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12 Inspirational Moments From Anti-Racism Marches Across Europe

Anti-racism protesters turned out in their thousands across Europe this weekend, ahead of the UN’s Elimination of Racial Discrimination Day on March 21. 

In an enormous show of unity people turned out at events from London to Athens — as well as Cardiff, Glasgow, Munich, Paris, Vienna, and many more towns and cities — to march against what campaign group Stand Up to Racism described as a “massive rise” in racist attitudes across Britain and Europe. 

Take action: Call on the Commonwealth to Tackle Gender Inequality, Poverty, and Disease

Speakers at events across the continent including anti-racism campaigners, politicians, faith and community leaders, and activists — and it all made for some seriously awe-inspiring moments. Here are some of our favourites. 

1. The sheer size of the crowds

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2. Journalist Gary Younge's speech, in London

Gary Younge, editor-at-large for the Guardian, told the crowd gathered in London: “Racism is not just about bad people. It’s about a bad system. It will not go away by itself and we have to fight it.” 

Read more: 10 Celebrities Who Carry on MLK's Legacy by Fighting Racism

3. This sign

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4. These umbrellas in Poland 

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5. Musician Ray BLK smashing it in London

6. The support for refugees

‘Say it loud and say it clear, refugees are welcome here.’ 

Read more: 9 Inspirational Quotes From Nelson Mandela's Iconic London Speech

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7. Standing up despite the weather

The crowds refused to be put off in the face of snow, rain, freezing temperatures, and Arctic conditions in many of the cities and towns across Europe. 

8. David Lammy’s speech

“We are standing up for the Britain that we love and that we believe in," the MP for Tottenham told the thousands gathered in London. "We are sending a message to the arch chief of this tide of prejudice that is sweeping our world — Donald Trump.” 

9. Its history

The march was held in honour of the UN's European Action Week Against Racism, which celebrates diversity across the continent. The week was originally established to mark the murder of 69 protesters in South Africa, which became known as the Sharpeville Massacre. Up to 300 police officers began shooting into a crowd of over 5,000 people during a peaceful protest against apartheid. 

The day is still recognised today, to highlight the modern discrimination that so many people still face across the world. 

Read more: This London Activist Wants #MeToo to Include Refugee and Migrant Women

10. Also this sign

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11. This photo of students marching in London

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12. Stand Up to Racism’s quote

Stand Up to Racism, which was behind the British marches, had to say this about the importance of the event: “If we are to defeat the rise of racism, we need a united movement of everyone who opposes it…[to] show that we will not be silent.” 

Read more: 11 Must-See Signs From Women's Marches Around the World

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