LD50 Gallery, accused of hosting far-right exhibitions and a racist conference, has been shut down following anti-fascist protests.
Lucia Diego, the owner of the LD50 Gallery on Tottenham Road in Dalston, told the Hackney Post that the gallery had been closed with no imminent plans to reopen. The gallery sign has also been taken down.
This follows a campaign to close the gallery organised by the Shutdown LD50 group. They marched through Dalston on Saturday 25 February. The campaign has received support from Mayor of Hackney Phillip Glanville and Hackney Stand Up to Racism and Fascism.
The group has accused the gallery of giving a platform to the so-called ‘alt-right’, a movement with white supremacist ideologies which reject mainstream conservatism in the United States.
Despite denying connections with the far-right, objections surfaced after the gallery hosted a conference last year “on reactionary and neo-reactionary thought”. It featured far-right thinkers including Peter Brimelow, an anti-immigration activist and the author of Alien Nation.
Sam Bokma, who works at the nearby café Riley Rocket said: “I don’t think that many of us at the café knew what was going on at the gallery so when they told us about the protest we were quite surprised actually. I think it’s quite a young and liberal area so it was strange for us to find out that it was even going on.”
“It’s not surprising it exists as with the recent things in America and of course there’s people supporting it. It’s quite surprising it was here I guess.”
Protesters gathered outside the gallery on 25 February.
The gallery has also been accused of showcasing neo-Nazi artwork such as images of far-right icon ‘Pepe the Frog’ and tweets from far-right groups.
According to Lee Jasper, co-chair of BARAC (Black Activists Rising Against Cuts) the closure was the result of the social media campaign: “I think they found that a lot of the people visiting the gallery were just going in to have a go at them and in the end they decided it wasn’t worth it.”
Dean Ryan from local activist group Stand up to Racism said: “We are over the moon. It’s a real victory for anti-racism and people who want to promote tolerance.It’s really concerning that such a place was covertly tucked away in Hackney.”
“Despite living a really diverse area we still have to be vigilant. We have to make sure we send a clear message against this kind of thing.”
Image shows: Protesters outside the gallery on 25 February.
Additional reporting by Bridie Pearson-Jones, Christiana Bishop and Luke Barratt.