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​Outrage in N. Ireland as Ku Klux Klan flag raised in Belfast

Published time: July 01, 2014 14:45
Edited time: July 03, 2014 18:14
AFP Photo / Andrew Meares

AFP Photo / Andrew Meares

The residents of one street in Belfast, Northern Ireland, woke up Tuesday morning to see a Ku Klux Klan flag flying from a lamppost. The extremist emblem immediately prompted public outrage, and local MPs filed a lawsuit.

The blue “New Order Knights” flag, including the inscription “Ku Klux Klan” was raised on a lamppost in eastern Belfast, British media reported.

The incident was immediately condemned by local authorities.

The use of flags hailing a hate group such as the KKK “is sickening” and “lends a further menacing element to recent events,” said Naomi Long, from the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.

“Yet again we see those who wish to bully anyone different from them use flags and emblems to assert dominance and control over a community,” she said. “To do so at all is to be condemned, but to put up these flags in broad daylight shows just how brazen the culprits are."

Long said it was essential that every right-thinking person unites against “those who engage in racist, bigoted or otherwise intolerant behavior.”

“It is also critical that the all-party talks this week stop ducking the issue of the use and abuse of flags and emblems for the purposes of intimidation, and face up to dealing substantively with this challenge to a shared future and to the rule of law,” she said.

This latest incident adds an "even more sinister edge" to recent racist attacks in the region.

At least 982 racist incidents were reported in 2013-2014 by the annual Human Rights and Racial Equality Benchmarking Report for Northern Ireland. The numbers have grown from 2012-13, when 750 racist incidents were reported by the watchdog.

Despite a large number of cases, only 12 people were convicted for over 14,000 hate crimes in Northern Ireland in the last five years.

Those who are behind the xenophobic attack are showing "intolerance and provocative aggression," said Gavin Robinson, a council member from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

"It is a huge level of pathetic stupidity, especially on a week when many in the unionist and loyalist community came together to devise a strategy to combat racism," he said.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said that the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a Protestant paramilitary organization whose members have long history of violence and terrorist convictions, is behind racist attacks in the region.

Comments (48)

 

Norbert Sachs 08.07.2014 18:08

And what about the NOI in the US? They claim white people to be the worst of all human beings, so where are the ''anti racists'' now?

 

Dan Worth 04.07.2014 12:19

The IRA are akin to the Palestinians or the Native Americans. KKK is more of a proxy tool for the Zionists. Humanity is sooo confused that we don't understand that if you fight against the multinational banking cartel you will be defamed and removed by all deceptive means. If that doesn't do the trick, the world army will "for humanitarian purposes" come and destroy your entire nation.

 

Brian O'Leary 04.07.2014 11:43

"KKK replaces IRA? Belfast flag raises eyebrows"

What a ridiculous headline RT. The KKK flag erected by UVF supporters (enemies of IRA) in an area lived in by Loyalists (anti-IRA). This was just one of many flags erected by loyalists for the July 12th celebrations (pro-British commemoration), other flags include the British Union Jack and also the flag of Israel.

Not hing to do with the Republican, pro-Irish community. I would have thought with your coverage of the Ukraine crisis that RT would have been able to distinguish between different groups and population groups.

View all comments (48)
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