Hulme against fascism, 1936

Hulme Town Hall, late 19th century

A short account of the attacks on Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists organisation in Hulme, Manchester.

On 28 June, 1936, the BUF and Oswald Mosley held a meeting at Hulme Town Hall.

The meeting took place without problems, but as the fascists attempted to leave the hall a crowd of 2 to 3000 anti-fascists outside rushed to attack Mosley’s car.

Police and Blackshirt stewards manage to clear his way out but hand-to-hand fighting between fascists and anti-fascists broke out, and a senior police officer was struck in the face by a flying glass.

Mosley and his retinue then went to the new fascist Club in nearby Tominson Street, which was then surrounded by another angry crowd.

A fascist flag was torn down from the building and windows were stoned. Attempts were also made by the crowd to overturn fascist vans and set them on fire.

Mosley's car was also stoned as he left and the crowd made an unsuccessful attempt to stop it. All the windows of the club were later smashed with stones.

Besieged fascists in the Town Hall and Fascist Club were later forced to change in plain clothes in order to escape unnoticed.

Disturbances in the area continued between fascist and anti-fascists throughout the night and it took to the early hours of the next day before police restored order.

Manchester Council would respond to what they feared as a potential street war by proscribing political uniforms.

Sadly for Mosley, he met similar responses from the working class in Devon, Manchester, Newcastle, London, Stockton, and many other towns and cities around the UK in the 1930s.

largely adapted from text by the Bottled Wasp Diary crew. Source: Physical Resistance. A Hundred Years of Anti-Fascism' - Dave Hann (2012)