HEU marks International Day for the Elimination of Racism – March 21

March 21 commemorates the anniversary of the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa

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March 21 commemorates the anniversary of the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre.

On that date, more than 60 Black demonstrators were killed and about 180 wounded by armed white South African police in Sharpeville Township, South Africa. Approximately 20,000 were on hand to protest apartheid and the discriminatory “pass laws” when the police opened fire.

Six years later, the United Nations declared March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racism in response to the world-wide outrage over the Sharpeville Massacre.

“The labour movement has a proud history of supporting the International Day for the Elimination of Racism,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy. “While we have made great gains for workers of colour and workers of various ethnic backgrounds, we know that we still have much work to do.”

And that work is evident in the results of current research.

According to a recent study released by Simon Fraser University, British Columbia has become the worst province in Canada for overall services to immigrants, and worst province for language services to immigrants and people with English-as-a-Second Language (ESL).

Reports from another study, released by the Canadian Labour Congress, found that “racialized” (visible minority) workers have significantly lower incomes, higher unemployment rates, and more precarious working environments than non-racialized workers.

HEU locals across the province will hang posters and don stickers to show their support for ending racial discrimination in their workplaces and communities.

For information on activities in your area, check your region’s labour councils or newspapers. There will be a Community March at 1:00 p.m. in Vancouver (meeting at Clark Park, Commercial and 14th Avenue) on March 21.