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Altab Ali remembrance in Whitechapel cancelled by Coronavirus ban on public gatherings

PUBLISHED: 15:39 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:12 29 April 2020

Altab Ali's murder in 1978 sparks mass protest movement across the East End. Picture: Paul Trevor

Altab Ali's murder in 1978 sparks mass protest movement across the East End. Picture: Paul Trevor

Paul Trevor

The annual remembrance of Altab Ali’s racist murder in Whitechapel has had to be cancelled this year because of Coronavirus.

Bengali youths on anti-fascist march down Brick following Altab's murder. Picture: Paul TrevorBengali youths on anti-fascist march down Brick following Altab's murder. Picture: Paul Trevor

Organisers have been forced to scrap Monday’s service planned for the 42nd anniversary of the brutal killing of the 25-year-old garment trade worker who was attacked on his way home to Brick Lane by a gang of right-wing thugs on May 4, 1978.

“It’s a very important event in our calendar,” Altab Ali Foundation’s chairman Nooruddin Ahmed said.

“Racist murders of the 1970s gave rise to a resistance movement by the Bengali community in the East End which had been under constant attack. But Altab’s murder was a turning point.”

Altab Ali funeral in 1978 with hundreds of mourners following his coffin from Brick Lane. Picture: Paul TrevorAltab Ali funeral in 1978 with hundreds of mourners following his coffin from Brick Lane. Picture: Paul Trevor

The killing on the streets of Whitechapel led to protest marches at the time calling for police action.

The former St Mary’s Whitechapel chuchyard was renamed Altab Ali Gardens in his memory by Tower Hamlets Council. This is the first time the annual service has had to be abandoned.


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