July 27, 2009
Posted by Antifascist
The police were asked to look at the vile far-right racist site Redwatch after Belfast councillor Niall Kelly discovered several pictures of himself along with dozens of images of members of the public attending rallies in Belfast city centre. A caption above the SDLP man’s picture, taken at last month’s anti-racism rally in support of the Romanian families who were intimidated out of south Belfast, read: “Fenian reds, causing trouble in South Belfast attempting to win support for Gypsy parasites turning the Protestant Village area into a slum.”
In England, a number of MPs and Mersyside trade union leader Alec McFadden received death threats from right wing violent extremists after their details appeared on Redwatch. It is now feared that some people in Northern Ireland could now be targeted.
Pictures of Health Minister Michael McGimpsey, former Belfast Lord Mayor Tom Ekin, north Belfast SDLP councillor Pat Convery and prominent UDA figure Jackie McDonald attending various rallies, including anti-racism and anti-war protests, also appear on the sickening site. It is understood some of the photographs were lifted from Mr Kelly’s Flickr site.
“Obviously I am concerned to see pictures of myself and party colleagues appear on this sinister website,” Mr Kelly told the Belfast Telegraph.
“Since this matter has been brought to my attention I have alerted the police who have informed me that they have been monitoring this website for a while now as this organisation appears to be engaged in hi-tech fascism. However, neither I nor my party will be deterred from standing for the rights of others. The SDLP has faced down threats before and we will continue to do what is right as we strive to fight against racism, sectarianism and bigotry.”
Redwatch was originally published in paper form by the far right racist group Combat 18 in March 1992. Among the Redwatch targets are journalist Eamonn McCann, Irish Trade Union Congress leader Claire Moore and Patrick Yu, executive director of Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities whose contact details including telephone number and address have been posted alongside his picture.
Crowd shots showing members of the public attending at rallies in Belfast dating back as far as 2004 are also posted and in a worrying development appeal for information on those in the picture.
A caption read: “Send us details of your local red scumbags — we want their names, addresses, phone numbers, photographs, work details — anything and everything about them to publish here in the same way as they are doing to our people. We are going to give them exactly the same treatment as they are. Fight back. Any further info on the freaks below will be gratefully received.”
However journalist Eamon McCann said he would not be intimidated.
“I am not in the least bit intimidated. I would be almost insulted if these people had been making a list of their enemies in Northern Ireland and I was not on it.”
A spokeswoman for the PSNI said: “We do not comment on the security of individuals. The police service does not monitor internet sites on a day-to-day basis. However it will take appropriate action when complaints are received of criminal offences that occur within its jurisdiction.”