European Testing Night by the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement all over Europe : racial discriminations are persistently at a very high level
Europe, May 26, 2012 - Tonight, the civil society organization European Grassroots Antiracist Movement – EGAM has conducted a Europe-wide European Testing Night against racial and ethnic discrimination in entertainment places, after the first ones organized in March and June 2011.
Persistently high results, which show the persistence of racial discrimination all over Europe
In 6 countries, the activists have tested, all night-long, entertainment and nightlife places in the main cities of their countries. The tool that was used, the Testing, was invented by the Civil Rights movement in the US to fight segregation. It has been used by antiracist activists to fight racial discrimination in Europe for about 15 years.
The results are persistently at a very high level : 1 place tested out of 4 was found discriminating on racial basis. Although we are in the middle of a long week-end, during which entertainment places are more likely to let people in since they are less empty than usual, more than 25% of the people were denied access because they are blacks, arabs, or Roma.
This situation is the result of the increasing influence of the far right
This very high level of racial discrimination is similar to the one which was shown during the previous European Testing Nights, last year.
This comes after many electoral and ideological victories, and violent actions, of the far right. The worst and most recent example is the election of members of the neo Nazi “Golden Dawn” party to the Greek parliament, entailing very poor reactions from the civil society or the political leaders.
The European institutions must act concretely against racism, antisemitism and racial discriminations
For example, the European Parliament should adopt with a large majority the Written Declaration that will be introduced very shortly requesting the ban of any apology of Nazism. For example, the European Commission should compel the Member States to integrate much more strongly the fight against racism and racial discriminations in the national strategies of integration of Roma people which they have presented last year.
More generally, the political leaders must abandon two dogma which favor the increase in racism, antisemitism and racial discrimination today in Europe :
- Austerity, which socially targets the people already under racial attack, and which creates the conditions of the success of the far right parties.
- The “Fortress Europe”, which leads to anti-migrants speeches, at a time when Europe needs more immigration to safeguard its social welfare system.
Local authorities can thus must act : the example of Warsaw
Local authorities, in particular municipalities, can act concretely. There is no need of change in the national Laws nor in the European directives for that.
For example, following the European Testing Night last year, the City of Warsaw has decided to change the contracts it signs with the entertainment places to include an antidiscrimination clause, threatening to close them in case of a breach in the respect of their antidiscrimination policy. The City has also strongly supported, including financially, grassroots antiracist organizations to launch antidiscrimination programs.
These are simple, but efficient, steps which send a clear political message and change the reality on the ground towards more equality.
Therefore the action of the City of Warsaw is an example to be followed by all local authorities in Europe.
Contact person :
President of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement – EGAM
Cellphone : +33 7 60 83 20 80 / Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The European Testing Night was conducted by EGAM, whose Members are :
Mjaft! (Albania), ZARA – Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus-Arbeit & SOS Mitmensch (Austria), Kif Kif (Belgium), Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) – Bosnia (Bosnia), Bulgarian Helsinki Committee & Amalipe Center (Bulgaria), YIHR – Croatia (Croatia), SOS mod racism (Denmark), Estonian Institute for Human Rights (Estonia), Rasmus Network (Finland), SOS Racisme (France), Turkish Union in Berlin-Brandenburg (TBB) (Germany), Greek Forum for Migrants (Greece), NEKI (Hungary), SOS Razzismo (Italy), YIHR – Kosovo (Kosovo), Latvian Center for Human Rights (Latvia), Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (Moldova), Civic Alliance (Montenegro), Hi5 (Netherlands), Norwegian Center Against Racism (Norway), Open Republic & Foundation Forum for Social Diversity (Poland), Romani Criss (Romania), YIHR – Serbia & the Regional Centre for Minorities (Serbia), Ludia proti rasizmu (Slovakia), Ekvilib institute (Slovenia), Centrum mot rasism & the Antidiscriminations Bureaus (Sweden), DurDe! (Turkey).
Source: European Grassroots Antiracist Movement