An anti-fascist woman demonstrator is arrested by policemen during street fighting between British fascists and communists (the Battle of Cable Street). The fighting broke out during a Fascist march led by Oswald Mosley through the East End of London. (London, England, UK., 4. October 1936)
Angela Davis was only 17 when she disobeyed her religious father and legged it with her two older sisters down to Aldgate where the crowd was gathering to protest. “The girls all went out with pepper pots in their coat pockets to throw pepper into the faces of the fascists,” Angela says, “they were all prepared to literally do battle with them. They wanted to stand shoulder to shoulder with the dockers – working people the same as they all were, and socialists.”
The Blackshirts planned a march for October 4, 1936, to go right down Cable Street – the heart of the city’s Jewish community. It was supposed to be a triumphant march for Mosley and his legion of fascists. But when the Blackshirts tried to demonstrate, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Shadwell and Whitechapel to oppose them. These were not just Jews and Irish labourers. Anyone else who wanted to fight against the poisonous rise of fascism in Britain was there. But even though women played an active part in the demonstration itself and an essential part in building the local solidarity that made it victorious, they are often left out of the story.
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