On the 24th of March, thousands of people went onto the streets of Brussels to demonstrate against racism and for equal rights. The march was organized by various organizations and didn’t have a central organizer.

By Dimitrios Karyamis

The biggest collective was “Stap tegen Racisme” supported by more than 170 civil organizations. Also, other major organizations participated: ABVV and ACV unions, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, 11.11.11, Saamo, Jong Groen, Collectif des Sans-Papiers, and various other youth and political organizations.

The demonstration happened three days after the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The selection of the 21st of March as the day against racial discrimination was symbolic. On the 21st of March 1960 the police in Sharpeville, South Africa opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid laws. In 1979 the United Nations decided to adopt the day as the international day against racial discrimination.

The demonstration went smoothly from the North Station at 13:00 and arrived in Central Station again at 14:25 where some speeches were held. The organizers said more than 10.000 protesters were present, while the Brussels police said it was closer to 2.100 protesters.