The Anti-Racist Alliance was established in November 1991, and is the first Black-led, broad-based coalition campaigning to stem the rising tide of racism, anti-Semitism and support for the extreme right.The ARA is supported by over 800 organisations including many national Black and Jewish organisations. It also has the support of more than 90 MPs and MEPs from across the political spectrum, as well as thousands of individuals.
The ARA organises campaigns locally and nationally against racist murders, attacks and harassment, and has held major national events such as the conference entitled “Community Action, Legal Remedies” on 14 November 1992, to discuss legislative reform including the need to make racial violence a specific criminal offence. Campaigning by the ARA has won concessions from the government. The ARA’s stand has also gained the support of the United Nations. In 1996 the ARA submitted a report to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), about the treatment of Black people in Britain, including asylum-seekers.The ARA has organised many public protest events such as the national demonstration on 12 June 1993 in Croydon in response to the brutal murder of refugee Rulullah Aramesh, the “Speak Out Against Racism” demonstration on 16 October 1993 and numerous pickets of Bexley Council to demand the closure of the British National Party’s “nazi-bunker” in Welling. It played a leading role in the Trade Union Congress’s “Unite Against Racism” demonstration on 19th March 1994 and organised the ‘Trump the Race Card’ national demonstration on 23rd March 1996, against the Asylum and Immigration Bill.
The ARA works in liaison with anti-racist organisations in Europe as part of the “European Anti-Racist Network for Racial Equality” (ARNE). In February 1994, the ARA hosted the first meeting of ARNE’s General Assembly and held a European Conference at which Madame Denielle Mitterrand was the guest speaker. Delegates from all over Europe heard first hand about the plight of Black and migrant workers across the continent. An educational CD ROM against racism is being produced with the Paris-based Danielle Mitterrand Foundation and 12 European countries. A short film about racist violence entitled ‘Wonder World’ was launched last year, which starred Patrick Robinson who plays ‘Ash’ in BBC1’s ‘Casualty’. The ARA also organises a major summer event called ARAfest – which is a free open-air anti-racist festival aimed at promoting an anti-racist culture, especially among young people.The ARA has a network of local groups all over the country, and has sections such as Youth ARA, Trade Union ARA, Teachers ARA and Parliamentary ARA. The membership is open to organisations and individuals.