said, and six officers were injured in scuffles. One officer remained in the hospital on Tuesday, and one partygoer was arrested on a charge of violent disorder.
"We can't deny that Lady Thatcher divided opinion," Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday. But some who castigated her as divisive also paid grudging respect to her stature.
On Tuesday, her admirers depicted her policies, like encouraging private business and crushing labor unions, as liberating the economy from years in the doldrums, while her foes characterized them as ruinous for the poor. Many critics also remembered what was widely seen as a catastrophic political misjudgment toward the end of her third and final term as Britain's longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century when she sought to impose a so-called community charge, which was widely known as the poll tax, provoking mass public protests.
"Margaret Thatcher broke Britain and replaced what had come before with something crueller, nastier," the left-wing Daily Mirror said in an editorial. In the northern city of Sheffield, which blamed her for the loss of jobs, a headline in The Star, a regional newspaper, said, "We can never forgive her."
Several radio shows were devoted to Mrs. Thatcher's record in crushing organized labor after confrontations with miners and printers, among others. But others recalled more popular measures -- like selling public housing to private buyers at reduced prices -- that extended private ownership to citizens along with opportunities for small investors to buy stakes in privatized state industries.
The liberal-leaning Guardian said in an editorial: "There should be no dancing on her grave but it is right there is no state funeral either. Her legacy is of public division, private selfishness and a cult of greed, which together shackle far more of the human spirit than they ever set free."
By contrast, conservative newspapers like The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail offered enthusiastic praise for the person whom The Mail, in an online commentary echoing Mr. Cameron, called "the woman who saved Britain" and "a giant beside whom other peacetime politicians of the 20th and 21st centuries look like mere pygmies."
On Monday, Mr. Cameron said Parliament would be recalled from a recess to assemble on Wednesday so that lawmakers can offer their views in advance of a ceremonial funeral with military honors next week. There Mrs. Thatcher's body will be taken to St. Paul's Cathedral on a gun carriage -- the traditional cortege for royalty and leaders of stature, including Winston Churchill.
Buckingham Palace said Tuesday that Queen Elizabeth II would join hundreds of dignitaries at the service on April 17 -- the first time she has attended the funeral of a former prime minister since Churchill's death in 1965.
As is the practice between the monarch and serving prime ministers, the queen and Mrs. Thatcher met for private conversations at weekly audiences. But a biography of Queen Elizabeth by Ben Pimlott said their relationship displayed "a rigidity that never softened."
Her body will not lie in state and the ceremony will not be a state funeral, according to the British authorities. But it will be conducted with the trappings of a historic moment, with streets cordoned off and military honor guards. The funeral will be conducted with the same level of pomp and formality as those of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 and the Queen Mother in 2002, British authorities have said.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.