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Belfast - protest against racist attacks 15th June

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Choccy's picture
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Jun 15 2009 15:31
Belfast - protest against racist attacks 15th June

repost from Indymedia
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.
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Since Wednesday evening gangs have attacked the homes of Roma families every evening, smashing windows and shouting racist abuse.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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A special call has been made for trade unions and political parties to publicly condemn the attacks and to support the protest.

BBC news report

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Jun 15 2009 21:25

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.

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Jun 16 2009 02:40

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.

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Jun 16 2009 10:50

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.

Eastern Barbarian
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Jun 16 2009 11:25

Im obviously not familiar with the local situation, but perhaps more militant response would be called for?
Great to read about community standing up to nazi scum and of course not a surprise to read about pigs failing to do anything useful and then being all over the protest. Sounds like important thing for local anarchos to be involved with.

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Jun 16 2009 12:09

According to the families they broke into one house with a gun, and the people who attacked the protest ran towards The Village area, a loyalist area. Now we don't know who's orchestrating it but if there was even the slightest chance that it is a few wingnut loyalists then it's a tad more complex than just gettuing 'more militant. Belfast isn't really like most english cities.

Until we know more about who's actually co-ordinating the attacks it's difficult to have a clear strategy beyond staying with the families and trying to prevent any others and being visible about our support for the families.

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Jun 16 2009 13:18

Yeah, outsiders wading into the Village area where we have no visible or concrete support is not an option, unless we want to escalate the situation beyond control, and any reprisals likely to be against other immigrant / foreign national families or individuals.

Eastern Barbarian
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Jun 16 2009 13:39

I know Belfast is pretty hardcore, therefore I am not suggesting I know what to do better that you guys. Keep us posted though and keep defending the community!

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Jun 16 2009 14:06
Choccy wrote:
Now we don't know who's orchestrating it

Amazingly, a senior cop claims its not orchestrated at all, even though the same houses were attacked, systematically, over a period of 3-4 days.
EB, to be honest I think that the presence of people outside the families house(s) has forced the cops to keep a closer eye on the situation, since they cant be seen to allow a situation where people might "take the law into their own hands", which may discourage the attackers from coming back. That might be a more realistic way to look at things in the local context.
Of course, its possible that they will simply move on to other targets.

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Jun 16 2009 17:50

Footage of the protest here:

http://www.u.tv/UTVMediaPlayer/Default.aspx?vidid=122204&chapid=100998&arti_id=136df8b0-1d9a-4331-b915-1266328ac39d

pablo99
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Jun 16 2009 20:58

BBC is reporting that 115 Romanians have fleed their homes today in South Belfast as a result of these racist attacks.

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Jun 16 2009 22:52

Just got back form the church where ALL the fleeing Romanian families were.
As i reported in the earlier news story, the families had abandoned two of the attacked houses and were ALL in one house - that over 100 people in a 3 storey house, many were outside.
They made the decision that because many of them hadn't slept in days, they would rather take up the offer of a local church to get beds and food. They decided they did not want to live in the remaining house anymore, and most have expressed a wish to return to Romania altogether.

This is a deeply depressing outcome. All that was left after the families went to the church was about 10 of us defending an empty house - so we left and later went to the church to help bring in mattresses and food that had been delivered, and because there had been reports of threatening behaviour from 6 men opposite the church where the Romanians are now.

Eastern Barbarian
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Jun 17 2009 00:21

fuck me thats really badnews.. its only gonna encourage more things like that in future..

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Jun 17 2009 00:59

yep it sets a very dangerous precedent

Skips
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Jun 17 2009 07:02

Fucking cunts....

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Jun 17 2009 10:00

That is really messed up how people can do that. For fucks sakes they're still human.

pablo99
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Jun 17 2009 10:35

I see this has now become the leading news item on the BBC website.

The comments from suzannag are disgusting and ignorant but i think there is also a sizeable minority of people in Belfast with this ignorant and racist attitude towards the Roma people, which needs to be stamped out quickly. Any more protests planned?

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Jun 17 2009 10:38

It's a terrible situation, and it's very bad to hear that all of the families have felt the need to leave their homes.

But I must say, well done to all the comrades involved and those who have taken the iniative to defend the houses of the families, as well as defending the march and offering practical solidarity to those at the church.

Keep it up for as long as you have to. Show the ignorant racist bastards what community solidarity looks like. hand

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Jun 17 2009 10:49

Not heard of any protests today as yet, but I'm heading over to the leisure centre now.

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Jun 17 2009 12:11
sum-one wrote:
But I must say, well done to all the comrades involved and those who have taken the iniative to defend the houses of the families, as well as defending the march and offering practical solidarity to those at the church.

Really, the thing is that going to the victims houses to defend them after an attack may stop any further attacks taking place, but sadly many people may have already decided after the first incident to leave the area, or indeed the country.
In fact, there were other Romanians living in a different house on the same street that was never even attacked, but they too have fled, understandably concerned that they would be next.

Deezer
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Jun 17 2009 11:45

All of these Roma have been working in Belfast for some gangster - selling stuff on the street, selling the Belfast telegraph and more lately staffing his car washes. The cunt was even complaining on Tuesday morning that they hadn't shown up to be picked up for work!

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Jun 17 2009 11:52

It wouldn't matter if they weren't working either.

Deezer
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Jun 17 2009 11:59

oh Jesus, I know, counter to a claim that Roma never work - otherwise I wouldn't have even thought to mention it

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Jun 17 2009 16:02

I called into the leisure centre earlier - and it's fucking SWARMING with media and police.
Pity these cunts weren't there when the people were trying to defend their homes night on night.

I tried to go inside, as a suppprter who had spent two nights outside the home, and was asked by some uppity prick 'who are you?' - so I gave them names of some of the family I had been talking to and explained that we were supporters etc
They let me in to chat to the families, who were very welcoming and seemed happy to have some supporters coming down.
I was then quickly shuffled out.

Basically the authorities and media have for themselves now a nice little humanitarian 'fleeing' story, rather than bothering to make sure these people felt safe and secure in their homes.
Politicians are all over the place getting themselves nice little photo ops and giving soundbites.

One tv channel even went as far as masking the identity of the little fuckin shitheads that were nazi-saluting the anti-racist protest - but kept all the protestors faces visible!!!

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Jun 17 2009 16:12

Most of the interviews politicians are giving are priceless....they all say something along the lines of "All decent people in the area need to stand together against these attacks". But when some people did just that, by standing guard outside the homes of the victims, the police branded them 'vigilantes' and told them to disperse, go home and get off the streets.

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Jun 17 2009 16:12

Gordon Brown condemed the attacks today.

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Jun 17 2009 16:24

I only just heard about this... I'm fairly sure C18 are not active here and haven't been for some time but it's such a shame if these workers go back to Romania. Vigilance in the days ahead.... we can't allow the cowards to capitalise on this.

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Jun 17 2009 16:44

Most of the coverage now is making me fucking sick.

Skips
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Jun 17 2009 16:56
Choccy wrote:
I called into the leisure centre earlier - and it's fucking SWARMING with media and police.
Pity these cunts weren't there when the people were trying to defend their homes night on night.

I tried to go inside, as a suppprter who had spent two nights outside the home, and was asked by some uppity prick 'who are you?' - so I gave them names of some of the family I had been talking to and explained that we were supporters etc
They let me in to chat to the families, who were very welcoming and seemed happy to have some supporters coming down.
I was then quickly shuffled out.

Basically the authorities and media have for themselves now a nice little humanitarian 'fleeing' story, rather than bothering to make sure these people felt safe and secure in their homes.
Politicians are all over the place getting themselves nice little photo ops and giving soundbites.

One tv channel even went as far as masking the identity of the little fuckin shitheads that were nazi-saluting the anti-racist protest - but kept all the protestors faces visible!!!

Looks like the issue got centralised...

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Jun 17 2009 17:10

Also want to add, for all the shit I talk about punks and crusties, some of the only people that stayed all night to defend the house were punks and crusties wink

Eastern Barbarian
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Jun 17 2009 17:16

keep us posted... and suzannag- you can fuck off and die..