Cable Street 75

Cross-posted from Poumista

The 75th anniversary of London's Battle of Cable Street is fast approaching. here are some dates for your diary, if you live in this part of the world (plus one in Leeds), including one event in New Cross on the 13th.

On-going until 4th October
Restoring the Past: the Cable Street mural today. Exhibition at Studio 1:1, 57a Redchurch Street E2. Weds-Sunday 12 noon-6pm

Friday 30 September
Manouche Cable St Cabaret at Wilton's Music Hall. 
On our street there are artist studios, recording studios, social clubs and corner-shops. We bring you the best in Cable Street Talent – it’s 1936 and we are going to sing, drink, dance and laugh as if we don’t have a care in the world. Manouche are an all-live, electrified, gypsy swing ensemble. Performing specially arranged works of Django Reinhardt and swing classics of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, they fuse elements of Electro Swing dance beats and Surf Guitar into their own up-beat compositions. There will also be a photo exhibition kindly donated by the International Brigade looking at those anti-fascists who then went on to fight in the Spanish Civil War. We also hope to welcome the Clarion Cycle Club as they arrive from Edinburgh. Look up Manouche on Facebook. Or check out their music on the Manouche youtube channel

Saturday 1 October
11.00am Anti-fascist footprints: a walk through the East End, from Gardiners Corner to Cable Street Led by David Rosenberg, for theBishopsgate Institute Tickets: £8/£6 Info: 020 7392 9200

5.00pm Anti-fascist footprints: a walk through the East End, from Gardiners Corner to Cable Street Repeat walk, this time for Iniva Tickets: £6/£5 Info:

Dances and elegies at Wilton's Music Hall. 730pm This concert provides a frame for the Cable Street events at Wilton's - extraordinary music for extraordinary times. As the Spanish Civil war was starting, Benjamin Britten played his Suite Op 6 at a concert in Barcelona; the same evening, in the same city, the premiere of Berg's 'Violin Concerto' was played by Louis Krasner, who later became Peter Sheppard Skaerved's teacher. At the centre of the programme, a most English piece by a German composer - Paul Hindemith's extraordinary 'Trauermusik'-'Music of Mourning' for George Vth. This wonderful elegy for viola and strings ends with the chorale "Vor deinem Thron Tret ich hiermit"-better known here as 'All people that on earth do dwell'-the 'Old 100th'.

Jewdas: ¡No Pasaran! Cable Street – Party like it’s 1936! In a time of austerity, riots, and a rise in the price of beigels, Jewdas returns to Cable Street………. Live Bands, Film, Talks, Cabaret, Fascist Baiting and Revolutionary Borscht. Live Music from: Daniel Kahn & Merlin Shepherd – a mixture of Klezmer, radical Yiddish song, political cabaret and punk folk, accompanied by top UK Klezmer clarinettist; Klezmer Klub feat. David Rosenberg – songs of Yiddish London telling the story of the Jewish east end from 1900 to the 1930s; The Ruby Kid – Hip-hop and spoken-word poetry, influenced by the cinema of Woody Allen, the politics of Hal Draper and the music of Aesop Rock; The Electric Swing Circus – electro swing sensation.Big band swing. Gypsy jazz. Thundering drum beats. Phat bass lines; + Stephen Watts reciting poetry of the East End; + Full film programme of riots, resistance and rabbles; + Talks on Gandhian resistance, Spanish Civil War, Anti-fascist activism today as well as performance poetry. + Communist-Fascist Arm Wrestling, The Three Yentas, Live Guernica tribute painting, Cantorial Drag; + DJ Notorious spinning speeches, 30s swing and hard beats; +…more. Dress Code: 1930s chic. Fascist, Communist. Yiddish Musical Hall. Free entry for all who were there in 1936! For the rest of you its £7 on the door and £5 if you book in advance here.

Sunday 2nd October 
75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street.  March from Braham Street Aldgate at 11.30am to a rally at the Cable Street mural at 1pm. Speakers; Max Levitas Battle of Cable Street Veteran; Frances O'Grady Deputy General Secretary TUC; Matthew Collins Searchlight; Robert Griffiths General Secretary Communist Party; Bob Crow General Secretary RMT; Kosru Uddin Labour Councillor; Julie Begum Swadhinata Trust; David Rosenberg Jewish Socialists' Group; Gail Cartmail Assistant General Secretary UNITE; Diana Holland Assistant General Secretary UNITE; Akik Rahman Altab Ali Memorial Foundation. More info on UnionBook.

Noon-10pm: Exhibitions and events at Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Grace’s Alley E1 8JB.   020 7375 0441 12-6 // 12-6 Stalls all along Graces Alley by campaigning groups, local organisations and supporters with street theatre and music by Spanish civil war re enactment group La Columna, The Lost Marbles, The Fairly Fresh Fish Co, Klezmania and The Cockney Awkestra. Plus, inside, Protest and Survive photo exhibition, featuring Phil Maxwell etc. // Launch of Five Leaves' five Cable Street books at 3.00pm with Bill Fishman and other Cable Street veterans as guests. // Five Leaves' panel on "Rebel Writers of the 1930s" at 4.00pm, with Andy Croft, Ken Worpole and Mary Jouannou. // Continue into the evening with Billy Bragg, Shappi Khorsandi, Michael Rosen and The Men They Couldn't Hang. // Produced by Alternative Arts for The Cable Street Group. // full programme here.

JEECS Walk: The Battle of Cable Street Clive Bettington discusses the events of the iconic battle and discusses some of the myths which have arisen. 2pm Tower Hill tube £10 (£8 Jeecs members) 07941 367 882. Booking recommended

Monday 3rd October
7.30 Crossing the Street, Wilton's Music Hall. Video installation by Shiraz Bayjoo and Jessica Harrington. Curated by Carole Zeidman, Commissioned by Wiltons Music Hall. The battle of Cable Street 75 years ago reveals much about the character of and the sense solidarity between its residents. The area has historically housed a celebrated mix of people from varying backgrounds, cultures and with different economic circumstances. The riots of 1936 were emblematic of an attitude and belief that people could be brought together successfully to fight for a shared interest despite other differences. 75 years on and the memory of Cable Street has entered local mythology, but how does it resonate with local residents now and what significance does the area hold for them today?

8pm -  David Rosenberg illustrated talk with readings to Leeds Jewish Historical Society at Shadwell Lane Synagogue
Tuesday 4th October: 
Film: from Cable Street to Brick Lane, by Hazuan Hashim and Phil Maxwell. Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Grace’s Alley E1 8JB. From Cable Street to Brick Lane" is an independent documentary dealing with the fight against racism and fascism in the East End of London. The film will explore how different communities came together in the 1930's, 1970's and 1990's to challenge racism and intolerance. Focusing on the two iconic East London streets of Cable Street and Brick Lane, the film will feature interviews with veterans of the battle of Cable St and of the more recent struggles around Brick Lane. Driven by these eyewitness accounts and observations Hashim and Maxwell examine the impact of these interrelated historic events and how they relate to contemporary issues in East London. See for inspiration.   020 7375 0441.

The Battle of Cable Street at LJCC.  10.30am-3.30pm £35.00.  This anniversary falls during the Ten Days – there could be no better way to reflect on the conflicts of the past and prepare for the challenges of the future. Speakers will include Ian Bloom and David Rosenberg.

JEECS Walk: The Battle of Cable Street Clive Bettington discusses the events of the iconic battle and whether certain of the myths which arose are true 11am Hill tube £10 (£8 members of JEECS)   07941 367882 Booking recommended.

Wednesday 5th October
7pm at Housman’s Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, N1. Readings and discussion with authors Roger Mills and David Rosenberg about their East End/Cable Street related books.
David Rosenberg (Jewish Socialist Group) author of Battle For The East End and Roger Mills (Cable Street Group) author of Everything Happens in Cable Street discuss their new books, just published by Five Leaves Publications, in the context of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street.

The Battle of Cable Street was a landmark event in British anti-facist struggles, when an estimated 300,000 demonstrators, including many Jewish, socialist, anarchist, Irish and communist groups, built roadblocks in an attempt to prevent a march by the British Union of Fascists, led by Oswald Mosley, through London's East End. Ignoring the strong likelihood of violence, the government refused to ban the march and a large escort of police was provided in an attempt to prevent anti-fascist protestors disrupting the march. Despite the actions of the police and the government the anti-fascist's motto of "They Shall Not Pass" won the day.

6th October 2011
Images of resistance 1936 in film: Films about Cable Street and the Spanish civil war At the Jewish Museum NW1. An evening of films documenting and responding to the anti-fascist events of 1936. The launch of Yoav Segal’s two commissioned films, The Battle of Cable Street and No Pasaran, supported by the Pears Foundation. Followed by Eran Torbiner’s film Madrid before Hanita about volunteers from the Jewish community in British Mandate Palestine, who joined the International Brigades to fight fascism in Spain. Meet veterans after the screening and join the Q&A. £10 including free entry to museum galleries.

Sunday 9th October
11am inter-generational walk: How the East was won with David Rosenberg, for the Jewish Museum. For children aged 10+ accompanied by an adult. £15 for child+adult. This is part of the museum’s 1936 Radical Roots season

Monday 10 October
7.00pm Fighting Together for a Better Past: the story of Cable Street. Panel discussion with David Rosenberg, Tony Kushner and Nadia Valman
Jewish Museum London, 129-131 Albert Street, London NW1 7NB. Free with museum admission Info:

Tuesday 11th October
Everything happens in Cable Street. Talks, presentations and walk with Bernard Kops, Roger Mills and David Rosenberg at London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road EC1  in the morning and Cable Street Walk in the afternoon.Tickets: £15/£10
Info:, 020 7332 3851

Wednesday 12th October
David Rosenberg Reading/discussion at England’s Lane Bookshop, Hampstead.

Thursday 13 October
5.00pm David Rosenberg on The Battle of Cable Street Presentation with images and readings Small Hall Cinema, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmith's College, London SE14 6NW Info:

16 October
Bernard Kops: The Battle of Cable Street, London Jewish Museum. 3pm. £10 including free entry to the galleries. Kops, who grew up in the East End and was 10 at the time, witnessed the events as they unfolded. In conversation with publisher Ross Bardshaw (Five Leaves Publications) Kops will read from his short play about the day’s events as well as from his memoir and his other written work. The reading and conversation will be followed Q&A.

18th October 2011
7pm 75 years on: the British Far Right. Discussion led by journalists on the strategies employed by far-right groups in Britain today. Join journalists James Montague, Rebecca Taylor (Time Out) and Nick Lowles (Searchlight) for a debate about activism, nationalism and political memor.  At the Jewish Museum. £10 including free entry to museum galleries.

Thursday 20th October
6.30pm Brick Lane bookshop, 166 Brick Lane E1 David Rosenberg/Roger Mills reading/discussion.

Saturday 22nd October
Anarchist Bookfair, from 10am-7pm at Queen Mary College, Mile End Road, E1, includes meeting on the Battle of Cable Street at 11am.

Monday 24 October
10.30am-12.30pm for five weeks Jewish Responses to Fascism in the 1930s A course based on Battle for the East End. Includes a guided walk around the East End. Tutor: David Rosenberg. London Jewish Cultural Centre, Ivy House, London NW11 7SX

26th October 2011
7pm The rear-view mirror: art and remembering. An illustrated discussion with speakers including curator Corinna Till (Whitechapel Gallery, Reclaim the Mural) and art critic and writer Sacha Craddock, for an illustrated conversation chaired by Michael Keenan (curator, studio1.1 gallery), based on the exhibition Restoring the Past – the Cable Street Mural Today At studio1.1 gallery. £10 including free entry to museum galleries.  7pm, tickets £10.

27th October
The rear-view mirror: art and remembering: Conversation with Paul Butler at the Whitechapel Gallery. 7pm.

Battle for the East End: Jewish responses to fascism in the 1930s
268pp ISBN: 978 1907869181 Five Leaves Publications, 2011, £9.99
During the 1930s, Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts intensified their campaign against the Jewish community, particularly in London’s East End. As that campaign became more overtly antisemitic, and more physically intimidating, Jewish groups debated how to deal with the Fascist threat, ultimately building their own defence organisations, and forging alliances with other campaigners.  The simmering tensions in East London culminated in the Battle of Cable Street, when more than 100,000 people, especially from the local Jewish and Irish communities, prevented Mosley’s troops from marching through the East End.

In Battle for the East End, David Rosenberg charts the changing nature of the British Union of Fascists’ ideas about Jews and describes the growing rifts between the official leaders of the Jewish community and those who wanted to mount an active resistance to the fascists.

Battle for the East End is written by an anti-fascist activist with a real feel and connection both to the politics and the geographical area he writes about. For anyone who wants to understand the political, historical and cultural context in which the Battle of Cable Street took place then Battle for the East End is a must for the bookshelf.” Searchlight Educational Trust.
Order it online: To purchase the book online go to:

Battle for the East End is one of five publications that Five Leaves are publishing to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street. To see the other titles visit: Roger Mill’s  Everything Happens in Cable Street; and re-issues of classic titles The Battle of Cable Street by the Cable Street Group; October Day – Frank Griffin‘s long-forgotten novel with a new introduction by Andy Croft, and Street of Tall People - Alan Gibbon‘s book aimed at 10-13 year olds.

Continue below for a couple of extracts from the Five Leaves blog.

Cable Street good, Cable Street bad

People will have to forgive me for returning to Cable Street again and again this month. If you look at our events listing you will see that Cable Street has become rather significant at Five Leaves Mansions at the moment. The purpose of this brief posting is to draw attention to the new Philosophy Football T-shirt, based on the old street sign. Copies cost £22.99, which seems expensive at first until you realise that a) they are of good quality b) they are made by people who are paid proper wages c) they are a fashion item (did I really mention fashion?). Find them at
Mark Perryman, the leftie who runs Philosophy Football, will certainly not be attending one Cable Street event - the one organised by the Stalin Society. It would be nice to think nobody would attend, but there is such a group: "The aim of the Stalin Society is to defend Stalin and his work..." and it has a meeting on Cable Street. I'm not going to say where or when it is, but google will tell you if need be. The Society only costs a fiver to join, £2.50 for the unemployed. A great bargain if you are an unemployed Stalinist.
As far as I know Stalin was not at Cable Street, but 1936 was a busy year for him, what with the first Moscow Show Trial (which resulted in the execution of Zinoviev and Kamenev and others) and the start of the Great Purge. It is hard to see what such a Society could offer us.

Saved by the post

Yesterday was not the best of days. You don't need to know why, but it was saved by the post. You know, that old fashioned stuff that comes through a hole in your door. Top of the charts here was the Searchlight Education Trust special publication on the 75th anniversary of Cable Street. Never mind that it drew on and gave great coverage to our five new books on the subject, Steve Silver has put together a very attractive and readable pamphlet, which included his own family stories of the Battle. You can get hold of Steve's pamphlet on for four pounds. On the same subject, the latest of the dozens of Cable Street events is a party by Jewdas in Brick Lane on 1st October. "Party like it's 1936" they say. Kids, eh? Also in the post was a tenth anniversary compilation from Jewish Renaissance, a magazine that regularly reviews our books, features the occasional article by me and whose poetry editor is Liz Cashdan (currently waiting patiently for Five Leaves to publish her "New and Selected" in 2013). Janet Levine, editor of JR, said that people doubted the journal would last two years (or even two issues) when it started. Congrats to her and her team for JR's success.Back to Cable Street - we now have a bundle of brochures advertising Cable Street 75 March and Rally on 2nd October, which we are sponsoring. The speakers at the rally include Maurice Levitas, aged 96, a Cable Street veteran, who will also be at our collective book launch the same afternoon.

Finally, read 
David Rosenberg on the anniversary in History Workshop Journal and, even better, Martin Sullivan and Richard Price on the myths and realities in What Next.

Full event listing hereHistory / GalleryMuralWikipedia.


jams o donnell said…
Thanks for letting us know. There are a couple of events I definitely want to attend.