The month of May has been particularly intensive for the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association’s international work. The Warsaw-based anti-racism organization has participated in events and debates on the growth of the far right internationally.
In the US, ‘NEVER AGAIN’ took part in a series of meetings with its friends and partners including organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), the Museum of Jewish Heritage – a Living Monument to the Holocaust as well as US media representatives. In New Orleans, a ‘NEVER AGAIN’ representative spoke at a public event about the rise of the far right in the US and in Europe, held at Tulane University Law School.
- ‘Look at Charlottesville or the far-right marches in Warsaw, they have much in common. Right-wing extremism has grown on both sides of the Atlantic and we have to combat it together’ – said ‘NEVER AGAIN’s Rafal Pankowski.
In London, ‘NEVER AGAIN’ provided expertise to BBC and through the broadcast warned against discernible efforts by Polish extremist groups to recruit supporters in Britain. The topic was also discussed with the participation of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ at the UK-Poland Roundtable on Countering Hate, held at the British Embassy in Warsaw.
In Cambridge (UK), Rafal Pankowski was invited by the prestigious Cambridge Union debating society to speak at a debate on the forthcoming football World Cup in Russia, including the challenges of racism and xenophobia.
ln the run up to the tournament, the work of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ in counteracting the scourge of racism in East European football, using sports as a tool for the promotion of intercultural dialogue and peace, was also showcased at the international workshop on ‘Rethinking Radicalisation: Frontline Perspectives’ held at the Centre for Youth Studies, Higher School of Economics in St.Petersburg (Russia) under the auspices of the European-wide research project Dialogue About Radicalization and Equality (DARE), led by the University of Manchester.
Also in the run-up to the World Cup, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has been a partner of the Polish Film Festival in Russia. More than 100 films are shown, including many with a human rights angle such as ‘Birds are singing in Kigali’ (by Krzysztof and Joanna Krauze) about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
The Festival features meetings, film workshops, concerts and exhibitions. It started in Moscow and after that it sets out on a trail into the Russian interior and will visit cities such as Yekaterinburg, Barnaul, Novorosiysk, Tver, Rostov on Don, Krasnodar, Orenburg, Nizhny Novogrod, Great Novogrod, Great Wielkim, Torżhok, Petrozavodsk, Visokovsk and Biysk.
Rafal Pankowski, a co-founder of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and Associate Professor at Collegium Civitas, was also invited to deliver the annual Robert Wistrich Memorial lecture on antisemitism at the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin (located at the historic New Synagogue), on the last day of the busy month. The lecture is organized by the Berlin International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA).
- ‘The current crisis of democratic values and the spectacular rise of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia in East-Central Europe must be noted with real concern. International solidarity is very crucial in times like this. We shall overcome’ – said the representative of ‘NEVER AGAIN’.
The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent organization established in Warsaw in 1996. The mission of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is to promote multicultural understanding and to contribute to the development of a democratic civil society in Poland and in the broader region of Central and Eastern Europe.