Anti-racism rally in Belfast

Published Saturday, 07 June 2014
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Thousands of people have taken part in an anti-racism rally in Belfast on Saturday.

Organisers said at least 6,000 people were in attendance and were calling for "action, not words" from politicians on the issue.

Amnesty International, the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (NIC-ICTU) and the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) accused the Northern Ireland Executive of letting down victims of racism by failing to deliver a Racial Equality Strategy.

The event followed on from last weekend's demonstration at City Hall, which was attended by 4,000 people.

It was organised after controversial comments about Islam made by Pastor James McConnell.

First Minister Peter Robinson then appeared to defend him in an interview.

They have both since apologised but rally organisers have said there is still a need to put out a message to ethnic and religious minorities in Northern Ireland that they are a welcome and integral part of the community.

New Lord Mayor of Belfast Nichola Mallon was in attendance and said people were sending a "clear message" that there was no place for racism in the city.

"They came out their droves regardless of the rain to put out there the true face of Belfast," she said.

"There has been a significant outpouring of support and solidarity for our citizens who have been attacked and who live in fear of being attacked, and I don't think that can go ignored."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
jimmymac in canada wrote (238 days ago):
BRAVO, bravo.... To Belfast, and, hurray... to all the awesome people, who are standing up against racism. Good Stuff Guys....
boring move on in belfast wrote (238 days ago):
Isn't it lucky for us that we live in a country that permits protest.I wonder if we lived in an Islamic country would we have the same privilege.Just a thought.
Adrian in Coleraine wrote (239 days ago):
Hope they got permission from the parades comission!
Jim in Carrickfergus wrote (239 days ago):
Parades commission? 28 days notice?
Alin Field in belfast wrote (239 days ago):
I turned-up with my Union Flag to support this march, in doing so I hoped to remind folk, at this anniversary of the D-Day landings which saved the free world from racism, amongst other things, that the flag of our country stood against racism and should not be seen a the flag of the Far-Right. I was approached by the PSNI and told either to get rid of the flag or leave the area. I asked why, they said they were acting on instructions form the march organisers ... I left, absolutely disgusted!
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