SOBwaterfordThe People Before Profit Alliance strongly condemns the attacks in Waterford on Saturday evening which forced three Roma families to flee their homes.

‘This attack was clearly characterised by racism and a lynch mob atmosphere and neither of these things has any place in our society’, said Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit TD. ’There needs to be a strong and united response to this from the people of Waterford and I hope that local people will turn out in numbers on Wednesday to show their opposition to racism in all its forms’.

The Roma people who came to Europe about a thousand years ago have endured centuries of persecution and oppression culminating in the Nazi Holocaust which murdered as high a proportion of the Roma population as it did of the Jewish people. Roma continue to face dreadful discrimination and violent attacks in much of Europe.

‘We must not the same thing to happen here. We should welcome Roma to Ireland not hate them or marginalise them. Roma culture has much to offer us, especially its wonderful music and dance,’ said Cllr Deirde Wadding, of Wexford People Before Profit.

‘Focussing on Roma families for their alleged crimes is attacking the wrong target,’ said Cllr Brid Smith, People Before Profit leader on Dublin City Council. ’The real criminals in this country are the bankers and fat cats who have robbed us all through the bank bail-outs and the water charges. The people of Waterford of all colours and all ethnic groups should unite with people right across Ireland in the great movement that is sweeping the country against water charges. We must not allow ourselves to be divided by racist scapegoating.’

People Before Profit urges support for the Demonstration against Racism, Xenophobia and Mob Rule at Waterford Railway Station on Wednesday at 5.30pm and also calls on everyone to come out against the water charges on November 1st in a strong display of unity.