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Anti-racist activist marks Battle of Cable Street anniversary

Bangla Mirror Desk:


Jeremy Corbyn, local Labour MP Apsana Begum, Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs, trade union and community leaders gathered at St Georges Park, Cable Street on 3 October to mark the 85th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street in East London.

On 4 October 1936, hundreds of thousands of people blocked Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists’ proposed march through an area populated by many Jewish families.

Bloody battles broke out as 6,000 metropolitan police tried to clear a path for the anti-Semitic ‘Blackshirts’. But they could not overcome the barricades erected by Jews and gentiles, communists and socialists, and Irish and English workers under the slogan of the anti-fascist war in Spain, ‘No Pasaran – They Shall Not Pass’.

Jeremy Corbyn’s mother, Naomi was there on the day. So too were Harold Rosen and Connie Isaakofsky, then members of the Young Communist League, whose son writer and broadcaster Michael Rosen read a poem at the event.

Other speakers include Rabbi Herschel Gluck, actor Marlene Sidaway on behalf of the International Brigades Memorial Trust, RMT railway workers’ leader Mick Lynch, Altab Ali Foundation’s Nooruddin Ahmed, representatives of the Bengali Workers Council, the Indian Workers Association (GB) and Ruth Levitas, whose father Maurice went from Cable Street to fight in Spain while uncle Max organised a successful rent strike and was later elected to Stepney council. Convenor of the Cable Street ’21 Committee, Robert Griffiths said, ‘Racism, including anti-Semitism, still blights many people’s lives today. We should take inspiration from the unity that won the Battle of Cable Street’.

Prior to the rally at St Georges, anti-racists assembled at the junction of Leman St & Cable St and marched to the mural on St Georges Town Hall. The rally was jointly chaired by David Rosenberg, Jewish Socialist Group and Julie Begum, Swadhinata Trust. Altab Ali Foundation In the march, Altab Ali Foundation’s contingent was led by its Chairperson Nooruddin Ahmed, Secretary Ansar Ahmed Ullah, Raju Nathan, Jamal Khan, Organising Secretary, Shamim Ahmed, IT Secretary, Sheikh Noor, Matiar Chowdhury, Smriti Azad, Mustafa Kamal Milan, Fazlur Rahman Sagor, patron Murad Qureshi & Dan Jones amongst others.