Socialist Worker

Loyalist bigots whip up race attacks in Northern Ireland

Issue No. 2145

Some of the festering sectarianism that still dominates Northern Ireland came to the fore last weekend with more than a dozen racist attacks on migrants' homes in Belfast.

The bigotry created by the Northern Ireland state runs deep and there is a long history of racist attacks that stem from a society built on discrimination.

The attacks last Saturday followed rioting after Northern Ireland played Poland in a World Cup qualifier.

The police have blamed Polish troublemakers from outside Northern Ireland for the rioting. Gregory Campbell, the Northern Ireland sports minister and member of the bigoted DUP Unionist party, blamed Polish fans who he said had carried Irish Republican flags.

DUP assembly member Jim Wells blamed Polish migrants living in Northern Ireland. He said, 'We never have a problem when the likes of Spain, Denmark or Sweden play because we don't have a large Spanish, Danish or Swedish community living in Northern Ireland.'

Loyalist thugs attacked houses being rented by immigrants in the Village area of Belfast. One group of young Hungarian men had to flee their homes. A Polish and Slovakian couple had their door kicked in and all the windows smashed.

'I have lived here for four years and never had any problems,' one of them said. 'I have had children throwing eggs at my house, but they're just kids. I am just glad we were out because we have a three-month old son.' A French couple's home was also attacked.

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Tue 31 Mar 2009, 20:31 BST
Issue No. 2145
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