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Peter Hadden

Belfast: unity needed to fight sectarianism

(February 1999)

From The Socialist [UK], 12 February 1999.
Transcribed and marked up by Ciaran Crossey.

Sectarian attacks have now become an almost nightly occurrence. Catholic homes are being targeted by sectarian groups going under various previously unheard of titles such as the Red Hand Defenders.

These are clearly a cover for members of already existing loyalist groups who are opposed to the ceasefires.

There have been petrol bombings, shooting and attempted abductions. It is only a matter of time before someone is killed or before there is another tragedy like the killing of the Quinn children last July.

The response to these sectarian attacks should be non-sectarian. There are some republican groups – also opposed to the peace process – who would be prepared to respond in kind. They should be equally opposed.

In the past it was united action by working-class people, Catholic and Protestant, which was most effective in stopping the sectarian killings. We must be prepared for such action again.

Any death at the hands of the so-called Red Hand Defenders, or whoever, should be met by people coming onto the streets in united mass action against sectarianism. This cycle of attacks must be nipped in the bud.

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