North West Migrants Forum

Migrants Forum Board condemns vile racist abuse aimed at charity’s director

Main photo: Members of the North West Migrants Forum Board: Irina Chernichenko, Chair Marija Stuke, NWMF Director Lilian Seenoi Barr, Munadel Bazzara, Paul Sceeny, Philip McDermott, Ibrahim Dandousha and Idris Mohammed. Missing are Beverly Simpson and Kristina Kozak.

THE Board of the North West Migrants Forum says it is appalled and saddened by the volume of racist and misogynistic abuse circulating on social media since the organisation’s founder and Director Lilian Seenoi Barr was announced as the next mayor of Derry and Strabane.

Speaking at a meeting on Thursday evening, Chair of the Migrants Forum Board Marija Stuke said, “A significant amount of this abuse appears to have been amplified by far right organisations and conspiracy theorists from outside the island of Ireland.

It is nevertheless worrying to see people on this island feeling emboldened to spread racist tropes and hateful misinformation.

Director of the North West Migrants Forum, Lilian Seenoi Barr, has faced a torrent of vile abuse since it was announced she will be the next mayor of Derry and Strabane, the first black person in Northern Ireland to hold such office.

“As the leading anti-racism organisation in the north west, we know these attempts to stir up hatred and division are not representative of the people of Derry, Strabane or indeed any part of this island.

“We have been heartened by the huge numbers of people and organisations who have reached out to Lilian and our organisation in the past days to offer their congratulations and solidarity.

“We know Lilian will be a fantastic mayor for this city and district and that she will work relentlessly to bring people together. That is what matters,” Ms Stuke added.