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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Anti Racist Network Statement for Endorsement
Davy Carlin • 20.10.03

The Anti Racist Network (ARN) has drawn up a statement for endorsement, as printed below.

Background - The ARN has held two meetings to date with its formal launch to be held in a few weeks. Those two meetings have seen representatives from the Alliance Party, Sinn Fein, Socialist Workers Party and the Women's coalition in attendance, Organisations such as the N.Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, the Chinese Welfare Association, the Belfast Islamic Centre, the Multi Cultural Resource Centre, the Belfast Traveller Support Group and the Black Youth Network have also attended. They have been joined by trade unionists and representatives from the Trades Union Councils. Also human rights organisations, law firms, Asylum practitioners, student groups, NGO’s, and young anti globalisation activists amongst others have attended the first two meetings.

One long term minority ethnic worker said that it was the first time that she had seen all the different groups come together like this and it was brilliant, as together we now have a stronger voice.

A decision then was taken at the second meeting to draw up this statement before the Ulster Unionist conference. Although this gave us only twenty four hours or so we never the less thought it important to do and collectively have produced an impressive list as below.

The ARN Statement

We the undersigned wish to register our horror at the recent comments of Craigavon Councillor Fred Crowe, which we believe to be deeply racist and provocative in nature.

In an area where eight families have been forced to move after suffering racist attacks, Mr Crowe’s remarks are a disgrace. They will only serve to increase the suffering of the minority ethnic population in Craigavon and across the whole of Northern Ireland. His comments are not just an insult to the minority ethnic population but also an insult to the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland who find racism abhorrent.

To be clearly seen on Monday evening’s BBC report trying to convince young people that they should view Muslims as people who bomb the USA and kill their daughters for marrying Christians is a clear and chilling attempt to stoke up racial tension.

We call on the leaders of all the main churches and political parties to immediately issue statements condemning Mr Crowe’s remarks.

We also call on the Ulster Unionist Party to use their party conference this weekend to completely distance themselves from Mr Crowe’s remarks and to expel him from the party. This would send a clear and positive message out to everyone in Northern Ireland that racism will not be tolerated.

The list below is continually being updated as others sign up to the statement.

Jeremy Hardy - Comedian
Patrick Yu - N. Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities
Chinese Welfare Association
The Belfast Islamic Centre
Islamic Students Association of N. Ireland
The Belfast Indian Community Centre
Paul Noonan Director, Belfast Travellers Education and Development Group
Belfast Travellers Support Group
Multi Cultural Resource Centre
Chinese Community Association, Craigavon
Mel Corry, Craigavon Trades Union Council
The One World Centre
Marian Farrell - The Welcome Committee Derry
All the staff of P Drinan Solicitor
The Pat Finucane Centre
Brenda Torley - Co-ordinator - The Centre for the Promotion of Civil, Political and Human Rights
Ronan Lavery Barrister at Law (PC)
Finbar Lavery Barrister at Law (PC)
David O Sullivan Barrister at Law (PC)
Mark Mc Avoy Barrister at Law (PC)
West Belfast Economic Forum
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Democratic Dialogue
Stephen Alexander – Alliance Party
John Barry, Green Party
I.R.S.P
Daithi McKay – Sinn Fein
Socialist Environmental Alliance
Barbara Muldoon, Socialist Workers Party
Belfast Trades Union Council
Damien Wall, Chair Derry Trades Union Council
E McCann, Vice Chair Derry Trades Union Council and Journalist
Strabane Trades Union Council
Jim Quinn - FBU Chairperson NI Region
Jim Barbour - FBU Executive
Brian Campfield - President Belfast Trades Union Council
John McCloskey - Nipsa Section Secretary
Peter McGarrigle - Secretary Nipsa Branch 8
Ryan McKinney - Chairperson Nipsa Branch 8 & Belfast Trades Union Council
Louise McMillen - Nipsa union rep
Brian Stewart - Nipsa union rep
Maria Morgan Nipsa Officer
Pat Torley - TGWU Union Rep
Brian Crawford – Secretary Nipsa Branch 6
Valery Guiney – Multi-Cultural Resource Centre (PC)
Dr Dara O’Hagan MLA
Sean McAughey – Volunteer Co- Ordinator Mornington Community Project
Breandan MacCionnaith – Chairperson Drumcree Community Trust
Paddy Murray -Chair Rathenraw Community Association
Shane O Curry - School of Law Magee
Tools for solidarity
Michael Goodman – Lower Ormeau Residents Action Group
Councillor John O’Dowd
Councillor Maurice Magill
Councillor Brian McKeown
Councillor Francie Murray
Falls Women’s Centre
Emily Kawano
Sara Boyce
And hundreds of other individuals.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions Statement also released a press release on the same day adding their voice against the bigots:

P R E S S  R E L E A S E

Date: 17 October 2003

Congress of Trade Unions Condemns Racist Attacks in Craigavon

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions today added its voice to the condemnation of racist attacks on the Muslim Community in Craigavon area.

Commenting on these scandalous attacks, Peter Bunting, Assistant General Secretary, said:

'The whole trade union movement is appalled at these vicious racist attacks on the Muslim Community in Craigavon. As we seek to build a progressive and inclusive society- the actions of these bigots must be condemned.

All of our people, regardless of race or religion should be free to worship as they please and to celebrate their religious convictions free from threat and fear. It is essential that all of our politicians support this essential human right. Congress would encourage politicians to show a progressive lead in this area. We have no need for those who support racist acts. There is no room for them in Craigavon or anywhere else in Northern Ireland.

 

The list is continually being updated as others sign up to the statement. It is also being circulated around other trade unions and student organisations. If anyone knows of other organisations that would be interested in signing it, pass it on. I can be contacted at carlindavid@hotmail.com



 

 

 

 

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Index: Current Articles



20 October 2003

 

Other Articles From This Issue:

 

The Big Fella and the Big Lad
Breandán Ó Muirthile

 

Sabotaging the Fight for Freedom
Liam O Comain

 

Republicanism: Relevant and Not Going Away
TJ O Conchuir

 

Anti-Racism Network Statement for Endorsement
Davy Carlin

 

From Where Springs Hope
Anthony McIntyre

 

Trashing Free Software
Toni Solo

 

18 October 2003

 

Hold Onto Your Guns
Liam O Comain

 

Loyalist Violence
Newton Emerson

 

Sleeping With the Enemy
Kathleen O Halloran

 

Whatever Happened to the Anti War Movement?
Brendan O'Neill

 

Free Joe & Clare
Davy Carlin

 

Theodor Adorno
Liam O Ruairc

 

The Desaparecidos
Anthony McIntyre

 

The Letters Page has been updated.

 

 

 

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