Altab Ali racist death remembered in Whitechapel—32 years on

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:57 05 October 2010

Remembering Altab yesterday and (inset) his funeral in 1978

Remembering Altab yesterday and (inset) his funeral in 1978

A VIGILE yesterday marked the death of Altab Ali at the hands of racists, 32 years on. Those who remembered the attack in London’s East End met at Whitechapel’s Altab Ali gardens to mark the 32nd anniversary

By Mike Brooke

A VIGILE yesterday marked the death of Altab Ali at the hands of racists, 32 years on.

Those who remembered the attack in London's East End met last night at Whitechapel's Altab Ali gardens, the former St Mary's Churchyard renamed in his memory, to mark the 32nd anniversary.

Altab, a garment machinist working in the East End's rag trade, died in an attack by thugs on his way home near Adler Street, off Whitechapel Road, on May 4, 1978.

But his death was not forgotten, when hundreds of community leaders, activists and even police involved in hunting his killers three decades ago, turned up last night to show solidarity against racism and extremism in East London.

Speakers spoke about the 'battle of Brick Lane' during the late 1970s, the importance of unity of all communities and "the challenge of defeating racist candidates through the ballot box" at tomorrow's General Election.

Those who addressed the gathering included Tower Hamlets council former leaders Denise Jones and Michael Keith, anti-racist veteran Terry Fitzpatrick, Baroness Uddin, Bangladesh government minister Syed Islam and Bangladesh MP Shofiqur Chowdhury, as well as other Tower Hamlets councillors, ex-councillors and former mayors.

Now a committee has been set up by the organisers to turn the memorial into an annual event.

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