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WEB POSTED 09-04-2001
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An International Day of Action Against Racism

by Dr. Conrad Worrill
-Guest Columnist-

The United Nations World Conference Against Racism to be held in Durban, South Africa from Aug. 31 through Sept. 7, has stirred the Pan African Movement through the African governments, non-governmental organizations, and the African and African Descendants Caucus to unite and fight for the inclusion of the Africa Group Resolution in the conference agenda.

This resolution takes the position that both the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and slavery were Crimes Against Humanity and that adjudication of these crimes requires an examination of the Economic Roots of Racism. This position is the basis of the movementís stance regarding reparations for people of African descent.

One of the unsung Pan African organizers, Brother Bob Brown of the Kwame Ture Work-Study Institute and Library, once again, has provided us with leadership. He is initiating and organizing the International Day of Action Against Racism to coincide with the racism conference opening on Aug. 31.

As Brother Bob points out, "The governments of the world are expected to attend the World Conference Against Racism, and to report on the status of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance in their countries, and on the measures and programs they have adopted to eradicate them. Hundreds of non governmental organizations (NGOs) have registered to participate in the NGO Forum that will take place from Aug. 28th to Sept. 1st. Thousands of youth are organizing to attend the Youth Summit that is planned for Aug. 27th. Unfortunately, the masses of exploited and oppressed people of the world will not go to Durban, and therefore will not be able to take their destiny into their own hands."

Continuing Brother Bob explains, "We, the movements, organizations, and activists listed below call upon the masses of African, Asian, Latin American, and Indigenous peoples of the world to organize an International Day of Action Against Racism (IDAAR 2001) on August 31, to coincide with the opening of the third World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban. We also ask all progressive forces in the world to join with us in organizing IDAAR 2001."

Movements and organizations around the world have embraced the IDAAR and are planning a variety of events and activities. In Chicago, the Temple of Mercy Association under the leadership of Darrell "Sax Preacher" Wilson, with the Kwame Ture Work-Study Institute and Library, the Black United Fund of Illinois, the National Black United Front, the Franklin Lodge #25 and the Sister of JoeAnne Chapter #212 are organizing the International Day of Action Against Racism (IDAAR) that will be held Aug. 31, 2001 at the Legacy Theater, 12952 South Western in Chicago, from noon to midnight.

A variety of speakers and cultural groups have confirmed their participation in the day long event such as, T-Smov; Positive Rap; TOMA Youth Drill Team; Rappín Tate-Positive Rap; R.F.C.A. Gospel Singers; Tyson-Gospel Rap; Sax Preacher; and many, many more. It is being recommended that on Aug. 31, a "Worldwide Stay Away Campaign (no work, no school, no shopping, no play) and decentralized self reliant Teach-ins /Rap-ins against racism." This will be the basic format of the program in Chicago and other places throughout the world.

The International Day of Action Against Racism is "Urging the governments of the world, especially those in the Western Hemisphere and Europe to:

ADMIT and apologize for their historical and continuing role in the commission of these and other crimes against humanity, and gross violations of human rights;

END, once and for all, slavery, and the slave trade, slave-like practices, colonialism, settler-colonialism, neo-colonialism, segregation, Zionism, apartheid, racism, racial discrimination, racial profiling, xenophobia, and related intolerances;

RATIFY all pending UN Treaties, and pass legislation and programs to implement them;

DEVELOP, with grassroots input, appropriate schemes and structures to guarantee African, Asian, Arab/Palestinian, Latino, and Indigenous peoples right to return to and reclaim their lands; and

DEVELOP, with grassroots input, appropriate schemes and structures to award reparations and compensation to the victims and their descendants, of crimes against humanity and gross violations of human rights."

We encourage all Black and freedom loving people to support International Day of Action Against Racism programs and events organized in your local areas. This will be a great way to support those of us who are traveling to Durban. For further information on the Chicago events, call 773-483-9608 or 773-483-1535.

(Dr. Worrill is national chairman of the National Black United Front. He can be reached at 12817 S. Ashland Ave., Fl.1, Calumet Park, IL 60827. Or call 708-389-9929, fax 708-389-9819. You can also visit www.nbufront.org.)

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