Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17

AlfRodchenko

Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

‘My father worked from six in the morning until 10 at night,’ says Sally, ‘but

he’d have kids shouting at him, ‘Go home Jew!’’ Beattie learned to answer

back: ‘When they said, ‘Go home Jew!’, I said, ‘I am home’.’

Oswald Mosley intended to march his blackshirts – pictured on parade in

Royal Mint Street, London, a few days before the battle – through the East

End’s Jewish district.

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It was late September 1936. Posters declared: ‘Mosley speaks in East

London. Four great meetings. Four marching columns.’ He was threatening

to march thousands of blackshirts right through the area’s Jewish district,

on Sunday, 4 October. Nearly 100,000 East Enders, Jews and non-Jews,

petitioned home secretary John Simon to ban the march. He refused, and

sent 7,000 police to protect the blackshirts’ free passage.

On the day, though, anti-fascists vastly outnumbered both Mosley’s forces

and the police, and blocked Mosley’s path. When the police tried to clear

a route further south through Cable Street, they met determined resistance.

Irish dockers and railway workers came from the far end of the street to

help the Jews build barricades. Paving stones were ripped up, bricks flew,

and angry Jewish women threw bottles, kitchen utensils and the contents

of chamber pots on to the police from the tenements. The police retreated

and ordered Mosley to turn round and go home.

This October, the three women will tell their stories publicly during a

weekend of activities celebrating the 80th anniversary of the battle. Another

veteran, 101-year-old Max Levitas, will speak at a rally, alongside Labour

leader Jeremy Corbyn, local MP Rushanara Ali, and TUC general secretary

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16

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