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(en) Ireland: WSM Report on Traveller and Settled Solidarity picket court hearing

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 21 Jul 2004 15:56:02 +0200 (CEST)


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Members of TASS (Traveller and Settled Solidarity) picket a hearing at
Cork District Courthouse on Friday 16 July in support of a traveller
woman Mrs Harty who was summonsed by the Gardai under the Trespass Act
for failing to obey their instruction to vacate an empty site at
Brocklesby Courton Seminary Road on Corks northside. The woman's
solicitor explained that she and four of her children were on the
corporations waiting list and had occupied the site after returning
from Wales as they had nowhere else to go. Photos were shown in Court
to demonstrate that the area was well kept and had not been abused. Mrs
Harty had vacated the site on receiving the summons.

The judge applied the probation Act because it was the woman's first
time before the court and she was pleading guilty. The case
demonstrates the nonsense of the Trespass Act as here was a family
seeking accommodation in Cork which has over 4,000 applicants on its
waiting list the act simply persecutes those in desperate circumstances
and keeps them jumping from one site to another trying to keep ahead of
the law whilst pursuing accommodation. In the first six months of 2004
78 housing applicants were accommodated by Cork corporation.

Also in Court that day was a Liberian asylum seeker being prosecuted
for failing to carried his ID card. He was stopped by two detectives
and arrested by them when he had not got his card. Despite pleading to
be taken home so he could show his ID they took him to Mayfield Garda
barracks and held him over night for the court sitting, again the
probation act was applied provide he produce his ID to the court. The
Garda had already discovered he was legitimate on their computer system
but still brought him to court. His solicitor told TASS activists
afterwards that this was his fourth case of this nature in the last two
months. Clearly a policy by Gardai to harass and prosecute asylum
seekers in Cork city.

James McBarron

See also:

Ireland's 'Traditional' Racism Remains
An interview with Mrs Ellen Mongan, a Traveller with seven children.
It's 2004 and close to 1,000 Traveller famlies are still living on the
roadside without access to basic facilities-water, sanitation or
electricity.

Travellers fighting back
The history of Irish Travellers' struggle for civil rights and ethnic
recognition. Their struggles have much in common with those of
Indigenous people worldwide and with the struggles of Native Americans
and Australian Aboriginals and also with the struggles of Gypsies,
Travellers and nomads against racism and oppression.

Anarchism and Anti - Racism in Ireland
For many years racism in Ireland was primarily directed against
Travellers because our weak economy and racist immigration laws made
Ireland an unattractive destination for immigrants.

These articles are at
http://struggle.ws/wsm/racism.html
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