WHY 21 MARCH?
The General Assembly of the United Nations declared 21 March the International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. This day was implemented as a reaction to the brutal murder of 69 anti-apartheid demonstrators in Sharpeville (South Africa) in 1960. Apartheid was a legal system of systematic racial segregation and inequality enforced by the government of South Africa from 1948 up to 1990. Today racist violence and murders are still frequent and discrimination continues to be found at every level of our societies.
Every year around 21 March, UNITED coordinates the European-wide Action Week Against Racism. Activists, NGOs, universities, schools, municipalities and a wide variety of different organisations carry out hundreds of activities all around Europe in order to bring an end to racism, discrimination and intolerance. The actions actively engage and involve thousands of people all over Europe to take a stand for diversity. The activities range from poster actions in schools, public transport and working places, to intercultural youth festivals, street actions, lectures, human libraries, film screenings, conferences, multicultural football games, making murals for diversity, or cleaning the walls from racist graffiti, presenting reports on racism, and many, many more.