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South Belfast Anti-Racist Rally Attacked

category antrim | racism & migration related issues | news report author Tuesday June 16, 2009 12:28author by Antifa Report this post to the editors

The demo was called by local residents in response to recent attacks on the homes of Roma families.
_45929724_rally1.jpg

Local youths threw bottles at residents in south Belfast last night who had gathered to protest against attacks on immigrant families in the area.

The anti-racism protest was arranged by residents in response to a spate of attacks on the homes of immigrants living in the area.

A group of youths leaving a bar made Nazi salutes at the demonstrators and threw bottles at them before being chased away.

Link to a first hand account of what happened last night - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92709&comment_limit=0&c...53873

author by ACABpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In relation to the attacks in South Belfast a demonsration was held last night. Some of the cunts showed up and and threw a few bottles and got chased down a side street but none of them where caught.

People then sat outside one of the houses which had been attacked ( which all 3 of the families which had suffered these attacks where now staying in due to the other 2 houses being quite smashed up) to stop it happening again last night.

There were cars of people involved in the attacks driving pass for a good part of the night trying to intimidate the protestors and known fascists seen in and around the area trying to take pictures and generally let their presence be known. This is probably going to be happening more and more in this shithole.

We now have a large number of people willing to response to a phone call at short notice and get round to any houses in the area which may be under threat of attack. As usual the cops have done fuck all to to help and only placed a car in the area once we had the demonstration which alerted peole to what a pile of useless cunts the filth have been in trying to deal with this matter.

(Copied and pasted from Eirecore - http://www.thumped.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=73340&page=7)

author by Libcompublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 13:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1) Seems there were several hundred people at the protest. About 40 people are now outside one of the houses which has been the focus of the attacks in order to offer support to the families who are being intimidated. I arrived after the protest had ended, but am told that bricks and bottles were thrown at it, and the attackers shouted that they were C18, and would be back. Seems the police were all over the protest to stop people standing in the road, but cant get it together to protect the families under attack, even tthough the attacks are happening in the same places, around the same time, every night.

2) We left the house at 3.30am and there were still people on watch outside the house. It was good to see a lot of people come together in support of the families that are being victimised. Those that bricked the protest were quick to scarper when pursued and through showing solidarity with the families involved people have sent a clear message that racism and bigotry won't be tolerated and will be opposed on the street if necessary.
Top. There have been threats to the house on Wellesey Ave to attack during the day so if people are around should go to keep watch.

(Copied and pasted from Libcom - http://libcom.org/forums/organise/belfast-protest-again...62009)

author by Gary Mulcahy - Socialist Partypublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 13:17author 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.”

author by 'Choccy'publication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 13:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hundreds of people from all over Belfast gathered last night against recent racist attacks in south Belfast. Many spent the night keeping watch outside a house of the victimised Romanian families.

Between 200-300 people were estimated to have been in attendance at the protest, called at very short notice on the Lisburn Road in south Belfast. The crowd were protesting against the recent upsurge in racist attacks in the south Befast area, which have concentrated in the last week on three houses where Romanian families live.

One house in Belgravia Avenue was attacked by crowds of up to 15 on three separate nights, with police response times being hours later, and in one case, lunchtime the next day. The police have been heavily criticised for their failure to respond to the numerous calls the family and concerned residents had placed. The residents have since abandoned the house. Families at two other houses on Wellesley park and Wellington Park had also been targetted, with reports of one house being threatened with a gun, that family had also chosen not to stay in its house last night. The crowds that had gathered to attack the houses have been reported to have been posting literature containing passages from Hitler's Mein Kampf.

During the protests last night several youths attacked the protest with bricks and bottles and were pursued by protestors toward The Village area, an area that has in recent years experienced a high number of attacks on migrant workers from the African continent and eastern Europe. It is not known who is orchestrating the violence but when those attacking the crowds returned later in the evening shouted slogans in support of Combat 18 and claimed that they would be 'coming back'.

Protestors kept a watch outside one of the houses, which now contained the residents of the vacated properties. Supporters stayed all night, some taking turns in shifts to stay outside the home with members of the Romanian families. It is expected that protestors will remain at the house in Wellesley Avenue while these families still feel under threat.

Related Link: http://libcom.org/news/hundreds-protest-racist-attacks-belfast-16062009
author by gareth - nonepublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This may seem a bit biased because i come from the nationalist/catholic community, but there seems to be an overwhelming amount of ultra right racist/sectarian elements within the protestant/unionist community. im not saying that everyone from my community is anti-sectarian/racist, but one community seems to breed this sort of filth more than the other. take the brutal attack on that poor man in Colraine (the Alabama of county Derry) a few weeks ago as an example. unionist polititions seem to be showing zero leadership on these types of hate crimes, maybe due to the fact that alot of them were (and probably still are) steeped in the same ultra-right wing racist hatred that weve seen exposed in belfast recently. Peter Robinson/south Africa etc? Lack of political leadership breeds intolerance!

author by Billypublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 15:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gareth as you said yourself maybe you are biased! Look at the South where racist and anti-migrant and anti-asylum seeker are ideas are widely held amongst some sections of people. 99.9% of those who hold these racist and anti-migrant attitudes are Catholics and nationalists. Explain this please? How does it fit in with your theory?

author by rom - nunpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think, Billy, the reason why 99.9% of racists in the south are Catholic is probably due to the fact that the south is very predominantly Catholic, as opposed to predominantly racist! Likewise, I don't think Gareth's point was that Protestants are inherently racist (which of course is not the case) but that Unionist are. In fairness to the unionists, expanding segregation and violence to the immigrant community is a perfectly logical extension to their ideals. This is probably why the number and severity of racist attacks in the North seems so much higher and more extreme than in the south

author by Mike - Judean Popular peoples Frontpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 18:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two words: "Citizenship referendum"

Need I say more ?

author by Mickpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Are these groups still opposed to meeting with each other and trying to sort things out civilly?

author by Antifapublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

mick what do you mean? if you mean meeting up with the racist attackers why would we they are nazi thugs?

author by Michaelpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 20:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Within any society, no matter the predominant religious or tribal structure, there is always a scum element. They delight in causing mayhem and in making peoples life a misery. What we are seeing is one such group as they vent their evil on these poor folk. But if the families had moved elsewhere you can bet these scumbags would soon find another viable target and do the same sort of things to them. While, given the geographic location, it is more then likely these animals are Protestant, to say that they represent Unionism or have some sort of political agenda is simply ridiculous. They are just young thugs, doing what young thugs do. To try and escalate this into some sort of political or religious issue is, quite frankly, counter-productive and will only help to stoke up ill-feeling and also feed the bigots who seize any opportunity to spread their ignorance. So can those spouting the "Catholics would never do this" and "this is an extension of Unionist idealism" nonsense please stop and get a grip.

author by rompublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 23:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Michael - I, or no one here, said "Catholics would never do this", that would be extremely naive. Of course the south is racist, and that racism exists everywhere regardless of creed or even race. And, you're right, no doubt these scumbags would have picked on someone else if that racial minority didn't exist. But I think you've turned the argument on it's head to say "given the geographic location, it is more then likely these animals are Protestant, to say that they represent Unionism". It seems unfair to say that protestants in the north are more likely to be racist, why should they be? There are plenty protestants that make good republicans and many that couldn't care less about politics. But it's in unionism and the orange order where sectarian bigotry has been accepted as a 'politcal' and 'cultural' movement as opposed to the ingenious method of divide & conquer, for which it was established prior to 1798.

And while these troublemakers may just be stupid kids, as opposed to the real-deal Combat 18 etc, it begs the question - before immigrants lived in Belfast who would they have picked on? My money is on the Catholic minority.

author by Michaelpublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 02:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course they would, and did, pick on the Catholic population Rom. Why? Because the were different. If they were Black. If they were Asian. If they were from Eastern Europe. If they were Hindi. All legitimate reasons to hate and lash out in the eyes of these and every other ignorant lout in this and every other country. The fact that those in this particular location are more than likely Protestant doesn't mean that we should automatically attribute blame to the Orange Order or the Unionists. To do so is a common ttactic used by those who oppose these Protestant oriented organisations and who jump on the band-wagon every chance they get to have a go at them. While I have no doubt as to the secterian undertones in these organisations, I still do not see how anyone can forge a direct link between them and mindless thugs who hate anyone who is different. Do you really believe that exposure to these groups causes xenophobia and bigotry? If you want to start this kind of finger-pointing exercise then you must aportion blame to every incident North and South. In this case, who do you blame for the attacks in Dublin? There are people living here in Oldpark who are just as bad. I know of ones around Andies-town who are comparable. Its not because they are Republican. Its not because they were taught to hate Protestants. Its just because they were born bad and suffer from pure pig ignorance and take that out on anyone they can. Not political. Not religious. Just plain evil.

author by lulupublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 08:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fact is, many people who are low on the social totem pole like to have someone they perceive as below them to pee on.
It has suited many businesses to have a pool of cheap foreign labour, but working-class communities who already have strains on their housing have to absorb them.

author by Billypublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 09:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Unionists are inherently racist! Fucking hell I can't believe the sectarianism of some people. In Sweden, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy and England there are major fascist and racist parties. Some of them did very well in the European elections. There is no major fascist or far right party in Northern Ireland. The fascist and far right groups in Northern Ireland are miniscule in size. When the NF tried to set up in Protestant communities in the past they were burnt out. Tens of thousands of people from Northern Ireland from a protestant background fought in the Second World War against fascism. Racism and fascism grows in all communities all over the world and in most places in the world it is a bigger problem than here. The biggest fascist party that ever existed in Ireland was the Blueshirts they were Catholics, but to claim that Catholics or nationalists are inherently fascist would be a stupid thing to say.
You claim is ludicrous and it is sectarian.

author by rompublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Michael I'd prob agree with the large part of what you said, I don't deny that the exact people were talking about in relation to Belfast are probably just thugs as opposed to an organised race hate group. I don't believe being a unionist makes you inherently racist, the distinction I'm trying to make is that the *traditional* roles of groups like the orange order and the ideals of unionism are ones of protectionism and segregation in society on sectarian (hence the NI civil rights movement). It's hard to shake off bigotry like that when you're born into a culture that nourishes it.

In the South, many people who sympathise with republicanism also hold racist ideas. I sincerely doubt they know very much about the writings of its intellects such as Connolly, but that's the point to be made. Within republicanism there has always been some form of outward look, whether to France at the end of the 18th C or to Palestine nowadays. Unionism has never quite had this and that may be why it is insular, self-centered and allows for backward ideas to remain unchallenged. Finally, a few yobs throwing stones might be just bored stupid kids. But I think the north does certainly have much more volatile racist tension than anywhere in the south. I'm talking in the last few years not just the last week.

Billy - I accept your point that racism as a whole here is much 'tamer' than in Europe. Likewise, the Blueshirts were very largely a result of our extreme brand of Catholicism in Ireland in the 30s. To say that they were nationalist is quite untrue. It was after all the republican movement that corralled them in to a certain extent. WWII is a little more complicated than a showdown between good vs. evil. What I said in the paragraph above should answer your question, but it doesn't sound like you want it answered. You call me sectarian for criticising unionism, I don't think its necessary to remind you of what their history is. If it wasn't for the resistance against unionism, up north we still couldn't fly our flag, or have free votes. It was only 40 years ago when when you had to be a home-owner to vote. It's funny it was very hard to get a house if you happened to be Catholic.

That's my final post on this. I don't want to distract from the good work that many have chosen to undertake in south belfast.

author by Billypublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 13:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am not a unionist and I was not defending unionists or unionism. I am simply making the point that to say that Protestants and people who vote for unionist parties are inherently racist is wrong and it is sectarian.

Rom you lecture us by saying "I don't believe being a unionist makes you inherently racist, the distinction I'm trying to make is that the *traditional* roles of groups like the orange order and the ideals of unionism are ones of protectionism and segregation in society on sectarian (hence the NI civil rights movement). It's hard to shake off bigotry like that when you're born into a culture that nourishes it."

I would say a few things about this comment. I hate and abhor the Orange Order and the unionist parties which have propagated sectarianism. But you should do some research into the NI Civil Rights Movement and you will discover that many Protestants were involved in that movement until it was hijacked by right wing nationalists. You should also maybe talk to Protestants and you will discover that the vast majority are not racists and are opposed to the attacks on the Roumanians in South Belfast. You will also discover that the majority of Protestants are not Catholic hating bigots. What you and others have done is portray a sectarian stereotype of Protestants.

You also say it is hard to shake off bigotry like that when you're born into a culture that nourishes it. I think that this is a generalisation which is wrong. Most Protestants are not bigots. Most Protestants are not sectarian reactionaries. Most protestant do "shake off" the shit they hear from the bigots in their communities. Your statement could also be applied to the Catholic nationalist community which is a community that nourishes and propagates bigotry as well but it would also be equally wrong to do that because most Catholics are not bigots but there are catholic bigots and catholic racists, just as there are protestant bigots and racists. Your comments are steeped in the idea that prods are bigots and catholics are all enlighted and wonderful people and this is simply just not true and this type of sectarian propaganda has been coming out of right wing republicans for decades.
Unionism and Loyalism is a form of nationalism. But for you one form of nationalism is okay but the other isn't. I oppose both sets of nationalism as they are both reactionary and divisive.
I'll be defending the Roumanians and anyone else who is a victim of racist hatred or sectarianism irrespective of their nationality or religion.

author by Séamuspublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 16:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But you should do some research into the NI Civil Rights Movement and you will discover that many Protestants were involved in that movement until it was hijacked by right wing nationalists.

By 'right wing nationalists' I take it you're referring to People's Democracy, which was also made up of many Protestant members.

Unionism and Loyalism is a form of nationalism. But for you one form of nationalism is okay but the other isn't. I oppose both sets of nationalism as they are both reactionary and divisive.

They are two completely different kinds of nationalism though. The British/Ulster-Scots (depending on what mood they're in) nationalism of unionism is indeed inherently reactionary given its jingoism, and its strict adherence to backwards concepts such as monarchy and empire. This is not to say that Irish nationalism does not have its reactionary elements, but at its core it is a liberationist and fundamentally democratic ideology.

This goes back to a point rom made early, that while internationalism has been an important part of Irish nationalism and republicanism for centuries, unionism on the other hand has been altogether more insular, except for its occasional support for Israel when its Combat 18 friends haven't been around.

But getting back to another point of rom's, this is distracting from the real point of this thread - showing support and solidarity to these Romanian families who have been the victims of terrible racist attacks.

author by Billypublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am not defending unionism at all and I wasn't referring to the People's Democracy I was referring to people like John Hume.

author by ITN - ITNpublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello, I'm trying to get in contact with the person who took the photograph at the protest. We're covering the story and I would like to find out if we could use this in the news. Please contact me at still@itn.co.uk with info.

Many thanks

author by ITN - ITNpublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 16:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

sorry the email address is stills@itn.co.uk

author by Con Carrollpublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 21:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

given the political crisis with the far right becoming elected in the european elections. no one should be surprised. let us remind ourselves who was elected to the european parliament from England. Nicky Griffin. it was only a matter of time. we need to say also that this is not the first time people from Romania. have experienced intimidation. one does recall the Roma families. living at the Ballymun round about.
we can also recall how people from the Roma community, were treated by non Romas. late 1990s. regarding accomadation in a hostel.
have we forgot people from Afghanistan who went on hunger strike. St Patricks cathederal

yet time and time again it is the same people who come out and stand with people who are alienated. people from Residents Against Racism. while those in well paid anti racism groups bow to the political establishment
anti racism political solidarity is not sexy. it is about the reality of peoples lives
there should be public protests organised in solidarity with the families

First they came for the Roma families Ididnt speak
then they came for me, there was no-one to speak for me.

author by rompublication date Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Republican graves vandalised by suspected fascists

19/06/2009 - 07:34:45 (breakingnews.ie)

Police in the North are investigating the desecration of republican graves at Milltown Cemetery in Belfast.

Sinn Féin says racist and sectarian slogans were daubed on the graves earlier this year, along with graffiti supporting the far-right British fascist group Combat 18.

The graves targeted in the attack include that of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands.

Sinn Féin is linking the incident to the campaign of intimidation being carried out against eastern Europeans in Belfast.

Twenty Romanian families were forced to flee their homes in the south of the city earlier this week after enduring several days of abuse and attacks from local loyalists.

Related Link: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/republican-graves-vandalised-by-suspected-fascists-415445.html#ixzz0IsI74iIg&C
author by Atheist.publication date Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"This may seem a bit biased because i come from the nationalist/catholic community, but there seems to be an overwhelming amount of ultra right racist/sectarian elements within the protestant/unionist community."

The long term answer is to kick all religions out of the schools.

Anywhere that you find Hocus-Pocus religious indoctrination in the schools you get bigotry and racism in the society.

.

author by Jamespublication date Sun Jun 21, 2009 18:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Romanians and Bulgarians had been discriminated since they first came to UK and Ireland. They need a work permit to work in Ireland and UK even if they are EU citizens. Now in Ireland they are trying to get them out of the country because most of them do not have a work permit and it is almost impossible to get one. How do you see them working in these conditions? How do you think they will live if the racism gets government help? Now the Irish government starts to check all the companies that have Bulgarians/Romanians employees and will apply 250k and up to 10years imprisonment. Do you find this fair? Let’s help these people live no matter their origins!

Please access the following links to view how racism is all over!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/art...3.ece

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7668976.stm

Related Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7668976.stm
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