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Ohid Ahmed – in his own words

Cllr Ohid Ahmed won an unprecedented victory at the Council meeting on 17th January, when the ruling Labour Group of Councillors not only allowed him to move a motion – but actually supported it!

While local historians thumb through the reference books to try to establish whether this is the first time John Biggs’s councillors have let an opposition councillor propose a motion, activists are still celebrating the outcome – that Tower Hamlets is a “Trump-Free Zone”.

A film of the Tower Hamlets Council meeting is available via a link on the Council’s website. However, if you don’t have time to search that out, here’s what the Independent Group’s Cllr Ahmed said to woo the Biggsy Babes on the council benches.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

I am proposing this motion to the chamber “hoping” for the majority support.

I ask the Mayor and other Group leaders to join me in declaring Tower Hamlets a TRUMP-FREE-ZONE.

This is about showing Together We can.

This is about Bringing Tower Hamlets Together.

This is about showing that we have more in common.

We are calling for the Government to abandon the plans to invite Mr Trump to the UK on a state visit.

Because both the Whitehouse and Downing Street still say they are working to finalise a date for the official visit.

But should Government Choose to go ahead with the State Visit, President Trump must not be welcome in our Borough.

It matters to many of our residents.
It matters to me as a father of three.
It matters to me who came to this country as young boy –
a brown coloured boy who happened to be Muslim;
who worked hard every day of my life to learn, to get educated,
worked hard, paid taxes
and tried to contribute to the society, to the UK –
a country I am proud to call my home and where my children and family live.

This does not mean that other issues, like:
Missed rubbish collections
Unrepaired potholes
Alleged £2 million bribery corruption
The alarming fall in Ofsted rating
The shocking increase in crime
in any way, shape or form are less important.

But we must put a marker down now.

This is important because
Tower Hamlets is one of the most multi-cultural and diverse boroughs;
a key part of Our Great East End –
representing magical talents and a proud history.

What the President of the United States says
has consequences for our community relations.
Mr Trump has made a number of illogical and bigoted statements and decisions.

This is important because
what the so-called leader of the free world decides
impacts upon people up and down the world – including Tower Hamlets.

This is important because
Mr Trump has promoted hateful comments
about ethnic minorities,
about women
and about Muslims in particular.

For centuries our borough has welcomed people
who want to make a better life for themselves or who are fleeing persecution.
From the French in the 16th century,
to our wonderful Jewish community.
From the proud Irish
To the hardworking Bangladeshis and Somalis.

Our borough is the heart of Our East End.
We understand very well how to foster harmony
and cohesion in society
while defeating those who create division and hatred.

Whether this fascism and bigotry is from Mr Trump
from The KKK
from The National Front
the EDL
from Britain First
or by any of their secret admirers –
we will call it out
and take whatever steps possible to defeat it.

We must tell forces of hatred and division that:
we have much more in common than divides us.

I request you all to support our motion.

•Watch the Council meeting here:
Council meeting 17th January

•Read more about it:
Cllr Ohid Ahmed wins stunning victory
Ohid calls on Biggs to take a stand against Trump

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