PBP statement on sectarian attacks in Derry.

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Sectarian attacks must stop; Enabling of Loyalist paramilitaries by DUP must end:

 

Families living in the Waterside area of the city perceived to be Catholic or Nationalist have been targeted with guns, pipe bombs and bricks by loyalist paramilitary gangs. These actions are cowardly and could lead to people, including children, being seriously injured or killed. Families have already been forced out of their homes. 

The attacks are being carried out by a minority who do not represent the will of the vast majority of working class people. They have no mandate but rule through fear and intimidation.

There should be no toleration for paramilitarism. All political representatives should condemn these attacks and the paramilitaries involved. The DUP in particular must end its ongoing toleration and enabling of loyalist paramilitaries. 

Sectarianism poisons our society. The vast majority of people from all communities and backgrounds want to see an end to it. However, political institutions and establishment parties reinforce sectarian division by forcing people into the box of choosing to be from one community or the other. 

In recent months the North has become more politically polarised between Unionism and Nationalism. Some view this as a positive development because it allows them to entrench their views and influence. It also creates a dangerous basis for increased sectarian tension especially in a context of growing impoverishment. The poisonous claim that the benefits of the so-called peace process are going to nationalist communities is utter nonsense and must be systematically challenged. Austerity is making life harder for all working class communities here. 

The working class is one community across the North and angry about many things for which establishment parties must take responsibility. There is no government accountability; inequality and foodbanks are increasing; cuts are destroying public services; a chronic shortage means many people can’t get a house; Welfare changes and benefit cuts are impoverishing many families; far too many people are trapped in poverty jobs or cannot find work. Sectarianism will do nothing to address these issues but will exacerbate them. 
People Before Profit will continue to campaign on a non-sectarian basis; as neither Unionist or Nationalist but Socialist.
 
We will work with everyone committed to destroying sectarianism root and branch. This will not be easy but must involve a relentless struggle against all forms of bigotry and austerity destroying working class communities.

 

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