March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the International Day against racism.
It was established in 1966 by the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate a tragic event known as the Sharpeville massacre, for which responsible was the racist South African regime.
It was early in the morning of March 21st 1960, when a group of 5,000 to 7,000 black protesters demonstrating for equal rights (it is worth noting that the black people constituted 90% of the total South African population), started heading towards the police station. By 10 a.m. a crowd of 20,000 protesters had gathered.
Within seconds, the demonstration turned into a bloodshed, as the police opened fire against the defenseless crowd. The aftermath was tragic, as 69 people were killed and 180 injured, among them young women, men, even children.
The commanding officer of the police reinforcements in Sharpeville stated that: “The native mentality does not allow them to gather for a peaceful demonstration. For them to gather means violence”.
The Sharpeville massacre was the beginning of the end for Apartheid.
In Athens today, Friday March 21st 2014, in the archaeological site of Acropolis, on the occasion of the International Day against racism, the General Secretariat of Transparency and Human Rights organizes an event with the participation of 2,500 children, who will form a “human chain” around Acropolis.
With the slogan “We Hug Acropolis, We Hug Democracy, We Hug Humanity”, children of all ethnicities and disabled persons will sing and release 2,000 balloons of all colors in the skies of Attica, sending a message of peaceful and creative coexistence of people, without discrimination.
After the event there will be a concert in the Acropolis Museum.
The celebration will be attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias.