source: Socialist Worker
published: 22 April 2013
On 23 April 1979 the fascist National Front (NF) called a public meeting in Southall town hall, west London.The meeting was in support of its general election candidate Ernest Pendrous.
The NF had come third in London’s local elections and had big expectations for the meeting, which they organised symbolically on St George’s Day.
The Nazis’ choice of Southall was significant. In 1976 schoolboy Gurdip Singh Chaggar was stabbed to death there by racists, and the NF hoped to further intimidate Southall’s large Asian population.
But there was resistance. The day before thousands marched from Ealing town hall to Southall to hand in a petition against the meeting.
On the day of the meeting parts of west London fell silent as bus, textile and food workers struck in protest against the Nazis. And the Anti Nazi League (ANL) organised a demonstration against the NF.
The ANL had been founded two years previously to combat the rise of the NF and other fascists. Thousands of Asian workers walked out of factories to join the protest.