Why we must protect the memory of Cable Street

9 Oct 2016 by CST

Today sees events marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, when antisemitic fascists were prevented from marching through what was then the Jewish East End of London.

Former CST Chief Executive, Richard Benson, has the following article (here), summarising the memory of the event and what it means to CST:         

As CST’s chief executive from 2001 to 2013, I quickly lost count of how many times Cable Street was cited to me as the historically key moment in Jewish communal self-defence. Many of us, whether CST volunteers, staff or trustees, saw ourselves as continuing that proud tradition. We were inspired by Cable Street and were determined not to allow anti-Semites to disrupt our way of life. I believe this will a core principle of CST as long as it exists.

While at CST, I helped Fiyaz Mughal to establish Tell MAMA, an organisation that monitors anti-Muslim hate attacks.

Now, as a trustee of CST, president of Tell MAMA and vice-chair of the Board of Deputies Defence Division, I am chair of the 80th Anniversary of Cable Street delivery group which is being organised by the London Jewish Forum.

Our Jewish community has almost entirely left the East End, both physically and psychologically. Muslims and others now comprise the more recent immigrants. 

 Image: The Bishopsgate Institute 

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“Since 2003, CST has been a stalwart supporter of ODIHR in its efforts to effectively monitor antisemitic hate crime in the OSCE Region. With its rigorous methodology and innovative partnerships with the British police, it is viewed by many as representing the gold standard for NGO responses to all forms of hate crime. I wish CST all success in its exciting new phase of work.”

Michael Georg Link
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights