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October 17, 2016

80 Years Ago: Historical Pictures of the Battle of Cable Street – The Fight Against Fascism

On October 4th 1936, the people of East London came out on the streets to resist the fascists marching through their communities.

Britain at the time was torn by social and economic divisions, few places saw more poverty than East London. In 1932 Sir Oswald Mosley had formed the British Union of fascists (BUF). They adopted the black shirt as their uniform. The BUF portrayed Jews as seeking world domination and of stealing jobs. In March 1936 Mosley had declared "it was the intention of British Fascism to challenge and break for ever the power of Jews in Britain."

Many Jewish families lived around Cable Street. 3,000 of Mosley's Blackshirts attempted to march through the area. Resistance by local people - trade unionists, communists, the Labour Party amongst others - forced the march to be abandoned. They said "They Shall Not Pass".

The successful defeat of Nazi sympathizer Oswald Mosley's march through the East End, known as the Battle of Cable Street, is being commemorated this year by marches, talks and other events in this corner of London.

Anti-fascist demonstrators flee as police attack a barricade.

British policemen dismantle a barrier near Mark Lane, London, to make way for a march by supporters of the leader of the British Union of Fascists Oswald Mosley. The barricade was constructed by members of the Communist Party during the Battle of Cable Street.

British Union of Fascists members salute their leader, Sir Oswald Mosley.

British politician Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley (1896 - 1980) inspects members of his British Union of Fascists in Royal Mint Street, London. Their presence sparked a riot which became known as the Battle of Cable Street.

Policemen arresting a demonstrator when fascists and communists clashed during a march know as the Battle of Cable Street led by British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley in London's East End.

Police clash with anti-fascist demonstrators.

Police arrest an anti-fascist demonstrator.

Repairing a pavement in Cable Street, Mark Lane, London which was ripped up to prevent a Fascist march.

A crowd of demonstrators fleeing as police break down a barricade in Cable Street, Aldgate, east London. The protest is against the proposed march of Fascists through London.

Police arrest an anti-fascist demonstrator.

Police arrest an anti-fascist protester. One officer is holding the protester's shoe in his hand.

(All photos © Getty Images, via Mashable/Retronaut)


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