March 22, 2021
From Stand Up To Racism (UK)


Saturday 20 March – #WorldAgainstRacism day of global protest saw 3,000 join major international rally, and anti racist actions across 20 countries on a live link studio, with #TakeTheKnee actions in over 50 towns ans cities across Britain, with #WorldAgainstRacism trending in the TUC & Stand Up To Racism Twitterstorm.

🔥A #WorldAgainstRacism studio international link up went live to around 20 cities across the world HERE
🔥 Around 3,000 joined a major online rally hosted by TUC & Stand Up To Racism HERE
The call for the #WorldAgainstRacism day of protest, which was signed by anti racist movements across 20 countries, can be read here. The list of movements and links is here, and the interactive map of actions can be found here.

The events in Britain were linked by a livestreamed online studio between 1pm and 2pm GMT which went live to protests and actions globally as well as here in Britain. This included Baltimore, Brixton, Lisbon, Dublin, Berlin, Oslo, Athens, Rome, Warsaw, Barcelona, Glasgow, Serbia, Vienna, Odense, Auckland, Istanbul, Manchester, and a live link to Wilf Sullivan TUC Race Equality Office at the TUC Black Workers Conference which organised to #TakeTheKnee together. 

Meanwhile, at 1pm people held #TakeTheKnee actions in over 60 towns and cities across Britain, as a mark of solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the US – almost one year on from the murder of George Floyd – and in the light of the government’s Policing Bill to defend the right to peaceful protest.

Simultaneously the TUC and Stand Up To Racism will held ‘Twitter storm’ between 1-2pm GMT using the hashtags #WorldAgainstRacism and #TakeTheKnee, and trended on Twitter.

At 5pm the major international online rally was joined by 3,000
, with over 10,000 watching over the following days. The rally was co-hosted by the TUC – with speakers from the US, South Africa, France, Italy, Greece – and leading figures from Britain including Diane Abbott and TUC General Secretary Francis O’Grady. A full speakers list can be found here

The speakers represent the broad range of the anti-racist movement in Britain and around the world. As UN Anti-Racism Day was founded to commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre in Apartheid South Africa, the event was opened by Mavuso Msimang, a former leader of the ANC’s underground and veteran anti-apartheid activist Peter Hain, who linked the historic struggle against Apartheid with the current global struggle against racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and the far-right, and called for unity in challenging all forms of racism.

Marwan Mohammed, former director of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France echoed these calls, discussed the intense attacks on Muslim communities from the French government, and called for international solidarity against attacks taking place in all countries. Other international speakers included Andrea Garaffa from the 6000 Sardines movement in Italy, Elise Bryant who is Executive Director Labor Heritage Foundation, a United Against Hate activist in Washington DC and Coalition of Labor Women president, plus Reverend Kobi Little, president of Baltimore NAACP, and Petros Constantinou of KEERFA in Greece who recently led the fight that defeated fascist Golden Dawn in the trial.

Actor Kwame Kwei-Armah called on people to ‘shine a light on anti-black racism and racism in all its forms’

Ex footballer Neville Southall spoke in solidarity with black players. The rally heard the sharp brutality of the rise in racism from speakers Peng Wang who was subject to a racist attack, and Zainab Hassan whose brother was killed in police custody.

Trade union speakers joined the rally reflecting the central work they play in the anti racist movement and need to take on racism at the level of the workplace.

Politicians & campaigners such as Bell Ribeiro Addy MP, Richard Burgon MP, Halima Begum of the Runnymeade Trust and co convenors of Stand Up To Racism Sabby Dhalu & Weyman Bennett criticised government racism and the policing bill.

The rally closed with words from Stand Up To Racism president Diane Abbott.

Across Britain public buildings were lit up in purple to mark UN antiracism day including – Birmingham Central Library, Nottingham Wallaton Hall, Islington Town Hall, Wakefield  Town Hall, Derby Council House, Sheffield Town Hall, Lancaster Ashton Memorial , Brighton Centre, Hastings Bottle Alley, Aberdeen Town Hall, Cambridge Town Hall, Smeartons Bridge – Perth, Norwich City Hall, Kirklees Town Hall, Sunderland – Penshaw monument – Northern spire – Keel square – High street west – Hylton castle – Fulwell mill – Lighthouse (cliff park), Gateshead – millennium bridge, Whitley bay – St Mary’s Morley College: North Kensington and Chelsea site as well as Waterloo site. North Kensington Library ( Ladbroke Grove)