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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

They did not pass!

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES were out on Sunday to mark the day the fascists were stopped in their tracks in London. On 4th October 1936 hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets to stop Sir Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts marching through the Jewish quarter in the East End of London. And last Sunday former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to those who put up barricades and battled with the police to stop Mosley’s thugs in what soon became known as the “Battle of Cable Street”. Cable Street - They did not pass!

The Communist Party played a major part in the mobilisation along with the Independent Labour Party and the Jewish Ex-Servicemen’s Association. On the eve of the Mosley march the Daily Worker warned that “the fascists are pouring out unimaginable filth against the Jews.

The attack on the Jews has been the well-known device of every bloodthirsty, reactionary, unpopular regime for centuries”. The issue was “not merely a question of elementary human rights…the attack on the Jews is the beginning of the attack to wipe out the socialist movement, trade unionism and democracy in Britain”.

On the day, the Blackshirts and thousands of police were met by a hostile crowd who had erected barricades to stop the fascists marching. After hours of clashes with the police and many arrests, the police told Mosley the march would have to be abandoned.

On Sunday, at the rally just off Cable Street, Corbyn told the crowds that, despite Mosley’s attempt to use anti-Semitism to divide the working class, something “totally remarkable” happened on that day in 1936. “The Jewish community and the Irish community came together to say: ‘they shall not pass’.”

This was echoed by the local Labour MP, Apsana Begum, who called it an “incredible triumph of humanity, a victory of people’s power”, whilst warning that hate speech was on the rise again in Britain and around the world.