Article from the Oct 2004 edition, Socialist Voice

No to racism and Homophobia

OVER THE last couple of years there has been an increase in racist and homophobic attacks in Northern Ireland. Many of these can be linked to far-right groups such as the W.N.P. Such attacks do not express the view of the majority of people in Northern Ireland, but merely the simplistic views of bigots.

By Aideen McMullen

Northern Ireland now has a greater number of racist attacks proportionately than areas of England regarded as "hot spots". One journalist actually labelled Belfast, "the race hate capital of Europe".

Derry has witnessed a large number of homophobic attacks recently. The presence of a gay nightclub in the city has provided a focus for homophobes and led to increased attacks. Homosexual people should be allowed to live their lives freely and should not be persecuted for doing so. Clearly, the majority of people in Northern Ireland agree, as at the Belfast Gay Pride Parade only a measly number of protesters appeared. This small group consisted of Christian fundamentalists and Nazi thugs.

Racism and homophobia originate from a sense of injustice among working class people. Capitalist governments and the media, paint ethnic minorities and homosexuals as the cause of inequalities. This is false and misleading. What they don't tell us is that the majority of ethnic minorities and homosexuals experience the same inequalities, with the added burden of racism and homophobia. Poor housing, health services and education are not caused by such groups, but by the pro-capitalist policies of the government.

Fascists should be actively stopped from spreading their ideas. By denying them a platform for free speech this can be achieved. As they campaign to destroy democratic rights and freedoms, shouldn't their rights and freedoms be removed? Hitler himself said that the biggest mistake made by the opposition was not to crush the Nazis when they were small. We should not make the same mistakes, which led to so many deaths.

To completely eliminate racism and homophobia we must first remove the capitalist system, which fuels such hatred. To do this a mass party of the working class must be built, to unite people in the struggle for a socialist future.

Earlier articles on anti-racism and on gay politics.

More articles from this issue of Socialist Voice are listed here.

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