Cable Street march set for ban lift

By Jessica Elgot, September 15, 2011
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The Cable Street mural depicts the clash between jews, Socialists and trade unionists and the  police, in a successful move to stop the march of Oswald Mosley’s fascists into London's East End on October 4, 1936

The Cable Street mural depicts the clash between jews, Socialists and trade unionists and the police, in a successful move to stop the march of Oswald Mosley’s fascists into London's East End on October 4, 1936

The Metropolitan Police will ask Home Secretary Theresa May to review the month-long ban on marches through London's East End, in case it affects the Battle of Cable Street commemorations.

The banning order prohibiting the holding of all public processions in five London boroughs for 30 days was made in response to the English Defence League's plan to march through Tower Hamlets last month.

A Cable Street commemoration march is due to be held on October 2, marking 75 years since anti-fascist Jews, socialists and trade union groups clashed with police protecting a march by Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists.

Labour Assembly Member Murad Qureshi said the commemoration march was "very, very important for the unity of the area". He has written to the Met to urge them to reconsider the blanket ban. "This unnecessarily draconian application of the legislation failed in any event to prevent the EDL from holding a "static" demonstration…and posed no less of a threat of 'serious public disorder' as defined by the Act."

A Met spokeswoman said: "It was always our intention to review the prohibition order to ensure that this response was proportionate. We have carried out that review and we will be applying to the Home Secretary for a variation."

David Rosenberg, a member of the Cable 75 organising committee, said he had no doubt that the march would take place. "We contacted the police straight away after the ban came out and were told there were exceptions in place for commemorative and cultural events. But there was some confusion initially. I supported the ban on the EDL march, there was a clear case for it, but it should not have been coupled together with all other kinds of public events."

The commemorative march will begin in Aldgate and end at the Cable Street mural, and will include Jewish groups, trade unions and Bengali organisations.

    Last updated: 1:42pm, September 15 2011