PRESS RELEASE… for immediate release
Thursday 28 January
PROTEST FOR A #WorldAgainstRacism
On Saturday 20 March 2021, World Against Racism & Fascism – an international coordination of anti racist movements – will come together for UN Anti Racism Day to oppose all forms of racism and fascism in a global day of action.
In Britain, the day of action is being called by Stand Up To Racism and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Safely socially distanced actions where possible will be combined with international linked online actions, including a major global rally at 5pm GMT.
So far, 13 countries have already backed the call with actions planned for the day, with more movements joining.
Today, 28 January, across the world, anti racist movements are launching the call for the day of action on 20 March in a united statement.
Statement for 20 March 2021, UN Anti Racism Day:
United against all forms of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism – United against the rise of fascism
We will come together again for a global day of protest on Saturday 20 March 2021 for UN Anti-Racism Day. Across many countries, World Against Racism & Fascism actions will take place against all forms of racism, fascism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, in opposition to racist scapegoating of refugees, migrants and ROMA communities, and in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Anti-racists will highlight the importance of our unity in the face of division, and stress that we must stand together to challenge the threat of racist populism, the far right and fascism.
The Covid-19 Pandemic —combined with the failure of governments to properly protect their populations and the looming impact of a major economic crash— has created the situation where the most abhorrent forms of racism can thrive.
The disproportionate impact of the virus on black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, reflected in the starkly disproportionate deaths in these communities, has been a major feature of the pandemic. Refugee camps threaten to become a deadly trap for refugees due to the spread of Covid-19.
Alongside this, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has exposed the deep levels of institutionalised racism in society and sparked a global anti-racist movement in response. It has marked the biggest anti-racist movement ever and has spanned the globe in its reach, and preceded the defeat of Trump in the US elections in November.
In some countries, fascist and extreme right parties and organizations try to build through the mobilisations of the Coronavirus deniers. Conspiracy myths fuel antisemitic and racist prejudices.
As has been shown by anti-racist and anti-fascist movements in Greece, with the defeat and jailing of fascist Golden Dawn, and in Austria with the huge drop in the FPO’s vote, the key to driving back the threat of fascism and the far right lies in building mass, broad united campaigns to expose, oppose and defeat racism, fascism and the far right.
On 20 March 2021, we are organising across the world to deliver many (safely organised socially distanced) demonstrations and other protest actions, that can show our unity and develop and build the anti-racist movement that is so critical to ensuring we oppose all forms of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism and resist the rise of fascism and the far right.
- 6000 Sardine, Italy
- Aufstehen gegen Rassismus (Stand Up Against Racism), Germany
- Comité 21 Maart (21 March Committee), The Netherlands
- Crida Contra el Racisme i el feixisme, València
- Fællesinitiativet mod Racisme og Diskrimination (United against Racism and Discrimination), Denmark
- Hepimiz Göçmeniz – Irkçılığa Hayır (We’re all migrants – No to racism platform), Turkey
- KEERFA, (Movement Against Racism and Fascist Threat), Greece
- Love Aotearoa Hate Racism, Auckland, New Zealand
- Platform 21/03 against racism, Belgium
- Plattform für eine menschliche Asylpolitik, (Platform for a humane asylum policy), Austria
- Stand Up To Racism, Britain
- Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme, (Unity Against Fascism and Racism), Catalonia
- United Against Hate, USA
- United Against Racism and Fascism (UARF-NYC), New York City, USA
- United Against Racism, Ireland
- Zjednoczeni Przeciw Rasizmowi (United Against Racism), Poland
- Plataforma Antifascista Lisboa e Vale do Tejo (PALVT, Antifascist Platform of Lisbon and the Tejo Valley), Portugal
QUOTES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Weyman Bennett, co convenor Stand Up To Racism (Britain), said
“In Britain our government has presided over a murderous catastrophe in its handling of the covid19 pandemic, with the 100,000 mark officially reached this week for how many have died. The disproportionate deaths among black and ethnic minority communities is horrifyingly stark. This has exposed the deep institutional racism at the heart of the political system, which has been further blown open by the historic #BlackLivesMatter movement that burst out of the US and sparked a powerful global anti-racist movement. In Britain, the fascists and far right have been pushed back by mass campaigning, but the intensification of state racism and the ‘hostile environment’ pursued by Johnson’s cabinet provides the ground for these forces to grow.
“UN Anti Racism Day and the coordinated action by many countries and movements comes at an intense, deeply polarised moment for anti racists across the globe. Here in Britain, Stand Up To Racism is jointly calling the day of action alongside the Trade Union Congress (TUC). We need to come together in a powerful show of anti racist strength and unity in an important day for building a world against racism and fascism”.
Sabby Dhalu, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said
“A magnificent wave of anti-racism spread across the globe with the Black Lives Matter movement. This movement and the mobilisation of the black vote defeated the world’s number one racist.
“There has never been a more important time to mark UN Anti-Racism Day. Join us on 20 March 2021 and let’s fight for a world without racism.”
Elise Bryant & Virginia Rodino, United Against Hate (US) said
“We face enormous threats from a growing white supremacist and far right movement, as witnessed in attacks on oppressed minorities and the invasion of the US Capitol. It seems Trumpism will unfortunately not end with the Trump presidency. But they are the minority. There is an urgent need to come together now to stop the rise of racism, fascism, and hate. We will be standing up on March 20th, marking the UN Day for the Elimination of Racism, and send solidarity, peace and love to all the international movements against racism and fascism.”
Petros Contantinou, KEERFA movement United Against Racism & Fascist Threat, said
“In Greece the antifascist movement defeated the neonazis of Golden Dawn. On 7th of October the decision of the court was that they are a criminal organization and their leaders who were organizing racist and fascist attacks against migrants, Roma, trade unionists were sent to prison.
“Now, faced with racism, camps in islands like Moria and closing of the borders of Europe, we stand in solidarity with refugees and say clearly and loudly: They are welcome, there is space, shelter and work for all! 20 March is our day to say no to racism, never again fascism!”
David Albrich, Plattform für eine menschliche Asylpolitik (Austria), said
“We face alarming news in Austria – next Sunday there will be a massive (likely 10-20,000) rally of COVID deniers and neo-Nazis in Vienna. This time the main speaker is Herbert Kickl, the “propaganda minister” and former minister of interior of the fascist Freedom Party (FPÖ). The FPÖ is officially mobilising its base to the rally. Kickl said: “I’m going to leave the confines of the parliament walls and participate in the Corona demonstration on Sunday.” They obviously see it as an opportunity to form a fascist street wing. Events in Washington DC and the Netherlands confirm their analysis.
“We, the “Plattform für eine menschliche Asylpolitik” (Platform for a humane asylum policy) make the argument for a broad united front involving all anti-racist, anti-fascist and progressive democratic forces. A key challenge for anti racists in many countries is how we can fight effectively against the threat posed by racist division and rightward movements, and to oppose attempts by fascists and the far right to capitalise. KEERFA in Greece is showing us the way forward. UN Anti Racism Day of action and the international network organising around it are critical to this.”
Christine Buchholz, Aufstehen gegen Rassismus (Germany) said
“Racist hostilities and violence have also increased drastically in Germany. Those who ammunition the perpetrators with racist hate speech are also sitting in parliaments in Germany. Stopping the AfD and bringing down its völkisch-national, anti-democratic policies is the goal of Aufstehen gegen Rassismus. Our alternative is solidarity! Especially in the pandemic.
“That is why we are participating in the activities for the International Day Against Racism in Germany and worldwide and call for diverse actions against agitation, exclusion, stigmatisation, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-roma-hatred and every other form of racism. No to the agitation against scapegoats of Nazis and racists!”
Andy Zebrowski, Zjednoczeni Przeciw Rasizmowi (Poland), said
“In Poland the fantastic, widespread demonstrations for women’s abortion rights have undermined support for the extreme right. Fascists have tried – unsuccessfully – to physically disrupt them. Increasing numbers of people can see what a threat these brutal fascists represent. Meanwhile the government boasts that for years it has not allowed refugees into the country – its racist propaganda leads to violent attacks on ethnic minorities.
“Every success for fascists and racists in one country strengthens them in others, every defeat weakens them. That is why an international response to racism and fascism is so vital. Join the day of action on March 20!”
#6000 Sardine said
“Italy is a gateway to Europe. At this time of political uncertainty, with the ongoing government crisis, the threat of new elections that could bring to power one of the most fascist right-wingers in Europe that despises and hates migrants.
“Italy plays a key role in managing migratory flows from Africa, and the country’s domestic policy risks having powerful effects both for the Mediterranean and for all European countries. Migrants are people. We want to put respect for humanity and people before belonging to a nation, or worse, their skin colour.
“Fascists and racists all over the world are in solidarity with each other to increase social and ethnic inequality and discrimination. The time has come to stop this with equal, if not greater, force and unite together to show that being human is more important than anything else. The only door to close is the one that fascists and racists want to go through to make themselves eligible. That is why we will be part of the march on 20 March”.
Maria Dantas, Unity Against Fascism and Racism (Catalonia)/ Brazilian Women Against Bolsonaro / Spanish Congress MP, said
“I remember the horrible things I heard and saw in Brazil that made possible the rise of the far-right president Bolsonaro. That is now spreading everywhere, most recently with the growing far-right parties in the Spanish state and Portugal. It is not a coincidence, but a political project. We need a united international struggle against this global threat. So Barcelona and many other cities here will join the 20 March protests”.
Serena, Mediterranea Saving Humans & 6000 Sardine (Barcelona), said
“The last elections in Spain have shown that Vox (populist Alt-right party) is gaining votes and growing in the public discourse. From Barcelona there is growing concern about the upcoming elections for the Catalan government on 14 February.
“We know that the hand and head that moves this right-wing movement spawns from a central point and that is growing like an octopus, expanding through social media taking advantage of people’s fears. If racists unite, we must be also be united and organised and show that we will not let it take our streets, we will not back down. On March 20 we call on everyone to demonstrate! Against racism, against fascism: ¡No pasarán!”
Lene Junker, United against Racism and Discrimination (Denmark) said
“In Denmark we fight for equal rights for minorities, especially the refugees who are scapegoated by the Socialdemokratic government and right wing parties. Denmark is the only country, that now wants to send Syrian refugees back to torture and and repression by withdrawing the residence permit of 900 Syrians.
“The racist Danish People’s Party is falling apart and very weak. But most of their policies have been adopted by the mainstream parties, so we are still up to the same racist policy such as the “ghetto laws”. At the same time a new ultra right party is growing and gaining up to 10% in the opinion polls.
“On March 20th we are drawing together antiracists, ethnich minorities, trade unions and friends of refugees to demonstrations in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense.”
Tanja Vasic, Minority Initiative, (Serbia) said
“There are daily cases of racism and violence against Roma throughout Europe. We believe in the readiness of citizens and institutions across Europe to tackle discrimination and racism, and we hope that the solidarity inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement will address anti-Roma racism in Europe, improving the daily lives and status of Europe’s most discriminated people – Roma”.
United Against Racism and Fascism – New York City (US) said
“The riot at the Capitol revealed to the world the threat of the violent far right in America, and their links to the state. Trumpism will continue beyond Trump, and parts of the right here have an eye on LePen in France and similar parties.
“But UARF-NYC has worked with other New Yorkers to kick Proud Boy rallies out of town. And the explosion of Black Lives Matter have galvanized millions in the fight against racism, and echoed across the world.
“We know the international right has coordinated, not just sharing conspiracies on-line. American Neo-Nazis have traveled to meet their counterparts in Europe, and trained together. That’s another reason why international solidarity is important for the anti-fascist majority around the world. We will join you in action on March 20th.”
For more information, interviews and further quotes: