Anti-racist activities in Ancona24 October 2006

One of the most important activities during the FARE Action Week was doubtless the event organised in Ancona by the sports association Polisportiva Antirazzista Assata Shakur along with the umbrella sports body U.I.S.P Ancona, the organisations Ambasciata dei Diritti (Embassy of Rights) and Circolo Africa (African Circle), and local radio stations Radio Arancia Network and Radio Conero.

On Friday 20 October an evening event took place at the “Loggia dei Mercanti” under the title “Luoghi Antirazzisti” (Anti-racist spaces), a great opportunity to talk about the problem of racism in and outside football grounds and hear reports on direct experiences.

Chaired by Massimo Carboni, a television journalist with state broadcaster RAI, the meeting began with words of praise from the organisers. “The initiatives organised by Polisportiva“, said Caterina Di Bitonto (officer for sport at the City of Ancona) and Daniele Tagliacozzo (former councillor), honour the City of Ancona, though obviously it would be preferable if we no longer needed such initiatives!“.

Representatives of the FARE network in Italy (Ashley Green and Maurizio Marchi) then talked about the birth of the network and the activities being organised as part of the seventh FARE Action Week. Next, the president of UISP Ancona, Giovanni Barone, who with his local committee has been active in organising anti-racist activities alongside Assata Shakur, extended his greetings to the meeting.

Then it was the turn of AC Ancona striker Nassim Mendil, boxer Carel Sandon and Francis Alphonsus Jayarajah founder of Italian Cricket National Team.

There then followed a presentation of the works “Black Italians” and “Attacco Antirazzista” by Mauro Valeri, with the author answering questions on how the books came about and what the situation is today. A hugely successful film interview was also shown in which immigrants talked about their experiences in Italy.

Ancona would appear to be an 'Island of the Blessed' as far as integration is concerned“, said Alessio Abram, one of the organisers. “Immigrants have more problems worrying about finding work or the uncertainty of losing it – just like us!“.

Interest in the event was huge and even exceeded the expectations of the organisers. Some 200 people attended the event in its entirety, and there were far more immigrants in comparison with previous years, including people who took part in the anti-racist tournament organised by Assata Shakur every year. The journalist Edrissa Sanneh (aka Idris) was also expected to be in Ancona, but was unable to attend. A message extending his greetings and congratulations to the City of Ancona was broadcast live on radio, however.

The next day (Saturday 21 October) a “multi-ethnic” tournament took place with four teams: one from Suoth America, one from Asia, the Polisportiva team and a mixed team of local journalists (Dorica Press). It was won by the team from South America, who beat the Asians in the final.