From Cable Street to Brick Lane is a feature length documentary dealing with the fight against racism and fascism in the East End of London. The film explores how different communities came together in the 1930′s, 1970′s and 1990′s to challenge racism and intolerance. The focus of the project are the two iconic East London streets of Cable Street and Brick Lane.
2011 marked the 75th anniversary of the ‘Battle of Cable Street’, the seminal event in local and labour movement history when the East End’s Jewish population came together with trade unionists and other groups to prevent Oswald Mosley’s ‘Black Shirts’ marching through their community. In the 1970′s the predominantly Muslim Bangladeshi community living in and around Brick Lane was subjected to similar racist attacks by organised fascist groups. This film examines the impact of these interrelated historic episodes and how they relate to contemporary issues in East London.
From Cable Street to Brick Lane makes extensive use of interviews with veterans of the Battle of Cable Street and of more recent struggles around Brick Lane. The narrative of the film is driven by these eyewitness accounts and observations.
Sir Arnold Wesker - Playwright
It is a very good and evocative documentary. I hope it reaches far and wide.
Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah – Head of Equality, Health & Safety
Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS) :
I was moved, educated, inspired and most definitely motivated by the messages that came through this film. As I watched without moving but only to sigh because I recognised what my parents / family / minority groups / trade unionist and anyone that stood for equality, freedom and justice had gone through, it was evident that what happened 75 years ago is very much alive today with the current attacks some parts of our communities have had to deal with by the BNP, EDL, SDL and WDL.
Having grown up in an area where the NF had a visible presence, my life’s journey, the work I do within the trade union movement and the organisation, UK Black Pride that I run, has made me realise that just because we have made significant gains in certain areas - like not one single BNP member winning a seat in Barking & Dagenham - I cannot afford to be complacent, we have to be strategic in our fight against racism, fascism, homophobia and Islamaphobia. The film’s clear message was we must not let these forces grow further and become stronger.
We are people from all cultures, all origins, all faiths, and all countries, we are everywhere and we want to celebrate our differences because they are part of who we are as a diverse community. This is what makes us strong.
A sentence that stood out was “Self Defence is No Offence”
I am already encouraging others to make a donation and promote the great work of Phil Maxwell, Hazuan Hashim and everyone that contributed to making it possible.
Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS) are very happy that we could donate and support the great work they are doing.