Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Cable Street 70th Anniversary -Wednesday 4th October 2006, 7:30pm

At: Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London W1
From: 7:30pm
To: Unknown
Speakers: include Aubrey Morris (Cable Street veteran), Asad Rehman (Newham Monitoring Project), David Rosenberg (Jewish Socialists' Group) incorporating a tribute to JSG member and anti-fascist activist Reuben Goldberg who died on October 4th 1997).

Day the East End said 'No pasaran' to Blackshirts
Demonstrators flee police during a protest in Cable Street, east London, against a proposed fascist march. (Photograph: David Savill/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
They built barricades from paving stones, timber and overturned lorries. Women threw the contents of chamber pots on to the heads of policemen and children hurled marbles under their horses and burst bags of pepper in front of their noses.

Next Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the day that Jews, communists, trade unionists, Labour party members, Irish Catholic dockers and the people of the East End of London united in defiance of Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists and refused to let them march through their streets.

Shouting the Spanish civil war slogan "No pasaran" - "They shall not pass" - more than 300,000 people turned back an army of Blackshirts. Their victory over racism and anti-Semitism on Sunday October 4 1936 became known as the Battle of Cable Street and encapsulated the British fight against a fascism that was stomping across Europe.

Mosley planned to send columns of thousands of goose-stepping men throughout the impoverished East End dressed in uniforms that mimicked those of Hitler's Nazis. His target was the large Jewish community.

The Jewish Board of Deputies advised Jews to stay away. The Jewish Chronicle warned: "Jews are urgently warned to keep away from the route of the Blackshirt march and from their meetings.

"Jews who, however innocently, become involved in any possible disorders will be actively helping anti-Semitism and Jew-baiting. Unless you want to help the Jew baiters, keep away."

The Jews did not keep away. Professor Bill Fishman, now 89, who was 15 on the day, was at Gardner's Corner in Aldgate, the entrance to the East End. "There was masses of marching people. Young people, old people, all shouting 'No Pasaran' and 'One two three four five - we want Mosley, dead or alive'," he said. "It was like a massive army gathering, coming from all the side streets. Mosley was supposed to arrive at lunchtime but the hours were passing and he hadn't come. Between 3pm and 3.30 we could see a big army of Blackshirts marching towards the confluence of Commercial Road and Whitechapel Road.
from an article by Audrey Gillan, Saturday September 30, 2006, The Guardian

See also: David Smith's article in the Sunday October 1, 2006 edition of The Observer: Mosley's son to hail his father's Cable Street humiliation

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