Remembering and reflecting on the 'Battle of Lewisham' in August 1977, when a mobilisation by the far-right National Front in South East London was met by mass opposition

Tuesday 28 August 2007

The ALCARAF Perspective

Many of the accounts we have posted at the site so far have been broadly from the street-fighting perspective, recalling the physical confrontation with the National Front and police in New Cross Road. Not everyone involved in opposing the NF demonstration shared this perspective, particularly the leadership of the All Lewisham Campaign Against Racism (ALCARAF) which opposed this strategy, as shown in the following article from the Mercury (18.8.77):

Mike's Peace Plea

Mike Power was still pleading for peace - hours after two brick crashed through his bedroom window. The bricks were hurled at this home in Ardgowan Road, Hither Green, at 3 am on Saturday. One brick fell inside the window, but the other narrowly missed Mike and his wife, Linda, as they slept.

Mike, 32, went on to chair the ALCARAF meeting at Ladywell Fields. He was also chief steward during their peaceful march through Lewisham. Mike said: 'It was quite clearly an attempt by the National Front to intimidate me. They know that broad movements like ALCARAF are more dangerous to their race hatred than fighting in the streets. We totally condemn the approach of the Socialist Workers Party. It's counter-productive - because the NF thrives on violence - and undermines the work done day-in, day-out for community relations in the borough.'

Last October an NF member was convicted of assaulting Mr Power as he distributed anti-racialist leaflets. And Mike says he and his family have been receiving threatening phone calls since 1969.

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