During the biggest free festival in Europe, held on 3-5 August, representatives of “NEVER AGAIN” are carrying out educational activities focusing on the growing problem of bigotry and violence.
At this year’s Woodstock Festival Poland, the “NEVER AGAIN” Association holds an Anti-Racist Football Championship under the slogan: “Let’s kick racism out of stadiums.” The tournament was officially opened by The Polish Civil Rights Ombudsman, Dr Adam Bodnar. The Ombudsman took part in the opening match.
The annual Woodstock Festival Poland takes place in Kostrzyn near the Polish-German border. It has been named after the legendary festival of 1969, which featured Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin and made cultural history as a symbol of the peace movement. This year, several hundred thousand people are taking part in the Woodstock Festival Poland. Performers include New Model Army (UK) and Nine Treasures, a Mongolian-Chinese band, which delivers a mix of traditional music and punk rock sound.
During the festival, “NEVER AGAIN” is hosting meetings with numerous bands involved with the “Music Against Racism” campaign, initiated by the late Marcin Kornak, the founder of the “NEVER AGAIN” Association. The musicians are drawing attention to the anti-racist message in rock music. Woodstock participants are also taking part in workshops conducted at the “NEVER AGAIN” info stand where they discuss ways of reacting to hate speech and discrimination.
Staszek Czerczak, a “NEVER AGAIN” activist, explained: “During the meetings at the festival we discuss issues such as peace in the world and in our own lives. What could be more wonderful than the idea of respect for diversity?”
This year’s Anti-Racist Football Championship was organised in partnership with the Municipal Centre for Sport and Recreation in Kostrzyn and the “Gazeta Lubuska” daily.
The “NEVER AGAIN” Association was founded by Marcin Kornak in 1996 as an independent organization that monitors xenophobic incidents and publishes the anti-racist magazine “NIGDY WIECEJ”. It also conducts educational campaigns such as “Music Against Racism” and “Let’s Kick Racism out of the Stadiums”. “NEVER AGAIN” has been personally supported by figures such as Barack Obama and recently the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.