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Alex Maskey to raise racist attacks on London trip

12 May, 2004

Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Racism, South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey will be in London to brief political parties from across the political spectrum, members of the Labour party grouping and the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on the Six Counties Lembit Opik today in Westminster.

Speaking from London Alex Maskey said:

"Sinn Féin will be briefing MP's from across the political spectrum on the current political situation.

"However, the issue of racism and the increase in racist attacks, particularly in Belfast, will also top the agenda. I will be discussing progress and effectiveness of anti-racist legislation, the issue of funding for groups and organisations representing ethnic minorities. I will also be briefing members of the NI select committee that is currently looking at the issue of racism here, about the situation on the ground.

"In recent times there has been a marked increase in the volume of racially motivated attacks, particularly here in Belfast and in parts of Upper Bann and in the activities of various right wing groupings. Those of us in political leadership have a responsibility to challenge this directly.

"Political parties have to make it clear that there is no place in our society for the sort of racism and intolerance which has sadly been on the increase. The Good Friday Agreement is about creating a tolerant and peaceful society, not simply for nationalists, republicans, unionists or loyalists but for all who live here.

"Sinn Féin will continue to meet with and engage with ethnic minority communities across the island and we will continue to confront and challenge

racism from whatever quarter, to that end we will engage with people from across the political spectrum who are prepared to stand together to confront racism." ENDS

Note to Editors

Sinn Féin will today, Wednesday 12th May, host a public meeting, organised by the campaign group An Fhirinne.

This meeting will take place in the Grand Committee Room, Westminster, London, at 7:30pm and will be hosted by Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew.

Speaking at the event will be Brendan Curran (partner of Sheena Campbell, murdered by a unionist death squad) and Alex Maskey (shot after being targeted by British Agent Brian Nelson).

An Fhirinne is a campaign group made up of relatives of those killed as a result of collusion between British agents and agencies and Unionist death squads in an attempt to uncover the truth around this issue.

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