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Racism - Fascism

category antrim | worker & community struggles and protests | opinion/analysis author Monday June 15, 2009 15:21author by Davy Carlin - Belfast WSM {PC} Report this post to the editors

Racist attacks on Lisburn Rd Belfast

Questions need to be answered by police

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

Racist attacks on Lisburn Rd Belfast
Questions need to be answered by police
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.

For more information contact Paddy Meehan at 07876146473

--- And So ---

These attacks cannot go unchallenged, below is a link to a talk I give in relation to the once Belfast Anti Racism Movement, and I talk a bit about how I believe both racism and visible fascism needs to be challenged .

Link - http://www.wsm.ie/news_viewer/4462
Article – {Immigrant Workers and Racism}

With this situation developing, and now the more overt attacks again coming to the fore - then if such is not brought to an end, - then such will see ‘A RETURN’ of such being visibly and more determinately challenged.

And so as those thugs take to the streets and attacks, my thoughts go back to the time when but a few of us sat in a room and others talked of how little there was we could do

The words and thoughts in mind at the beginning of the once Belfast ARN are the same as I sit here typing now –

And they are that of - those racist- fascists

-‘They shall not Amass’-

As Always

In Solidarity

D

author by Davy Carlin - Belfast WSMpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given the attempted propaganda {by some} against last nights rally I give but a brief account of my experience of the anti racism rally.

Well over 100 people attended the rally at very short notice.

I had arrived about 5 minutes before the rally started, and in doing so I had walked past a group of youths about 10 then in total, aged between 17-19 years old - and a few older ones hanging around them. As I walked past them {I did not know that they where there at the time as outside a bar on a side street} a comment was made - which I ignored.

I proceeded down to the rally.

Then a short time later the youths – one giving a Nazi salute started to make their way towards the rally, {the rally made up mostly of local residents and included many young people and those from the minority ethnic community}. As they approached several anti fascist activists stood - in front and in defence - of the rally. They came up almost face to face and a comment was made to me and others, which we ignored.

They then made their way up an entry where they again gave Nazi signs and hurled other abuse. Chants from the rally then went up ‘Nazis of our streets!

They seemed to have disappeared, but a short time later bottles and bricks rained down on the rally narrowly missing people there- as some of them again attempted to make their way towards the rally. It was then that Anti Fascist Activists {and others attending the rally} – in defence of the rally - chased after them into the surrounded streets and alleyways..

After 10 minutes or so - and all back at the rally – the rally continued.

It was then that the police arrived in any numbers

Further decisions where taken to provide support and defence for those attacked – and for oneself a number of people that I had previously worked with from the ‘Village {and their - Wider Networks} came to speak to me at one particular house. With them, they agreed that they would seek to get some practical help for the residents, such as {in the interim} getting the windows which where broken on the house we where at, boarded up {as it was freezing inside for the residents – Also, {after a long discussion} other practical support was promised – and awaited.

The residents of the area should be applauded and supported for the rally they organised.

On a wider note – the move from racism to fascism I had unfortunately predicted way back. Indeed this is the first time such a rally has seen attacks by fascists – and such Anti Fascist - Fascist confrontation, on the streets of Belfast in I don’t know how long. Yet given in a week where we have seen the BNP setting up ‘call centres’ in and around Belfast and the overt attacks on the minority ethnic communities this is a worrying development.

Given the age of the fascists {although older ones about – from knowledge} it shows a wider alienation, and those drawn into such Fascist ideology - and this in not confined to these particular areas as there are small individuals and pockets of it growing over Belfast and around the North.

As far right organisations also seek to exploit such - support needs to be provided to the minority ethic community here, and solidarity forthcoming when called for.

There is a difference, I believe, in tackling racism, and that of taking on fascism – and indeed organised fascism if it gets that far.

The lessons for Anti Fascists are clear from history, the fascists need to be ‘Nipped in the bud’ from the very onset – they cannot build, they cannot march –

Indeed United –

-They shall not Amass -

As always,

In Solidarity

D

Article in todays Irish News front page

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 17:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Link to Irish News article -

http://www.irishnews.com/irishnews/540/5860/2009/6/16/6....html

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last night between 7 - 8 pm more than 100 Romanians {including a 5 day old baby} left their homes in South Belfast, many too afraid and indeed terrified over what has went on in the last week or so.

This story since then has and will continue to go around the world – as such had done a few years back- with such vile racist attacks–

‘Indeed what picture does it paint of our wee society - eh?

The people where taken firstly to ‘Belfast City Church, and today to ‘Belfast City Council property following a series of attacks by neo Nazis. There has now been much welcomed support given, this from citizens across Belfast, from local ‘South Belfast Networks, from charities etc, who have shown the kindness and caring, as opposed to this very small minority of thugs that has set out their stall.

Later today statutory agencies will meet - while many local agencies and networks are now getting involved in practical ways.

We have and will see leading politicians also now visiting the people.

Yet as this situation is continually fluid over the last hours - the question remains of what had been done really over the last days.

Indeed it was local residents and grassroots activists who had provided and rallied in support, solidarity and defence in the time of real need.

And the reality is that many such agencies only moved when they where made to move – in the recent hours.

As for the police over that time - well the introduction to this thread speaks for itself.

What we have seen here is more than 100 people intimated out of there homes, indeed some one said to me today that although much difference – the sheer numbers reminded them of Bombay Street 30 years back.

Indeed many people will have many thoughts on what has went on here --- as do I

Yet lessons do need to be learnt.

For me many years back and the formation of an Anti Racism Movement in Belfast I knew it was essential to build such a Movement. And today I have no doubt in Belfast, when such attacks happen that various calls will go out - and in cases momentum will be created in which such practical and local mobilisation and solidarity will be given

The difference I believe, over the short years ahead, is that we may well see more of such attacks by those individuals of fascist ideology and indeed organisations seeking to exploit, control, build and organise that ideology.

Therefore while such anti racism rallies and united campaigns will be very important, the fascists and their methods nevertheless will need to be countered by anti fascist and our methods.

Although the attacks and confrontation at the recent rally where small {and those attackers {yet there where others} relatively young albeit with Nazi salutes Nazi slogans Nazi material, Nazi Graffitti etc etc} - nevertheless it was the first such attacks. And given that over 100 people have felt frightened enough to leave the area it may well give succour to others.

Indeed in the time ahead there may well be a need for increased Anti Fascist activity, and for those wishing to know more of what a militant Anti Fascist Organisations may well entail – read the link.

Link – http://www.antifa.org.uk/interview.htm

Yet like the recent Anti Racist Movement in the North given our recent past and indeed our present, other factors also needed to be taken into account, and those of us at the time who had growing up here understood and indeed understand that – and so took such factors into account .

Indeed at the time I had no truck with those who had tried to impose their madness and life threatening advice {orders} unelected to us from afar. I understood and understand that while advice is important - that it is us on the ground in the spaces that we live and breath who know the situation most of all.

Similarly with Anti Fascist actions and campaigns - issues need to be taken into account – indeed with -such knowledge -in recent days - of what we may face our tactics for success need to be sound.

And if so -hopefully – if we do not become a Movement –then that would indeed show the nature of our success.

Indeed we United – they shall not Amass
D

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bombay Street - was ‘40 years back - typed 30

Further linked updates –

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/b....html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8104287.stm

http://www.u.tv/News/Fleeing-families-to-be-re-housed/2...1c16#

And a politician just interviewed repeated what I had been told {by those attacked} and had advised others days back who where also providing support solidarity and defence – that on top of all the recent attacks, a gun {whether imitation or not} was also used to threaten the people.

So we can see – once again - what we are up against.

D

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given my experience at the forefront of support, solidarity and defence 5 or so years ago against minority ethnics being attacked – and the building of a Movement, I had advised some key activists over the last few days of the potential of this happening.

As said it is a different ball game dealing with such racism- fascism here and dealing with it in other areas – {and that is why I had no truck with those unelected from afar trying to tell us what to do} - I stated that such threats including differing death threads – and the real possibility of such being attempted - was and is a reality to be faced.

Indeed it is part and parcel of those who are put forward for spokespersons etc.

Knowing that, while attempting to build and call for support for the recent rally primarily to lend support to the minority ethic community, it was also a case, for some, to stand to the fore with, and ahead off, the young activist residents from the area putting themselves at the forefront.

The people we are dealing with are brutal, and I remember at the very start of calling and attending the ARN early meetings in South Belfast {those years ago}on my way there in Shaftsbury square undercover cops jumped out with machine guns in and around the surrounding streets and where there for the entirety of the meeting. Indeed it was from the onset that I was fully aware of what it meant to take a stand – and more importantly to put yourself forward for it.

I know that those involved from the onset of this, for many of them, and for us, it is not a game of ‘Little Politics’ of who called or initiated what, it is a genuine desire to stand against such brutality – and with that I believe some lessons can be learnt from the ARN movement {2003 – 2004} – and how we took it forward, coming out at the other side with support, solidarity and defence given - much achieved –

-and life of activists intact – This is not hype or spin but the reality of our politic still here – and from real experience from a Movement built.

Indeed it was through that process of that Movement built which went right across society and included engagement also within the ‘Heartlands’ of the areas that where effected. Dealing with them talking to ‘many, and seeking such to not only condemn but seek to actively tackle the problem.

We need to understand also of the real socio and economic problems within many such areas and such activism needs also to acknowledge that, and seek to do whatever we can to address that – - -and also the period of our history we are in.

Of course there are those aligned and part of the far right ideology of fascism who will not be convinced or ‘educated’ away from such – nevertheless a wider strategy needs to be employed to achieve some relative success – as before. - and that includes many tactics including that also of ‘Wider engagement, as I had done and do with those who may have some clout in areas - as that is a reality here still

This does not take away from our anti racism and anti fascist tactics and our stand of support solidarity and defence, but is part of it {here}in the wider sphere of things in our wee society -if we want success.

We do not want to see minority ethnics attacked, threatened or killed, neither do we want to see young activists attacked, threatened or killed. There are lessons to be learnt of how to deal with this situation while driving back the tide of racism and fascism, and such can be discussed.

In the meantime, it is the duty not only of anti racism and anti fascist activists but those from whatever community who wish to see our society move forward, etc, to ensure that such attacks and threats are not carried out not against the minority ethnic community, but also not against those that are standing in a genuine desire for a better society.

My reasoning -

Indeed momentum, as I have always stated and argued for, needs to be created, and have always sought such at such times to ‘move’ wider to actions in times of need. And since sending out the call yesterday for solidarity, other calls are, now, coming forward for other actions.

Some have stated to me that this is the far left party politics by some at play and jockying for postions - but for me I say that this is to be welcomed and supported, as all such calls are.

For me this time around I prefer not to be visibly to the fore, and like much else to work ‘behind the scenes’. Yet it was important for me - with others, given an understanding to lend such support, solidarity and defence at the recent rally- and will be the case if needed again by anti fascists.

Now that such essential momentum is now once again in progress and also a meeting called {link below} - so hopefully a wider Belfast Anti Racism Network can once again emerge re - vitalised - with Anti Fascists there if and when needed.

I will go into much such, and more, in my new blog - in the weeks ahead

Link –

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92765&comment_limit=0&c...54073

As always,

In Solidarity

Link - http://davycarlin.allotherplaces.org/?m=200706

‘D

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Link to recent threat as per article above

Link - http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/a....html

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Fri Jun 19, 2009 14:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Signing of this thread - if further, another thread will - Begin Anew

http://davycarlin.allotherplaces.org/?m=200706

'D'

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Below is related link - and a final link will eventually go up to my new blog, {Part V} which will include more detailed goings on in relation to this and much more - this in the weeks ahead

Link - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92767&comment_limit=0&c...54330

author by ARNerpublication date Thu Jun 25, 2009 16:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi all,

I got back from Denmark on Monday too late to know about the meeting that happened Monday night. I did go along to the meeting last night (Wednesday) to find out what was happening and connect up with people. UTV came along. Not everyone was willing for them to film in the meeting but they took interviews outside.

I took some brief notes from that meeting but I may have left things out or not phrased it in the way the speaker would have phrased it so if anyone wants to correct what I have written either email the list or email me personally and I will make the corrections known. I hope I got most of the important points and didn't misquote too badly. Apologies in advance for all the errors

We did a round of introductions and then discussion:

Most people were there because of the recent attacks on Romanian families but it was noted that there were several other less publicized problems with racism happening.
attacks on city church (where Romanians had been sheltered) were not confirmed to be rascist attacks (yet)
The past history of the antiracism network has been a grassroots response, people coming together to respond to a problem that is not being dealt with by civil society or government organizations. By building a network through which communication and some coordination could happen (an antiracism email list, big rallies, etc) the issue of racism was recognized and taken up by many more main stream institutions. The antiracism network also challenged problems of racism in government policy, particularly around immigration. Although formal ARN activity had more recently faded away there is still a lot of people doing projects who met in the original network. Now the network was in the process of reforming. There have been two meetings this week
good to get people on the email list
gave my email at the rally but haven't heard anything yet
concern about possible presence of fascism? was this organized? stonethrowers and kids on the street but were there also fascist activists involved? Even if the attacks weren't specifically organized, there are some fascist organizations in Belfast hoping to recruit and organize young people.
(separate from concerns about organized fascism) concern that there was a prevalent attitude to be soft on racism. Many people felt it was implicit that Romanians didn't really belong here
also concern that social services, police, and possibly even other civil society organizations that offered to help the Romanian families might also have been soft on racism. Why was everyone so quick to help them leave?
noted unemployment is rising and this sort of rascist trouble may be a distraction from economic concerns. legitimate economic grievances could be channelled into racism problems
problems with politicians making statements that may feed the fire for racist attacks (noted that originally ARN formed after a pregnant woman was attacked the week after Tony Blair made a speech on "maternity tourism" by immigrants). ARN needs to challenge politicians through the media
but would they respond?
The families were Roma people who are also persecuted in Romania
many immigration issues
important not to damn particular geographical areas
some of the Belfast neighborhoods have many economic problems, such as bad landlords, low employment, etc. These problems have to be dealt with, not just racism.
ARN should be more formal, not good to fade away and then have to reorganize
open democratic sustainable structure
there should be links with people in the village where attacks happened. outsiders are not necessarily helpful by trying to do stuff themselves
possible differences in organizing antifascism and antiracism
suggestion to start a blog
need to update ARN website (where is it?)
being a network vs. being a more formal organization. much of the success of antiracism work depends on people cooperating and communicating, not necessarily helpful to be too formal about "membership"
proposal to get on email list, support antiracism network and actions that it organizes/calls for, alert one another about attacks & racist events
i don't have email, what about texting?
possibility that a phone list was being organized from the rally?
i like the idea of a network but i don't have time to join another organization
a large community of faith that i work with is very concerned about these issues
suggestion for some speakers like Ana Lo or Hazel Frances (spelling?)
Lastly, a person was delegated to contact the meeting on Monday so that a larger meeting could be organized with more notice.

From - Michael

author by bethpublication date Mon Jul 13, 2009 13:47author email anti.fa at hotmail dot co dot ukauthor address author phone 07754911484Report this post to the editors

Hey, Ive been in London and have become a lot more aware and active in all kinds of areas whilst living here. I was never sure there was much activism in Belfast, but now that Im comin back in a couple of weeks, it would be great to make some contacts!

beth

author by Davy Carlin - Belfast WSM {PC}publication date Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The struggle continues -

Protest on the 15th

Please circulate and forward this important call from YAR

Hope to see you there

As Always

in Solidarity

Davy Carlin

KEEP BNP OFF THE BBC!

Protest against invitation to racist BNP as guests on Question Time

5.30pm Thursday 15th October

BBC Broadcasting House, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast

Called by Youth Against Racism

Poster attached - please print off and display at your workplace / school / university etc.

PLEASE FORWARD ON - THANKS!

www.youthagainstracism.wordpress.com

Related Link: http://sightbeyondsightandmoremuchmuchmore.blogspot.com/
author by Dpublication date Wed Oct 07, 2009 13:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The union representing workers at the BBC has backed a protest to be held next Thursday 15th October outside BBC Broadcasting House in Belfast against the decision to invite the BNP on to the Question Time programme.
BECTU (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union) which represents 26,500 workers across the UK today revealed that they could not support a far-right party like the BNP being given a platform to spread racist lies.

The union has also pledged to support any member who decides, as a matter of conscience, not to work on the broadcast because of the involvement of the BNP.

Welcoming BECTU’s support, Paddy Meehan of Youth Against Racism added
“All trade unions need to take a stand against the BNP, a far-right anti-union party, being given such a platform. We want workers to come down to BBC Broadcasting House on Ormeau Avenue in Belfast at 5.30pm on Thursday 15th October to express their opposition to this decision. The BNP is about taking away all democratic rights which have been won by ordinary people down the years. They must be opposed wherever they try to organise.”

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Mon Oct 19, 2009 16:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Over 100 people attended the recent rally at the BBC over the inviting of the BNP onto BBC question time.

The rally called by Youth Against Racism on the 15th October 2009 and actively supported by many others including that of the Belfast WSM – had seen also up to 20 possible Fascist supporters of the Fascist BNP party.

This is the first case since the 80’s of a counter demo by fascists at an anti fascist rally, and of course will be seen as a worrying development.

Yet the stand needs to be taken against the BNP being given that platform. Yet by giving fascists such a platform protests have been called, the first such fascist mobilisation has taken place in Belfast since the 80’s, and the real possible of confrontation looming outside various BBC studios this week to give those who would smash democracy a platform to bolster it.

The rally of the anti fascists standing firm called for momentum to be built for the rally on the 22nd .

As stated before, this time around I will not take a ‘visible leading role’ in this stand but more of a ‘back role’ - but will still be in attendance at such called demos, as I, and others where at the last one in South Belfast which was attacked – and so sent the whole situation {and our wee place} once again around the worlds screens.

Reading and attending such events in recent times I will state but three things, presently, that need to be taken on board

Firstly tactics are essential more especially that for the first time fascist’s have taken to confronting anti fascist.

What do you do? Do you attack? Do you defend? Do you do nothing?

What are the repercussions of each – more especially given the context of our recent times and society?

I think Youth Against racism - and others, took the right call in defence of the rally this time around,{as with the last} but it may differ as time goes on to not only rallies but to stalls to papers sales, to individuals etc – when the ‘Anti Fascist Muscle’ or large scale mobilisation aren’t around –

Secondly, as even written here on Indymedia some are seeking to attack the spokesperson for YAR.

Lessons learnt

Yet, I, as time went on, had got attacks by even some media commentators at the time for standing against racism etc.

Yet my reply given at the time {below} was also an understanding not only of beating down the media attacks but working to ward of more very real and present threats and attacks by others who would seek real harm done to oneself and to others.

14/07/04
I AM writing in response to inaccuracies in Newton Emerson’s article (July 8).
Newton states that the Belfast Anti Racism Network (ARN) is ‘run’ by a member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).
I presume he is referring to myself as chairman of the Anti Racism Network and also a member of the Belfast SWP.
I am proud to be an active member of both groups, as I am of being an active trade unionist in Nipsa and an activist in the Anti War Movement.
In fact standing up actively against racism, fighting against poverty pay or opposing illegal occupations are all issues I am proud to be involved in, as I am also on other such issues.
Yet – as opposed to what Newton states in relation to the ARN – none of these campaigns or organisations are in fact ‘run’ by one individual.
The Anti Racism Network for example is made up
of a steering group of seven persons,
four women and three men, with several
from a minority ethnic background.
They include representatives of several of the leading and largest minority ethnic associations
and support groups.
Also on the steering group is probably the north’s leading asylum practitioner as well as another
with a history working from a legal background.
Many of us are also active trade unionists with Nipsa, Unison or such.
With that wealth of experience when decisions are to be made, they are made ‘collectively’.
As a black person growing up in Belfast,
I witnessed much racism... and for me it came then mainly from the state.
Similarly – as was seen a few years back
(published in a front page article in the Irish News) – I had witnessed similar racist behaviour from the southern state.
Therefore on seeing the brutal attacks
on persons from the minority ethnic community (intensifying last summer), I and others decided
to organise against it.
Thus the formation of the ARN.
Newton’s reference to the ARN concentrates on what he believes we have not done, yet he mentions nothing of what we have done.
Briefly, as an ‘active’ campaign we have played an important part in putting the whole issue of racism and racial attacks to the forefront within Northern Irish society and indeed at times internationally.
With others we have raised the issue of refugees detained and held in prisons.
These people are ‘criminalised’ for seeking refuge.
We have organised a city centre rally and with the support of the trade union movement have stood shoulder to shoulder against racism with over 2,000 citizens at Belfast City Hall.
We have been a voice for some of the most vulnerable who have feared to speak out.
We have established networks around Belfast in local communities which have taken collective and visual initiatives against racism and racial attacks.
We are beginning to establish groups and networks in important areas around the north such as Dungannon and north Antrim.
Finally, it should be stated that ARN is not funded like other groups and is effective through voluntary participation using our own time.
We all hold down other jobs, with supporters and activists raising money and providing solidarity
for the network.
The ARN also has the support and involvement of 25 other organisations and many individuals.
The ARN, as a network, seeks to be an active, visual, grassroots, community and trade union based as we continue to expand around the north.

DAVY CARLIN, Belfast 11

Of course outside of that, and can be read elsewhere, I had sought engagement with and within such communities that much of the attacks where coming from, while also seeking to engage {and work against} the political socio an economic issues that gave such raise – as well as doing, individually, much more, as can be recorded elsewhere on my writing of the ARN.

At times I was condemned for such {and even left my long term organisation in large part because of such}, but tactically for the greater good what I did proved to be right and at the time it worked.

And so this brings me on to the 3rd point, of what one wants to achieve and to work towards that.

Calling rallies etc are important but if there is a long {or short} term objective then one needs to tactically seek to work that.

For the ARN at the time {as many ask me in interviews etc} what was the greatest achievement {again as written at the time} well we ‘Achieved’ much in the first 18 months or so of our founding.

Again this was in the context of the time, with {in a personal capacity} primarily a politic of engagement {which seen that unprecedented rally with the Combined Loyalist leadership also in attendance}.

And in later years as one looks back one can see that the bringing in of new legislation and laws, reflected now in workplaces, public bodies, the police etc, right through to new funding and new organisations set up with funding, for the minority ethic community – and much more came directly from the RISE of the ARN – of those first 18 months.

And also as written at the time -

In effect since the Jan 27th rally and within the space of six months we had seen the closing of the Belfast BNP branch, the ceasing of organised overt racial attacks in specific areas for a time thus providing breathing space for ethnic minority communities, the mass mobilisations and rallies, the local mobilisations and rallies, active support and shelter for those put out of their homes, participation in trade union and local community marches, protests at detaining centres at the Belfast International airport, the empowerment of some working class communities against attacks, moving the support of the trade union movement into action as well as trade union councils and trade unions (workers organisations), the censoring and full withdrawal of racist statements from the UUP to the SDLP, the standing firm and putting our 'head' above the water to stand visual and vocally against paramilitary attacks.

Street protests and agitation, paint outs, white line pickets, public meetings, spray paintings – street art, poster and leaflet campaigns, stalls, the sending out of the police (state) and statutory bodies' big guns to attempt to counter our arguments. The police, paramilitaries, far right organisations, state bodies, at times being put on the back foot, the ceasing of organised racist attacks for specific periods in specific areas. The concentration and public focus directed at the socio and economic conditions - deprivation of working class communities, i.e. the lack of housing, facilities and actively seeking to raise and to campaign on these issues.

The raising of Fortress Europe, real support and defence drawn up for those attacked, anti racism gigs, the expansion of the ARN into associations around Belfast and beyond, bringing the immediate situation to the worlds TV screens, solidarity with other wider issues, creating cross community support and activity, gathering and receiving solidarity from across the globe, at times beginning to push the tide of racism back.

And as written later, there was security, defence provided through to intelligence gained.

And so as YAR have positioned themselves -as those presently - who have taken the initiatives from South Belfast to the recent BBC rally to take the lead in that stand this time around, these are but some experiences gained of the first such stand and movement created at that time.

Momentum will of course be created to move more into taking such initiatives - but at the end of the day as I have always stated {despite my probs with whatever leadership} -that who ever calls such, it should be supported.

Now for me and others a ‘back role’ will be our priority – as we continue to lend that solidarity.

I will of course [as always}in words write what I think of things as they develop and on that note I will link a new blog input in the days ahead.

Related Link: http://sightbeyondsightandmoremuchmuchmore.blogspot.com/2009_07_01_archive.html
author by Davy Carlinpublication date Mon Oct 19, 2009 17:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry the sentence below should read

'Yet by giving fascists such a platform protests have been called, the first such fascist mobilisation has taken place in Belfast since the 80’s, and the real possible of confrontation looming outside various BBC studios this week to give those {fascists} who would smash democracy a platform to bolster themselves.'

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Wed Oct 21, 2009 13:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

KEEP THE BNP OFF THE BBC

Protest outside BBC Broadcasting House, Ormeau Ave, Belfast

5pm Thursday 22 October

Called by Youth Against Racism and Anti-Racism Network

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