Sunday 09 October saw the 80th anniversary march and rally of the Battle of Cable Street, proudly attended by the CPGB-ML, Red Youth, and a multitude of socialist parties, trade unions, anti-fascists, and anarchists. The event saw thousands of working class activists, young and old, some there to remember, and some to discover the lessons of the past that must inform our actions today and in future.
On 4 October 1936 a mass mobilisation of some 20,000 people in the East End of London, primarily organised by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and the Independent Labour Party (ILP), forced out the blackshirts of Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (BUF).
It was a great and highly organised fight, with strategic placements, barricades and worked-out rushes at the police, who were standing between the blackshirts and the angry, politically motivated East End working class.
The organisation of the anti-fascists was hardly surprising. Not only because they outnumbered the 3,000 or so fascists and 6,000 or so police, but also because many of the men over the age of 36 had fought in the trenches during the first world war, and therefore understood the military basics of attack and defence. Energy and commitment are great, but energy, commitment, experience and expertise are even better.
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