Our history: The Battle of Lewisham

The Battle of Lewisham was a pivotal moment in Lewisham’s history…a day when our community said ‘No’ to fascism and racism.

The Battle of Lewisham: Why it matters

As a borough we celebrate our people, our communities and of course, our rich history in diversity which has shaped where we are today.

Many of you will have heard the story of what happened on 13 August 1977 when the Neo-Nazi National Front attempted to stage a march through New Cross.

Lewisham was having none of it.

A counter-demonstration ensued, bringing together over 6,000 people from the local community. The day was not without violent clashes and injuries, however, the result was – as someone described at today’s unveiling of a commemorative mural – “a significant turning point in the downfall of the NF”.

As part of our bid to be London Borough of Culture, we promote Lewisham as a Sanctuary Borough – a place where all are welcome and a community where everyone can feel safe.

We celebrate the newly unveiled mural to commemorate the Battle of Lewisham which displays proudly outside Goldsmiths Library. It is a symbol of the community and a salute to the many protestors who stood up to hate on that day.


Watch a clip of the speech delivered by Dr John Price, Head of Goldsmiths’ Department of History and Academic Lead for public engagement.

Left to right: Speakers at the unveiling of the Battle of Lewisham mural including Joe Dromey (Cabinet Member for Culture, Jobs and Skills), Mark Thompson (spoken word artist), Professor Frances Corner OBE (Warden of Goldsmiths), Vicky Foxcroft (MP for Lewisham Deptford), Brenda Dacres (Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport) and Damien Egan (Mayor of Lewisham).

“This was 42 years ago. Is that same community spirit here in Lewisham today? Yes it is.”

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham


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