1936 anti-fascist London battle has resonance today

October 7th, 2011

Published on Reuters, by Michael Holden, October 4, 2011.

(Reuters) – Max Levitas recalls the electricity in the air as more than 100,000 Jews, Irish workers, communists and residents battled police to stop fascists marching through a Jewish area of east London in 1936. The protesters threw marbles under the hooves of police horses and residents dumped garbage and chamber pots from their windows in what became known as the “Battle of Cable Street.” Dozens were injured in the violent clashes as baton-wielding officers unsuccessfully tried to break their lines. 

Seventy-five years later, the sprightly 96-year-old is still out on the streets. To Levitas and his fellow anti-fascist campaigners, Cable Street stands as a still-relevant warning for Britain today. “Look what’s happening again. It’s a recurrence of the fight which we had against racism,” Levitas told Reuters. With Britain’s economy in a downturn and unemployment rising, academics and experts say Britain is witnessing the rise of a new “far right,” with the grass-roots English Defense League (EDL) as its more publicly acceptable face … //


Senior police officers have warned Britain faces a growing threat from far-right “lone wolves” as Breivik appears to be. About 40 individuals who hold extremist right-wing views have been convicted in Britain for violent or terrorist offences in recent years. They include David Copeland, who killed three in a 13-day bombing campaign in 1999 aimed at ethnic communities and homosexuals, and Ian Davison, described as a leading member of the now defunct Aryan Strike Force (ASF), who last year was the first person in Britain to be convicted of manufacturing a deadly chemical weapon, the poison ricin. For the time being, right-wing groups remain on the fringes politically, although they are more visible in society than at any time since Mosley in the 1930s … (full text).


Anti Fascist Encyclopedia;

Locals mark Northern Ireland brigades anniversary‎, on Morning Star Online,by Lynda Walker, October 5, 2011.

Feature: The Battle Of Cable Street – The day the Fascists were stopped in their tracks, on Islington Tribune – The Independent London Newspaper, Sept. 29, 2011;

AntiFascist Network;


Anti-Fascist Action: Disambiguation on en.wikipedia.

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