Anti-Semitic Artwork Removed in London: 'Freedom for Humanity' Mural from Kalen Ockerman
A mural in East London titled 'Freedom for Humanity', by Los Angeles-based artist Kalen Ockerman, is set to be removed following complaints that it has anti-Semitic undertones. The council of the London borough of Tower Hamlets reportedly gave the owner of the property 28 days to remove it and reported the offending artwork to the police. The mural depicts a group of businessmen and bankers, some of whom Ockerman admits are supposed to be Jewish, counting money around a Monopoly-style board balanced on the backs of black people. Tower Hamlets mayor, Lutfur Rahman, said it "perpetuated anti-Semitic propaganda about conspiratorial Jewish domination of financial and political institutions." A local council member and long-time resident of East London Peter Golds asked the police to consider prosecuting Ockerman under race hate laws. Golds said: "When I saw the mural I was shocked. It's horribly similar to the propaganda used by the Third Reich in Nazi Germany." Ockerman has denied the work is in anyway anti-Semitic. The mural was painted on a wall in what is now a largely Muslim part of East London but which was once the heart of the East End Jewish community from the late-1800s until the mid-1900s.