Take down these racist posters: Anna Lo
Anonymous posters appearing around Belfast calling for “local jobs for local people” have been branded messages of hatred by minority rights campaigners.
Alliance MLA Anna Lo said she is disgusted that racist material has been circulated in east and south Belfast and called for whoever is responsible for putting the posters up to stop.
So far they have been spotted in Donegall Pass and Newtownards Road areas.
The posters accuse migrant workers of not paying tax or national insurances, and claim they are on higher wages than local workers, who are being denied opportunities because of them.
Ms Lo, herself a victim of racist online jibes last month, said: “I am appalled by these posters.
“They are giving out misinformation at a time when ethnic minorities’ concerns are already heightened following recent racist attacks. Racism has no place in our society.”
“There is no indication of who produced them, but I would like to tell whoever is responsible that their messages of hatred are not wanted.
“These posters are actually damaging our community. They must be immediately taken down.
“I would call on those responsible to stop their activities and not to put up anymore posters.
“If anybody has any information about these posters then I would urge them to contact the police.”
Patrick Yu, executive director of NICEM, also condemned the posters.
“They are tantamount to incitement to racial hatred,” he said.
“Migrants contribute enormously to our economy and our society in Northern Ireland, and those who come here to work do so by right under the Free Movement principle of the European Union, and overwhelmingly abide by all laws - including those around taxation - while here.
“Racism has no place in our society, and we urge anyone with information on these posters to contact the police.”
A PSNI spokeswoman said: “Police are aware of the poster and the content is being reviewed.”
Meanwhile, UKIP's David McNarry said the poster reflected resentment regarding the perception that skilled Northern Ireland workers are being denied job opportunities at Harland and Wolff shipyard.
Mr McNarry also said he knew who was behind the posters.
“It's a reaction, nothing but a reaction as to what they think is happening to workers; men losing jobs, men not being offered jobs in east Belfast where the shipyard was born and bred,” he added.