The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is commemorated every year on March 21, the day in 1960 when police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire on a peaceful rally opposing apartheid’s “pass laws,” killing 69 people.
Heinz Bierbaum, President of the Party of the European Left, highlights the importance of its commemoration this year:
“Europe’s political balance has shifted since the war in Ukraine, and it is becoming evident that increased militarisation is portrayed as a feasible response, which bears serious consequences for our societies. In this new environment, the far right will thrive, feeding off the nationalism stoked by warmongers on all sides, extolling militarization, exploiting the refugee crisis, and inflaming racism and xenophobia.
The European Left is strongly committed to the fight against all forms of racism, at a time when blatantly racist and xenophobic forces are resurfacing throughout Europe, including in European governments. We continue working to inspire people across the world to unite against racism and mobilise against all kinds and manifestations of racial discrimination and injustice. In this challenging circumstance, we propose an active European policy based on the principle of solidarity between the Member States and that is directed at the same time towards cooperation and peace policies addressing the causes of forced migration linked to poverty, wars, and climate crisis.
We respond with anti-fascist, unionist, and community-based alliances that can stifle the emergence of the far right and we remain committed to the principles of a fair and united world , eradicating racism and racial discrimination.”