Wednesday 4 May marks the annual commemoration of Altab Ali Day, in memory of the young Bengali man whose brutal murder in 1978 mobilised the Bangladeshi and wider community to take a stand against racism.
Altab, a newly married, 25-year-old garment factory worker, had recently returned to the UK from Bangladesh.
He was returning home from work in nearby Brick Lane when he was fatally stabbed in a park in Whitechapel that now bears his name.
His racially motivated killing mobilised communities in Tower Hamlets to take a united stand against hatred and intolerance and marked a significant turning point in east London’s race relations.
Tower Hamlets Council will mark this important day with a series of events including a ceremony of commemoration, a talk, and an exhibition.
Judith St. John, Divisional Director of Commissioning & Culture, Tower Hamlets Council, said: “Altab Ali’s horrific and racist murder inspired communities and individuals in Tower Hamlets to take a resilient stand against hatred.
The annual anniversary of the tragic incident is a reminder of how important it is to come together to oppose intolerance and inequality.”
The council will host a ceremony of commemoration including wreath laying, tributes, and poetry readings, on 4 May at Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel Road.
A free exhibition of photography and graphic design work created during and after 1978, documenting the strength of feeling at the time and capturing the pivotal moment in the history of the East End, will run at Kobi Nazrul Centre, 30 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR from 5 to 27 May 2022.
The council will also co-host a talk by Stand Up to Racism. Titled The Right to Rally, the talk taking place at the Kobi Nazrul Centre in Whitechapel, will feature a panel discussion on the implications of the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
Ansar Ahmed Ullah of the Altab Ali Foundation said: “It is important to commemorate Altab Ali Day to remember the racist violence the Bengali community faced in the East End of London and celebrate the community’s united defence to defeat the evils of racism.”
Notes to editors:
Further details and resources about Altab Ali and The Fight for Equality and Altab Ali Day 2022, are available on the council website.
Posted on Wednesday 27th April 2022