IRLANDA DEL NORD A RISCHIO DI ‘GUERRA RAZZISTA’
Monito degli attivisti anti-fascisti, una ‘guerra razzista’ potrebbe rimpiazzare i Troubles
Circa 30 agenti del PSNI hanno preso parte al primo seminario di formazione anti-fascista, tenuto da attivisti anti-razzisti sui punti di forza e di debolezza dell’estrema destra britannica.
Matthew Collins, della rivista anti-fascista Searchlight, ha dichiarato che l’elevata presenza di gruppi neo-nazisti in Irlanda del Nord possono rappresentare una reale minaccia, soprattutto nel caso dovessero colmare i vuoti lasciati dai gruppi paramilitari lealisti.
Lo stesso Collins ha descritto il programma di formazione per il PSNI, durante il quale sono state spiegate le differenze tra le due forme principali di razzismo.
Un razzismo socio-economico, in cui le persone a cui viene fatto il lavaggio del cervello considerano persone di colore o religione diversa come fonte dei loro problemi.
Un razzismo scientifico-biologico, in cui la razza bianca si identifica come la razza superiore. A questa forma di razzismo appartengono il BNP (British National Party) e il Combat 18. Quest’ultimo è considerato il responsabile degli attacchi razzisti che hanno costretto alla fuga 100 rumeni da Belfast, negli scorsi mesi.
Il pericolo maggiore sta nella facilità di manipolare gli individui più vulnerabili soprattutto nelle aree proletarie lealiste, dando il là ad un conflitto tutt’ora sconosciuto in Irlanda del Nord.
Un portavoce della polizia ha dichiarato: “Il Psni continuerà a combattere la piaga di tutte le forme di crimini d’odio. Ogni individuo, senza distinzione di razza, colore o credo, ha il diritto di vivere libero dalla paura in una società democratica”.
Northern Ireland at risk of a ‘race war’, anti-fascist campaigner warns police (The Guardian)
British neo-Nazis are luring young who used to back paramilitary loyalist groups
A former National Front member turned anti-fascist campaigner has warned police officers that Northern Ireland faces a race war in place of the Troubles unless racism is confronted now.
The warning was issued during the first training programme for PSNI officers on the nature and make-up of British neo-Nazi groups.
Matthew Collins from the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight said this weekend that while the presence of neo-Nazis in Northern Ireland is exaggerated, there is a real threat that they could eventually fill a vacuum left by mainstream loyalists exiting the paramilitary scene.
“There is a danger of a new war to replace the old one,” he told officers.
Up to 30 PSNI members took part in the pioneering anti-fascist training seminar at a south Belfast hotel late last month. It was the first time anti-racist campaigners had held educational sessions for the police in Northern Ireland on the strengths and weaknesses of the British far right.
An expert on British neo-Nazis, Collins said yesterday that the training programme included explaining to the PSNI the two basic forms of racism that exist.
“I outlined the difference between socio-economic based racism and the scientific/biological racists. In the first case, these are people who are brainwashed into racist beliefs, people at the lower end of the socio-economic scale who start to think their problems can be laid at the door of people of different colour or religion. I explained that it is possible to win people away from these racist attitudes and change minds.
“I believe that it is within the first group that the attacks on the Roma last June in Belfast emerged. The second group are the hardcore racists who through bogus scientific/biological thought think whites are superior to all other races. This group form the nucleus of the far-right parties ranging from the BNP across to Combat 18.”
Collins said he was sceptical that Combat 18 had an organised presence within Northern Ireland. The pro-Hitler terrorist group was blamed for the upsurge in violence two months ago that resulted in more than 100 Roma fleeing their Belfast homes and returning to Romania.
However, attacks are becoming more frequent with two Indian families homeless this weekend after properties were attacked in loyalist areas of Portadown late on Thursday evening.
“There is no organised Combat 18 unit here in Northern Ireland,” said Collins, “but there are kids who are being influenced by their ideas. They are the socio-economic racists who are easily led by the ideologues.
“The danger is that kids who looked to loyalist groups to give their lives meaning may now turn to the far right. My message to the police and to wider community is that there is still time to educate those vulnerable to the neo-Nazis’ message against their lies.
“There is still a chance to prevent them getting organised but if they do there is a real potential, particularly in loyalist working class areas, that they can start to stir up trouble and eventually create a new kind of communal conflict Northern Ireland hasn’t seen before.”
Last weekend the BNP distributed 2,000 recruitment leaflets in Larne, a former stronghold of extreme loyalism.
During a recent visit to Belfast, Collins held talks with the head of the Ulster Defence Association Jackie McDonald during which they discussed the attitude of mainstream loyalists to the far right. McDonald has called on loyalists to inform on those behind racist attacks.
A spokesman for the PSNI said: “The PSNI will continue to tackle the scourge of all forms of hate crime. Every individual, regardless of race, colour or creed, has the right to live free from fear in a democratic society.”