In the context of International Day for the Elimination of Racism (21/03) Bleri Lleshi (political philosopher), Victoria Deluxe, La Tentation and some Brussels youth organized on Saturday 30th of March an open public meeting: No pasarán! Stop racism and fascism in Europe. Tens of peoples came to listen to the following speakers Shannon Pfohman (ENAR), Omar Ba (African Platform), Kenza Yacoubi (PS), Dominique Willaert (Victoria Deluxe), Olivia Rutazibwa (MO*), Jos Vander Velpen (Liga voor Mensenrechten) and special guest from United States, the poet and activist Amir Sulaiman.
Many young adults in the audience, but also people working in civil society on topics such as racsim and migration.
Audience listening to the introduction speech by Bleri Lleshi.
The first speakers on the stage. Dominique Willaert is speaking on solidarity and socialism as an alternative. The other two speakers Shannon Pfohman (ENAR) and Omar Ba (African Platform) are listening. “We should struggle for solidarity and looks for new ways to make it possible”
We used three languages (English, French, Dutch) during the meeting. When someone could not understand, direct translation was taking place as you can see here.
Shannon Pfohman of ENAR who gave an interesting speech on the present situation of racism in Europe and Belgium. “Racism has been increasing all over Europe”.
Omar Ba of African Platform delivered an inspiring and emotional speech on racism and the struggle against it. “They tell me something is wrong with my son. I tell them society has a problem that they should fix.”
Olivia Rutazibwa of MO* offered a very structured speech on levels of racism and what we citizens can do about it. “We need to be systematic in monitoring media and politics. And also be pro-active.”
Kenza Yacoubi, Brussels politician, asked for more focus and initiatives against racism on local level. “Let us see what can we do against racism in our own neighborhoods”.
Powerful closing speech by Jos Vander Velpen of Liga voor Mensenrechten. He delivered a historical analysis of racism and fascism and launched a call in particular towards youth to join together and fight for equality and solidarity. “Another world is possible”
Our special guest the American poet and activist, Amir Sulaiman in conversation with the audience.
Sulaiman added more power and meaning to this meeting with his poems. Much of his work is dedicated to issues of racism and discrimination. “I am not angry, I am anger … I am not dangerous, I am danger”
Bleri Lleshi speaking to the journalists on the meeting and next steps on the struggle against racism and fascism in Europe. “The strongest weapon to fight racism is solidarity”
(©) Pictures / Redouan Tijani
Text / Bleri Lleshi