This week the issue is not Trump. It is ourselves. 15:39 Jan 27 0 comments
Why we should listen to anarchists in the age of Trump 01:32 Jan 24 0 comments
The Crisis of European Integration and the Challenges for the Left 14:42 Oct 25 0 comments
Η Σφήκα (Τεύχος 9) 16:44 Jun 18 0 comments
Arab Spring and Syrian Refugee Crisis: Ten Theses for Discussion 16:26 Nov 18 0 commentsmore >>
Recent articles by Tomás Lynch
Recent Articles about Ireland / Britain Miscellaneous
Aodhan Ó Ríordáin: Playing The Big Man in America
Aodhan Ó Ríordáin jets off to the States this week to try and crack America with his unique brand of hypocritical liberalism, trumpeting himself as an anti-racist icon in contrast to Trump’s policies of detention and deportation of undocumented migrants. Tómas Lynch takes a look at his record on the homefront.
Now, after being appointed as a Senator despite losing his seat in the Dáil in the last election, his denunciation of Trump’s policies as racist has gone viral. As a result he’s been invited to take part in Irish Stand, a St Patrick’s Day demonstration against Trump which is being organized by such serious activist campaigns as Waking The Feminists and Black Lives Matter.
But once you take a moment to look past the grandstanding viral videos and the narcissistic self-congratulation, at his record in government as Minister of State for the Department of Justice, his position as migrant justice campaigner and anti-racist starts to look a hell of a lot less solid.
As a minister in the Department responsible for immigration and the notorious system of Direct Provision in which people seeking protection and security in this country are kept, he did little to change the situation. Ireland, along with Lithuania, remains one of only two countries that do not allow asylum seekers to work while their asylum case is being processed.
Up until recently people living in Direct Provision weren’t able to cook, and are generally barred from accessing third-level education. Some people have been languishing in this system for up to ten years, their lives cut off while government ministers do nothing and then recast themselves as heroes of #TheResistance.
The centres in which people seeking asylum are confined are still run by profiteering companies that continue to make millions of euro of profit a year, just like the for-profit deportation and detention centres of the US immigration system that Ó Ríordáin is such a vocal critic of. And while companies like East Coast Catering rake in the profits, residents scrape by on €19.10 a week, trapped in isolated centres in rural areas around the country.
And just like Trump’s America, the Irish system Ó Ríordáin presided over was and is a system of mass deportation. Last year nearly 4,500 people were deported from the state, back to countries where their lives were at risk.
With regard to the Travelling community, the ethnic group most discriminated against in Ireland, Ó Ríordáin delivered a blistering oration on their right to be recognized as an ethnicity back in 2015, and then failed to show up the next day to vote on the subject. All talk, and not a great deal of action.
When challenged on his inaction Ó Ríordáin gesticulates at a report that was published criticising the Direct Provision system. If only Trump would just publish a report, while leaving all his immigration policies intact, we could clap him on the back too as a great anti-racist.
Out of that report did come some changes, mainly the 2015 International Protection Act. That Act has been criticized by MASI, a movement of current and former asylum seekers living in Direct Provision, as only increasing the web of Kafkaesque bureaucracy they are immersed in.
This new act came into force in January this year and has already had an affect on the lives of people living in Direct Provision. Under this new act the reunification of families split up by conflict is made yet more difficult, and asylum applicants, many of whom have already filled out several such documents, have to fill out a 60-page questionnaire – the Single Application Procedure.
When residents received the questionnaire they were given an impossible 20 day deadline and told that failure to meet the deadline would jeopardize their claim. After a fuss was kicked up, the Department contradicted itself and said that the deadline date was a guideline only.
With these impossible deadlines and contradictory statements the system seems designed to manufacture crisis, forcing people to rush through their forms and make simple clerical errors that could jeopardize their asylum cases and have them deported back to countries where their lives may be at risk.
The forms are filled with questions that immigration lawyers say are irrelevant to the asylum application, and seem to be aimed at catching people out. This bureaucratic chaos is the legacy of Ó Ríordáin’s vaunted reform.
While Trump’s policies are racist and should be condemned, it is too easy to do as Ó Ríordáin has done, making a self-congratulatory viral video and washing his hands of the grim situation of migrants and refugees here in Ireland.
As has been so often pointed out in recent days, the mistreatment and institutionalisation of people in Direct Provision is something that future generations will be apologising for, just as this generation apologises for how their parents confined and institutionalised unmarried mothers and children.
We can, like Ó Ríordáin, remain passively acquiescent, or we can join with the growing campaigns both within and outside the Direct Provision centres to change the way we treat migrants in our own country.
Thu 23 Mar, 23:10
Irish Anarchist Review 5 - Summer 2012 15:46 Fri 15 Jun 0 comments
Welcome to Irish Anarchist Review issue 5, produced by the Workers Solidarity Movement. In this magazine we look to explore theories, thoughts and ideas about political struggle. We set out to analyse where we are aiming for as a revolutionary movement and explore how we might get there. The purpose of ‘Irish Anarchist Review’ is to act as forum for a sharing of ideas about revolutionary struggle. Building a successful revolution demands genuine discussion, debate and sharing of ideas. We hope that the articles in here will help to stimulate discussion and provoke debate and perhaps even motivate some of our readers to respond with articles of your own.
Eyewitness to the London riots - it's all about class 15:52 Mon 15 Aug 0 comments
Workers Solidarity interviewed Hackney local and education worker, Alex Carver, about the roots of the London riots. Alex is a long standing activist in the IWW union, housing struggles in the East End, and the big left events since the start of the recession, most recently the M26 Militant Workers Block and the J30 Strike project. He was a direct witness to the rioting on Monday. Here he tells Workers Solidarity why he thinks that the riots are best understood by loooking at class rather than race.
Report from the frontlines of the Ardoyne anti-Orange Order riot 18:19 Fri 15 Jul 0 comments
Rioting erupted in ‘nationalist areas’ across the North on Tuesday after the annual Orange Order parades. The worst of the trouble was in Ardoyne in North Belfast which left 16 police officers injured and with over 60 lethal plastic bullets fired leaving many people injured. WSM member 'John Creagh' reports from the Ardoyne on the disturbances and what they tell us.
WSM twitter live during Ardoyne Orange Order July 12th parade 07:57 Tue 12 Jul 0 comments
It is this time of year again when the spectre of sectarianism and division comes to the fore in the north of Ireland. It is a time when communities, kerbstones and poles are marked and carved into territory. There are those who will be living in fear and silenced from speaking out while the rest of us are told to turn the other check in the interests of peace and stability. It is unfortunate, if perhaps somewhat inevitable, that the now annual battles around the ‘marching season’ fall along religious lines. The Orange parades are being used to test the supposed 'neutrality' of the northern regime and the PSNI in particular. The losing side in this dangerous game however is likely to be the working class, as the confrontations and the sectarian attacks that occur around the Orange marches drive people further into ‘their own’ communities.
N. Ireland: Politicians continue to ‘sponge’ off the system 20:54 Thu 23 Apr 0 comments
If truth be told, should we be surprised by revelations in recent weeks concerning the expenses of ‘our’ politicians?
Putting People First – Militantly 19:06 Wed 15 Apr 1 comments
By Keith Hallack, published on April 4th, 2009
That's Capitalism! 21:52 Tue 02 Dec 0 comments
The toys of the rich, Beacon Hospitals group, King Mawati III, Michael Fingleton, confidence in public health, Bank benefits
Solidarity from Ireland with the popular and indigenous struggle in Colombia!!! 04:58 Wed 22 Oct 0 comments
Around 30 people met last Thursday 16th of October at the very heart of Dublin, the GPO, to stage a demo in solidarity with the Colombian popular and indigenous organisations in struggle for various demands, who have been met with full force by the repressive and dictatorial regime of Álvaro Uribe Vélez.
Launch of Campaign for a Decent Public Health Service 22:58 Thu 14 Feb 0 comments
Roughly 300 people turned up to the launch of the 'Campaign for a Decent Public Health Service' on the evening of the 11th February in Liberty Hall. The public meeting was organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and the campaign hopes to bring together health workers and their trade unions, patient groups, hospital campaigners, the trade union movement in general and the general public to demand a civilised health service.
Kilkenny Woman Sentenced to Death 22:44 Mon 03 Dec 0 comments
In Ireland we like to think that we’ve long ago abolished the death penalty; that we’ve progressed beyond such primitive practices, that we’re too civilized for that. But Irish people are still being sentenced to death, and not even for crimes they have committed but for the crimes of our murderous health system.more >>
Stormont, Petitions of Concern and Marriage Equality Nov 04 0 comments
The issue of Marriage Equality is to be debated for the fifth time in Stormont today (Nov 2nd). Yet again, however, the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) has launched a Petition of Concern to ensure that should the motion be successful its legal passing will be blocked.
For the first time in the history of the Northern Irish state a majority of MLAs (members of the Parliament in the North of Ireland) have voted in favour of Marriage Equality. The motion, however, has fallen due to the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) launching a Petition of Concern which blocks any passing of the motion to law.
The most successful G8 in Northern Ireland ever? Jun 21 0 comments
At the post G8 press conference, PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggot claimed the G8 summit in Enniskillen was the "most peaceful and stable" in its history. The G8 gangsters may have left dazzled and wined by our local political class but beneath the media spin and smokescreen lies the ugly reality of a new Northern Ireland of one rule for the rich and powerful while the rest of us must accept our place in the ladder, or face the consequences. We only need to look no further than the selective internment of Marion Price and others.
Oppose the G8: Dealers of Austerity May 28 0 comments
The media charm offensive has began as our local corrupt political class roll out the the red carpet to the notorious gang of eight, dealers of austerity, state terror and imperialism. The beautiful, tranquil lakes of Fermanagh will be turned into a "ring of steel" with security fencing extending for miles, protected by an army of professional thugs and watchtowers to keep the rest of us plebs at bay.
Belfast flag riots: Class Unity not Sectarian Diversions Dec 22 1 comments
nce again violence has flared across Belfast and other parts of the north as protests continue around the flags issue. The latest disturbances come as Stormont Assembly leaders, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness meet to discuss another wave of street protests, and their concerns about the damaging effect it is having on the economy leading up to the busiest shopping period of the calendar. But as each issued a separate statement calling for protests to come to an end, loyalist gangs flexed their muscles, blocking off streets and hijacking cars.more >>
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