City & East GLA member Unmesh Desai want hatred and intolerance defeated

PUBLISHED: 17:25 07 February 2017

London Assemby

Ghastly plans to build concrete plants on the Olympic Park have been shelved. But we can’t be complacent. Any alternative plans put forward must take into account the spirit of the Games legacy. With air quality quite rightly, dominating our political agenda, let’s hope we don’t get such proposals again. Tribute has to be paid to the determination and perseverance of the resident -led campaign. This is their victory.

Last month, Holocaust Memorial Day served a poignant reminder of past experiences which continue to have a resonance for us today. I attended a ceremony at City Hall where we heard from a Holocaust survivor, Mala Tribich MBE, whose speech was powerfully reinforced by a Cambodian genocide victim, Sokphal Din, who gave an account of his ordeals some 40 years later.

Newham Council also hosted an event to mark the day and I was

at Stratford Town Hall to listen to the testimony of survivor Harry Olmer. He spoke movingly, without bitterness, about his journey and the loss of his parents in the concentration camps.

Both he and Newham Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, reminded us that the need to be vigilant and to tackle prejudice remains relevant today. It was very encouraging to see a large turnout of schoolchildren and young people.

We must learn the lessons of the past and do all we can to defeat intolerance and hatred. To do that we must engage with all generations. “Never Again!” is more than rhetoric. The experiences of Harry and others should spur us all to action to make it a reality. More from Unmesh

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