Gerry Adams - It is our duty to stand against racism
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP joined the weekend anti-racism rally at Belfast City Hall organised by the Anti Racism Network and Chinese Welfare Association. Speaking from the event Mr Adams said that all of those in political leadership had 'a duty to stand up against the racists and the bigots who were bring terror to the ethnic minority communities in the city'.
Mr Adams said:
"On countless occasions in the past I have joined rallies in this city to demand Human Rights and Civil Rights. Today's event is no different. The ethnic minority community in this city are part of our fabric and they must be defended and protected. Their rights as citizens must be upheld and they must be allowed to live their lives in peace without the threat of racist attack or abuse.
"All of us in political leadership in this city have a duty and an obligation to stand up against the racists and the bigots who have been engaged in an organised campaign of intimidation against ethnic minority communities in this city.
"Racist attacks are unfortunately an almost daily reality and I would call on those involved to desist immediately. I would also appeal to the wider community to defend the rights, the safety and the dignity of those members of our community who are vulnerable to such appalling attacks.
"Racism extends far beyond such violent attacks. Members of ethnic minority communities experience a whole series of inequalities in our society, ranging from verbal and physical abuse to discrimination in employment, education, health provision, and public life more generally.
"Condemning racist attacks is not enough. We need to actively work for the removal of racism from our society. This requires action as much as words. It requires adequate resourcing and support for ethnic minority communities and their support groups. And it requires meaningful partnerships between all sections of society.
"Today's rally must not be the end, it must be the start of us confronting and tackling racism and sectarianism from whatever quarter. I commend the Anti-Racist Network and Chinese Welfare Association and all who have worked with them and pledge the continuing support of Sinn Féin representatives and activists to tackle the issue of racism in the time ahead." ENDS