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Statement against recent racist attacks in Northern Ireland

category ireland / britain | migration / racism | policy statement author Thursday July 02, 2009 22:59author by Belfast WSM - WSM - Belfast branch Report this post to the editors

An Injury to One is An Injury to All

The recent racist attacks in Northern Ireland against migrant workers are an indictment of the status-quo which thrives on blaming minorities for the problems inherent in capitalism. It is the political class and sections of the tabloid press who constantly provide the ammunition for racist attacks.

Belfast anti-racist protest
Belfast anti-racist protest

The recent racist attacks in Northern Ireland against migrant workers are an indictment of the status-quo which thrives on blaming minorities for the problems inherent in capitalism. It is the political class and sections of the tabloid press who constantly provide the ammunition for racist attacks.

Governments utilise racist sediment deliberately to divert our anger away from the real causes of their problems. Problems such as poverty, housing shortages, and unemployment have all been blamed on immigrants - rather than those really responsible such as landlords, property developers-capitalism.

Anarchists believe in equality between all people regardless of where their ancestors may be from, what colour their skin is, or where they were born. We all have an immigrant history in one way or the other. We want a world with no borders, where people are free to travel the world and settle where they wish – this is not a freedom that should be only be available to the rich.

Today Fortress Europe, with its border controls, armed guards and detention camps is a reality. This has brutal consequences for those seeking escape from persecution – often fleeing western sponsored dictatorships and imperialist wars.

Racial profiling is carried out by the police on public transport and border controls. Migrant workers are often questioned, harassed, detained and barred entry to ‘Ireland’ from the north on the basis of skin colour. Shamefully, ‘asylum-seekers’ here are interned in Maghaberry. It is the Labour Government which deports thousands of immigrants every year for the ‘crime’ of searching for a better life. It is the Labour Government which is trying to high-jack the clothes of the far-right by referring to ‘British jobs for British Workers’.

The real ‘spongers’ who undercut our wages are not immigrants but the tiny boss class who live off our labour. Immigrants bring a wealth of experience, culture and make a contribution to society and the ‘economy’, often suffering harsher conditions and exploitation than ‘native’ working class people. Often at the hands of criminal gangs, apart from our own Government. We must also remember that millions of working class people have migrated from Ireland – north and south – in search of a better life, fleeing inequality, injustice and poverty, over the past couple of hundred years.

In confronting racism and sectarianism we need to build class unity based on common class interests, fighting for a better standard and quality of life for all. These twin evils must be tackled where we live and work, rather than appealing to our politicians or calling for tougher legislation, which is a distraction from the root cause of the problem. We need to expose and attack the institutions which are legitimising racism in our society; we need to stand up against racist bullies and fascists carrying out attacks on migrant workers. Central to this is the need to physically and ideologically confront fascism wherever it raises its ugly head and the building of opposition to the system of wage slavery and exploitation which promotes racist scapegoating and the criminalisation of immigration.

Racism is motivated and perpetuated by greed, promoted by those in power. If festers in ignorance and misplaced fear. Our alternative is social equality and freedom for all.

STATEMENT ENDS

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