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Antrim - Event Notice
Monday June 15 2009
08:00 PM

Residents call protest against racist attacks on Lisburn Rd, Belfast

category antrim | worker & community struggles and protests | event notice author Sunday June 14, 2009 22:56author by Gary Mulcahy - Socialist Party Report this post to the editors

Racist attacks on Roma families in Belfast for the past five nights

8pm Monday 15th June outside Mace shop Lisburn Rd

Residents of Belgravia Avenue and Wellesley Avenue have called on the people of South Belfast to protest outside the Mace shop on the Lisburn Rd tomorrow evening at 8pm against continuous racist attacks against Roma families.

Since Wednesday evening gangs have attacked the homes of Roma families every evening, smashing windows and shouting racist abuse.

The attackers have shouted Combat 18 (a fascist group) slogans to neighbours of the Roma families after the assaults. A number of people have been injured and children of the family are severely traumatised as a result.

Police have been called to the scenes of these attacks but as yet there has been no arrests.

One family has been forced to leave their home on Belgravia Avenue after been attacked for the past four nights. During an attack on a house on Wellesley Avenue this evening, a note from the racist gang dropped through the letterbox is thought to contain text from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Local residents are calling on the people of South Belfast to join a protest tomorrow evening in solidarity with Roma families who are under attack from racist thugs to show they do not represent the community and that racist attacks will not be tolerated.

A special call has been made for trade unions and political parties to publicly condemn the attacks and to support the protest.

For further information contact Paddy Meehan on 07876146473

author by fpublication date Sun Jun 14, 2009 23:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The cops are ignoring these attacks - we need a big turnout for this protest tomorrow!

author by Patpublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 01:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Once again we see loyalists showing their true colours.
If they aren't trying to terrorise innocent Catholics they are trying to terrorise foreign nationals.
Loyalism = hate hate hate!

author by Anti-Fascistpublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The previous comment is exactly the sectarian rubbish we don't need. The organisers of the protest are trying to appeal to the ordinary working class people who live in the area, mostly Protestant, who are repulsed by these attacks to come out and support the protest. The previous comment is totally pointless and sectarian. Racist attacks happen in both communities. We need unity of all workers against these Nazi scum.

author by Gary Mulcahy - Socialist Partypublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Accusations of ‘police inaction’ and ‘feeding misinformation’ to media

Local residents organising a protest against racist attacks have criticised the police for lack of action in dealing with serious racist attacks carried out by small groups of racists in the Lisburn Rd area.

One of the organisers of the protest, Paddy Meehan has also criticised the police for misinforming the media that the families under attack were Polish, when in fact they are Romanian. Mr. Meehan explained “The police’s reports to the media that the families under attack are Polish is particularly dangerous after recent tensions in the area after the clashes at the recent Northern Ireland Poland football match.”

Log of events

Wednesday 10th June
About 5pm: Crowd of 15 attacked member of Romanian family on Wellesely Avenue.

At 11pm: Police called after attack on house on 14 Belgravia Ave – Police arrive at 12.30am

Thursday 11th June
About 10pm: Assault on member of family at 113 Wellesely Avenue by a gang estimated 15 people, hit with large plank of wood – broken nose and injuries to head and back – child also hit – Police were phoned but when they arrived they did not chase after gang when they fled.

Friday 12th June
About 9.30pm – Attack on house at 14 Belgravia Ave

About 12am: Group of 6 or 7 attack house at 14 Belgravia Ave with stones. While running away from scene they shouted “Up Combat 18 – Out with Pakis” and retreated behind billboards at the top of Ulsterville Ave. Police were informed through 999 emergency number of their whereabouts. 15 minutes later gang returned and attempted to kick front door in. 10 minutes after second attack police arrived.

Saturday 13th June
About 5.30pm – Gang of seven racists threw stones at family outside 14 Belgravia Ave. Police phoned immediately and arrive ten minutes later. Another attack on 14 Belgravia Avenue between 1am and 2am. Police contacted and arrived. Family leave house on Belgravia Ave.

About 1am - Attack on houses at 113 Wellesley Ave and 78 Wellington Park – Police phoned at 1am – Police said they were busy. Residents told police they were worried because there was a two day old baby as well as other children in the house. Police arrive at roughly 1.30pm.

Monday 15th
Police inform media that families are Polish, not Romanian.

author by Gary Mulcahy - Socialist Partypublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Residents who organised an anti-racist protest on the Lisburn Rd in Belfast last night have criticised some reports which claimed that the protest was abandoned due to a small group of youths hurling bricks and bottles at the protestors.

Paddy Meehan, a spokesperson for the residents stated “We are disappointed that a reporter for a major broadcaster misreported last nights events, claiming that we abandoned our protest because of the attacks. This is completely untrue. As has been independently verified by footage on UTV, we succeeded in chasing them and forced them to disperse. In fact the protest grew larger after the racist thugs threw bottles at us. The protest then continued for forty minutes and a rota of residents was organised to defend the families overnight. As a result of this action on the ground there have been no attacks for the past two nights.”

Mr. Meehan added that “attempts from some quarters to blame residents for provoking the racists into attacking the protest by chanting anti-racist slogans were letting the racists off the hook. The media needs to focus on the fact that a small number of racist thugs are still intent on attacking homes and putting the lives of young children in danger.”

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