Remember Cable Street, learn the real lessons

Submitted by AWL on 3 October, 2021 - 6:42 Author: Mohan Sen
Cable St 85th anniversary commemoration

About 500 people attended the 3 October march and rally to commemorate the October 1936 Battle of Cable Street, when tens of thousands of East London workers and supporters defeated the police to block Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists from marching.

Although members of the Communist Party of Britain were not particularly visible in the crowd, the event is very much a CP-organised affair, as was clear from the speakers at the end.

Several puffed up the role of the Communist Party at Cable Street, when in fact the CP's role - as opposed to that of some CP members in East London, defying their leadership - was far from brilliant. There was much talk of the Spanish Civil War, glorifying the Stalinist-dominated International Brigades and writing out the Spanish workers' revolution which the Communists helped crush.

And the same sort of "People's Front" approach the CPs pursued in the 1930s is alive and well today. The speakers included Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs - but not a representative of the council workers Biggs has been busy attacking. In 1936 the anti-BUF mobilisation was opposed by the Biggses of the day, and in fact even by much better Labour people.

Whilst there were repeated references to the need to fight racism today, there was no mention of struggles against the Nationality and Borders Bill, against the Police Bill, against detention and deportations.

At the rally we sold the issue of Workers' Liberty magazine dedicated to Cable Street and our pamphlet on 1920s revolutionary socialist MP Shapurji Saklatvala.

The true story of Cable Street should be known and its lessons for today discussed.

Add new comment

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.