Norther Ireland: United Against Racist Attacks

In the past week, the Socialist Party in Northern Ireland has been central to protests organised in opposition to a spate of racist attacks on Romanian families living in Belfast. Over 20 families were forced from their homes in vicious attacks in which stones and planks of wood were used.

The Socialist Party and Socialist Youth fully support local residents in opposing racist attacks in this area.

These cowardly attacks are being organised and carried out by members of far right racist and fascist groups. These groups are deliberately targeting migrant workers and their families. They attempt to justify their actions by blaming members of ethic minority communities for social and economic problems – just as Hitler did with the Jews

The Socialist Party and Socialist Youth fully support local residents in opposing racist attacks in this area. These cowardly attacks are being organised and carried out by members of far right racist and fascist groups. These groups are deliberately targeting migrant workers and their families. They attempt to justify their actions by blaming members of ethic minority communities for social and economic problems – just as Hitler did with the Jews.

But problems such as unemployment and poor housing are caused by the economic system, not by immigrants. The racist scapegoating of migrants must be stopped. Working class people instead need to stand together to fight for jobs, decent wages and conditions and proper housing for all.

How can we stop racist attacks
The police response to these latest attacks has been half-hearted at best. Response times have been too long to be effective and there has been no follow up action to try to identify and arrest those responsible. The result is that families have had to move out. United community action can isolate the small groups responsible and can force them to call a halt to the attacks.

Tonight’s protest is an excellent first step. An anti racist network now needs to be set up in the area so that members of the local community can be mobilised within minutes every time an attack takes place. This can be done through a mobile phone/telephone tree arrangement. With the community mobilised in this way it will be easy to positively identify those involved in carrying out the attacks.

The police should be given this information and then pressure should be applied to make sure these people are prosecuted for their racist hate crimes.

Don’t let a few racist thugs intimidate a community – United community action can defeat them.

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