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(en) Ireland, Dublin, The anarchist WSM Libertarian #2 - The Afghan Hunger strike and immigration in Ireland

Date Thu, 31 Aug 2006 13:02:21 +0300

The Afghan hunger strike brought into sharp focus the new Ireland into
which our country has been transforming over the last 10 years. Our
booming economy and relatively high wage levels have drawn many thousands
of immigrants into the country in search of a better life here. Much as
the Irish once looked to America for the promise of a happier future, so
many people from less well off countries now look to Ireland.
Many immigrants come to Ireland in better circumstances though,
with a job offer in their pocket and expectations of a better life. The
oft-repeated accusation is that they are “taking our jobs”.
Although it seems logical, this idea is one of the most damaging of
all. It stems from a false idea of scarcity that is encouraged by
business owners, managers and the media as a whole.

The fact is we are a very rich country, and have more than enough
wealth to go around - if it were distributed equally that is! There
would be more than enough for us all to maintain a quite
comfortable lifestyle. Most difficulties in our society stem from the
fact that a small ruling class take most of this wealth for themselves.
They spread the idea among the working class that there is not
enough to go around and that other workers are a threat to our own

This is nonsense of course, what we need to do is to stand together
with our fellow workers, whether they are immigrants or not and
ensure that we are all paid properly for the work that we do. In the
last year we have seen many news stories which revealed the
widespread exploitation of immigrant workers in companies like
Irish Ferries, Tesco and many others, especially in the construction
industry . The tireless struggle of the workers involved to publicise
these incidents and fight back against employers through unions or
through the courts has made it impossible for the media to ignore

It was only when these situation were raised by workers in their trade
unions that anything was done to improve things. Exploitation of any
worker, including immigrants is a threat to everyone’s income -
if the company can pay someone less than you for the same work,
why should they take you on? This is exactly why we must work
together in unions with our fellow immigrant workers to ensure that
none of us are exploited and we are all treated with the respect we

This article is from The Libertarian. Issue 2 (August 2006), a
newsletter for the Liberties and Portobello produced by the Workers
Solidarity Movement

If you would like to meet with local anarchists or know of a local
issue we should cover contact us

You can download a PDF file of this issue from
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