How the battle of Lewisham helped to halt the rise of Britain’s far right

In August 1977, the National Front suffered a defeat from which it never recovered. But the day also saw a radical change in police tactics

They began assembling shortly after midday, union jacks fluttering above their heads. By 2pm on 13 August 1977, 40 years ago, hundreds of rightwing extremists were ready to march through Lewisham in south-east London.

Above them, on New Cross Road, vast crowds of counter-protesters had massed to prevent the 500 supporters of the National Front from marching.

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