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(en) Ireland, Workers Solidarity #82 - His Master's Voice Government scapegoating of immigrants encourages racist thugs

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 15 Dec 2004 07:48:29 +0100 (CET)


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In July of this year the government managed to convince 79% of the
people who voted to pass a referendum which restricted the rights of
some children born in this country to Irish citizenship. We helped
campaign against the citizenship referendum on the grounds that to deny
someone citizenship based on the fact that their parents were immigrants
was racist and unjust. We also feared that that, if passed, the referendum
would encourage racists and bring about a climate where they were likely
to be more active.

Unfortunately that's turned out to be exactly what has happened. The
National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism
(NCCRI) has been compiling statistics on racist incidents since May 2001
and they reported an increase in both the number and seriousness of
incidents during and after the referendum campaign. Racist incidents
reported to the NCCRI had previously been running at the rate of about
47 every six months. Four months into this year that figure had already
been passed and the nature of the incidents has been getting worse.

People have been literally run out of their homes and the areas they
settled in. A black couple in Dublin had their windows smashed and the
woman of the house, who was alone at the time, had to flee over her back
wall into her neighbour's house when the attackers broke into her home.
The same thing happened to a Pakistani woman who was alone with her
child. She fled her home but was followed by three men and verbally and
physically abused. African shopkeepers in Cork have had racist threats
daubed on their buildings and all around the republic the number of racist
incidents is on the increase.

Meanwhile north of the border the incidents are even more serious, with
some of the attacks being linked to elements within Loyalist paramilitary
groups. People have suffered punishment beating style attacks while their
homes have been burned out with petrol bombs. People who previously
focused their hatred on members of a different religious group now have a
new focus, people from different countries. Families and individuals from
Portugal, India, Africa, China, the Philippines and Eastern Europe have
all suffered. To add to the problem the fascist White Nationalist Party has
started organising in the North.

Both North and South the hatred is reflected, and often driven by
institutionalised State racism. It's no coincidence that racist incidents and
attacks go up when the governments of both states attack the evils of
supposed 'maternity tourists' and 'illegal immigrants'. Indeed in many of
the incidents in the Republic attackers taunted their victims, telling them
to 'pack their bags' and claiming that they'd be run out of the country
after the referendum. So-called respectable politicians and media
demonise and criminalise immigrants, they try to claim that immigrants
are responsible for the terrible state of our health services and for housing
shortages when the truth is that these problems are the result of
government policy and morally bankrupt political parties.

We believe that racism must be confronted from a working class
perspective. We urge working class communities to mobilise against
racism and believe that the only long-term solution is for people in
working class communities to come together, around common interests,
and to fight alongside each other for better housing, facilities and the
things that are needed by all of us. The bosses want us to be at each
other's throats so that they can continue to exploit all of us. Let's not do
their job for them.
===============================
This page is from the print version of the Irish
Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.
http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/paper.html
We also provide PDF files of all our publications
http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/pdf.html for you
to print out and distribute locally
Print out the PDF file of this issue
http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/ws/82.html


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