Battle of Cable Street

Battle of Cable Street

The outbreak of civil disorder known as the Battle of Cable Street took place on Sunday 4 October 1936. A march by the British Union of Fascists (known as the Blackshirts) through the Jewish East End provoked a huge reaction by anti-fascist protestors. Jewish, Irish, Socialist and Communist demonstrators barricaded the streets and prevented the march from continuing.

The British Union of Fascists (BUF) led by Oswald Mosley planned to send thousands of marchers through the Jewish East End dressed in uniforms styled on those of Mussolini's Blackshirts. The Board of Deputies of British Jews denounced the march as Jew-baiting and urged the Jewish community to stay away.

The marchers met with massive counter demonstrations. The anti-fascist groups erected roadblocks in order to stop the march from taking place. The police tried to clear the road but a series of running battles between the police and the protesters rendered the narrow streets around Aldgate completely impassable.

Shops were closed, and many were boarded up. 300,000 people gathered at Leman Street, Gardiners Corner and Aldgate. Eventually it was clear that the march could not take place and the fascists had to be diverted along the Embankment.

Bookmark with:

  • What are these?