New 'Unite and Resist' exhibition explores borough activism

Protest to Trafalgar Square

A protest to Trafalgar Square

From 5 September, Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives is hosting a new exhibition – Unite and Resist! Protests in the East End 1970-2000 – that explores activism in the East End in the latter decades of the twentieth century.

The exhibition will showcase original archive collections including banners, badges, garments, posters, photographs, pamphlets and other protest campaign materials and will be supported by a number of free events and talks.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “Here in the East End we have a long and proud history of taking a stand against all forms of hate and intolerance. This new exhibition reminds us of this and as a council we continue to work to ensure Tower Hamlets is ‘No Place for Hate’.”

This period of history saw huge political, economic and social shifts across Tower Hamlets. While some communities moved out, others moved in and buildings that had lain derelict were squatted, razed, repaired or remade.

The changes led to some conflict and while it is well known that residents fought fascism in the Battle of Cable Street and the roots of the Suffragette movement are well documented in the borough, the exhibition shows the links between local activism and wider social movements across the UK.   

Councillor Sabina Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts and Brexit said: “There are important lessons to learn from this hard-hitting exhibition about how communities came together to affect change. I encourage residents to go along and view it.”

For further information and exhibition events listings visit 

Posted on Tuesday 3rd September 2019