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1 Comment Vintage
[Original in B&W]
Although the Battle of Cable Street was not actively motivated by some shared moral imperative to protect the Jews, it was important to all involved as a firm message of opposition to the threat of fascism in the United Kingdom.
Below is an excerpt from http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2006/10/03/cablestreet_battle_feature.shtml
>The BUF had been terrorising Jews throughout the East End. On Oct 4th they planned to march through Stepney, an area with the largest Jewish population in England.
Their way was blocked by thousands of demonstrators, made up of anti-fascists, communists, Jews, dockers and labourers from the local community. They flooded the narrow streets, making them impassable. They carried banners and chanted "They Shall Not Pass" a slogan adopted from the Spanish Republicans.
In Cable Street a hasty barricade was erected, made of mattresses, furniture, planks of wood from a local builders yard and even a lorry. A lone tram driver stopped in the middle of a junction, blocking their way, before he got out and walking off. Women in houses along the street contributed by hurling rotten vegetables, rubbish, bottles and the contents of chamber pots onto the police as they attempted to dismantle the barricade.
Finally, the police gave in and told Mosley to march back through the deserted City of London streets to The Embankment. There was jubilation and partying in the streets of the East End.
In the following months, the government passed The Public Order Act of 1936 forbidding the wearing of political uniforms in public. After the battle of Cable Street, BUF popularity was never the same. A remarkable story from an unremarkable street.