Demonstrations 1950-1980

Demonstrations in London between 1950 and 1980 reflected the new concerns of the period: race relations, nuclear disarmament, industrial unrest and the war in Vietnam. They also illustrated the new assertiveness of the young.


A series of massive 'ban the bomb' marches were organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to protest against Britain's programme of hydrogen bomb testing that had begun in 1955. The demonstrators marched from Aldermaston, the atomic weapons research establishment, to Trafalgar Square. The 1960 demonstration of over 100,000 people was said to be the largest ever seen in London.


Many protests were staged against the Vietnam war. In March 1968, a protest of 10,000 people outside the American embassy in Grosvenor Square turned violent: 56 people including 25 police officers were taken to hospital.

23 April 1968

Up to 1,000 London dockers marched to parliament in support of the recently sacked Enoch Powell, whom they thought had been victimised because of his views on immigration.

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