Tuesday, 4 October 2016

#plaque366 The Battle of #CableStreet

A London commemorative plaque for every day in 2016. 

The plaques are selected from all walks of life, and all points of the London compass – and I'm taking requests too!

DROP ME A LINE or leave a comment below if you'd like to nominate a plaque for inclusion in the series

Eighty years to the day since Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists were told, loud and clear" "They shall not pass!"

Here's how erstwhile London Walks guide Ed Glinert described the events for this blog in 2009…

“This date, October 4th back in 1936. was when East London said: ‘No.’

The ‘No’ was to Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, who wanted to march his troops through the heart of the Jewish East End to frighten the residents. Mosley saw himself as a potential fascist dictator to rank alongside Mussolini and Franco, but he wasn’t manic enough to plan a coup. Instead he and his Blackshirts dealt in low-level violence and intimidation.

That summer of 1936 fascist supporters boarded buses in east London throwing off those they suspected of being Jewish. They sent letters to Jewish MPs and councillors explaining how ‘each of you has a lamppost ready and waiting’. BUF members would walk into Jewish-run shops and announce: ‘This won’t be your shop for long. It will soon be ours.’ They announced the march for October the 4th. It would stop at four designated points throughout the East End to rally support, the biggest show of strength the fascists could muster. The Jews were worried that the march would be followed by a pogrom. The communists, with one eye on the Spanish Civil War, which had recently begun, wanted to prevent the fascists organising to gain support. Labour Party leader Clement Atlee warned the authorities that the march would lead to much bloodshed, and urged a ban. The Met drafted 6,000 police officers into the area.

Mosley’s Bentley arrived at Tower Hill at lunchtime on the Sunday and set off for Cable Street. Violence followed, there were mass arrests, the fascists were humiliated.

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.

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