Introduction: Towards a Global History of Anti-Fascism

Kasper Braskén, David Featherstone, Nigel Copsey

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On 7 October 1934, a major street battle between fascists and anti-fascists took place in the centre of Sao Paulo. It became a landmark for Brazilian anti-fascism and is commonly remembered as the ‘See Square Battle (Batalha da Praça da Sé)’. An anti-fascist protest action was staged on that day against a major demonstration organised by the country's largest fascist party, Brazilian Integralist Action (Ação Integralista Brasileira). The confrontation led to violent street fighting that managed to close down the fascist protest. It left several wounded and some dead, predominantly on the fascist side. Four years later, fascist Blackshirts in Johannesburg, South Africa, were responsible for escalating levels of violence perpetrated against both leftist movements and Jewish institutions. On 27 November 1938, the rising political tensions culminated in a violent battle between Blackshirts and anti-fascists in central Johannesburg, causing one of the largest disturbances in the city since the early 1920s. Many memorialise the Battle of Cable Street, when anti-fascists in London successfully halted the demonstration of Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists in 1936, but all too few have knowledge of analogous events beyond European frameworks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnti-Fascism in a Global Perspective
Subtitle of host publicationTransnational Networks, Exile Communities, and Radical Internationalism
EditorsKasper Braskén, Nigel Copsey, David Featherstone
ISBN (Electronic)9780429058356
ISBN (Print)9781138352193
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2020
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • Fascism
  • Global history
  • antifascism
  • internationalism
  • protest demonstrations


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