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Battle of Cable Street

The so-called Battle of Cable Street took place on Sunday October 4, 1936 in the East End of London. It was a clash between fascists one one side and leftist, Jewish, communist and anti-fascist groups on the other.

The East End area was a melting pot of races and cultures. London's Jewish population was around 183,000, of which 60% lived in the East End with 52% of those living in the Borough of Stepney. Anti-semitism increased in line with the deteriorating social conditions in East London and Fascism was gaining support and popularity across Europe.

The British Union of Fascists (BUF) organised against the Jewish community, seeing them as the cause of many problems, and of being part of a world wide conspiracy of world domination as purported by the notorious book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

In the spring of 1936 Oswald Mosley targeted the East End as a focal point for BUF activity. The planned fascist parade through Cable Street was intended to be a show of strength.

The Labour, Communist and Trades Union movement responded with a campaign to "fight against fascism". The battle of Cable Street showed Mosley and his blackshirts that their political beliefs were generally opposed in that area of London. The battle is considered by some to be one of the most symbolic in working class history.