The Battle of Cable Street.

Antisemitic literature, 1923. Click for full size.

Antisemitic literature, 1923. Click for full size.

The Battle of Cable Street happened eighty years ago. If all you know about Cable Street is what Terry Pratchett wrote in Nightwatch, it would be good to click over to HOPE not hate’s website about this particular bit of history. Knowing this history is more important than ever, when you look at where Britain, the U.S., and other countries are going, speeding down a spiral of hatred, fear, bigotry, and misogyny. Too many countries are eagerly wanting to go backwards, and it is terrifying to note that not all that much has changed over the last 80 years, especially with so many people advocating open hatred and bigotry once again. Look at the propaganda sheet above, from 1923. It doesn’t read all that different from what people are saying right here and now in 2016, does it?  We do not need another Cable Street, and more to the point, no one should want another Cable Street. Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves surrounded by people who are more than ready to embrace the ugliest of human behaviours. Have a look at this post of Mano’s, if you need to refresh yourself on just how dire things happen to be right now. I can’t even begin to express just how good it would be if people would not only read history, but learn from it. So, please, read. And learn. We need to be well armed in the fight against willful ignorance and blind hatred, we need knowledge to fuel the flame, so we can all be blazing candles in the dark.

It is 80 years since the Jewish community of East London and its allies blocked the streets in order to prevent Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists marching through.

The Fascists were subjected to a humiliating defeat as the police found themselves unable to clear a path.

The Battle of Cable Street, as it has become known, is the most popular anti-fascist victory to have taken place on British soil.

This multimedia website looks at the history of 4 October 1936 and its subsequent commemoration. In order to do this we have used a variety of primary and secondary sources, including interviews with those involved.

HOPE not hate brings you this small resource not just to inform of an interesting historical episode but to allow visitors to draw some of the timeless lessons that can be learnt from it, and how the HOPE not hate campaign links to our shared heritage of Cable Street.

Via HOPE not hate. Hat tip to Daz for this one. Some good additional reading: 10 Points of Facism, and How Facism Takes Over.


  1. says

    Daz, you are always more than welcome to link here! I am always very happy to see you here, makes my day. This post is still being viewed, too, so if you think it would help to tack the links onto the main post, I will do so.

  2. rq says

    It’s quite mindboggling how similar the language is. I looked through the site, too, and even the attitudes and the actions -- it’s all so fucking similar. I’m so glad there were people back then to stand up to the blackshirts. And I hope there are more to stand in solidarity today.

  3. says


    It’s quite mindboggling how similar the language is. I looked through the site, too, and even the attitudes and the actions – it’s all so fucking similar.

    That’s what struck me with force. If you removed the old references, and quoted most of it, people would think all that was said right now, today. It really drives home how little has actually changed, and just how powerful bigotry and othering remain.

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