NI LibDems Abhor Attack Upon Alliance

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Yet again, the NI Liberal Democrats, as must all those engaged in civilised political manifestation and activity in this Province, raise their voices in utter abhorrence at the attack last night on the offices of our sister party in East Belfast. We also thank, and applaud, the officers of the PSNI for their speedy work to limit the damage done.

The hypocrisy of those who seek to “defend” “their” Britishness by engaging in the kind of anti-democratic Politics of the Street that are anathema to Britons of all political shades has been demonstrated so frequently that it scarce merits mention. But, to those who committed this act, or endorse it, a question – how many of you wore poppies last Sunday to commemorate those who died ending tyranny in Europe, only six days later to bring the politics of Kristallnacht to the streets of a capital city of the United Kingdom?

those who create terror must not be let to win

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Police Service of Northern Ireland

Badge of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With reports from Chris Lindsay, BBC journalist on NewsLine that Omagh Police station is being evacuated due to a suspicious package,

I sincerely hope and pray that nothing untoward is found. My thoughts are with all serving our community in the Police Service of Northern Ireland at this time. Those who continually seek to create terror in Northern Ireland need to know that we will not put up with this. You will be found by the PSNI and brought before the courts.

Originally posted at Michael Carchrie Campbell.

appeal for calm in Newtownabbey

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Local Liberal Democrat campaiger, Michael Carchrie CampbellFollowing the disturbances in the O’Neill Road area of Newtownabbey, local Liberal Democrat campaigner Michael Carchrie Campbell has appealed for calm.

Michael said:

I appeal for calm in all areas of Northern Ireland particularly in North Belfast following tonight’s disturbances in the Cloughfern/O’Neill Road area of Newtownabbey.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland serves the whole of Northern Irish society and deserves to be treated with respect by all. I am sure that the community at large will join with me in condemning the actions of the youths involved this evening.

we must not let the thugs take us back in time

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Northern Ireland for the relatively uninformed people of the rest of the United Kingdom is peaceful. Or so they think. Last night, a police officer was taken to hospital after suffering a head injury in Ballyclare, County Antrim. He was on a routine patrol. He has subsequently been released. Some time later, other police vehicles and officers were attacked by petrol bombs.

Who are these attackers?

They are masked thugs. Thugs who hide behind masks rather than showing their faces. Thugs who know that the vast majority of Northern Irish society is not behind them. But they seem intent on taking us back to the bad days of ‘the Troubles. We must not let the thugs take us back in time. Northern Ireland is moving steadily forward: the days of the past are gone.

Perhaps these masked men thugs are behind whatever criminality had the PSNI in the Grange estate in the first instance. The Police Service of Northern Ireland will keep going back and investigating, as the vast majority of the estate will be glad to know.

If anyone has any information about the attacks in Ballyclare, or any other information useful to the PSNI, please contact them on<strong> 0845 600 8000</strong>.

cross posted from: Gyronny Herald and Michael Campbell

support for ‘unite sporting weekend’ 15-17 october

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IFA & GAA unite against hateOngoing support against hate crime

I am delighted that the IFA, GAA, and Belfast Giants are continuing to support the Unite against Hate campaign with the next Unite Sporting Weekend taking place this weekend coming.

As Vice Chair of the LGBT Independent Advisory Group to the PSNI, I appreciate the work that the PSNI put in to this cause. Combating hate crime in our country and throughout the world is an important work. I know that many will support this campaign. I hope that they will wear the campaign bracelet that is available as a visible sign of uniting against hate.

The UNITE AGAINST HATE embraces the Northern Ireland Government’s vision for the future of Northern Ireland as:

“A peaceful, inclusive, prosperous, stable and fair society firmly founded on the achievement of reconciliation, tolerance, and mutual trust and the protection and vindication of human rights for all”.

UNITE AGAINST HATE objectives:

  1. To inspire and to unite. Change to a more tolerant and peaceful Northern Ireland is both desirable and possible. We need to have the optimism, hope and confidence that we can work together to bring it about
  2. To sensitise general public to the problem of hate crime and its real costs. Hate crime destroys the lives of all of us through the damage it does to the quality of life, our reputation and our economy.
  3. To create a climate of zero tolerance for hate crime and discrimination. Hate crime is violent and wrong; it will not be tolerated. There is no room in Northern Ireland for sectarian, racist, homophobic, transphobic, religious or disability related hate crime. This will continue to be vigorously implemented through the promotion of equality and the enforcement of rights.
  4. To promote diversity. Living with diversity is an integral part of modern life and we all need to take responsibility for creating an atmosphere where diversity is accepted as normal. We need to recognise benefits of diversity.

I urge everyone attending any sporting events over the weekend to look out for the Unite against Hate campaign, if you want to get involved you can visit its website by clicking on the logo to the right.

Human Trafficking: The Belfast Angle

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Earlier this week, on my other blog, I found myself writing about human trafficking and how the United Kingdom government was not opting in to an European Union directive that would make it easier to stop this activity. Today here in Northern Ireland that cry could hardly be more pertinent.

The news this afternoon is that several victims of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, both from the UK and foreign countries, have been rescued in a police operation. There are also suspects of this human trafficking being brought to Northern Ireland to be questioned by the PSNI.

Upon the completion of the operation the head of the PSNI Organised Crime Branch Detective Chief Superintendent McComb, said:

“Human trafficking and prostitution is no longer gender specific.

“Men and women are being tricked or forced into prostitution in major towns and cities.

“They are being robbed of their liberty, stripped of their dignity, and suffer intolerable conditions as unwilling emblems of the sex trade.

“This is modern-day slavery where human beings are treated like commodities by sophisticated organised crime gangs who are making substantial criminal profits from the sex trade.”

The Liberal Democrats are strongly opposed to enslavement, as were our Liberal forebears, indeed the pre-amble to our party constitution states (emphasis mine):

“The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full.”

Whether, those who have been victims of these human traffickers are through their poverty or ignorance or a combination of both we must champion their right to freedom. We can best do that through some of the good that the EU is doing such as this directive on Human Trafficking, however the Eurosceptic Conservative want nothing new to do with the EU even if it is for the good.

Therefore I urge to stand beside the Liberal Democrats on this issue. Write to you MP and ask them to persuade the Government to opt in to the directive on Human Trafficking. Or even go further and join us in the Liberal Democrats by pressing the link in the sidebar.