Battle of Cable Street

The Battle of Cable Street was an event that took place in Cable Street and Whitechapel in the East End of London, on Sunday 4 October 1936. It was a clash between the Metropolitan Police, sent to protect a march by members of the British Union of Fascists[1] led by Oswald Mosley, and various anti-fascist demonstrators, including local anarchist, communist, Jewish and socialist groups.[2] The majority of both marchers and counter-protesters travelled into the area for this purpose.

Battle-of-Cable-Street-red-plaque
Commemorative plaque in Dock Street
Battle of Cable Street
CableStreet
Flyer distributed by the London Communist Party
Date4 October 1936
Location
51°30′39″N 0°03′08″W / 51.5109°N 0.0521°WCoordinates: 51°30′39″N 0°03′08″W / 51.5109°N 0.0521°W
Caused byOpposition to a fascist march through East London
MethodsProtest
Resulted inFascist march called off
Parties to the civil conflict
Lead figures
Number
3,000
20,000
6,000
Casualties
Injuries~175
Arrested~150

Background

It became known that the British Union of Fascists (BUF) were organising a march to take place on Sunday 4 October 1936, through the heart of the East End (an area which then had a large Jewish population).[3] Mosley planned to send thousands of marchers dressed in their Blackshirt uniform through the East End. An estimated 100,000 residents of the area petitioned then Home Secretary John Simon to ban the march because of the strong likelihood of violence. He refused, and sent a police escort in an attempt to prevent anti-fascist protesters from disrupting the march.[4]

The Board of Deputies of British Jews denounced the march as anti-semitic, and urged Jews to stay away. Phil Piratin, a member of the local branch of the Communist Party of Great Britain, quickly organised opposition forces. The following year, Piratin became the first Communist to be elected to Stepney Borough Council.

Events

The anti-fascist groups built roadblocks in an attempt to prevent the march from taking place. The barricades were constructed near the junction with Christian Street in Stepney, towards the west end of this long street. The main confrontation took place around Gardiner's Corner in Whitechapel. An estimated 20,000 anti-fascist demonstrators turned out, and were met by 6,000–7,000 policemen (including mounted police), who attempted to clear the road to permit the march of 2,000–3,000 fascists to proceed.[5] The demonstrators fought back with sticks, rocks, chair legs and other improvised weapons. Rubbish, rotten vegetables and the contents of chamber pots were thrown at the police by women in houses along the street. After a series of running battles, Mosley agreed to abandon the march to prevent bloodshed. The BUF marchers were dispersed towards Hyde Park instead while the anti-fascists rioted with police. About 150 demonstrators were arrested, although some escaped with the help of other demonstrators. Around 175 people were injured including police, women and children.[4]

Aftermath

Many of the arrested demonstrators reported harsh treatment at the hands of the police.[6]

Between 1979 and 1983, a large mural depicting the battle was painted on the side of St George's Town Hall. This building was originally the vestry hall for the area and later the town hall of Stepney Borough Council. It stands in Cable Street, about 150 yards (140 m) west of Shadwell overground station. A red plaque in Dock Street commemorates the incident.[7]

Numerous events were planned in East London for the battle's 75th anniversary in October 2011, including music[8] and a march,[9] and the mural was once again restored. In 2016, to mark the battle's 80th anniversary, a march took place from Altab Ali Park to Cable Street.[10] The march was attended by some of those who were originally involved.[11]

CableStreetMural
Modern depiction of the Battle of Cable Street. The event is frequently invoked in contemporary British politics.

The event is frequently cited by the contemporary Antifa movement.[12]

In popular culture

See also

References

  1. ^ "Cable Street: 'Solidarity stopped Mosley's fascists'". BBC News. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  2. ^ Barling, Kurt (4 October 2011). "Why remember Battle of Cable Street?". Retrieved 16 May 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ hate, HOPE not. "The Battle of Cable Street". www.cablestreet.uk. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b Brooke, Mike (30 December 2014). "Historian Bill Fishman, witness to 1936 Battle of Cable Street, dies at 93". News. Hackney. Hackney Gazette. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  5. ^ Jones, Nigel, Mosley, Haus, 2004, p. 114
  6. ^ Kushner, Anthony and Valman, Nadia (2000) Remembering Cable Street: fascism and anti-fascism in British society. Vallentine Mitchell, p. 182. ISBN 0-85303-361-7
  7. ^ "Battle of Cable Street - Dock Street". London Remembers. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  8. ^ Phil Katz. "Communist Party – Communist Party". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  9. ^ Cable Street 75. "Cable Street 75". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  10. ^ Brooke, Mike. "'They Shall Not Pass' message from the past for Battle of Cable Street 80th anniversary". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  11. ^ Rod McPhee (1 October 2016). "'We still haven't learned the lesson of the Battle of Cable Street 80 years on'". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  12. ^ Penny, Daniel (22 August 2017). "An Intimate History of Antifa". The New Yorker. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Chicken Soup with Barley, Royal Court, London". The Independent. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2017.

External links

Arthur Moyse

Arthur Moyse (21 June 1914 – 22 February 2003) was an Anglo-Irish anarchist, artist and writer. He was born in County Wexford and moved to West London in his youth to Shepherd's Bush where he continued to live until his death.

In his youth he was actively involved in political activity including the battle of Cable Street in 1936. He also saw active service in World War Two, including the airborne landings at Arnhem in 1944, but he was court-martialled twice for insubordination.As well as being something of a self-publisher, particularly with his attachment to London bohemia life and producing the ZeroOne magazine, he is most commonly known as an art critic and cartoonist. His outpourings would contribute to Freedom, Anarchy and The Raven: Anarchist Quarterly amongst others from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.

Bill Alexander (politician)

William Alexander (13 June 1910 – 11 July 2000) was a British communist activist known for his involvement in the Spanish Civil War.

Born in Ringwood in Hampshire, Alexander studied at the University of Reading, then became an industrial chemist and joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). He was a prominent anti-fascist activist and was present at the Battle of Cable Street.In 1937, Alexander volunteered to join the British Battalion of the International Brigades to aid the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. He arrived shortly after the Battle of Jarama, and joined an anti-tank battery, soon becoming its political commissar, and received a citation for bravery at Belchite. For the Battle of Teruel the following year, he was made a captain and commander of the whole British force, but he was wounded and invalided back to the UK in June.Back in Britain, Alexander was made the CPGB's Merseyside Area secretary. He attempted to join the Sandhurst Military Academy early in World War II, initially being refused a place on account of his CPGB membership, but his case was taken up by the Duchess of Atholl and he was eventually permitted to attend, and graduated as the top cadet. He served in Africa and Europe, and was eventually made a captain.Alexander stood in Coventry East at the 1945 and 1951 general elections, but lost his deposit on both occasions. He was Midlands Area Secretary of the CPGB from 1947 to 1953, then Welsh Area Secretary until 1959, when he was made Assistant General Secretary of the party.In 1967, Alexander stood down from his CPGB post, and instead became a chemistry teacher at Sydenham School. After retirement, he was involved with the Marx Memorial Library, holding its presidency from 1989 until 1996. He ran the International Brigade Association, and wrote extensively on the Spanish Civil War, publishing British Volunteers For Liberty, No To Franco and contributing to Memorials Of The Spanish Civil War.Alexander remained a member of the CPGB until the party's dissolution, and was prominent in opposition to what he regarded as revisionism during the 1980s. During the 1990s, he spoke in favour of environmental causes.

British Union of Fascists

The British Union of Fascists, or BUF, was a fascist political party in the United Kingdom formed in 1932 by Oswald Mosley. It changed its name to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists in 1936 and, in 1937, to British Union. It was finally disbanded in 1940, after it was proscribed by the British government following the start of the Second World War.

The BUF emerged in 1932 from the British far-right, following the electoral defeat of its antecedent, the New Party, in the 1931 general election. The BUF's foundation was initially met with popular support, and it attracted a sizeable following. The press baron Lord Rothermere was a notable early supporter. As the party became increasingly radical, however, support declined. The Olympia Rally of 1934, in which a number of anti-Fascist protestors were attacked by the paramilitary wing of the BUF, the Fascist Defence Force, isolated the party from much of its following. The party's embrace of Nazi-style anti-semitism in 1936 led to increasingly violent clashes with opponents, notably the 1936 Battle of Cable Street in London's East End. The Public Order Act 1936, which banned political uniforms and responded to increasing political violence, had a particularly strong effect on the BUF whose supporters were known as "Blackshirts" after the uniforms they wore.

Growing British hostility towards Nazi Germany, with which the British press persistently associated the BUF, further contributed to the decline of the movement's membership. It was finally banned by the British government in 1940 after the start of the Second World War, amid suspicion that its remaining supporters might form a pro-Nazi "fifth column". A number of prominent BUF members were arrested and interned under Defence Regulation 18B.

Cable Street

Cable Street is a road in the East End of London, England, with several historic landmarks nearby. It was made famous by the Battle of Cable Street in 1936.

Cable Street (disambiguation)

Cable Street is a street in London's East End, famous for the Battle of Cable Street, a riot in 1936.

Cable Street Mural

The Cable Street Mural is a large mural painting in Shadwell in East London. It was painted on the side of former St George's Town Hall by Dave Binnington, Paul Butler, Ray Walker and Desmond Rochfort between 1979 and 1983 to commemorate the Battle of Cable Street in 1936. The original design was by Dave Binnington.

Dickens (surname)

Dickens is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Ted Dickens ( Battle of Cable Street)

Jack Comer

Jack "Spot" Comer (12 April 1912 – 12 March 1996) was an English gangster.

Kath Duncan

Katharine Sinclair Duncan (née MacColl; 4 July 1888 – 15 August 1954) was a Scottish communist activist.

Duncan was born in Tarbert, Argyllshire to Archibald MacColl, a merchant, and Agnes Gibson MacColl (née Stephen). She became a schoolteacher in Kirkcaldy and joined the National Union of Teachers (NUT). In 1923, she married a fellow teacher, Alexander "Sandy" Duncan, and the couple soon moved to Hackney. There, they became active in the Hackney Labour Dramatic Group and the Independent Labour Party. However, their experience of the UK general strike of 1926 led them to instead join the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB).Duncan soon came to prominence in the CPGB, renowned as a powerful speaker. In 1929, she was elected to the party's central committee, although she stood down the following year, when she moved to Deptford. There, she focused her time on the National Unemployed Workers Movement (NUWM), organising large demonstrations. She stood unsuccessfully for Greenwich at the 1931 general election.During 1932, local dockers marched in opposition to ships sending arms to Japan, which had just invaded Manchuria. After one demonstration in Woolwich, both Kath and Sandy spoke; police charged the crowd and Sandy was hospitalised. A larger protest meeting was held the following day on the Deptford Broadway, with Kath calling for the inspector in charge at the original demonstration to be sacked. In December, Kath was charged with disturbing the peace over her speeches; she would not accept a condition of being bound over to the keep the peace, so was instead sentenced to six months in Holloway Prison.Following Duncan's release, the London County Council removed her from their list of approved teachers, but the NUT organised a petition in her support, and the council reversed their decision. Duncan, meanwhile, continued frequent public speeches, particularly in support of the NUWM. In 1934, she stood for election to the London County Council in Deptford, but was not successful.Duncan was again arrested in 1935, for speaking outside an unemployment exchange and refusing to move when asked by the police. The National Council for Civil Liberties supported her in one of their first interventions in a court case; she was found guilty, but the case of Duncan vs Jones became a landmark, establishing that free speech was generally permitted, unless genuinely thought likely to cause a disturbance.In the later 1930s, much of Duncan's time was devoted to opposing fascism, and she took part in the Battle of Cable Street. She was also central to the Aid to Spain movement, and interviewed volunteers for the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.Sandy died during World War II, and Kath increasingly struggled with arthritis. Although still generally supportive of the CPGB, she began working for the local Labour Party Member of Parliament. Yet, by the early 1950s, she was too ill to work, and she moved in with her sister in Kirkcaldy, where she died in 1954.During the 1930s she lived in Ommaney Road, New Cross London SE14

Leslie Spoor

Leslie Spoor (12 October 1910 – 13 March 2011) was a British political activist and the principal founder of what became the Scottish Green Party.

Born in Durham,and educated in Edinburgh and Dunfermline, Spoor became politically active while working in London in the 1930s, and was involved in the Battle of Cable Street. When the Second World War broke out he volunteered as a Stretcher Party Officer during the Blitz.After a move to Edinburgh he joined the Royal Air Force, serving out the war as a wireless operator at Drem airfield in East Lothian. After the war he attended the University of Edinburgh. Where he studied History and then teaching. He taught at Musselburgh Grammar School, and was active in the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association and a leading player in developing Modern Studies - part of his desire to see politics taught in schools. He also lectured for the Open University and in 1964 left school teaching for the FE sector, joining the staff of Napier Technical College.A long-term member of the Labour Party, Spoor was a close friend of Robin Cook. Spoor retired in 1975, however, and in 1978 hosted the first meeting of Scottish members of the Ecology Party. He oversaw the branch's campaign in Edinburgh South for the 1979 general election, and also served on the national executive. Spoor continued campaigning for what became first the UK-wide Green Party, then the independent Scottish Green Party until his death in 2011, aged 100.

List of riots in London

The following is a list of riots and protests involving violent disorder that have occurred in London:

1189: The Massacre of the Jews at the coronation of Richard I

1196: William with the long beard causes riots when he preaches for the poor against the rich

1221: Riots occur after London defeats Westminster in an annual wrestling contest; ring-leaders hanged or mutilated in punishment.

1268: Rioting between goldsmiths and tailors1391: Riots break out in Salisbury Place over a baker's loaf

1517: Evil May Day riot against foreigners takes place

1668: Bawdy House Riots took place following repression of a series of attacks against brothels1710: Sacheverell riots, following the trial of the preacher, Henry Sacheverell

1719: Spitalfields weavers rioted, attacking women wearing Indian clothing and then attempting to rescue their arrested comrades

1743: Riots against Gin Taxes and other legislation to control the Gin Craze, principally the Gin Act 1736; rioting was fuelled by consumption of the drink itself

1768: The Massacre of St George's Fields after the imprisonment of John Wilkes for criticising the King

1769: The Spitalfield riots when silk weavers attempted to maintain their rate of pay

1780: Gordon riots against Catholics

1809: Old Price Riots, 1809 following a rise in the price of theatre tickets

1816: Spa Fields riots, Spenceans met in support of the common ownership of land

1830: Attacks against the Duke of Wellington in his carriage and on his home, for his opposition to electoral reform (which had been seen partly as a solution to rioting by rural workers).

1866: a riot took place in Hyde Park after a meeting of the Reform League was declared illegal

1886: The West End Riots followed a counter-demonstration by the Social Democratic Federation against a meeting of the Fair Trade League.

1887: Bloody Sunday, a demonstration against coercion in Ireland and to demand the release from prison the MP William O'Brien

1907: The Brown Dog riots, medical students attempt to tear down an anti-vivisection statue.

1919: The Battle of Bow Street, Australian, American and Canadian servicemen rioted against the Metropolitan Police

1932: The National Hunger March ended in rioting after the police confiscated the petition of the National Unemployed Workers' Movement

1936: The Battle of Cable Street saw rioting against the Metropolitan Police as they attempted to facilitate a march by the British Union of Fascists

1958 Notting Hill race riots between White British and West Indian immigrants.

1968: Rioting outside the United States Embassy in Grosvenor Square in opposition to the Vietnam War.

1974: Red Lion Square disorders happened following a march by counter-fascists against the National Front.

1976: Riots during the Notting Hill Carnival.

1977: The Battle of Lewisham occurred when the Metropolitan Police attempted to facilitate a march by the National Front

1979: Southall riots during a Anti-Nazi League demonstration in opposition to the National Front.

1981 Brixton riot against the Metropolitan Police. Especially on 10 July, rioting extended to other parts of London and numerous other cities around the UK

1985 Brixton riot against the Metropolitan Police after they shot the mother of suspect Michael Groce.

1985: Broadwater Farm riot, residents of Tottenham riot against the Metropolitan Police following a death during a police search

1990: Poll Tax riots followed the introduction of a poll tax.

1993: Welling riots, October 1993. A march organised by the ANL, the SWP and Militant resulted in riots against the Metropolitan police.1995: 1995 Brixton riot against the Metropolitan Police occurred after a death in police custody.

1996: Rioting in Trafalgar Square and surrounding streets following England losing against Germany in the semi-final of UEFA Euro 1996.

1999: Carnival Against Capitalism riot

2000: Anti-capitalist May Day riot

2001: May Day riot in central London by anti-capitalist protestors.

2002: Rioting around The New Den stadium following Millwall F.C. losing against Birmingham City F.C. in the 2002 Football League Division One play-off.

2009 G-20 London summit protests occurred in the days around the G-20 summit.

2009 Upton Park riot before, during and after a 2009–10 Football League Cup second round match between West Ham United F.C. and Millwall F.C..

2010 UK student protests against increases in student fees and public sector cuts.

2011 anti-cuts protest in London against government public spending cuts.

2011 England riots, initially in London, following the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham

2017: rioting outside Forest Gate police station following the Death of Edson Da Costa.

Max Levitas

Max Samuel Levitas (1 June 1915 – 2 November 2018) was an Irish communist activist and antifascist fighter, prominent in the East End of London for many years.

Levitas was born in the Portobello area of Dublin, where he attended St Peters' School, a son of two Yiddish-speaking Jews fleeing pogroms in Imperial Russia: Lithuanian-born Harry and Latvian-born Leah. Harry was prominent in the Amalgamated Jewish Tailors', Machinists' and Pressers' Union, and this led to his blacklisting by employers. As a result, in 1927, the family moved to Glasgow, and Max left education.In Glasgow, Levitas became interested in communism, and when he was sixteen, he joined the Young Communist League. In 1931, he moved with his family to the East End of London, and he joined his father in the clothing industry, becoming a tailors' presser. He became secretary of the Mile End branch of the YCL, which his younger brother Maurice also joined.In the East End, Levitas devoted much of his time to anti-fascism; in 1934, he was arrested for writing "all out against fascism" on three sides of Nelson's Column, having later returned to the scene to admire his work, while still carrying the paintbrush. In 1936, he was involved in the Battle of Cable Street, where Jewish people and socialists prevented a march of fascists through the East End. On his death, the Morning Star described him as the "last survivor of the Battle of Cable Street".The communists' other main campaign in the East End in the 1930s was against unfair rents. In 1939, Levitas led a four-month rent strike at Brady Street Mansions, where he lived, as did his grandmother. Through this, he met his future wife, Sadie Freedman. He continued to work in the garment trade, serving as a shop steward for the Tailors' and Garment Workers' Union. During World War II, he served as a fire warden. With Phil Piratin, he organised an occupation of the bomb shelter at the Savoy Hotel, in protest at the lack of such shelters in the East End; a few days later, the government agreed to open underground stations as bomb shelters.Becoming well known as a speaker, Levitas graduated to Stepney Communist Party (CPGB), for which in 1943 he co-authored "Stepney: A Borough to Be Proud Of". In 1946, he was one of ten CPGB candidates to win election to Stepney Borough Council. He served several terms of office, latterly on Tower Hamlets London Borough Council. When he lost his final election, in 1971, he had been a councillor for a total of fifteen years. He also stood unsuccessfully in Stepney at the 1952 and 1955 London County Council elections.After standing down as a councillor, Levitas became a market trader, working in Dunstable, although he continued to live in the East End. He remained active in the CPGB, eventually joining its Communist Party of Britain (CPB) split, and also in local tenants' and pensioners' groups, and anti-racism campaigns. He retired from work when he was eighty, but continued campaigning. In 2002, he unveiled a plaque in Dublin marking the site of the Camden Street Synagogue and Tailors' and Pressers' Union. In 2013, he addressed a rally opposing the English Defence League, and when he was 99, he led a campaign against high repair bills at his flats on Sidney Street.In his spare time, Levitas was a fan of Tottenham Hotspur F.C., and frequently attended games with his son, Stephen, until Stephen's death in 2014. For his 100th birthday, the team gave him a card and a pennant signed by all the team members. The following year, he became the world's oldest Dementia Friend. He remained a member of the CPB until his death, becoming its oldest and longest-serving member.Levitas died in November 2018, aged 103, with tributes paid by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party, and Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland.

Monty Goldman

Monty Goldman (born 1931) is an activist in the Communist Party of Britain and former Communist Party of Great Britain member who was expelled in the 1980s during that party's factional conflicts. Goldman has stood in elections for more than forty years.Goldman, whose father Sidney participated in the Battle of Cable Street against Oswald Mosley's blackshirts, himself has a long record of campaigning against racism and fascism, having taken part in the protest against the appearance of the then British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin on the BBC's Question Time television programme in October 2009.

Goldman stood for election for Mayor of Hackney in 2002 and 2010 and for Parliament for Hackney South and Shoreditch in 1997 and 2005. His latest electoral candidacy was on 6 May 2010, securing 2033 votes in the contest for mayor of Hackney, which he said was the highest Communist vote ever achieved in his lifetime as a candidate in Hackney.

Owen O'Brien

Owen O'Brien (22 June 1920 – 2 November 1987) was a British trade union leader.

Born in Stepney, in the East End of London, O'Brien started work in the printing industry when he was fourteen years old. He completed an apprenticeship, during which period he was active in anti-fascist activity, taking part in the Battle of Cable Street.O'Brien served in the Merchant Navy and then the Royal Air Force during World War II. After the war, he returned to printing, becoming active in the Labour Party and his union, the National Society of Operative Printers' Assistants (NATSOPA). In 1952, he was elected as secretary of the union's London Machine Branch, and then as secretary of the union's London Joint Branches group. He was elected as the union's assistant general secretary in 1964, and that year also became a governor of the London College of Printing, later chairing the organisation.In 1975, O'Brien was elected as general secretary of NATSOPA. He was succeeded as assistant general secretary by his brother, Edward. His time in office was marked by rapid change in the industry, with much industrial action taking place, including a major strike at The Times. O'Brien opposed such strikes, and focused on negotiated settlements of disputes. The Times later wrote that "...of all the print union leaders he was the most ready to discuss options for co-operation with employers".O'Brien supported the merger of the various print unions. In 1976, NATSOPA passed a motion to this effect, and O'Brien forged a close working relationship with Bill Keys of the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades (SOGAT). In 1982, NATSOPA merged with SOGAT, forming SOGAT '82; O'Brien and Keys served as joint general secretaries of the new union until O'Brien retired at the end of 1983. O'Brien died while on holiday in Portugal, four years later.

Ruth Levitas

Ruth Levitas (born 15 May 1949 in London) is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Bristol. She is well known internationally for her research on utopia and utopian studies.Her book, The Concept of Utopia (1990), addresses the notion of the ideal society throughout European history. She is recently credited for formulating a program of sociology which is fundamentally utopian-focused in conventional sociological discourse.In The Inclusive Society?: Social Exclusion and New Labour, Levitas introduced the idea of social exclusion as part of the new political language. She also introduced the concepts of MUD (the moral underclass discourse), SID (the social integration discourse), and RED (the redistribution discourse), as tools for analysing social exclusion.Levitas is the daughter of trade unionist and Spanish Civil War International Brigade fighter Maurice Levitas, niece of Communist Stepney councillor and Battle of Cable Street veteran Max Levitas, and sister of theatre historian Ben Levitas.

The Yiddishers

The Yiddishers were a London street gang based in Whitechapel and were led by Alfie Solomon, one of their more famous members was future mobster Jack Spot during the inter-war years. During the 1930s, they opposed the growing fascist movement in Great Britain and participated in an attack on members of the British Union of Fascists led by Sir Oswald Mosley, later known as the Battle of Cable Street on 4 October 1936.Other gangs in London around the same period as the Yiddishers were the Jewish Aldgate Mob, Russian Jews Bessarabian Tigers, Bethnal Green Mob who were allies with the Hoxton Mob, Camden Town's Broad Mob, Elephant and Castle Mob, Islington Mob, Kings Cross Gang, Odessians, West End Boys and the Whitechapel Mob.

The Young'uns

The Young'uns are an English folk group from Stockton, County Durham, England, who won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards "Best Group" award in 2015 and 2016. They specialise in singing unaccompanied, and they perform traditional shanties, contemporary songs such as Billy Bragg's "Between the Wars" and Sydney Carter's "John Ball", and original works including "You Won’t Find Me on Benefits Street" (alluding to Stockton's reaction to a Benefits Street television crew) and "The Battle of Stockton" (on a 1933 clash with Oswald Mosley's blackshirts). 2017 album Strangers includes nine new songs celebrating inspiring people 'A homage to the outsider; a eulogy for the wayfarer; a hymn for the migrant.' "These Hands" tells the life story of 1950's immigrant Sybil Phoenix while the story of the Battle of Cable Street is told through the words of Stockton teenager Johnny Longstaff.The members are Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes, who met as teenagers and encountered folk music as underage drinkers in a local pub. They enjoyed the music and returned to the Stockton Folk Club, where "One day someone said 'let's hear a song from the young'uns' and we sang this one verse we knew from a sea shanty", hence the band's name.The Young'uns released a book 'Bound Together' in 2017, chronicling their history as a band and the stories behind some of the songwriting.

They shall not pass

"They shall not pass" (French: Ils ne passeront pas!; Spanish: ¡No pasarán!; Romanian: Pe aici nu se trece!) is a slogan used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy. "On ne passe pas" literally means "one does not pass"; this being a common French idiom to express interdiction.

It was most famously used during the Battle of Verdun in the First World War by French General Robert Nivelle. It appears on propaganda posters, such as that by Maurice Neumont after the Second Battle of the Marne, which was later adopted on uniform badges by units manning the Maginot Line. Later during the war, it also was used by Romanian soldiers during the Battle of Mărășești (the Romanian translation of the phrase is "Pe aici nu se trece", literally meaning "One does not pass through here").

It was also used during the Spanish Civil War, this time at the Siege of Madrid by Dolores Ibárruri Gómez, a member of the Communist Party of Spain, in her famous "No pasarán" speech on 18 July 1936. The leader of the fascist forces, Generalísimo Francisco Franco, upon gaining Madrid, responded to this slogan by declaring "Hemos pasado" ("We have passed"). Also this slogan was revived in 2019 elections in Spain.

"¡No pasarán!" was used by British anti-fascists during the October 1936 Battle of Cable Street, and is still used in this context in some political circles. It was often accompanied by the words nosotros pasaremos (we will pass) to indicate that communists rather than fascists will be the ones to seize state power.The phrase was brought to the public consciousness again following action in December 1943 by French-Canadian officer Paul Triquet of the Royal 22e Regiment; his action included his use of Nivelle's phrase "to win a key objective at Ortona, Italy, in the face of overwhelming German opposition."In the 1980s, the phrase ¡No pasarán! was a theme in the civil wars in Central America, particularly in Nicaragua. Nicaragua no pasarán is also the title of a 1984 documentary by David Bradbury about the events in Nicaragua that led to the overthrow of Somoza's dictatorship.

William J. Fishman

William J. Fishman (1 April 1921 – 22 December 2014) was a British academic. He was the author of several books on topics ranging from revolutionary advocacy in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to the history of the East End of London.

Fishman was born in London in 1921. The son of an immigrant tailor from Russia and his Ukrainian wife, he spent his formative years in the East End of London. At 15, he was an eyewitness to the Battle of Cable Street, and recalled:

I was moved to tears to see bearded Jews and Irish Catholic dockers standing up to stop Mosley. I shall never forget that as long as I live, how working-class people could get together to oppose the evil of fascism.

He was educated at the Central Foundation Boys' School, Wandsworth Teachers Training College and the London School of Economics. He served in the British army in the Second World War, completing his service in the Far East. After the war he worked as a teacher and was appointed principal of Tower Hamlets College of Further Education. In 1965 he was elected to a studentship at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1967 he was Visiting Professor of History at Columbia University, New York.

He was visiting professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison from 1969–70 and was awarded an Acton Society Fellowship. In 1972 he was appointed Barnet Shine Senior Research Fellow in Labour Studies with special reference to Jews at Queen Mary, University of London. He was made an honorary fellow of Queen Mary in 1999. He was Visiting Professor to the Centre for the Study of Migration at Queen Mary. In conjunction with the class “Politics and Society in East London,” he led a guided tour of the East End, and particularly the Ripper’s path, which was fondly known as “Fishmania.” Queen Mary, University of London 1995.

On 22 December 2014, he died at the age of 93.

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