Plans unveiled for Altab Ali Day to mark 1978 racist murder in Whitechapel

PUBLISHED: 15:26 18 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:26 18 April 2016

1978... protest march in Whitechapel High Street following Altab Ali's death

1978... protest march in Whitechapel High Street following Altab Ali's death

TH Council

Plans have been announced for next month’s annual commemoration on the 38th anniversary of Altab Ali’s racist murder in the park that now bears his name in London’s East End.

Annual remembrance at Altab Ali ParkAnnual remembrance at Altab Ali Park

His killing in 1978 in St Mary’s Church Gardens in Whitechapel that now bears his name helped spark the East End’s anti-racism movement with a march to Downing Street carrying his coffin.

Events planned for May 4 include a theatrical production of The Altab Ali Story by the Swadhinata Trust being staged at Whitechapel’s Brady arts centre in Hanbury Street at 8.45pm.

It tells the story about the day nearly four decades ago when he was attacked on the way home from his rag trade job in a tailoring factory where he was a machinist and its subsequent impact on the immigrant community in the late 1970s.

Tower Hamlets council’s Head of arts and events, Steve Murray, said: “Altab Ali Day will pay tribute to the local, national and international significance of his legacy and the resulting rise of the anti-racism movement.”

Police accompany Altab Ali's funeral in May, 1978 [archive photo]Police accompany Altab Ali's funeral in May, 1978 [archive photo]

An exhibition is also planned, with images created during and after 1978 including works by artists Dan Jones, Alice Sielle, Danielle LaMarche, Phil Maxwell and Paul Trevor. It is being shown at two arts centres, the Brady in Hanbury Street and the Kobi Nazrul nearby in Brick Lane, until May 20.

A remembrance ceremony also starts at 6pm at Altab Ali Park itself, in Whitechapel Road, to lay wreaths.

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