Hate Against Hope
Alan Dein hears how London's East End Bangladeshi community forged new alliances to oppose racism in the 1970s and 80s.
The East End had been a centre of racial struggle and opposition since the 1930s, when Oswald Mosely's Blackshirts had paraded through the then largely Jewish streets around Brick Lane. By the 1970s a new wave of predominantly Bangladeshi immigrants faced racism again from the National Front and its sympathisers.
As provocation and attacks increased, this community made new alliances with local anti-fascist activists, culminating in large-scale movements such as Rock Against Racism. Once again Brick Lane and the streets beyond became a battleground.