John Biggs, Labour’s Mayoral Candidate in Tower Hamlets has pledged that if he were elected Mayor, the date 4 May in Tower Hamlets would be dedicated as Altab Ali Day, in commemoration of the 25-year-old Bengali worker, who was murdered on 4 May 1978 by three racist teenagers as he walked home from work.
After meeting with members of the Altab Ali Foundation, John Biggs has pledged that in future years, the period around 4 May would see special events and speeches set up with the mayor’s support for a specific commemoration at Altab Ali Park. The events would raise awareness of what happened in 1978 and the ongoing fight against racism in Tower Hamlets. They would also raise consciousness of the different conflicts, particularly with a racial dimension, that have happened throughout east end history.
The specific details of the events will be set up with guidance and agreement from the Altab Ali Foundation, which itself holds a high profile annual commemoration to all victims of racism. The reaction to Altab Ali’s death among the Tower Hamlets community and across London played a key part in the defeat of the National Front in the later 1970s.
John Biggs, Labour’s Mayoral Candidate in Tower Hamlets commented:
“The events of 1978 are a key part of this borough’s history. We must continue to commemorate the tragedy of Altab Ali’s death, but crucially we must continue to learn the lessons of the past and ensure racism is never given a chance to exist unchallenged in our community.
“Setting up special events around 4 May is about paying tribute to those campaigners who fought for justice after 1978 and ensuring the next generation from all parts of Tower Hamlets recognise the remaining duty we all have to stamp out racism wherever we find it.”