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(en) Ireland, Workers Solidarity #81 - Vote NO to Racist Referendum

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 22 May 2004 11:03:09 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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The government has called for a referendum on the 11th of June to decide
whether or not to restrict citizenship rights for children born in Ireland.
Currently any child born in Ireland is automatically an Irish
citizen. This automatic right to citizenship for children born in
Ireland was inserted into the Constitution as part of the Belfast
Agreement in 1998 and is in line with citizenship rights in such
countries as the US, Canada and New Zealand.
McDowell, our minister for injustice, has called the referendum -
at very short notice - for the very same day as the local
government and European Parliament elections. This allows the
Irish government to conveniently deflect the current anger of the
population at, for example, the crises in our health service and
the appalling housing situation. The government is trying to
create a smokescreen to cover up their own failures by rushing
through a referendum to attack Irish children's rights.

McDowell, has been caught several times blatantly lying and
creating scare stories about immigration. He has spoken of
"citizenship tourism", of "massive inflows" of non-nationals to
the maternity hospitals, of the situation "snowballing out of
control", and of the Masters of the Dublin hospitals "pleading"
with him to change the laws on citizenship. A document
published by his Department based the case for a referendum
solely on the thesis that there is a growing problem of
non-national births in Ireland. All of this is untrue however and
McDowell has since had to change his story.

The real problems in maternity services are the result of years of
government cutbacks and closures. The Masters of the hospitals
themselves have accused McDowell of exaggeration, and the
figures bear them out. Take the Coombe Hospital, for example.
The increase in non-national births last year was just 2 per cent.
As with the other Dublin hospitals, a major portion of its 20 per
cent of foreign mothers were living and working in Ireland
entirely legally, with many from Britain and other EU countries,
and the US. The minister now tells us that "I'm not pinning my
hat on the issue of statistics from maternity hospitals."

This referendum would brings Ireland's citizenship laws in line
with those in other EU countries and is another step in the
creation of Fortress Europe - a Europe which successive
agreements, treaties and 'action plans' have turned into a deadly
fortress which has already caused thousands of deaths of refugees
and asylum seekers and has criminalised and marginalised those
immigrants within the EU who, whether fleeing war, persecution
or poverty, are trying to build a new life here.

The Campaign Against the Racist Referendum has been set up
counter racist lies peddled by the government and to fight for a
No vote in this referendum which attempts to take away the
rights of a group of Irish children. If you want to get involved
come to the weekly campaign meetings which are held in the
Teachers Club, Parnell Square at 3pm on Saturdays or contact
campaign members at:

Campaign Against the Racist Referendum, c/o 12A Brunswick
Place, Dublin 2, 087 6662060 or 087 7974622,

More information

* Refugees & Asylum seekers in Ireland
A collection of articles from Workers Solidarity about racism
against refugees and Asylum seekers in Ireland and the struggle
against it
* 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
* Racism: Where it comes from, How we should fight it?
With racism on the rise in Ireland, it has become more
important than ever for anti-racist activists to examine where
such ideas come from and how they can be fought.
* Campaign against the Racist Referedum
What the campaign is doing etc

This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity'.

We also provide PDF files of all our publications for you to print
out and distribute locally

Print out the PDF file of this issue
Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue

You can find out when new issues of the paper come out by
joining the Ainriail list

This edition is No81 published in May 2004

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