A NEW BLOCK of Council flats is being built in Wapping – and local councillor Abdal Ullah has announced that the block will be named after former Wapping resident Altab Ali.
Altab Ali is a household name among the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets and beyond. He is also well known among anti-racist activists and the wider community. Perhaps, with the passing of time, his name was not so well known to younger residents – other than as the name of a small park in the north-west of the borough. Now this new block will ensure that his name will live on in Tower Hamlets – and our job is to ensure that younger generations learn of his sacrifice.
Life had been hard for Bangladeshis new to East London: there was prejudice at every turn, harsh conditions to endure – and often physical violence on the streets. On 4th May 1978, Altab Ali – an 18 year old textile worker – was a stabbed in the neck in the space the park which bears his name now occupies. It was a racist murder, which galvanised the community to fight against the racists – and for their civil rights.
The community has come far since those days – but there is still much further to go to reach equality. Seeing a block of municipal housing named after Altab Ali is one ore step forward on the road.
Altab Ali House: construction begins
•Cllr Ullah announced the naming of the block on 20th May on social media with a brief clip of the first stages of construction – and on the Vodcasts show 20:20 Vision. To see Cllr Ullah discuss the old days, the new days and naming of Altab Ali House, go to: