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Maskey - Sinn Féin launch Charter On Racism

10 July, 2003


Sinn Féin Councillors Alex Maskey and John O‚Dowd this morning launched an anti-racist charter for local councils and their members to sign up to. This initiative follows an increasing number of violent racist attacks in recent times and is an attempt to present a united political front to challenge those involved in these attacks.

Cllr. Maskey said:

"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.

"This charter does not pretend to be a solution to these attacks or this activity. But we hope that it can become part of a political response to the upsurge in racism we are experiencing at this time.

„"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." ENDS

Anti-Racism Charter for Councils and Members

Preamble

This Council and its elected members who are signatories to this charter undertake to ensure that it‚s day-to-day activities are conducted in such as way that they do not incite hatred or prejudice on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religious or political belief, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or membership of the Traveller community.

The Council and its elected members agree:

To send a consistent and clear message to their constituents that racism cannot be accepted or tolerated.

To challenge publicly and actively, any campaign materials or statements which incite hatred or express any form of prejudice on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religious or political belief, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or membership of the Traveller community.

To ensure that all debates which bare reference to any groups or individuals who may be potential targets of racism, such as Minority Ethnic groups, Asylum Seekers, Refugees, Immigration Detainees and Migrant Workers, are conducted in a responsible way and with respect to the dignity and rights of all.

To use appropriate and inclusive language when referring to people of different Ethnic backgrounds.

To sign the following Declaration on Anti-Racism.

Declaration on Anti-Racism

As a member of this Council, I reaffirm:

Its commitment to work for the benefit of all in our constituency to enjoy equal rights and to be treated with equal respect regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religious or political belief, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or membership of the Traveller community.

Its commitment to working for, and maintaining a community free from intolerance on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religious or political belief, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or membership of the Traveller community.

Its commitment to publicly challenging all forms of racism and to work with our constituents to eliminate it from our society.

Council condemns racial intolerance in any form as incompatible with our basic human rights and right to equality.

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