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Calls for crackdown on race hate material in Northern Ireland

By Claire McNeilly and Lesley-Anne Henry

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has led calls for a crackdown on hatred-inciting material after attempts by a sinister new loyalist group to drum up support against foreigners living in Northern Ireland.

The Ulster British People’s Party (UBPP) has been engaged in an internet and leafleting campaign distributing anti-Polish propaganda in the past few weeks, with thousands of letters being left on cars in towns across the province.

The overtly racist message outlines “the migrant threat” and warns Northern Ireland will “become a Roman Catholic country” — contradicting the theory that |recent racist attacks, which forced 112 Romanians to flee the country, were sporadic with no organisation behind them.

Yesterday, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that a UDA magazine defending the murder of Catholic community worker Kevin McDaid and glorifying the intimidation of the Romanians, was being distributed in Co Londonderry.

Last night Mr Campbell urged members of the public to disassociate themselves from such literature.

“Any literature or magazine whose purpose is trying to stir up hatred towards any group on the basis of inaccurate information would have to be condemned,” he said.

“But when it is promoted on the streets, how do you deal with them? In our view, they are best dealt with by the public not buying the magazines or telling people they see handing out leaflets that they don’t want to accept them.”

The racist material handed out by the UBPP refers to the “huge influx of Polish migrant workers”, the letter states that “these migrants are forcing down wages because they will work for tuppenneys”.

A spokesperson for the Polish community in Northern Ireland said that the literature was causing “a lot of unnecessary tension”.

“We are concerned about the rise in hate crime and in hostile activities,” she said.

“Unfortunately, all around Europe we are experiencing a rise in neo-Nazism and the situation in Northern Ireland is particularly difficult because of the country’s troubled past.

“The world is becoming more diverse and more multi-cultural and the only way of living in harmony is to start learning about each other and reaching out to each other.”

A PSNI spokesman said police will investigate any leaflet that incites hatred.

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