Youth Against Racism says:
MOBILISE TO STOP RACIST ATTACKS
17 September 2009
The recent increase of reported race attacks is clear evidence of a rise in racism. Reports to the police however do not reflect the true level of racist incidents. Many people have no trust in the police to properly investigate racist attacks or bother to apprehend those carrying out the attacks. The inaction of the police when Romanian families were coming under sustained attack in Belfast does not give confidence to victims of racism.
Recently an Indian family was forced to flee from their home in the New Lodge area of North Belfast after attacks on their house and racist intimidation in the area. They explained that constant racist intimidation and harassment from a small group of thugs in the area was too much to take and they saw no option but to leave their community. It is clear that the overwhelming majority of residents supported the family and were opposed to the racist attacks, like the residents of the Romanian families in South Belfast. However, the role of local politicians was not to encourage the local community to demonstrate their anger at the attacks and to mobilize against the racists. Sinn Fein MLA Carol Ni Chuilin emphasized to residents all they should do was to contact the police. Youth Against Racism believes it is mistaken to limit action against racist attacks to merely contacting the police. It is vitally important that the racists are isolated within the community, where attacks can be prevented. This was demonstrated after residents organised a protest in South Belfast against attacks on Romanian families. The protest and defence of the homes by local residents stopped the attacks and successfully isolated the few thugs who had carried out the attacks, some of whom gave themselves up to the police.
Youth Against Racism wants to build local groups across Northern Ireland to campaign against racism, to answer the racist myths the far-right are attempting to spread, and to organise people against racist attacks. Racism has its roots in the social inequality in society. It is standard practice for fascist and right-wing parties to blame migrant workers for high unemployment or a lack of housing and services. The people responsible for these problems are not migrant workers but the bosses who put profit first and sack workers when they want and the right-wing politicians in the Assembly who are carrying out cuts to public services.
Youth Against Racism has planned lots of activities over the Autumn to spread our message and build the campaign. We have held successful stalls at the Belsonic music festival in Belfast where we sold lots of badges and t-shirts to help promote the campaign, as well as talking to lots of people who want to join and get involved. An excellent anti-racist gig was organized in Derry which raised money for the campaign which we want to use to print off posters and leaflets to distribute in schools throughout September. A Rock Against Racism benefit gig is to take place also in September to raise funds for Youth Against Racism and to bring together members of the campaign.
There is a lot of support for the campaign and we are confident we can play a key role in defeating the racists and far-right who want to divide working class people.
If you want to get involved with Youth Against Racism you can visit our website at www.youthagainstracism.wordpress.com
or phone 07876146473.