Saturday, 20 June 2009

Belfast Anti-Racist Rally

Belfast Says NO!

© Joe ÓNéill 2009
Anti-Racist poster at Belfast City Hall.

© Joe ÓNéill 2009
Patricia McKeown, President, Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

© Joe ÓNéill 2009
Anna Lo, in March 2007, she was elected to serve as the MLA for South Belfast for the Alliance Party, and consequently the first ethnic Chinese person to be elected to a legislative parliament in Europe.

© Joe ÓNéill 2009
Nan Joyce Irish Travellers rights campaigner.
Lady Mayor of Belfast, Naomi Long, Upper Left in Aqua Jacket.

Hundreds of people gathered at Belfast City Hall today for an impromptu rally, to voice their support for Romanian immigrant families, who were victims of attacks by neo-nazis in Belfast last Tuesday. (See Blog Archive, A Long Way to Go)

Speakers at the rally included; Nan Joyce, Irish Travellers rights campaigner; newly elected Alliance Party Lady Mayor of Belfast, Naomi Long; Alliance Party MLA, Anna Lo; Patricia McKeown of UNISON, and current President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions ; and others.

Protest organizers said that they would continue the protests, and bring thousands onto the streets if necessary, until the attacks cease.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
Then they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
I did not protest;
I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.

Martin Niemöller.

Martin Niemöller was a German pastor and theologian born in Lippstadt, Germany, in 1892. Niemöller was an anti-Communist and supported Hitler's rise to power at first. But when Hitler insisted on the supremacy of the state over religion, Niemöller became disillusioned. He became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler. Unlike Niemöller, they gave in to the Nazis' threats. Hitler personally detested Niemöller and had him arrested and eventually confined in the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps. Niemöller was released in 1945 by the Allies. He continued his career in Germany as a clergyman and as a leading voice of penance and reconciliation for the German people after World War II. His poem is well-known, frequently quoted, and is a popular model for describing the dangers of political apathy, as it often begins with specific and targeted fear and hatred which soon escalates out of control.

Source Wikipedia

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