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Anti-racism rally: Protest to be held tonight in east Belfast in response to attack

By Claire Williamson

Published 14/05/2015

Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast residents rally against racism outside Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street in East Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

A protest in response to a recent racist attack on two Eastern European men is being held tonight in east Belfast.

Youth Against Racism has called a protest this evening following the attack which happened on Tuesday evening in the Connswater Link area.

The two men were attacked by a group of male youths at around 10.40pm as they walked along the street.

One of the men suffered facial injuries whilst the other was treated for a cut to his hand.

The group of youths made off on foot in the direction of the Newtownards Road, following the assault.

It comes just weeks after a protest was held following an arson attack on a beauty salon in east Belfast.

Asta's Glam Factory on Castlereagh Street was attacked on Monday April 13.

Four men forced open the shutters of the property before pouring accelerant and setting it on fire.

The salon was extensively damaged by fire and smoke.

The attack caused outrage in the east Belfast community, and the following night more than 100 people turned out in a show of support for the young woman.

Courtney Robinson - who helped organise the community protest in the wake of the arson attack on Asta's Glam Factory - said: "It is sickening to see another racist attack in east Belfast so soon after the burning out of Asta's nail salon.

"The community response to that attack showed that the cowardly thugs who carried it out don't represent ordinary people here. It is important that we continue to take to the streets to send that message loud and clear."

"Working class people from all backgrounds have more in common than divides us. We need to stand united against the bigots, the bosses and the right-wing politicians at Stormont and Westminster and fight for decent jobs, homes, health and education for all."

In figures released this week by the PSNI, it was revealed that a racist hate crime was reported every three hours on a typical day in Northern Ireland last year.

The protest will take place tonight (Thursday May 14) at 7.30pm at the Albertbridge Rd (at entrance to Connswater)

Further reading:

A race hate crime happens every three hours in Northern Ireland, depressing new PSNI figures reveal  

  Asta's Glam Factory destroyed in racist arson attack: Community rally in support of owner

Race attack salon owner Asta: 'Dream wedding in ruins along with my salon'

Race attack salon owner's defiance and tears as protest shows solidarity

Race hate nail bar owner Asta Samaliute to open next week as £7k raised

Salon owner goes back to work week after Belfast race hate attack

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