The power of unity

Unite’s Unity over Division campaign is supporting this year’s Battle of Stockton Facebook Live event

Reading time: 4 min

On September 10, 1933, Mosley’s notorious Blackshirts marched into Stockton-on-Tees with the specific aim of holding a rally to recruit and garner support. Mosley targeted areas where poverty was significant, towns that were reeling from the effects of the Great Depression.

Despite attempts by the fascists to keep their visit to Teesside quiet to avoid opposition, news leaked out. Waiting to greet them and push them back was a crowd of two thousand locals. The crowd included members of The Independent Labour Party, The Communist Party, Trade Unionists and members of the National Unemployed Workers Movement. Moseley’s men, the British Union of Fascists (BUF) came equipped with weapons and fighting ensued. The locals fought hard to drive the Blackshirts out of town.

The Battle of Stockton Campaign was established in 2017 with two aims, to celebrate a significant event in Stockton’s and Teesside’s history and to also remind us how we must always stand up to divisive, far right rhetoric just as our grandparents did in the 1930s.

The Battle of Stockton has been commemorated around the anniversary of the event for the last several years with a celebration of the town’s history with speakers, musicians, comedians and artists in and around Stockton’s Georgian Theatre.

Because of the current Covid-19 restrictions, this year we will be holding a Facebook Live event on Sunday September 6, at 11 am. We are proud to be supported by Unite again this year. We will be joined by Unite’s Barry Faulkner who, under the umbrella of their Unity Over Division Campaign, will be holding a discussion as part of this year’s event with young members from our region around Trade Unions role in the fight against fascism.

Speakers at this year’s online event include David Rosenberg (Convenor of Cable Street ’80, writer, teacher and educationalist), Shabana Marshall (Educator for the Holocaust Educational Trust, Lecturer at St Mary’s University and former board member of Tell MAMA, a charity supporting victims of Muslim hatred), Professor Nigel Copsey (Teesside University, specialist in Modern History, particularly Fascist and anti-fascist history) and Marlene Sidaway (President of The International Brigade Memorial Trust and actress)

We will also be joined by Joe Solo, Frazer Lambert and The September 1933 Male Voice Choir, The Young’uns, Cattle and Cane, Shoecake Comedy and poet Harry Gallagher.

It promises to be a great event to celebrate Stockton’s proud anti-fascist history.


By Sharon Bailey, chair, Battle of Stockton

Related Articles