Sincerest apologies, dear readers. The author of this column (Column? Post?) has had a particularly trying week, what with almost getting fired from his high-pressure media sales job and also being asked to vacate the sofa near Highbury Corner he had been staying on since July. Now, we know, this is no excuse. Two posts in a fortnight is almost unforgivable. How much more trouble can he get in, do you wonder? Well, two of the rules with Londonist are: No posts on the weekend and, No writing about oneself. Oh dear.
In his haste to locate a new sofa, he even forgot to make mention of the fact that last Wednesday commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Cable Street Riot, in which the police clashed with Jewish, socialist, Irish and communist anti-fascist protesters over a march through the streets of the East End by Mosley's Blackshirts (The British Union of Facists). The decision to march through the then heavily Jewish East End was denounced as Jew-baiting by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
The Battle of Cable Street directly led to the passing of a public order act which forbade the wearing of political uniforms in public and is widely considered to be a significant factor in the British Union of Facists' political decline prior to World War II.
Today, Sunday, the Cable Street Group had planned a commemorative event in the open space behind St. George's Town Hall. The celebration was to include a procession led by the Cardboard Citizens Samba Band, 'They Shall Not Pass'; a piece of specially written street theatre; music from Klezmania klezmer band; music from a Bangladeshi cultural group; Spanish flamenco guitars and dancers; The Lost Marbles Irish string band; The Reggae Revolution and a commissioned concert 'No Pasaran' by the Grand Union Orchestra.
Which sounded absolutely wonderful. However, your inept yet humble correspondent missed it, because he was assiduously tidying his high-pressure media sales office ahead of a visit from his company's Scandinavian backers at nine o'clock tomorrow morning.
Protest & Survive is an exhibition of photography combining historical imagery of the Battle of Cable Street with documentary evidence of the past 20 years of local anti-racist protest, and contemporary work portraying the diverse communities that make up the East End today. The exhibition opened at the event today and will be transferred to the Art Pavilion in Mile End Park for one week.
Image culled from Google.