Articles

From the Battle of Wood Green 1977 to the French Presidential Elections 2017

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2017 by kmflett

A well attended event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Wood Green was held on Ducketts Common, Turnpike Lane on Sunday 23rd April. It was 40 years to the day since a large march of supporters of the fascist National Front had marched out of the Common on to Wood Green High Rd. There they met opposition. Only part of the march was able to continue to a final rally. The NF never again tried to march in Haringey.

It was just the first of a series of confrontations between the NF, anti-fascists and local people across the UK. The next was at Lewisham on August 13th 1977 and there was a series up to 23rd April 1979 in Southall where anti-fascist protester Blair Peach met his death from a blow to the head from a weighted police truncheon.

Several speakers on Sunday including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was the original lead organiser at Wood Green 40 years ago, and Paul Holborow who led the Anti-Nazi League in the late 1970s and 1980s underlined why exactly it had been so important to try and stop the National Front from marching. They aimed to show that they controlled the streets and in doing so to become a permanent fixture of British political life.

They failed.

By contrast, Sunday’s event coincided with the first round of the French Presidential Election where the candidate of the fascist National Front Marine Le Pen, polled well enough to make the run off in a fortnight. She is unlikely to win but the FN have become a fixture of French political life. They have mostly been able to march without effective opposition over the years and that is certainly one reason- there are clearly others- why they have been able to get in that position.

Perhaps the point is that while its easy to think that what you do or don’t do in terms of political activity makes little real difference to how the world goes on, sometimes it actually does.

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