I was initially unconvinced the mass exodus of Romanian families from the Village area was due to real concerns from most and suggested it may have been due to taking the opportunity of media attention to gain advantage on the social housing list. That is a position Ive mainly stepped back from as it became clear any rational person from that group would rightly be concerned about their safety in the area – but I do still have a niggling doubt.
I also raised concerns the protest from locals was an ill-advised stunt designed to capitalise on the issue by minority sects like the Socialist Party and Workers Solidarity Movement , something I still believe fully. A feeling compounded by the vastly inflated numbers of those attending the protest emanating from them and the fact they were singularly unable to provide any support or reassurance to convince affected families they could/would provide protection after upping the ante on the streets.
These positions have earned me an strong email rebuke by a leading member of the Socialist Party as ‘disgraceful’ and a ‘lack of leadership’ on my part – just who the feck Im meant to be leading Ive no idea.
However, that said, news is breaking of main protest organiser and Socialist Party rep Paddy Meehan receiving a threat to his life via the PSNI over his part in the demonstration. Id suggest (not in the leadership role expected of me by the SP) it is past time people outside these small groups, and the few residents willing to put their feet on the street, organised broader and direct support to people enduring racism in the Village and/or fighting against it.
If the PSNI and tiny groups cant make an impact it is surely time larger, organised groups with a commitment to fighting racism and fascism put their money where their mouths are, boots on the street (and in faces?) and started defending those unable to do it themselves?
btw: the main organised bodies I’m thinking could step up to the plate are the Loyal Orders.