Battle of Cable Street 1936
This book produced by the Cable Street Group gives a good overview of the events leading up to the Battle of Cable Street. Before I started researching for my current job I didn't realise that there were Fascists in Britain in the 30s, let alone
This book produced by the Cable Street Group gives a good overview of the events leading up to the Battle of Cable Street. Before I started researching for my current job I didn't realise that there were Fascists in Britain in the 30s, let alone that the government was protecting their rights to march. This book gives an overview of the social and political situation of the 30s, the unemployment, economic conditions and rise of anti-Semitism. One thing that I thought was most interesting was that the East End wasn't nearly as badly hit by the depression as other parts of England. Some places had up to 75 percent unemployment but in the East End it was only 15.
One of the most interesting things about the "battle" was that it wasn't against the fascist, but against the police that were allowing the fascists to march. The police were attempting to clear the anti-fascist demonstrators off the streets and they resisted. The book gives only about a third of its space to the battle itself. This is half in the form of an overview account and the other half reproducing printed and oral history accounts. The first hand accounts are by far the best part of the book (and are reproduced in much longer excerpts in the book, Everything happens in Cable Street.
I would say overall this is a short but interesting overview of the period and the events leading up to the battle and some of the fall out after the march was stopped. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn about this important event in East End history.