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Anti-racism march organised after Asian teenager has headscarf grabbed in Bethnal Green attack

PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:23 15 October 2018

An anti-racism march is due to take place on Saturday (November 17). Pic: TOWER HAMLETS SUTR

An anti-racism march is due to take place on Saturday (November 17). Pic: TOWER HAMLETS SUTR

Archant

An anti-racist protest has been organised after an Asian teenager was beaten and had her headscarf grabbed in an attack in Bethnal Green.

Sheila McGregor from Tower Hamlets Stand up to Racism said: “We have to take a stand against all forms of racism.Sheila McGregor from Tower Hamlets Stand up to Racism said: “We have to take a stand against all forms of racism." Pic: TOWER HAMLETS SUTR

The march follows the route the attacker took as she followed her 18-year-old victim from McDonald’s in Bethnal Green Road to the junction of Roman Road and Victoria Park Square.

Organiser Sheila McGregor, convenor of campaign group Tower Hamlets Stand up to Racism, said: “When we read the article in the Advertiser we decided to march from where it started to where the attempt to take the head scarf happened.

“We want to make it clear that that kind of racist attack or any other is not acceptable.”

She added that comments made by ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson comparing muslim women who wear burqas to letter boxes and far right groups had helped create an atmosphere where some people felt it was acceptable to launch attacks.

To join the march outside the Bethnal Green Road McDonald’s at 5.30pm on Wednesday (October 17). Pic: TOWER HAMLETS STAND UP TO RACISMTo join the march outside the Bethnal Green Road McDonald’s at 5.30pm on Wednesday (October 17). Pic: TOWER HAMLETS STAND UP TO RACISM

The teenager was inside the restaurant with two friends, both 18, when her attacker hurled racist abuse at them.

After they left she followed them shouting racist abuse before hitting one of them three times on the back of her neck and trying to grab her headscarf. She also spat at one of the other women.

The alleged attacker is a black woman aged around 40. She was wearing a black coat and gold hooped earrings.

Ms McGregor, who lives near Roman Road, said: “We have to take a stand against all forms of racism whether that’s Islamophobia, anti-semitism or any other.

“It’s totally unacceptable for three young Asian women not to be able to go about their business. We have to live in peace, with respect for one another.”

This was the first time the campaign group had heard of this kind of racist attack happening publicly in Tower Hamlets.

“It will only go away if people who are tolerant and anti-racist start a discussion with people who are being wound up to be less tolerant,” Ms McGregor said.

The public march meets outside the Bethnal Green Road McDonald’s at 5.30pm on Wednesday.

Anyone with information about the attack should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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