(en) Irish anti-racism campaign

Struggle in Ireland (irl_strug@geocities.com)
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 17:02:32 +0000


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All Different All Equal All Exploited

Ireland is a country which has sent hundreds of =

thousands of people abroad to seek to better their lives. =

In the 1980's politicians positively encouraged the =

young people of Ireland to get out and get jobs =

somewhere else. Dick Spring hosted a conference in =

the Department of Foreign Affairs which sought to =

give students practical advice on how to leave the =

country. Now, when faced with the prospect of people =

coming to our country seeking to do the same thing, =

some Irish people are reacting in racist ways.

This is not new in a Country where Travellers have =

been abused, threatened, exposed to racist policies and =

attitudes and largely treated as second class citizens =

since the origins of this state. Refugees face a daily =

barrage of abuse and some even endure physical attacks =

in this city. The land of a hundred thousand welcomes =

has rapidly become the land of a thousands of shouts of =

abuse at refugees. We must fight this attitude which is =

growing in our society with some considerable help =

from the politicians and the media.

The facts

In a welcome change from some media sources, let us =

deal with the facts.

1. Ireland takes in a tiny number of refugees every year, =

especially in comparison to other European countries.

2. Refugees are entitled to the same social welfare =

payments.

3. They are not housed any faster than any other =

section of society.

4. They are not entitled to work or study while they =

apply to be allowed stay in this country.

5. Many are escaping severe political and economic =

persecution in their own countries and they have =

come here to seek a better existence, or in some cases =

just the right to exist.

What Do We Do together ?

A broad group of people came together after the =

general election to try and fight the growing trend of =

racism which was adopted by the main political =

establishment. We called ourselves the Anti-Racist =

Campaign (ARC) and we intend to work alongside =

refugees to counteract racism in this city and country. =

We have no time for those who wish to discriminate =

against a person on the basis of the colour of their skin =

or where they come from. We will challenge those =

who are openly racist and especially those who =

flaunted this fact in order to get elected. We wish =

people to know the truth about the terrible ordeals =

which people have gone though to be here. The truth =

is in the story of the refugee's and not to be found on =

the pages of Tony O' Reilly's newspapers or on the =

radio airwaves. ARC wish to fight racism and to =

celebrate multiculturalism. Just as the world gained =

from the massive diaspora of Irish people into it, so =

Ireland can gain so much from the trickle of people =

being allowed to stay here.

Divide and Rule is the Tactic !

The politicians in the last government signed 500 =

deportation orders against Romanians on the day of =

the general election. They did not want to be perceived =

as weak when it came to dealing with immigrants. =

They were and are as racist as Liam Lawlor (FF) was in =

his campaign. The media made this into an issue in =

the election. It (proved) an effective tactic (for diverting =

attention away from their failure to do much about =

poverty, unemployment or heroin abuse)

We are living in the capital city of a country =

experiencing a huge economic upturn. We are all sick =

of hearing about the Celtic Tiger but the heart of that =

tiger is sick with the problems which have failed to go =

away.

=80 Over 250,000 people still on the dole.

=80 Huge amounts of young kids in the city becoming =

hooked on heroin.

=80 A growing number of people becoming homeless.

=80 Those who are lucky enough to be in work are =

bearing a huge amount of the tax burden while the rich =

seem to get a tax amnesty every 3 years.

=80 Companies in Ireland are declaring huge profits and =

our public services are going down the drain =

simultaneously.

How many of these issues were dealt with in the =

election ?

No, instead we heard about making the streets secure =

and about who would deal with the influx of refugees. =

The oldest trick in the book was being played, DIVIDE =

and RULE. A new government will come into power =

and they are happy to continue on trundling along and =

not dealing with the real issues. ARC is here to make =

sure that we stop the fighting amongst ourselves. WE =

ARE ALL DIFFERENT, ALL EQUAL AND ALL =

EXPLOITED. We must stop the racism and begin to =

make the politicians deal with the poverty and =

inequality in this society. Help us in this Fight.

ARC meets ever Wedensday in the =

Garden of Delight, 3 Castle st

We will be leafletting at the GPO this Saturday 28 June at 12:00

-- =

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