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Episode from the podcastWitness History: Witness Black History

The Battle of Lewisham

Released Friday, 9th October 2020
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In August 1977, the racist National Front organisation planned to stage a march into Lewisham in South London at a time of high racial tension in the area. The National Front activists were met by a huge counter-demonstration organised by anti-racist campaigners – in the clashes that followed, hundreds of people were arrested and injured before the National Front were forced to withdraw. The so-called Battle of Lewisham is now seen as having halted the rise of the far-right in British politics. Nacheal Catnott talks to Lez Henry, who grew up in Lewisham and witnessed the unrest. Produced by Eleanor Biggs.

PHOTO: A police officer attempts to restore order in Lewisham in 1977 (Getty Images)
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