Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Stand Against Racism – Solidarity With Refugees – Dublin, GPO, Monday February 6, 1.30pm – Called by Le Chëile – Diversity Not Division

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Stand Against Racism – Solidarity With Refugees

We call on all our comrades to come out in a show of peaceful and determined solidarity, to stand with our refugee and migrant communities with love and compassion on Monday 6th February at 1.30pm at the Spire to oppose the latest iteration of anti-refugee hate.

Demonstrations have been called claiming to represent communities in Ireland under various slogans such as “Ireland is full” or “Ireland says no”. We know that Ireland is not full. The population is millions less than pre-famine times. There are many thousands of housing units and buildings laying empty across the country. Successive neoliberal governments have failed the Irish people, and particularly its homeless population, for years. In doing so, they have also failed refugees and migrants who have come to our shores. The Direct Provision system is a crime and many migrants are homeless.

It is undeniable that many of those involved in these demonstrations are using the language of the far right, of virulent racism, of hateful xenophobia. Violence is threatened against refugees and migrants simply due to the colour of their skin and their countries of origin. A migrant camp was violently attacked. Direct provision centres are targeted. Social media is awash with hate and vitriol, all based on ignorance and prejudice. Misleading and fact-free slogans and tropes are circulated and accepted as fact when they are simply a tissue of lies. We cannot sit back and hope that this awful period in our history passes. Many of us are working in our communities trying to counteract this misinformed narrative but whilst that slow and painstaking work continues, our refugee and migrant communities are in danger now – and they do not see that work being done in communities. They see crowds gathered outside hotels and refugee centres screaming “get them out”. That is not expressing reasonable concern. That is blatant intimidation. Anger at the government should be directed at the door of the government, where it rightfully belongs, and not at the door of those who have had no part to play in the immiseration of communities across the country.

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Join Community Standout Against Racism — Monday January 30 6pm @Ashtown Station, Dublin 15

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A Homeless migrant camp in Ashtown was brutally attacked on January 28 2023 in Dublin. Ruth Coppinger, a former member of the Dáil (TD) for the Dublin West constituency circulated the report below. Directions at this link : https://www.irishrail.ie/en-ie/station/ashtown

Infamous Racist Attack at Ashtown Station, Dublin 15

Earlier today there was a brutal racist attack in Ashtown at a site where a group of migrant workers, made homeless by unaffordable rents, have been living in tents for months.

A gang of 5 or 6 men with dogs, armed with sticks and baseball bats descended on the camp and violently attacked and injured at least one person. They would have done more damage, only that witnesses disturbed them.

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‘REFUGEES WELCOME’ THE OTHER SIDE OF PROTESTS – When far-right protests against asylum seekers housed in the former ESB building started in Dublin’s East Wall, Molly Hennessy wanted to do something. So she went down on her own with a cardboard sign that said, “Refugees Welcome”.

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This report was published in the January 28 2023 edition of the Irish Times. The author is Patrick Freyne

‘REFUGEES WELCOME’ THE OTHER SIDE OF PROTESTS

This report was published in the January 28 2023 edition of the Irish Times. The author is Patrick Freyne

Community groups are stepping up their opposition to those demonstrating about asylum seekers being housed in their areas

When far-right protests against asylum seekers housed in the former ESB building started in Dublin’s East Wall, Molly Hennessy wanted to do something. So she went down on her own with a cardboard sign that said, “Refugees Welcome”.

She says some of the protesters there on November 21st, 2022, were chanting “Refugees out” and “Ireland is full”. A man started shouting at her, she says. “He said he was going to follow me and burn my house down. And I was like, ‘okay, that’s mad, seeing as you’re here saying, “protect our women and children”.’ He was up in my face. I’m not even going to say some of the things he was saying about the people …I was crying walking away.”

It turned out a lot of local people were as upset by the protests as Hennessy and were contacting with one another. Soon East Wall Here for All was born. It’s one of a number of groups springing up across the city – Ballymun for All, Clondalkin for All, Tallaght for All, Drimnagh for All – that seek to show solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees. The groundwork was partly laid in the local Starbucks, where I meet some volunteers. “This place is to us what Liberty Hall was to James Connolly,” laughs Roxanna Nic Liam. “My family all live here and I work in a cafe in here. I saw the protests and I was mortified. I texted people in the area I knew and a few of us met up here in these very seats.”

“I was really shocked,” says her neighbour Paddy O’Dea. “I thought, ‘is this where I live now?’ I’ve a two-year-old and seeing parents at the protests with kids, I was like, ‘are these the views that are going to be passed on to my little man’?”

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Parliament Blocks Scottish Parliament Transgender Law Reform – British Labour Leader Keir Starmer Surrenders to the Union-Jack Far-Right

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Rishi Sunak’s governing Tories at Westminster have blocked a minor administrative human rights reform adopted by the Scottish Parliament which protects the rights of a very small minority, transgender people. It is an easy-peasy issue for all people on the liberal/social-democratic spectrum in Ireland – ranging from the entire left into significant sectors of the big right wing parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

In Scotland a similar liberal/social-democratic spectrum includes the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), the SNP’s government coalition partner the Greens, and the Scottish Labour Party.
The Scottish Parliament voted for this minor reform – which is less favourable to transgender people than the existing law in the 26 county bit of Ireland – by 86 votes to 39. This huge majority followed a very long drawn-out debate.

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Irish Far-Right Threatens Dublin Mid-West TD Gino Kenny (People Before Profit)

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This story was published in the Irish Examiner newspaper.

Gino Kenny says he 'will not be intimidated' by far-right threats to his home
Gino Kenny TD; Picture: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos

Gino Kenny says he ‘will not be intimidated’ by far-right threats to his home

PAUL HOSFORD, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, Irish Examiner, January 17 2023

The Dublin Mid-West TD says he has received threats after he joined a counter-demonstration at a temporary centre for asylum seekers in Clondalkin.

The far-right has been targeting me and my family,’ says People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny.

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny says he “will not be intimidated” by members of Ireland’s far-right who have threatened to come to his home.

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Government Blocks the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform legislation – A “constitutional nuclear ☢️ option”

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster government is using a “constitutional nuclear ☢️ option” (see Financial Times report below) to block a Scottish parliament gender recognition reform.

Financial Times, January 16 2023

This Changes Everything

Mike Small reports on the Scottish Bella Caledonia blog : https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2023/01/16/this-changes-everything-2/

Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary, has confirmed that the British government is using article 35 to block the Scottish government gender recognition reform bill. This is unprecedented and represents a full-on attack on the devolution settlement. It’s a desperate escalation and dramatically ups the stakes for not just the British government but also the Labour and Scottish Labour party. Will Anas Arwar simply over-turn his parties own position? It is billed as an attack on the SNP but it is actually an attack on the Scottish Parliament where the legislation received cross-party support after years of delays, amendments and debate.

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Irish Left Archive Podcast Number 44: Vincent Doherty: Official Sinn Féin, International Marxist Group, Troops Out, People’s Democracy, H-Block Committee, Sinn Féin – reblogged from The Cedar Lounge Revolution

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I first met Vincent Doherty in the late 1970’s via People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. Since then we travelled on different political paths, while remaining on very good personal terms. In 2022 Vincent and me – along with a group of left-wing activists who come from different but complementary streams of the Irish Left – have been working actively together in the Irish Left With Ukraine organization.

The comrades who publish the Cedar Lounge Revolution Blog come from a stream of the Irish Left which is different from Vincent Doherty and me. But we converge politically in 2022 on a very decisive issue – the genocidal imperialist Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On the left nothing stands still. There is a strong mistaken current dominant of the Irish Marxist left which does “what if” interpretations of historical events. This interview avoids that approach. It is much better to accept the past, warts and all. We cannot change the past, but we can with 20-20 vision learn from our history. We can apply that knowledge to the present day and the immediate future – which we can influence.

Rayner Lysaght Tribute – Irish Labour History Society Event

Rayner Lysaght RIP (January 30 1941 – July 2 2021) was a close comrade of Vincent and me for many years in People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. The Irish Labour History Society staged a commemorative tribute in honour of Rayner on May 14 2021. I delivered the speech below, which also deals with some of the events described by Vincent Doherty.

John Meehan January 2 2023

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Transgender Rights – “Scotland is now ahead of the rest of the UK – though still behind Ireland” – Michael Farrell

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Veteran human rights activist Michael Farrell has campaigned in favour of transgender people for many decades. He publicly posted this comment in support of a recent Scottish Parliament Law reform:

Congratulations to the Scottish Parliament for taking a big step to protect transgender rights and resisting a bitter campaign by anti-trans groups to prevent them from making it easier for trans persons to get legal recognition. The new law, passed by 86 votes to 39, means trans people won’t have to get a medical diagnosis and wait for two yeas to register their gender. Scotland is now ahead of the rest of the UK – though still behind Ireland. A good day for a small community of people who have been abused and discriminated against for generations.

Michael Farrell, a founding member of People’s Democracy, was a revolutionary socialist activist in the six counties of Northern Ireland during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

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Racism in Dublin’s East Wall Area : “Demanding Garda vetting for asylum seekers and refugees and using this as an excuse to surround asylum seekers and chant “Get them out” is as racist as it gets”

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Let’s be clear and unambiguous.

A correspondent writes :

Demanding Garda vetting for asylum seekers and refugees and using this as an excuse to surround asylum seekers and chant “Get them out” is as racist as it gets. That’s the inner core of the protests in East Wall and it has nothing to do with housing. Calling for vetting to make sure these black men are not pedophiles is a propaganda repeated everywhere such protest emerge. It is learned from European racism over the past decade. Nothing can make this look any different. Nothing should try to make this any different than what it is.

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Statement by Ukrainian Feminists in Solidarity with Iranian Women

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Ukrainian Feminists offer solidarity to their sisters in Iran. The Teheran and Moscow régimes are reactionary allies.

the Iranian state is not only oppressing its own citizens. It also provides support for other oppressive and imperialist regimes. During the last few weeks, Iranian drones employed by the Russian army have killed tens of civilians and destroyed countless housing and critical infrastructure objects in Ukraine.

We, Ukrainian feminists, express our solidarity with Iranian uprising, triggered by the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini by the Iranian Morality Police. Thousands of women responded to this crime by going out on the streets, cutting their hair and publicly taking off and burning hijabs as a symbol of their oppression. What started as a protest against police brutality and obligatory hijab, quickly transformed into a general resistance of the Iranian people against the patriarchal and dictatorial mullah regime and the authoritarian form of capitalism that it represents. The grassroot mobilization is today being joined by schoolgirls, students, trade unions, ethnic minorities, and people from other social groups affected by the economic crises, high food prices, social cuts, and privatization. This new wave of struggles thus continues and expands the series of uprisings against socio-economic inequalities, political oppression and ethnic disctimination that shook Iran during the last decade. 

Source : https://femwork.org/en/fm-news/solidarity-with-iranian-women-eng/

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