The act will mark UN Anti-Racism Day.
Manchester Central Library will glow purple this weekend, in solidarity with cities around the country making a stand against racism. The move will mark UN Anti-Racism Day, a day that aims to shine a spotlight on racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and fascism.
This year, the UN is calling on each and every one of us to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes – with a theme called “Youth standing up against racism” in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, which saw huge protests and online activism taking place across the UK last summer.
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is observed annually, takes place every March 21st, on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in 1960.
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for Neighbourhoods said: “Manchester is a culturally diverse city whose residents stand shoulder to shoulder with people around the world to challenge discrimination and racism wherever it happens. The cataclysmic events of the pandemic and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in the last year have made us all reassess and take a closer look at how we live our lives. Now more than ever, we understand that we live in a global world where our lives are inextricably linked, and for that reason it is important that we stand up and be counted and unite in solidarity against racism in all its forms.”
Joanne Roney, OBE, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council said: “In Manchester we have a proud history of fighting for the equal rights of all our residents and we will always stand in solidarity with those facing inequality. No one should suffer because of the colour of their skin – or their sexuality, race, religion or culture. Racism of any kind has no place in our society. We will not tolerate discrimination in our great city, we will always come together to make Manchester a fairer place to live where everyone is treated equally.”
The library will glow purple this Saturday, 20th March, and if you’d like to learn more about how we can personally help in the fight against racism, check out the UN’s helpful resources here.