originally published:25th June 2009
New Zealand-born Blair Peach was working as a special needs teacher in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets when he was killed on 23 April 1979.
He had gained prominence as an anti-racism campaigner when leading a successful campaign to close a National Front building in the middle of the Bangladeshi community around east London’s Brick Lane. And it was during another protest against the extreme right-wing group that he was to lose his life.
Mr Peach, 33, joined members of the Anti-Nazi League in demonstrating outside Southall town hall, where the National Front was holding a St George’s Day election rally.
The area was home to one of the country’s biggest Asian communities and Mr Peach was among hundreds caught up when trouble flared. Protesters had arrived to be met by rows of police officers who had sealed off the much of the area.