March 16th to the 21st is the annual Action Week Against Racism – one of central campaigns we focus on here at UNITED.
The campaign comes from the commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, set on the 21st March, a day mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1966.
The reasons for this campaign are somber.
During the Apartheid, protests against laws for racial segregation took place on the 21st of March. Around 5000 people took the streets to march against the injustice. As the day wore on, the crowds swelled in size, and the police were sent in to contain it. Scuffles broke out, and the police escalated their actions. They shot indiscriminately into the crowd. 69 people were killed. Another 180 were injured.
In commemoration of this horrific event, UNITED coordinates a Europe-wide Action Week Against Racism every year. The purpose is not only to remember the victims and the lives lost, but also to make a stand against the rising nationalism and xenophobia that has remained present since this massacre. We urge NGOs, community organisations, schools, local councils and all manner of groups and individuals to join forces and confront racism with direct action. Whether by organising activities, supporting others, or spreading the message we encourage ourselves and others to stand hand in hand for diversity.
CALL FOR MICROVOLUNTEERING
Alongside your actions above, UNITED calls on you all to participate in offering your time to your fellow people in the form of microvolunteering.
What is microvolunteering?
We have all been been in the familiar situation of needing help, and having a close family member or friend to ask for help. However, there are many who don’t have this option. This is where you come in – you can microvolunteer and make someone’s day a little bit better.
Microvolunteering is volunteering done in palatable, bite-sized chunks. It’s donating little bits of your time when and where you can, from wherever you are at, to contribute to a worthy cause. It’s more than retweeting a tweet, reposting a hashtag, signing a petition, taking a photo, or attending a webinar. It’s seeing someone in distress and offering help, it’s taking out the trash when your neighbor is sick, volunteering to share food, signing up at a hospital to donate blood. Anything with a good intention counts. It’s actions on a micro-scale, that with enough time and enough numbers, build up to something grander and larger. This is where our campaign comes in.
This time it is difficult to organise any offline action, so you are more than welcome, and also encouraged, to microvolunteer with us!
Print out the photo below, and take a picture with it during your activity, or draw it on your hand and take a picture and post it with the #SOLIDARITY or #LIMITLESS.SOLIDARITY. Don’t forget to tag UNITED, whether on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Did you organize an event that we may have missed? Do fill out the form below and tell us about it, so we can include it in our list of anti-racist actions across Europe in 2021, and create a unified picture of support and togetherness!