Flutterby™! : Battle of Cable Street

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Battle of Cable Street

2006-10-04 17:49:23.133492+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

I had, at some point, picked up that Terry Pratchett[Wiki]'s book Monstrous Regiment[Wiki] was riffing on John Knox[Wiki]'s 1558 screed against women in the military, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. And I'd had in the back of my mind this vague notion that Pratchett's excellent Night Watch[Wiki] was riffing on some historical event, but I didn't know what...

...until I ran across a Metafilter post on the history of the Battle of Cable Street. Blindly stealing links from that post for redundance, the battle of Cable Street happened on Sunday October 4th 1936 when the residents of the East End of London put up barricades to keep out the police and a march of Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists.

Here's a history of the Battle of Cable Street that talks about some of the different political factions involved in organizing the resistance, and Oswald Mosley was a right bastard and Nazi sympathizer, and reading these various histories has given me a better appreciation of the Spanish Civil War and the run up to World War II.

[ related topics: Politics Books History Law Enforcement Terry Pratchett ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-05 13:03:58.310012+00 by: petronius

If Oswald Mosly didn't exist the British socialists would have had to invent him. He had about 40k members at the peak, in a UK population of 48 million. Like many political poseurs, his image was far larger than his actual power.

It is interesting that the real battle wasn't against the Fascists, but against other Marxist parties. The Trotskyites opposed the official Commie's policies? What else is new. Most people don't realize that the Stalinists were always more interested in destroying their left-wing competition than any rightists. In Spain the Loyalists cheerfully murdered anarchists and mere socialists once they gained cdontrol over an area.

I notice that nowadays when some tiny Nazi group wants to march somewhere they are opposed by some hard left parties who not only far outnumber the skinheads but who seem much more interested in fighting the cops than anybody else.