Ireland / Britain
Es wurden keine neuen Veranstaltungshinweise in der letzten Woche veröffentlicht
A critical view of the Refugees are Welcome Rally in Dublin
ireland / britain |
migration / racism |
opinion / analysis
Mittwoch September 16, 2015 23:37 by Dermot Freeman - WSM
The Refugees Welcome rally saw a good crowd assembled at the Spire in Dublin. The rally was a response where people wanted to express their solidarity with the refugees who are attempting to escape war and death.
Thanks to the work of a few volunteers WSM had some banners to bring to the Refugees are Welcome rally and march at the Spire on Saturday the 12th of September. The banners were important to link up certain struggles. One linked the appalling reaction to the social housing crisis by this government with their slow reaction to the humanitarian crisis on the edges of fortress Europe, which simply stated Homes for All, Refuge for All, and another which read No Borders No Nations.
The crowd grew steadily as Memet Uludag spoke frequently, often, and introduced each of the speakers. For the next hour or so a number of people spoke of how bad the situation was and how inadequate the response of our present government was. There were chants from the crowd making sure that the leaders of the EU and here in our present Government heard us say that ‘Refugees are welcome here’. The truth is we put people into camps that we call ‘Welcome Centre’s’ and we have one of the lowest rates in Europe in terms of actually granting asylum to people. In 2010, we let 25 people stay as approved refugees, and in 2013, our success rate was one of the lowest in Europe at 8.6% whilst the European average was closer to 25.2%.
Now I realise that to some of the irrational racists all these figures are irrelevant, because it’s all about going with your emotions and not dealing with facts. The truth is that this is a hostile country to seek asylum in and by no stretch of the imagination do we welcome people into this country who are seeking asylum. Tell the African shopkeeper in Cabra who had his car keyed by some young thug last week; tell my co-worker who is Nigerian (but also now an Irish Citizen) whose is now homeless with her family thanks to the bank repossessing the house that she was renting. Tell it to any Traveller who has been born here and raise here, and they’ll tell you about how Welcome we make people feel who are different to us.
The people gathered here in this crowd might welcome refugees but this State and the leaders in Government have consistently used asylum seekers as a means to divide and conquer the masses. That’s why direct provision was set up, to make some people rich with government contract, and to put people into places all over the Country where they are isolated, and conspicuous. Then the rumours can be started about people getting something for nothing and we can all descend into the madness of fighting each other whilst the boys at the top carry on business as usual.
In fact we now have a system in Direct Provision which is recognised by the Minister Aodháin O’Riordain, New Communities, Culture and Equality in charge of it as being “regrettable” but still it carries on. 20% of the people living in direct provision have been there for over seven years. Sure we welcome refugees. Of course all this information and knowledge did not prevent senior labour party people showing up on the demonstration. It’s easier to show up on a demo than it is to dismantle the structure of refugee camps which your party now presides over.
From all the speeches – that I heard on Saturday, with the exception of Memet and a Muslim Cleric and perhaps one other speaker, all of the speeches were from white Irish majority. Brendan Ogle from the Right To Water actually got booed at one stage for bringing his talk back to that campaign one too many times. There were many good points raised by various speakers, Bríd Smith spoke of the ease with which money flows in capital across all borders and its only people this system has issues with, Paul Murphy spoke of the need to end direct provision, Clare Daly made the links to Irelands support of the wars that displace people in the first place through the re-fuelling in Shannon. We were reminded of the role of Israel as arms supplier and tester of those arms on the civilian population of Palestine.
Another speaker made mention of the fact that Jeremy Corbyn got elected leader of the (British) Labour party as a sign of people’s will for change. I think that it is positive and it indicates that people desperately want change. He went from being elected to addressing a similar type of rally in London welcoming refugees. This is a good change for the (British) Labour Party who campaigned in the last election around tighter immigration controls.
Another woman told us about Department officials from the Office of Migrant Integration confiscating various items which were donated by a local group in Monasterevin as they expect that some of the refugees will be placed there. One would wonder why public servants operating under the authority of the Department of Justice and Equality, can see that taking toys away from migrant children who have yet to get here helps with process of integration? But from many of the speeches the story, the voice of the asylum seeker, the person trapped in the system of direct provision, the voice of the refugee, the human story was missing from all the speeches.
After an hour we moved off and marched to the central bank. There Colm O’Gorman, adding to the long list of white Irish speakers, from Amnesty spoke about how shameful it was that people died fleeing conflict whilst leaders and states did nothing. All true.
But my hopes for change reside with the people and not with new old white men in charge of political parties. It is in the young faces in the crowd who know in their hearts that a system which allows humans to die on the shores of a land that they hope will give them a future, is wrong. It is the fact that people know this to be the case. It is the young people who will not wait be placated with platitudes or satisfied with putting a different old man in charge. It is in the people that rallied in Dublin, and London, in Frankfurt, in Vienna and in places all over to world who do welcome refugees in their hearts but know that this system does not.
My hopes spring from the fact that people have come together to collect goods and send them in convoys to Calais. In a massive display of collective organising independent of this government we are witnessing people responding in real solidarity to the needs of other people. It is interesting that all this is happening at a grassroots level and below the official system. A system which plainly uses people like a resource and deems all resources expendable cannot be either reformed or trusted. There is no such thing as getting the right driver for that system. More and more people are realising this, as the raw contradictions of capitalism are exposed to detriment of us all.
Words: Dermot Freeman
Reply from rally organiser Memet Uludag
Response to the article titled "A critical view of the Refugees are Welcome Rally in Dublin" by Dermot Freeman
Just some quick points. I don't see the benefit of a long debate on this. I trust you will publish my response under the original article in the interest of clarity and solidarity.
1. The rally on Saturday 12 September organised by me was the biggest so far in Ireland. (I hope there will be even bigger rallies organised and more solidarity campaigns run)
2. It was attended by a broad range of people.
3. 20+ organisations formally supported the rally. Of those, representatives from 9-10 organisations spoke at the rally. The organisations - rightly so - decided on their speakers. It was up to each organisation to put forward a speaker.
4. The Syrian Community Group - which also has refugees from syria - put forward a speaker. It was, again, and rightly so, up to the community to decide on their speaker. Another Syrian women was also to speak but on the day she decided not do so.
5. Asylum Seeker speaker: Wali Ullah Safi, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan was to speak at the rally and I have announced his name and called on him number of times. Wali is the Afghan man who was arrested in Naas in July 2015. Unfortunately he wasn't there or he didn't come forward.
In summary we had 1 Muslim cleric, myself, 2 Syrian (man and women) 1 Asylum seeker speaker lined up. We also had a speaker from the Irish Traveller Movement - a traveller - but on the day this didn't materialise.
I think your criticism is misdirected and ignored to mention the above facts.
This rally was organised in the true meaning of a very broad united front approach and it was a very lively and energetic event.
Upwards and onwards.
Ireland / Britain | Migration / racism | en
Fr 04 Dez, 04:06
WSM remove racist slogans in Cabra, Dublin 19:52 Mo 18 Dez 0 comments
Local members of the WSM have removed racist slogans which had been painted along the canal.
Immigration and Racism in Ireland 21:39 Di 10 Okt 0 comments
In the last fifteen to twenty years, two new phenomena have finally reached Ireland –Immigration and alongside it - Racism. This is not to say that we Irish never had our prejudices before the ‘blacks’ arrived, back then we were quite happy directing our bigotry and ignorance towards travellers, gays, Jews and Protestants.
Afghan Asylum Seekers occupy St Patricks Cathedral in Dublin 00:14 Fr 19 Mai 0 comments
There is a growing crisis in Ireland with the hospitalisation of around 8 of the 41 Afghan Hunger strikers who occupied St Patricks Cathedral on Sunday last. WSM members have been taking part in solidarity vigils and other support work for the 41 Afghan hunger strikers . We support their demand to be allowed to stay in Ireland and we will be taking part in demonstrations and other events over the new few days in support of that demand.
Labour party leader Pat Rabbitte turns on migrant workers 19:38 Mi 05 Apr 0 comments
The exploitation of migrant workers who are often paid illegally low wages has hit the Irish news many times in recent months. Labour party leader Pat Rabbitte reacted to this explotation by suggesting further controls should be place on migrant workers!
Arrests at attempt to block deportations in Dublin 23:31 Do 20 Okt 1 comments
Two people were arrested in Dublin on Tuesday as Residents against Racism activists attempted to block the deportation of 39 people (including fourteen children, 5 of whom were born in Ireland) to Lagos. Nigeria. This account is from Emma a WSM member and RAR activist who was arrested.
Man Deported Because Of Garda Brutality Cover up 17:41 Mi 10 Aug 0 comments
In the early hours of May 19th Michael Alabi was deported by the Irish State. Michael was resident of a hostel in Lower Gardiner street and was part of a group of Nigerian men who decided to go on hunger strike to protest against the department of Justice's draconian immigration policies.
Irish union branch Opposes Tactics Of Deportation Cops 22:41 Di 09 Aug 0 comments
The Dublin City North Branch of the INTO has passed a motion endorsing the call by outgoing union president, Austin Corcoran, that all schools become safe places for all children -to be given the status of embassies. It is hoped that more branches within the union will take up this issue and that by next year's annual congress a campaign will be launched in the union to make this a reality
Deported to be Mutilated? 01:57 So 03 Jul 0 comments
The Irish government is currently trying to deport women and children under the threat of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which frequently results in death. Asylum in Ireland can be sought on grounds of religious or political persecution. However the government refuse to acknowlege FGM as a political act and therefore women and children cannot apply for asylum on the basis they have suffered or will suffer FGM if deported.
Solidarity Action for the political seekers Bahoz & Temiz 07:02 Sa 25 Jun 0 comments
Solidarity Action with the political asylum seekers Bahoz and Temiz, Friday, 24/06/2005 6pm outside the Greek Consulate, 50 Gogarloch Syke, Edinburgh, EH12 9JB Kurdish Asylum Seeker on Hunger Strike in Greece – close to death.
100 years after 1916 will the Irish state recognising Traveller ethnicity Nov 04 0 comments
2016 is fast approaching and we will be subjected to endless documentaries about that start of our bloody history as a nation. It will also be a time for analysis of how far we’ve come since the proclamation of this Republic.
In the proclamation there are lines which are aspirational, but grounded in the reality of experience of the rebels.
“The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.”
Travellers’ struggles are our struggles too: decent housing for all! Okt 14 0 comments
Last weekend, ten people died in a fire at a halting site in South Dublin. Thomas Connors, Sylvia Connors, Willie Lynch, Tara Gilbert, and Jimmy Lynch and five children lost lives. Their deaths are a tragedy, and we mourn their loss. But we are also angry. Because we know the loss of their lives was not the outcome of chance or blind fate. Our society, its laws and its institutions are designed to marginalise, to penalise and to discriminate against Travellers (traditionally itinerant ethnic group) . So long as we accept these forms of oppression and exploitation, tragedy will follow tragedy.
March in support of refugees in Dublin Sep 15 0 comments
Thanks to the work of a few volunteers we had some banners to bring to the Refugees are Welcome rally and march at the Spire on Saturday the 12th of September. I was on my bike into the Barricade Inn to pick up the banners. The banners were important to link up certain struggles. One linked the appalling reaction to the social housing crisis by this government with their slow reaction to the humanitarian crisis on the edges of fortress Europe, which simply stated Homes for All, Refuge for All, and another which read No Borders No Nations. There was a good crowd assembled there when we arrived at the Spire and it grew steadily as Memet Uludag spoke frequently, often, and introduced each of the speakers. The rally was a response where people wanted to express their solidarity with the refugees who are attempting to escape war and death.
Céad Míle Fáilte*? Racial Profiling in the Ireland Okt 24 1 comments
Over the last couple of days we have witnessed massive media hysteria about the case of Maria, a young girl supposedly abducted by a Roma couple in Greece. DNA tests and Lombroso-style racial profiling have come into action in a case that has stirred the irrational anxiety that feeds racism and bigotry. Beyond the fact that child abduction is a serious issue, the "whiteness" and "blondeness" of the alleged victim have been emphasised together with the "Roma" condition of the alleged culprits. Let us remember that this is taking place in Greece, a country where blatant racism (as expressed by Golden Dawn) is on the rise, so there are good reasons to be cautious about this whole case.
Irish Travellers - Apartheid, Irish Style Okt 23 0 comments
In Ireland institutional racism has evolved to come fitted as standard. At the same time the State dithers about making the decision on whether or not to grant Travellers ethnic status. As the Stephen Lawrence family lawyer, Imran Khan stated – when you write laws of the land specifically for a people – it is a sure sign that you recognise them as a specific group when you bring in laws that pertain only to them. So, in Ireland, are Travellers specifically targeted in the Anti-Trespass Act brought in 2002 and Section 24 of the Criminal Justice Act (1994).