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Thousands turn out as cities rally against racism

Alliance MLA Anna Lo among Thousands of People attend an anti-racism rally at  Belfast City Hall on Saturday. 
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Alliance MLA Anna Lo among Thousands of People attend an anti-racism rally at Belfast City Hall on Saturday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

An estimated 4.000 people attended rallies in Belfast and Londonderry on Saturday to demonstrate against racist attacks in Northern Ireland.

One of the speakers in Belfast was Hong Kong-born Alliance MLA Anna Lo who said racist behaviour had influenced her decision not to seek re-election to the Assembly.

She told the crowd at the City Hall that everyone “must stand up against racism and sectarianism” and added: “Plenty of people have shown they want a diverse society, They want respect for ethnic minorities.”

In recent weeks there has also been a storm of controversy over anti-Muslim comments made by Belfast preacher James McConnell - and support for the Pastor’s right to free speech from First Minister Peter Robinson.

Pastor McConnell has repeatedly described Islam as “satanic” and “heathen”.

Reacting to the DUP leader’s own views on Muslims, Ms Lo said: “What Mr Robinson said was total disrespect and condescending of the Muslim community.”

In Londonderry around 100 people attended an anti-racism rally. Among those in attendance was Environment Minister Mark H Durkan.

 

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