Pogroms force Romanian immigrants from Ulster

More than 100 Romanians were moved to emergency accommodation in Belfast June 17 after a racist gang attacked homes in the university area of the city. Several of the immigrants were wounded, and one of the attackers was said to be brandishing a gun. Most of the displaced say they no longer feel safe in Belfast and intend to return to Romania. The intimidation culminated in an attack on a rally being held in support of the Eastern European migrants June 15, in which thugs threw bricks and bottles and made Nazi salutes, chanting slogans associated with Combat 18, a far-right faction. (London Times, June 18)

Some of the displaced are Roma (Gypsies) who fled Romania in the first place to escape discrimination and persecution. There are only some 1,000 Romanians in the Belfast area. Romanian diplomat Mihai Delcea, who met Northern Ireland politicians after the attacks, made light of the situation, saying of the immigrants, “They are safe here.” (AP, June 17)

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