Fascism in East London in the 1930s- Bosco Interview

In this extract of an interview, John ‘Bosco’ Jones recounts what it was like to be living in East London in the 1930’s when there was an active fascist movement. Bosco was later a member of the anti-fascist International Brigade ( see  Bosco’s interview on International Brigade ). He went to great lengths to help the people of Spain fight against the nationalists during the Spanish civil war. However, when he was living in East London during the early 1930’s the fascist movement was growing stronger and stronger thanks to the British Union of Fascists (BUF), with Oswald Mosley in charge. Mosley was inspired by the likes of Hitler and Mussolini and when he first started campaigning he had the support of the Daily Mail and The Mirror newspapers. This support waned when riots started breaking out at fascist meetings, most famously the Rally of Olympia, which meant their party could not take part in the 1935 general election.

Anti-fascist groups were made up of many different types of people such as communists, Jews, socialists and the unemployed, these groups tended to congregate in areas of the East End of London, such as Shoreditch. Bosco himself took part in anti-fascist meetings and rallies, which were often interrupted by the BUF and fights between the two groups were common, particularly as the BUF were anti-semitic and anti-communist. After the end of the second world war in 1945 many people who were coming out of the army found they were still fighting fascism.

In the 1980’s, when Bosco’s interview took place, although the amount of active fascists had gone down he still expressed concern over Thatcher’s government banning protesting and opposing the trade unions. Bosco states this time as being “as dangerous to me now as it ever was in ’36.”

Watch the full length Bosco interview about fascism here

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Olympic Marathon dumps East End for tourist landmarks

The London Olympic Marathon will not go through the East End or finish at the Olympic Stadium as is tradition. To please the Olympic Committee, it will pass through the West End showcasing tourist landmarks St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and Tower of London.  The race is planned to finish in the Mall with Buckingham Palace as its TV friendly backdrop. The race walks are also set to be held in central London instead of the East London as first planned.

Rushanara Ali, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, has claimed that the change meant that organisers were “embarrassed and ashamed to showcase the area and its people to the world”
“If LOCOG goes ahead with this proposal, the message they send to the world is ‘while we are happy to use the vibrancy, dynamism and diversity of the East End of London to win the Olympics bid, we’re embarrassed and ashamed to showcase the area and its people to the world’,” said Ali.

Tower Hamlets Council have created a petition as well Facebook group to protest the decision. They claim that Sebastian Coe, chairman of London 2012, had promised them that the marathons would pass through their area.

In his defense, Coe stated that “This is not a beauty contest and it would be ludicrous to suggest that we are ashamed of the East End,” when he met with Ali during the Labour Party Conference in Manchester. Although defiant, Coe did promise that the Olympic Torch Relay would pass through East London.

The London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC), the Government’s lead regeneration agency for East London, has described the decision not to route the marathons and walks through that area as a “missed opportunity” to promote the region as a key investment destination to international investors.

As with Greenwich Park (see here and here), spectacular televisual backdrops demanded by the Olympic Committee override the interests of London and its residents.

To read more visit insidethegames.biz

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