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Sunday, March 20, 2011

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

"Let us honour the memory of those who died in Sharpeville and other racist incidents by redoubling our efforts to eradicate all forms of racism and racial discrimination. Let us translate good intentions into legal standards and the will to uphold them. Above all, let us cherish the rich diversity of humankind and respect the inherent dignity and equality of every human being." Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Message for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2010 The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws. Proclaiming the day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. Emigration had a profound influence on the world in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, when millions of poor families left Europe for the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, the rest of Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. Even though definitions may be vague and vary somewhat, emigration/immigration should not be confused with the phenomenon of involuntary migration, such as instances of population transfer or ethnic cleansing. The picture below shows the immigrant memorial monument by Sergio Comacchio at Il Giardino Italiano, Pacific National Exhibition grounds in Vancouver. It not only commemorates Italian immigrants but all who came from their place of birth to find a new life in Canada. Welcoming people of all race and colour from all over the world.

A similar statue can be found at the Albert Dock in Liverpool, England. A bronze sculpture by Mark De Graffenried, 2001. This statue of a young family commemorates migration from Liverpool to the new world. It was given to the people of Liverpool by the Mormon Church as a tribute to the many families from all over Europe who embarked on a brave and pioneering voyage from Liverpool to start a new life in America and Canada. The child stepping forward at the front symbolises migration to the unknown world, whilst the child playing with a crab at the rear of the statue indicates a deep association with the sea.

Location:Vancouver, Canada/ Liverpool, England

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