Far right threatens Anna Lo, racist attacks in Belfast
Jess McCabe // 6 July 2009
Anna Lo is the sole ethnic minority member of the Northern Ireland Assembly – and last week she was warned by police of threats to attack her by racist far-right groups in the region, reports the Belfast Telegraph. (Via Madam Miaow).
…As Assembly members discussed a spate of racist and sectarian attacks in the region, she revealed she had been warned by police of a threat to attack her.
Ms Lo later said she also knew of threatening letters sent to Polish and Islamic centres in Belfast by loyalist far-right groups threatening to bomb at least one of the premises.
“People from ethnic minority communities are very frightened,” she said.
Ms Lo represents the south Belfast area where a series of attacks on Romanian families forced more than 100 people from their homes with most eventually leaving Northern Ireland.
It emerged last week that Ms Lo received threats in two letters and two emails but yesterday she told the Assembly she had now been warned by police of further threats.
“Myself and a large number of ethnic minority people this weekend and today have received serious threats upon our safety,” she said.
“I have never seen ethnic minorities so fearful in Northern Ireland.”
This follows an attack on Belfast’s Romanian community, which forced 100 people to leave the city:
A Romanian mother of two sheltering at the O-Zone said the families were terrified. The woman, who gave her first name, Maria, said everyone was adamant they wanted to return to Romania.
She said attacks had been intensifying over the past two weeks, with youths threatening her and her children. Other people spoke of men armed with guns telling them to leave the country or face being shot.
“We are OK, we are safe here now,” she said. “But we want to go home because right now we are not safe here [in Northern Ireland]. We want to go back home to Romania, everybody right now does. I want to go home because I have here two kids and I want my kids to be safe.”