Members' Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly am 11:00 am ar 9 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Gerry Carroll Gerry Carroll People Before Profit Alliance 11:00, 9 Ebrill 2024

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Josip Štrok, a 31-year-old Croatian man who was brutally murdered by racist thugs in Clondalkin in Dublin a few days ago. I also extend my thoughts and solidarity to David Druzinac, who was beaten unconscious by the same gang. That tragic attack is what happens when the far right is allowed to spread hate about migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. It is what happens when a group of liars are emboldened to spin false narratives about anyone who does not fit their warped Irish archetype.

Of course, none of that started with the murder of Josip Štrok. For a number of years now, North and South, we have seen racist agitators burn buildings, intimidate people out of their homes and organise openly racist demonstrations on our streets. In Belfast, we have seen migrants burnt out of their areas, racist signs erected by loyalist paramilitaries and Nazi flags erected outside a mosque in my constituency. Over the weekend, we saw the despicable racist graffiti that was sprayed on the home of Takura Makoni, and I take the opportunity once again to extend my solidarity to him and his family.

Those events are not representative of the majority here. They are not carried out in our name, and shame on those who carry out such attacks. They are the work of a tiny minority of racists who want to scapegoat minorities for the social ills that working-class communities face, including poverty, the housing crisis and a lack of healthcare provision. Not only does that let the Government off the hook but it is enabled by Governments across these islands who want to distract from their own failures. Racism is not innate to working-class communities, however. It is a top-down ideology that is peddled by Governments who want to divide us. The Tories, like Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, want us to focus on each other rather than on their blatant attacks on our communities, and we need to fight back against racism and condemn it everywhere that it appears.

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

That brings to a conclusion Members' statements.