Lewisham ’77: Myth and Anti-Fascist History

Another year, another anniversary of the anti-National Front 'Battle of Lewisham'. I am posting this on 13 August 2018, the 41st anniversary of that momentous day. The following article was written last year to reflect on the day's significance in the aftermath of a series of events to commemorate its 40th anniversary. It was published ...

No Nazis in South London 1977

This 'No Nazis in South London' poster dates from 1977. It calls for people to assemble for a demonstration on Saturday September 10th at Elephant and Castle called by the 'South London Co-ordinating Committee'.This was a few weeks after the August 1977 anti-National Front 'Battle of Lewisham' but was not on the same scale. According to The Times (12 ...

Dubious people in Bromley

The extreme right wing group Britain First have called a march in Bromley town centre on Saturday November 4th 2017. The leaders of the group, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, who both live in Penge, have been charged with religiously aggravated assault and as part of their bail conditions have to sign on at Bromley Police station every ...

1977 ‘Battle of Lewisham’ plaque

August this year sees the 40th anniversary of the demonstrations and clashes of the 'Battle of Lewisham' when thousands of people turned out to oppose a racist march from New Cross to Lewisham by the far right National Front. Goldsmiths is leading on a number of events to commemorate the 1977 protests which are recognised ...

‘Pride, Prejudice and Peckham’ – John Beckett from Labour MP to Nazi apologist

I have been looking into  the murky waters of the history of the far right in South London.  One of the more depressing specimens is John Beckett (1894-1964).After the First World War, in which he served, Beckett joined the left wing Independent Labour Party and after a period as a Hackney councillor he became the ...

Radical New Cross: Protest and dissent 1875 – 2015

As part of the 2015 Being Human Festival of Humanities, Goldsmiths is hosting a series of events this month on the them 'Radical New Cross: Protest and dissent 1875 – 2015':'From radical parish priests to anti-fascist resistance, New Cross has a long history of radicalism, as will be demonstrated through a series of events, all ...

Fascist mob attacks Clapton fans in Thamesmead

A pre-season non-League football friendly might seem an unlikely setting for violence, but that was what occurred last night at Thamesmead Town's ground in Bayliss Avenue SE28, where the home team were hosting a visit from Clapton FC. Clapton supporters were attacked with bottles and other missiles, and the game was abandoned.But it seems that ...

Cornelius Cardew in New Cross, and a ballad of East Street

'Cornelius Cardew (1936-81): a life unfinished' by John Tilbury (Copula, 2008) is a monumental biography of the radical composer by one of his closest collaborators. Its 1100 pages document in close detail Cardew's musical and political life, cut short at the age of  45 when he was hit by a car in East London.Cardew became ...

An anti-Jewish/pro-Nazi doctor from New Cross: 1943

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2015, the presence of elderly survivors at events at the Imperial War Museum and elsewhere is a reminder that the terrible time of the Shoah is still within living memory for some. Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, others would like us to forget it, or to relativise away the ...

Anti-fascists in Walworth Road and Lewisham in the 1930s

A couple of examples of 1930s militant anti-fascism found searching at British Newspaper Archive:Fascist Offices Attacked in Walworth Road, 1933'A crowd of 200 men, some of whom asserted they were Communists, attacked the Fascist local head-quarters in Walworth Road, London, SE, today. Stones were thrown, upper windows in the building were broken, and after a ...