Authorities and Activism

Sometimes antirascist struggle and activism can clash with bureaucracy and authorities. It is not seldom that activists encounter difficulties while planning actions. It is important not to give up but to find creative ways around bureaucracy.
Activists from the International Volunteer Project faced this problem. While planning educational activities for high schools in Tirana, to raise awareness about diversity and antiracism, their plans were challenged by the Ministry of Education, which prolonged their request. They quickly developed a new strategy and decided to march through the main street of Tirana with antiracist slogans, posters and brochures to make their activism and support visible in a legal way.
Activists, who had struggled with official institutions, were also part of the activity of the Beyond Barriers Association, which organised an educational presentation for local volunteers aged between 15 and 25 years in Tirana under the title ‘Speak up Against Racism’. The aim was to inform young people about the history of racism and possibilities to combat it by introducing them to the most important figures who played a role in promoting equal rights, such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
But activism may not necessarily clash with authorities. In most cases it is possible to build up a strong collaboration, if enough time and patience is invested. This was the situation in Durres, where representatives, activists and members of Albanian Society Organisations, National and International Agencies worked together to organise a large-scale public awareness campaign against all forms of discrimination. The campaign was implemented by Today For The Future, United Nations Development Programme Albania, Durres Municipality together with many more partners.
The central statement was to avoid negative rhetoric on diversity and point out the positive aspects of a culturally diverse society, by dancing to the song ‘Everyday People’, painting and spreading messages against racism. The day was rounded off by a visit from many representatives, such as the Mayor of Durres Mr. Vrangjush Dako, of an exhibition with hundreds of drawings from young people on antidiscrimination, delivering messages of peace.

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