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‎16 Iyyar 5784 | ‎24/05/2024

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The Battle of Cable Street, with Derek Gadd

The Battle of Cable Street, with Derek Gadd

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What opposing views did different Jewish groups have with regard to permitting a fascist march through the East End of London in 1936?

On Sunday, October 4, 1936, Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, attempted to march down Cable Street — right through the heart of the Jewish East End in London. What he and his thousands of members didn’t expect was the strength and solidarity of ordinary Londoners, indignant at the blatant provocation.

An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 residents formed road blocks and cut off the fascists’ route, with the ‘battle’ itself then taking place between the East Enders and the police, who were determined to allow the fascists to pass.

Derek Gadd is the Head of Governance at London Councils, and an active member of the Cable Street Group, whose aim is to keep alive the spirit of and pay tribute to the courage of those who came together that day to stop the fascist blackshirts from marching through this predominantly Jewish neighborhood. Among other activities, they have interviewed many veterans and published a book about the history leading up to the Battle.

Mr. Gadd spoke with us about what happened that day, the history behind it, and the Cable Street Group and how they commemorate this event.