A day of permanent commemoration in recognition of the death of Altab Ali to be on 4th May


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Shottobani Desk: The 1970s saw the rise of National Front and a constant stream of racist attacks. The terrible murder of young textile worker Altab Ali in a park in Whitechapel in 1978 marked a turning point and the Bangladeshi and other communities rallied together as part of the growing, vocal and defiant anti-racism movement.
Altab Ali Day is now a poignant and important date in the annual calendar on which to commemorate the life and untimely death of this young man.
It pays tribute to the legacy of tolerance and unity and the stance against fascism that resulted from this crime.
Altab Ali MarchAltab Ali Day will consist of a wreath laying, poetry readings from Shamim Azad and David Lee Morgan, and speeches from invited dignitaries. The event takes place from 6pm.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said, “Altab Ali’s murder and the subsequent demonstrations were a tragic but important moment in our borough’s history. The united community response showed that people in the East End will not tolerate division, discrimination and bigotry.”
He added, “Nearly forty years on and that message of community cohesion and of residents of all backgrounds standing united against racism is just as relevant.”
A number of events related to Altab Ali Day include an exhibition organised by Tower Hamlets Council, Images of Resistance, which opens at the Kobi Nazrul Centre on 4 May and runs until 4 June.
The show contains work created during and after 1978 by three local artists; Paul Trevor, Phil Maxwell and Tom Learmonth. It documents the strength of feeling at the time and the power of photography to capture this pivotal moment in the history of the East End.
On Friday 5 May, the Osmani Centre in Underwood Road will host a book launch at 6.45pm for ‘Racist Murder of Altab Ali’ edited by Nobab Uddin which has been organised by Janomot and supported by the Altab Ali Foundation, and there will be the opportunity for book signings.
There will also be a talk on Saturday 6 May at 7pm, given by the Altab Ali Trust at the Kobi Nazrul Centre.

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