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1962: Violence flares at Mosley rally
Former fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley has been assaulted at a rally in London's east end.

He and members of his anti-Semitic Blackshirt group were punched to the ground as soon as his meeting opened at Ridley Road, Dalston.

Police were forced to close the meeting within three minutes and made 54 arrests - including Sir Oswald's son Max.

A crowd of several thousand had gathered in the area, where Sir Oswald, leader of the Union Movement formerly known as the British Union of Fascists, planned to speak from the back of a lorry.

As soon as he appeared from between two police buses the crowd surged forward and knocked Sir Oswald to the ground.

He tried to fight back from the cobbles, before police helped him to climb on the lorry prepared for his address.

'Drowned out'

He was met by a hail of missiles including rotten fruit, pennies and stones and people tried to storm the platform.

His speech was drowned out by continuous boos and a chorus of "down with the fascists".

Scuffles continued as Sir Oswald was shepherded to his car and his vehicle was punched and kicked as it drove off though a gangway cleared by mounted police.

Trouble started long before the meeting began as over 200 police - including 10 on horseback - attempted to clear an area around the lorry-platform.

It took the authorities another hour after Sir Oswald left to clear people from nearby Kingsland High Road.

Those arrested will appear in court tomorrow charged with public order offences.

Amongst the injured were last year's Mayor of Hackney, Alderman Sherman, and his wife.

They both received medical treatment after being struck with an iron bar.

Sir Oswald, a former Labour MP and junior minister, became leader of the British Union of Fascists in 1932.

During the war, he and his wife Diana Mitford, were interned for being a threat to national security. Then in 1948, Sir Oswald formed the Union Party but failed to get a seat in the 1959 general election.

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Watch/Listen
Photo of Sir Oswald Mosley in 1936
Sir Oswald has been rallying the right-wing for over 25 years

Oswald Mosley surged by angry crowd during rally (mute)


In Context
Four years later Sir Oswald Mosley failed to get elected to parliament once more and he retired from politics.

Sir Oswald Mosley died in France in 1980.

In November 2002 the Public Records Office in the UK released documents revealing details of the British intelligence services' surveillance of Sir Oswald and his wife and the threat they posed.

According to the evidence his wife, Diana Mitford, was regarded as more dangerous than her husband, because she had much closer ties with the Nazis in Germany.

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