Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category

“The State’s obligation to provide accommodation for tens of thousands of newcomers from abroad is a logistical dilemma but it is exacerbated by a housing crisis that governments have presided over for the past decade” – Justine McCarthy talks sense about Ireland’s political problems today

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Justine McCarthy’s article appeared in the Irish Times, February 2 2023. She talks a lot of sense.

A member of Streetlink Homeless Support helping homeless people remove some of their belongings from a migrant camp in Ashtown, Dublin. The camp was the target of an alleged attack by a group of Irish men last weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Justine McCarthy's face

Justine McCarthy

Any John Wayne movie worth its cast of cowboys has a scene where the baddie sets light to the dynamite taper. As the flame sizzles towards the point of detonation, the audience prays to God and all the saints above in heaven to send someone, quick, to stamp it out before the whole damned town of Tombstone goes up in smoke. That is how it has felt this week watching the lit taper of Irish xenophobia pick up speed in its burn towards cataclysm. Heightening the fear is the absence of any star-billed hero dashing to the rescue.

As gardaí investigate the suspected arson of a 19th century former schoolhouse in Dublin, which had been wrongly identified on social media as a location being prepared to house people from abroad seeking refuge here, the response of Ministers has run the full gamut from tut to tutting. As a group of Irish-born men equipped with a German shepherd, a pit bull terrier and a baseball bat yelled “pack up and get out now” to men who were not born in this country at an encampment in another part of Dublin last weekend, Ireland’s most admired leader, President Higgins, was nearly 3,000 miles away in Africa.

Amid this paralysis of State leadership, two sides have gone to war. On one side are some residents of mainly non-privileged areas who are furious that the Government is trying to look after people fleeing their native lands while many of those born here struggle to pay their bills and to secure homes. Malign keyboard warriors are deliberately stirring this resentment with lies and innuendo for their own bigoted agenda, but there are also many kind-hearted residents who have justifiable reasons for feeling discriminated against. The disproportionate number of communities with inadequate public services that have been chosen to accommodate people from abroad is as provocative as the racist rhetoric.

On the other side are many residents in these communities who are sickened by the hatred being spewed at people coming from abroad to live among them and who, in numerous cases, have suffered unimaginable vicissitudes before arriving here. The prejudice pricks a folk memory of times past when desperate Irish immigrants were as unwelcome as dogs in other countries. Besides, it belies Ireland’s self-image as the compassionate land of the céad míle fáilte.

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Zero Tolerance for intimidation – Anthony McIntyre reports on a Labour Party Public Meeting in Drogheda – Unity in Action Against a Common Far-Right Racist Enemy

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Differences exist on the left-wing spectrum in Ireland – some of them concern fundamental disagreements about political principles. One clear example is opposition to entering any coalition government with right wing ruling class parties in Ireland such as Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Democratic Unionist party or the Alliance party.

Other issues place a duty on parties in the broadly left-wing spectrum to put aside tactical differences, and explore methods of practical co-operation. Building effective practical opposition to the dangerous growth of far-right racism in Ireland is on the agenda today. In this spirit we re-publish an Anthony McIntyre article which reports on a well-attended Irish Labour Party rally in Drogheda which tackled the issues of racism, immigration, and Russia’s fascist and genocidal invasion of Ukraine head-on.

Anthony pulls no punches discussing his political differences with the Labour Party!

John Meehan February 3 2023


link : https://www.thepensivequill.com/2023/02/zero-tolerance-for-intimidation.html

Zero Tolerance For Intimidation

Anthony McIntyre Wednesday, February 1, 2023

It has long struck me that the Irish Labour Party more than any other has abandoned the constituency that returns it in pursuit of office. It promises a left package then delivers the Rabbitte punch to the recipients of the promise so that it may become the prop sustaining governments which view left packages much as a dog does a lamppost.

Whatever the Labour leadership sought to project onto the screen, the filtering process left the electorate feeling that it had just viewed Pensions Before People. Last time out those who had voted the party in such numbers in the previous general election followed through on Eamon Gilmore’s promise, while still with the Workers Party, to destroy the Labour Party. Since then Labour has struggled to make any impact on the Irish political scene.

None of that stopped me from turning up at a Labour Party Town Hall meeting in Drogheda’s D Hotel on Monday evening. I actually left Dublin early to make the event which was attended by around one hundred people. I had never been at any of the party’s gatherings before although any time I have approached its elected representatives or party workers, the response has been nothing less than helpful. Their members also have been to the fore in defusing the moral panic that the far right has been trying to stoke and amplify over a range of issues, most notably refugees.

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Irish Police Arrest a Dublin Fascist

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Gardaí have arrested a fascist from Finglas, who has not so far been charged with any offences.

The Sunday World reports :

The 39-year-old from Finglas claimed protestors are going to “go through” Finglas Garda Station at an anti-immigrant protest tonight.

Further details :

Far right activist Graham Carey has been arrested this morning at his home by armed members of the Special Detective Unit (SDU).

He is currently being held at a south Dublin Garda station where he is being questioned under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

It is understood that his arrest follows a lengthy investigation by SDU officers.

The 39-year-old, from Finglas, claimed protestors are going to ‘go through’ Finglas Garda Station at an anti-immigrant protests tonight.

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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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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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UNITE Trade Union says many construction workers cannot afford homes they build – Supports Rally for Housing, Saturday November 26, Parnell Square, 1.00pm

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UNITE is one of the trade unions backing a Dublin Rally for Housing on November 26.

Source : http://unitetheunionireland.org/2022/11/24/saturdays-raise-the-roof-rally-must-signal-turning-point-on-housing/

Support the Anti-Racist Bloc: https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/11/23/racism-in-dublins-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/

Unite says many construction workers cannot afford homes they build

November 24th: Unite, which represents workers throughout the economy, has called for a large turnout at the Raise the Roof housing rally due to take place this coming Saturday (26 November). 

Commenting, the union’s Regional Coordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

“A generation has been locked out of secure and genuinely affordable housing.  House prices rose by 77% between 2012 and 2020, while incomes increased by just 23% over the same period.  At the same time, average rents now consume over half the average wage.

“The housing emergency did not arise overnight.  Home building by local authorities collapsed as a direct result of public policy, with new housing builds by local authorities across the country amounting to just under 2,300 units in 2019 – a derisory figure given the level of housing need.  Instead of building homes, funding has been channelled into tax breaks for large investors, lucrative leasing deals for developers and large subsidies for private landlords.  It’s clear that we need a new deal for housing”, Mr Fitzgerald said.

James McCabe is Unite Regional Officer for Construction and added:

“Younger construction workers cannot afford to buy or rent the homes they build, while their older colleagues see their children unable to access secure and affordable accommodation.

“We need a new state-led housing programme focused on building public housing on public land, and on providing high-quality accommodation as well as high-quality jobs for those working in the sector”.

Concluding, Tom Fitzgerald said:

“The housing emergency is not a simple matter of policy failure:  it is a consequence of the policy choices pursued by successive governments.  Whether directly or indirectly, the housing emergency affects all workers, and on Saturday we need to turn out in huge numbers to demand that housing be treated as a human right and public good”, Mr Fitzgerald said.

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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Solidarity With Ukraine, Solidarity With Palestine – Open Letter to President Zelensky

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The USA based Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity Campaign has published an open letter addressed to President Zelensky – see below :

August 22, 2022

Attn: Ukrainian Embassy

Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity Campaign has been organizing support for Ukraine and its right to defend itself against Russia’s imperialist invasion since the start of that invasion.

We’re shocked to learn that your government supported the recent Israeli “pre-emptive” attack on Palestinians in Gaza. The Israeli news source Ynet News reports that Yevhen Korniichuk, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel, expressed support for Israel while it was attacking and killing at least 30 Palestinians including 4 children. No Israeli casualties have been reported – yet, according to news reports, Korniichuk wrote in a tweet on August 7th, “As a Ukrainian, while our country is under brutal attack from a close neighbor – I feel great sympathy towards the Israeli public. Terror and malicious attacks towards citizens have become daily matter for Israelis and Ukrainians.” He added. “We have to put an end to it. We pray for peace and hope the escalation ends soon.”

We do not see the tweet referencing Israel at the Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Israel Twitter account: https://twitter.com/UKRinIsrael. Was the tweet made? Was it withdrawn? We also understand that others have sent inquiries about this tweet and received no reply, so we can only assume that support for Israel’s bombing campaign has not been withdrawn.

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End All Immigration Control – a Tale of Ireland and Turkey

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A correspondent, the Great Enabler, writes below about a recent Dublin government decision to stop visa-free travel to Ireland.

It is an excellent thoughtful and passionate post. I note that the main opposition party in Ireland, Sinn Féin, is “not opposed” to the Irish government decision.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin has said it is not opposed to the Government move to tighten visa requirements for some refugees coming to Ireland.

“Health spokesperson David Cullinane said that the Government should have prepared better for the point when accommodation was tight.

He said the way to avoid such situations is through proper planning and by listening to organisations like the Irish Refugee Council. “. (RTÉ News)

John Meehan, July 23 2022

Immigration Control

Recently I read two news pieces in the Irish media on international travel: One was about the Irish government’s decision to stop visa-free travel to Ireland for refugees already settled in other EU states; the other one was a piece on how the Irish passport ranks very high on the list of “most powerful passports” – most powerful in terms of the freedom of movement it gives to its holders.

The plane I am travelling on is full of Irish people. Either by chit chat or eves dropping, one gathers very quickly that many have places in Turkey, summer homes. These would be very mostly homes, not luxuries villas. Others are holiday makers, excited about sea and sun. I think that’s absolutely great. People deserve holidays, people should see other countries. The powerful Irish passport is a great enabler. It takes 3-clicks and €15 to get your Turkish entry visa online. It may even be removed now.

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