Posted on Tuesday 20th March 2012
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws". Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the United Nations' General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)).
On the occasion of 21 March, the first European-wide Action Week Against Racism was organised by UNITED for Intercultural Action in 1993 with the aim to create public attention by stimulating and integrating different activities under the umbrella of a common campaign. This idea successfully developed into self-reinforcing tendencies in several countries, such as the annual International Week Against Racism organised in Germany, la Semaine d'Actions Contre le Racisme, a Canada-wide action week against racism since 2000, or the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE).
'Open your Mind- Speak out Against Racism' is the motto of the 2012 Action Week, for a list of activities see here.