A statement by The Left in the European Parliament’s co-president Martin Schirdewan on the violence in Belfast over the past week:
“The scenes coming from across the North of Ireland in recent days have been shocking.”
“Across the political divide, working class communities have suffered the worst effects of poverty, health inequality, unemployment and conflict. These communities are most damaged by the ongoing health and economic crises.
“Young people have nothing to gain by following criminal gangs down the blind alley of communal strife and sectarianism.
“In the context of Brexit – which was rejected by the majority in the North of Ireland – the Irish Protocol is the only way to uphold the Good Friday Agreement.
“The Good Friday Agreement provides a peaceful and democratic way to resolve political differences. If the peace process and political process are to work then governments and political parties need to respect the agreements they have entered into and the commitments they have made.
“That some political leaders should try to excuse or justify violence by reference to the Irish Protocol is irresponsible and dishonest. That such leaders escalate tension in order to pursue their political objectives is unforgivable.
“In contrast, I would commend those political leaders and community activists who have been on the ground trying to defuse tension and avoid violence and vandalism.
“Now is the time for working class communities to come together to reject a return to conflict and to focus on using the political process for the social and economic benefit of all.”
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons