The election posters of a People Before Profit candidate, Cailin McCaffery who contested a recent local election in Belfast, have been displayed prominently on an Orange bonfire.
It is a deliberate act of intimidation against socialists who speak out against sectarianism and bigotry.
During the past few years, the political establishment have attempted to portray the events around the 12th of July as a cultural expression of the Protestant population.
It is nothing of the sort. The Orange Order originally grew from a reaction to the United Irishmen, a movement modelled on the French revolution which sought the unity of Protestant Catholic and Dissenter.
Ever since the Orange Order has been used to press for every right wing and reactionary causes – not least the very prospect of a united Ireland.
Burning election posters of a socialist has nothing to do with ‘tradition’ or ‘culture’. It is simply an attempt to stoke up sectarianism to curtail the influence of the genuine left.
In a statement, Cailín McCaffery said
“Unfortunate to see that my posters have ended up on a bonfire. It’s known across the country that People Before Profit are a proud anti-sectarian socialist party. To be placed upon a bonfire then is obviously shocking, but it won’t deter us.
The sectarian and reactionary displays adorned upon bonfires across this city tonight are disgraceful and they must be called out and loudly condemned.
Now more than ever, we need a shift toward working class unity to begin to overcome sectarian division across Belfast. People Before Profit are up for that fight. We certainly won’t be deterred by sectarianism and bigotry. I’ll leave the last words to Martin Luther King Jr. “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.“