Down with racial discrimination
March, 21, on the International Day of Struggle against Racism (UNO, 1967) an action was held in Petrozavodsk entitled “STOP RACISM!” The astonished public witnessed a burning down of the effigies of “Race Discrimination” and “Mass Stereotype”. A folklore form was filled with modern content and expressed symbolically a protest against the proliferation of racist and nationalist ideologies in Karelia Russia and the whole world. On the jubilee year of our victory in the 2 nd World War houses, fences, administration premises, schools of Karelia 's capital are covered with racist, anti-Semitist, nazi, Caucasophobic graffiti. It is a disgrace for Petrozavodsk !
The aim of the action was to make people think of what world we are living in. To make them realize the fact that they often think in stereotypes and clichés thrust by somebody and not representing the real facts. Tolerance means respect of any difference, first of all, of different thinking!
The action was organized by “Youth Human Rights Group” (YHRG) and Youth Anti-fascist center under the Museum in memoriam of the victims of fascism in honor of M. Kolbe (YAC). Moreover, a representative of a friendly organization “Foundation of Rights and Citizens' Legal Interests Protection” took part in it, carrying a poster: “Islam against racism for tolerance”. Other posters, made with the hands of YHRG and YAC activists, read: “Stop Racism!” “ Karelia 's Youth against racial discrimination”. The action also exploited the materials provided by “United” – European anti-racist network. The event was highlighted by two TV channels: National Television and Radio Company “ Karelia ” and “Nika+” and also the only Republican weekly “The Courier of Karelia”. The best material was obviously that provided by NTRC, while “Nika+” did not do their best making the disgusting scarecrows of jeans rags and worn-out tights "the heroes of the day". .
Before the effigies got burned down, my hand was put on fire, which was no self-immolation as a protest against racism. I simply dipped my sleeve in petrol by accident, which made it blaze up like a torch. Fortunately, only my gloves got burned. Tolerance means ability to hold one's fire, after all. The effigies stuffed with paper and poured with petrol burnt quickly. So in a moment we finished both stereotypes and discrimination. If the problems could be sold so easily!
We continue to monitor the xenophobic, anti-Semitist and racial sentiment in Petrozavodsk according to the project “Public Campaign to withstand racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and ethnical discrimination in the multicultural Russian Federation ” overseen by “Moscow Bureau of Human Rights” and maintained by European Union. For more information see our site http://right.karelia.ru
Maxim Efimov, Chair of the Karelian regional department of Interregional youth social & charity organization "Youth Human Rights Group" (YHRG), Head of the Youth Anti-fascist center under the Museum in memoriam of the victims of fascism in honor of M. Kolbe, Editor in chief of the anti-fascist bulletin "Zero o' clock".