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Antrim - Event Notice
Wednesday June 24 2009
07:00 PM

Solidarity is Strength- Public meeting to discuss recent racist attacks

category antrim | miscellaneous | event notice author Thursday June 18, 2009 16:13author by Davy Carlin Report this post to the editors

Public meeting

In Solidarity
Dear Friends,

You will have seen the brutal attacks and subsequent forced removal of ethnic minorities from their homes in the South Belfast area.

The solidarity and support and more given to these citizens {despite recent attacks by some in the media} were essential in their time of need. Yet they where still forced to move - and now also seeing the more recent attack in East Belfast.

As chair of the Anti Racism Network during the height of the last such visible and large scale attacks {2003-2004} you are invited to a meeting in the Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre (Lower Donegall Street) in Belfast city centre, next Wednesday 24th at 7pm

A number of people have contacted me {including those from the minority ethnic community} - and others have raised the question of what can we do given this onslaught, and have confirmed their attendance {as have others from other Networks} - to this essential meeting.

Friends, with a campaign in South Belfast and now an attack in East Belfast we believe it is time to once again come together seeking a Belfast wide approach to this brutality as was the case in 2003 – 2004.

Suggestions from some contacting range from providing additional practical support in other parts of Belfast through to the calling for mobilisations and rallies.

For my own thoughts, this meeting can once again be a beginning collectively of a co- ordinate anti racism stand across Belfast and I would urge those who have stood firm against such brutality over the years to attend, support and circulate this call.

The meeting I suggest should be open democratic and if any structure agreed to be fully accountable.

Friends, in 2003 - 2004 we have stood many times shoulder to shoulder against such attacks within, and around our city. It is time once again to show all, that these brutal racist attacks and the subsequence tarring of our city by a minority will not go without a stand.

As always in Solidarity

Davy Carlin
Michael Reinsborough

From the Anti Racism Network

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Mon Jun 22, 2009 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In reply on Networks to another meeting organised for Monday -

'There was some talk/leaflet about a meeting on Monday too via LMHR...'

Dear Friends

Yes, I am also aware of the meeting although I have not seen it advertised around the networks.

So I don't know much about it - but all such meetings advertised are important to get along to and support and would urge all who know the details of such to attend and support.

Given the recent rally in South Belfast and the forced removal of people there, this was the catalysis that had unfortunately sent this brutality once again around the world’s scene. Despite this, much support, solidarity and indeed defence was given by many in that short time by anti racist and anti fascists, before, and the immediate after, and continued.

Indeed a subsequent death threat was given to one young activist because of this stand

Yet it was then after that rally and such, that an open meeting was circulated to ALL, around the networks as per link.

Link - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92767

Given that the ARN had not been meeting - functioning in a long time, and as ALL members and supporters have been entitled to do, I sent out a call for a meeting to discuss in an open, democratic and accountable way as to what we could do next.

Within a very short time of that call going out other members organised and called a rally which was very welcome and was well supported by several hundred, and it was there that I was told of another meeting on Monday. This is also very welcome as all momentum created and support and solidarity given is essential.

Yet we have seen in the media some talking about groups jumping on the bandwagon and opportunism of this issue etc – and also from others, of party politic at play.

For me I have long rose above such, and will come back {for those interested} in my blog in weeks ahead in regard to some of these comments and attacks on anti racism activists – and much more therein.

For me I will not take a forefront part this time around in hopefully a campaign revitalised. Nevertheless I felt it important to both take a stand, in support, solidarity and defence with many others, {given the ongoing brutality} and then with others to try and create momentum for and with anti racist activists to go forward.

In these matters I believe it has been a success.

The meeting on Wednesday, {as nothing to date had been called} was called to attempt to create and solidity that momentum. And if those activists who where on the ARN steering committee call a meeting and circulate it around the ARN lists then I would urge all to support and circulate, and indeed for those who want to put themselves forward for the committee to do so – as many hands make light work.

The meeting on Wednesday can still go ahead as the more meetings and activity the better.

Also the LMHR {Anti Racism} stuff is also good for others to get involved in, having organised the first one here in Belfast many years ago with musicians, in offers yet another avenue in the wider anti racism stand

As Always

In Solidarity

Davy Carlin

I will come back with a fully account in blog in time - and the much that had went on.

author by anonpublication date Mon Jun 22, 2009 16:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Im sorry to bring to bring this up but I believe the issue of internal or lack of democracy within the the campaign needs to be discussed both informally and formally. This is important if we are serious in combating racism.

As far as Im aware the ARN has not be seriously functioning for well over a year now. It appears this email list is just used to publicise events and interviews etc. The ARN should not be used a political cover for any political group.

I am also aware that Davy Carlin asked two of the organisers of the rally including Barbara Muldoon and Mark Hewitt to publicise this meeting at the rally. They blatently refused on the basis that this meeting needed permission from the steering committee. Barbara Muldoon is also mentioned on the SWP website as chair of the ARN.

It appears this steering committee has just suddenly appeared and is accountable to knowone. I like many others would like to know a few questions to start with. When was the committee elected and who sits on it? Where does it meet and minutes? Is the ARN a formal organisation or simply a loose network of autonomous groups?

I hope these an other important issues can be discussed at Wednesday's meeting. This meeting has been arranged by two anti-racist campaigners who have been active in the ARN when it was functioning as a network. They have no agenda other than an open meeting to discuss the recent attacks.

Sean Matthews

author by Curiouspublication date Mon Jun 22, 2009 16:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What is the address of this ARN discussion list? Can somebody provide a link?

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