‘NEVER AGAIN’ spreads anti-racism message at Polish music festival
The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, Polish partners of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), promoted its ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of the Stadiums’ message to over 700,000 participants at Polish Woodstock, Europe’s biggest non-commercial open-air music festival, last week.
‘NEVER AGAIN’, an anti-racist educational and monitoring organisation based in Warsaw, promoted its work with the aid of performances from well-known musicians, such as Robert ‘Litza’ Friedrich, a Polish rock music legend and long-standing supporter of the Music Against Racism campaign run by the initiative.
Over the three-day event, ‘NEVER AGAIN’ shared a stall with the official UEFA EURO 2012 information point, engaging participants by distributing educational materials, hosting a football tournament and putting on special showcase matches, including one with the Ethnoleague Stars, a mixed multi-cultural team made up of Polish residents who originally hail from Nigeria, Togo, India, Italy and France.
Jerzy Owsiak, the lead organiser of Polish Woodstock, said: “Through the festival, we promote tolerance, and oppose racism and discrimination. For the last 10 years, together with the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, we have been kicking racism out of stadiums. One of our common aims is a racism-free EURO 2012.”
Jacek Purski, a spokesman for ‘NEVER AGAIN’, commented: “The whole tournament had many anti-racist elements. The slogan ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of the Stadiums’ was present on flags and banners. We created a friendly and tolerant climate which is often missing at Polish league games.”
On the final night of the festival, prizes were handed out to those that took part in the tournament on the main stage. The original Henri Delaunay Trophy, which is awarded to the winners of the European Football Championships, was displayed too.