Statement On Intimidation Of Activists In West Belfast

People Before Profit utterly condemns violent threats against our activists and the theft of election materials by suspected loyalist paramilitaries in West Belfast. 

On Friday, a gang of masked men approached our members as they erected posters for Court DEA candidate Cailín McCaffery on Lanark Way.

The assailants snatched election posters and a set of ladders, verbally and physically threatening our activists. 

People Before Profit is outraged at this intimidation of committed activists and expresses solidarity with our members.

The Shankill and working class communities like it have been devastated by austerity, underfunding and inequality. The politics of division offers no solutions to this. We need an alternative class politics that rejects sectarian division and looks to uplift all working people. People Before Profit will continue to fight alongside the people of the Shankill against the economic system ravaging our communities.

Incidents like this do not happen in isolation; the thugs involved have been emboldened in their actions. Serious questions must be asked of parties like the DUP, who continue to engage with loyalist paramilitaries and habitually whip up sectarian tension.

Loyalist paramilitary violence has historically been used to destroy working class unity and solidarity in Belfast and across the North. It seeks to block the growth of socialism and united workers’ organisations in the communities it harasses.

People Before Profit stands in the socialist tradition that looks to unite working class communities whether Protestant, Catholic, or other. It is a tradition that is rooted in the anti-sectarian, class politics that has a long and proud history in Belfast.

Workers across the communal divide have shown incredible unity by taking to the picket lines in recent months and fighting for fair pay and investment in public services. We would call on those workers to reject sectarian thuggery and to reject the politics of division. 

No quarter of this city is off limits for socialists – we are going nowhere. We call on working class people to send a message of unity on May 18th by striking back at the ballot box. Strike back against sectarianism. Strike back with People Before Profit.

People Before Profit rep Cailín McCaffery added: “This was a deplorable attack, carried out by a minority of sectarian thugs. Those responsible do not represent the people of the Shankill or any other part of our city. 

People Before Profit is contesting the upcoming election to provide an anti-sectarian, working class alternative to the failed politics of the past. We will not be bowed by bigots, by bullies, or by anyone who wants to divide our communities.”