Demonstrations against racism in 15 cities across the country
In 15 cities across the country, demonstrations against racism and discrimination took place on Sunday, on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March). Today’s demonstrations were the initiative of more than 150 smaller and larger organisations which have united as ‘Platform 21/03’.
In Antwerp, a procession of an estimated 800 people marched from Operaplein through the city centre towards Spoor Oost. “At the end, we present testimonies about racism and discrimination, in the four domains around which the demonstration revolves”, said Mohamed El Majjoudi, one of the initiators. “In between, there is a musical programme which also revolves around racism, discrimination and exclusion. We are here from many different sectors: youth work, community work, trade unions, welfare organisations, ... There is a great solidarity to make a fist together against racism and discrimination.”
A national action on the occasion of Antiracism Day has become an annual tradition since 2018. “During the corona crisis, we were forced to organise local initiatives instead of one big national demonstration and this is still the case today”, says Sarah Scheepers of Platform 21/03. “We have therefore chosen themes that are close to the local organisations and people. Having a good job, affordable decent housing, good education for children in which they don’t experience exclusion, freely accessible public space, ... These are the demands we are putting forward today.”
The demonstrations took place in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Kortrijk, Bruges, Ypres, Ostend, Leuven, Genk, Halle, Liège, Charleroi, Mons and Bertrix.
Photo © Belga