Combating racism in Ireland

Memet Uludag, Convenor of United Against Racism writes: As part of its struggle to combat racism in Ireland United Against Racism will be holding a Rally and March in Dublin on Saturday 11 March.

Socialist Worker

Combating racism in Ireland

It will assemble at 2pm at the Garden of Remembrance and march to the Central Bank Plaza. It is also part of an international week of action against racism in many different countries. Similar events will be held elsewhere in Cork and Galway.

This rally and demonstration will have three themes:

Dump Trump. Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobic bigot who has made a speciality of attacking immigrants and Muslims, demeaning women, and stirring up hatred. The Irish community like other migrants in the US are now living in fear. Enda Kenny should not be going to Washington to present a bowl of Shamrock to Trump. The idea that he will be going to challenge Trump over his policies is laughable.

If he wants to go somewhere on St.Patrick’s Day let him visit a homeless hostel or a Direct Provision centre. United Against Racism says to Kenny ‘Don’t go – not in our name!’

End Direct Provision. Direct Provision – the system our State places asylum seekers in – is a shame and a disgrace. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work and forced to live on €19.10 a week. They are deprived of support for third level education.

People fleeing oppression find themselves and their children trapped in centres that are close to being prisons and which segregate and isolate them from wider society. In many cases asylum seekers are kept in DP for years and years- it is inhumane and racist.

United Against Racism has an ongoing campaign against Direct Provision and Brid Smith and other sympathetic TDs will soon be presenting a bill to the Dáil to abolish it. ‘End Direct Provision – give asylum seekers the right to work’.

Traveller Equality. United Against Racism has always supported the recognition of Traveller ethnicity and we are delighted this has now been achieved. But this is only a first step towards full equality. Travellers continue to be the most oppressed, deprived and discriminated against group in Irish society in terms of health, education, jobs and every other measure.

As part of the general housing crisis there is a specific acute crisis in Traveller accommodation. We say ‘Continue the struggle against anti-Traveller racism – full equality now!’

Speakers on all these issues will take part in the Rally. Ireland is lucky not to have a far right or fascist organisation like so many other European countries do. Let’s keep it that way.

The Rally on 11 March is an important next step in fighting racism in Ireland today.

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