Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Workers Know Your History, Battle Of Cable Street.

         Today marks the 80th anniversary of The Battle of Cable Street. October 4th. 1936. It was an event that started as so many of these confrontations with fascism do, with all the major Caesars of the political parties calling for a peaceful low key demonstration, they don't want to upset the political order of  things in which the want to control. Sometimes the people have other ideas and decide to go and do it their way. At which point, if it looks like a winner or the leaders being left behind, then they will jump on the bandwagon. The people of the East End of London was a mixed group of cultures, mainly Irish and Jewish, different likes, different desires, different histories, but came together with one real hate, fascism.
       Mosley's fascist "army", they did wear uniforms as the paraded their venom through the streets, with the backing of the British state, failed to break down the resistance of the local working class, and the black-shirt army, had to do their marching away from the East End, rather than through the area.

From East End Women's Museum:

       On 4 October 1936, Oswald Mosley’s fascist Blackshirts attempted to march from Tower Hill, through Aldgate and Shadwell, a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood at that time.
       When they arrived at Gardiner’s Corner, a huge crowd (estimates vary from 20,000 to 200,000) gathered to block their path, roaring “They Shall Not Pass!” After 6,000 police failed to clear the area, the march was diverted via Cable Street.
      However, three sets of barricades, including an overturned lorry, had already been set up there. Broken glass and marbles had been strewn across the street, and thousands of local people massed behind each barricade, chanting anti-fascist slogans and fighting back fiercely against the police.
       Eventually the Police Commissioner instructed Mosley to march his troops west and out of the area, in a humiliating defeat. Thousands of the anti-fascist protestors gathered in Victoria Park to celebrate their victory.
Continue reading:
From Libcom:
         I was put in a cell and lay on my back waiting for the possible entry of the heavy mob. I heard a woman screaming in another cell. There was a clanking sound as her cell door was opened. Followed by complete silence, after which I heard the cell door being closed. I don't remember any more about my stay in the cell as I fell fast asleep. I had not been interfered with in any way. It was about 11.30pm when I felt someone shaking me. He said. 'Come on, your friends have come to take you home'. He added, 'You haven't half got a lot of friends'. I entered the reception area and there was Phil Piratin complete with rent book. He had come to bail me out. Outside the station hundreds of people were assembled, all shouting 'They shall not pass'. A little cheer went up as I appeared. 
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1 comment:

  1. A day that certainly should be celebrated and remembered by all. "They Shall Not Pass!" ... And they did not pass!