Sunday, October 2, 2011

75 Years Ago Today, British Workers Beat Back Fascists at Cable Street

Sunday 02 October 2011
by John Millington at Cable Street

From: Morning Star Newspaper, UK

Over 1,000 anti-fascists took over the streets of east London today sending a defiant message to mark 75 years since the historic victory over the blackshirts at Cable Street.

Veterans and campaigners led a march and rally to the scene of the famous battle, fought by an alliance including the local Jewish community, Communist Party members and London workers against Oswald Mosley's uniformed thugs.

They said the fight against Mosley's modern-day equivalents would be equally tough.

Representatives from the local Jewish and Bengali communities were flanked by trade unionists from across the movement.

Cable Street veteran and former Communist councillor Max Levitas emphasised the need for the trade union movement today to fight "modern fascism."

But he added: "We know that they are not really modern. They are no different from 1936."

Mr Levitas raised the biggest cheer of the day when he urged supporters to "join a union" and campaign to bring down the coalition government whose cuts allow fascism to thrive.

"We can only do it by campaigning and organisation," he told the Cable Street 75 rally.

Mr Levitas was speaking as 30,000 trade unionists marched on the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Rob Griffiths, general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain which co-organised the event, urged a broad defence of the country's multicultural communities from the British National Party and the English Defence League.

Mr Griffiths called for unity within the anti-fascist movement, appealing to "friends" Hope Not Hate and Unite Against Fascism to unite their forces "whatever your differing tactics."

High-profile speakers from the trade union movement were also in attendance.

TUC deputy general secretary Frances O'Grady told those gathered to send a message to EDL leader Stephen Lennon that "you are not a voice of the working class.

"We are. You are just a voice of fascism."

Ms O'Grady demanded of the government: "Instead of scapegoating migrant workers, why don't you get out there and create some jobs and punish the bankers?"

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland warned that legislation created in 1998 to effectively end slavery and domestic servitude was on the Con-Dem government's hit-list.

She said workers "must oppose" any moves to scrap the legal safeguards.

And RMT general secretary Bob Crow reminded the crowd that without Irish migrant labour the railways would not have been built.

"Fascists feed off scapegoats," he said.

"But if you create a society where everyone has a job and a house then you have a society where the fascist cannot live.

"It's the ideological issues we have to beat them on."

Mr Crow urged labour movement unity when workers go on strike next month over pensions.

"We have to raise a movement that can beat fascism and help us build a socialist society," he said.

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