June 2nd: Trade Union Unite is urging workers to join next Saturday’s anti-racism demonstration being organised by NIC-ICTU, NICEM and Amnesty International in Belfast next Saturday. The demonstration is being organised in response to a worrying increase in the number of racist attacks in recent weeks – a situation which has been exacerbated by inflammatory comments by some religious and political leaders.
Regional Secretary of Unite the Union, Jimmy Kelly said,
“Unite deplores any form of racist or sectarian attacks anywhere in Northern Ireland. We want a multicultural society which values and celebrates diversity regardless of citizen’s ethnicity, gender or religion.
“For generations, young workers from Northern Ireland have had to emigrate to find employment overseas; a situation that unfortunately continues today. As such, we of all people should recognise the importance of solidarity with ethnic and religious minorities.
“Unfortunately, there has been a growth in the incidence of reported racist attacks in parts of Northern Ireland. These occur against the backdrop of a rise in support for extreme-right, anti-immigrant political parties in some European countries in the recent elections.
“The roots of these concerning trends lie in the austerity policies being adopted by politicians across Europe, and unfortunately by some local politicians in Northern Ireland. This assault on our class is designed to shift the blame for the economic crisis to the public sector and make working people pay for a crisis not of our making but caused by the negligent and irresponsible behaviour of financial institutions, gambling for profits in an unregulated market for financial products. Austerity policies are leading to economic stagnation and large-scale unemployment which are feeding the agenda of those who wish to promote racism and sectarianism.
“Racism and sectarianism undermine the cohesion of the working class in our fight to reverse the policies of austerity. We encourage our members to demonstrate their opposition to racism by attending this Saturday’s march.”