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Tower Hamlets commemorates Altab Ali Day with tributes and call to action against racism

Ansar Ahmed Ullah:


LONDON, May 5, 2024 – The Tower Hamlets community came together on 4 May to observe the annual Altab Ali Day, honouring the memory of Altab Ali and marking the Bengali community’s historic struggle against racism and discrimination.

A commemorative ceremony was held at 6pm at Altab Ali Park, where wreaths were laid, poetry recited, and tributes paid to Altab Ali and others who have fallen victim to racist violence. After a minute of silence, community leaders and activists delivered powerful speeches celebrating the Bengali community’s defiance against bigotry and urging all to continue the fight for equality.

Culture & Recreation Cllr Iqbal Hossain conducted the ceremony. “The senseless murder of Altab Ali shook our community but also ignited a movement that would not be silenced,” said Cllr Iqbal Hossain, host of the event. “Today, we honour his memory and the courage of those who stood up against racism and said ‘no more.'”

Notable speakers included Tower Hamlets Speaker Cllr Jahed Choudhury, Equalities & Social Inclusion Cllr Suluk Ahmed, Cllr Bodrul Choudhury, Hazrat Ali Khan, the Deputy High Commissioner from the Bangladesh High Commission, Akikur Rahman from the Altab Ali Foundation and Rafique Ullah, Aklakur Rahman & Halima Idris from the Altab Ali Trust, Sheila McGregor from Tower Hamlets Stand Up to Racism, David Rosenberg from the Jewish Socialist Group and Sufia Alam from the Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum.

Following the park ceremony, attendees proceeded to the Brady Arts Centre for an exhibition viewing and a screening of the acclaimed Channel 4 documentary ‘Defiance’ exploring the Bengali community’s resistance movement. A panel discussion featuring community activists Julie Begum from Swadhinata Trust, Akikur Rahman from Altab Ali Foundation and Satiyesh Manoharajah – Series Director for Defiance, was also held.  Dr Layli Uddin, Queen Mary University of London, chaired the panel.