Youth against Racism in Europe

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Logo of Youth against Racism in Europe

Youth against Racism in Europe (YRE) is an anti-racist organisation founded by the Committee for a Workers' International (the international network of the Militant tendency) it campaigns among young people in 16 countries in Europe. YRE was launched by an international demonstration of 40,000 people against racism, in Brussels in October 1992.[1]

It was a wave of racist attacks in Germany and the success of the Blokbuster Belgian youth movement, opposing the far-right Vlaams Blok, which convinced the Committee for a Workers' International, to work to launch an international youth organization along the same lines.

In 1994, YRE organised an anti-racist camp in Germany of 1,500 young people from all over Europe.

The charity Show Racism the Red Card, founded by Ged Grebby, was inspired by his work and involvement with YRE, particularly the concept of educational packs for schools.[citation needed]


In the UK, YRE was launched in 1992, at a time of rising racist violence and electoral support for the far right. YRE was formed by Militant Labour as an alternative to the rival Socialist Workers Party (UK)'s Anti-Nazi League (ANL), relaunched the previous year, and the Socialist Action-dominated Anti-Racist Alliance, also launched in 1991.[2]

In Britain, YRE's activity has focused around opposition to the British National Party. In 1987 the BNP moved its headquarters to Welling, in south east London. In the next six years there were four racially motivated murders in south-east London, including that of Stephen Lawrence in April 1993. The following month, on a demonstration called by YRE and others, including Panther, the black socialist organisation, over 8,000 people marched past the BNP headquarters in protest at the murders and the far-right party's presence in the area.[3] Subsequent larger demonstrations were called, co-organised by YRE, numbering 60,000 and 50,000 respectively. A demonstration in October that year met with heavy police presence, leading to violent clashes between police and protesters.

In 2010, the group was at the centre of controversy over undercover policing in Britain, following revelations that YRE had been infiltrated by the Metropolitan Police and accusations that the police sought to discredit the anti-racism movement through the use of agent provocateur tactics.[4]


YRE launched in France in 1993, with a month-long speaking tour by a British Panther activist based around the recently released Malcolm X film. YRE gained considerable popularity amongst French youth through notable campaigns in defense of immigrants without working papers and the rights of girls wearing the hijab in Mantes-la-Jolie.[citation needed] YRE's participation in an anti-deportation campaign whose goal was to mobilize the passengers of flights departing from Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport against deportations, earned the organisation the ire of the Minister of the Interior of the time, Jean-Pierre Chevènement.[5]


The Greek YRE has organised demonstrations with immigrants in support of immigrant workers' rights, as well as campaigning for the provision of facilities for Gypsies in the country.

In recent years, it has worked to oppose the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn, which won its first municipal council seat in 2010 and entered parliament for the first time in 2012. This has included calling for the shutting down of the organisation and its weekly newspaper on the grounds that "they propagate violent messages of hate".[6]


  1. ^ "Youth Against Racism in Europe".
  2. ^ Peter Barberis; John McHugh; Mike Tyldesley (26 July 2005). Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations: Parties, Groups and Movements of the 20th Century. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-8264-5814-8. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Stephen Lawrence murder - the untold story".
  4. ^ Thompson, Tony (March 21, 2010). "Political activists call for inquiry after revelations about undercover police" – via
  5. ^ Gresh, Alain (May 1, 1998). "The hazards of internationalism". Le Monde diplomatique.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 9, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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