March 21 is celebrated as the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
March 21 is also celebrated around the world as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. A day that marks the anniversary of the tragic events of Sharpeville, South Africa, when police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid ‘pass laws’ in 1960.
This year, Toronto & York Region Labour Council in partnership with other regional labour councils across Ontario has come together for the first time to issue a joint public statement, with the support of the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Ontario Region of the Canadian Labour Congress. We feel that labour councils and their affiliated union locals have a strong and important role to play in our fight for good jobs and sustainable communities that are supported by strong public services and universally accessible social programs. We recognize that racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice, hate and discrimination ‘whether individual, cultural or systemic’ divide our communities and prevent our collective prosperity.