Youth Against Racism say

stop the attacks

AFTER A period of seemingly relative calm, racist attacks have once again resumed with an increased sense of hatred and viciousness in communities across Northern Ireland.

By John Wood

One Chinese woman was the victim of a horrifying attack when she was stoned by a group of teenagers as she walked to her home in the Sandy Row area. The windows of the woman's house were also broken early on the Friday morning previous to the attack. Also, a 21-year-old man was severely beaten by a gang of five on the Falls Road. The group started to shout racial abuse at the man, who they then pursued. A glass bottle was smashed over the man's head, knocking him to the ground, where he was repeatedly kicked and punched by the violent mob.

After this occured, a vigil was held in West Belfast under the banner of the Anti-Racism Network, where around 30 people were present.

This was a very positive step, and should be commended. However, it is imperative that other communities, such as those in South and East Belfast, are targeted in a similar way once racist attacks occur. These are the areas under the most pressure from racist attacks, and resistance will only be built through the resolve to go into the communities and take militant, grass-roots action.

It is necessary to build a broad movement to fight racism. However, it is imperative that socialists continue to push for a class approach explaining that it is action by the working class that can put an end to these attacks. If this does not occur, a movement against racism in Northern Ireland faces the danger of losing the militant nature needed to defeat far-right groups such as the WNP and the BNP.

Youth Against Racism has been visiting many schools across Northern Ireland, not simply outlining the problems of racism, but how those problems can be fought against in a militant fashion. Our activists also tell of how Youth Against Racism has won many battles through grass-roots activism in the communities in the past, and the lessons learnt from such battles.

Only two weeks ago, Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE), who Youth Against Racism is affiliated to, mobilised 700 people in Antwerp, Belgium against the neo-nazi Vlaams Blok. YRE has branches in Germany, Belgium, England and Greece, as well as many other European countries, with a long history of fighting against racism and on the causes of racism in an unmistakably anti-capitalist and socialist way.

If you agree with our analysis on the issue, then join Youth Against Racism today, and help build a mass militant movement capable of destroying fascism and racism once and for all!

This article is from the April 2004 edition of Socialist Voice.

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