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Recent articles by Shane O'Curry
Recent Articles about Ireland / Britain Migration / racism
Support the Dale Farm families - Put a marker down to stop the racist onslaught against Travellers
ireland / britain | migration / racism | opinion / analysis Tuesday October 11, 2011 16:13 by Shane O'Curry - WSM
The notorious 1994 Criminal Justice Act effectively repealed the 1968 Caravan Sites Act, signaling a return to the usual form for legislation in Britain, Ireland and Europe, in that it also effectively criminalises nomadic culture and Travellers way of life. The general thrust of legislation and policy in Ireland, Britain and Europe, has for the most part been about framing Travellers, Romanies, Rroma, Tziganes, Gitanos and other nomadic peoples as problematic populations whose way of life must be criminalized and whose cultural distinctions eliminated. The net result of these policies, if you are from one of the many nomadic cultures is, according to every post-war study by the EU, WHO, World Bank and UN, all your quality of life indicators ( life expectancy, death rate, infant mortality, general health, mental health, suicide, literacy etc.) are continents away from that of your settled neighbours. It is literally the difference between the first and third worlds.
Similar legislation in Ireland, such as the specifically anti-Traveller Section 24 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002, and the continued non-recognition of Traveller ethnicity by the Irish State, contributes to a historic trend of forced sedentarism for Travellers infamously celebrated by Charlie Haughey in his 1960 remark that “There can be no final solution of the problem created by itinerants until they are absorbed into the general community” ( the choice of the words “Final Solution” only 15 years after the end of the ‘Porrajmos’, in which European Fascism’s “Final Solution” meant the extermination of 1.5 million Roma, can only be read as intentionally echoing Hitler’s words.)
As the halting sites in Britain have become increasingly blocked, increasing numbers of Travellers, including some English Romanies, came to settle in Dale Farm, as it is one of the only safe spaces left where Travellers can live and work in their traditional extended family units, and where they can practice their culture and build for the future . Dale Farm is the last option for Travellers wanting to live as Travellers. As 69 year old resident Mary Ann McCarthy told the Guardian last year “"Without an address you can't get doctors, our kids can't go to school. The camps we used to pull in to have been closed and barricaded up. Travelling life is finished for Travellers." New families came to the Traveller-owned site to make a life for themselves. The settlement extended into parts of the former scrapyard deemed ‘green belt’ by the Tory council, and near-futile attempts were painstakingly made to get planning permission (in Britain, less than 20 percent of applications for planning permission are granted to Travellers, compared to over 60 percent for non-Travellers).
Now that Dale Farm residents and Traveller activists fight the last of their legal appeals , the end of a long and exhausting journey, solidarity in the form of Traveller activists and other ‘fellow-travellers’ pours in from around Britain and Ireland, and legal action gives way to direct action as people brace themselves to face the bailiffs and bulldozers, and the cover given to them by racist media and politicians.
Ireland’s all-Traveller forum, Minceirs Whiden, has called for a vigil or picket of the British Embassy in Ballsbridge, this Friday, 16 September, from 12.30 pm to 2 pm. The vigil has been called in solidarity with the families who are facing eviction from their own land at Dale Farm, in Essex. If there is a time to show your solidarity with Dale Farm residents and Travelling people throughout Europe, it is now. Come to the picket at the British Embassy in Ballsbridge this Friday at 12.30. “Stop the Bulldozers: respect Traveller culture and ways!”
WORDS: Shane O'Curry
Sun 14 Feb, 15:10
WSM remove racist slogans in Cabra, Dublin 18:52 Mon 18 Dec 0 comments
Local members of the WSM have removed racist slogans which had been painted along the canal.
Immigration and Racism in Ireland 19:39 Tue 10 Oct 0 comments
In the last fifteen to twenty years, two new phenomena have finally reached Ireland –Immigration and alongside it - Racism. This is not to say that we Irish never had our prejudices before the ‘blacks’ arrived, back then we were quite happy directing our bigotry and ignorance towards travellers, gays, Jews and Protestants.
Afghan Asylum Seekers occupy St Patricks Cathedral in Dublin 22:14 Thu 18 May 0 comments
There is a growing crisis in Ireland with the hospitalisation of around 8 of the 41 Afghan Hunger strikers who occupied St Patricks Cathedral on Sunday last. WSM members have been taking part in solidarity vigils and other support work for the 41 Afghan hunger strikers . We support their demand to be allowed to stay in Ireland and we will be taking part in demonstrations and other events over the new few days in support of that demand.
Labour party leader Pat Rabbitte turns on migrant workers 17:38 Wed 05 Apr 0 comments
The exploitation of migrant workers who are often paid illegally low wages has hit the Irish news many times in recent months. Labour party leader Pat Rabbitte reacted to this explotation by suggesting further controls should be place on migrant workers!
Arrests at attempt to block deportations in Dublin 21:31 Thu 20 Oct 1 comments
Two people were arrested in Dublin on Tuesday as Residents against Racism activists attempted to block the deportation of 39 people (including fourteen children, 5 of whom were born in Ireland) to Lagos. Nigeria. This account is from Emma a WSM member and RAR activist who was arrested.
Man Deported Because Of Garda Brutality Cover up 15:41 Wed 10 Aug 0 comments
In the early hours of May 19th Michael Alabi was deported by the Irish State. Michael was resident of a hostel in Lower Gardiner street and was part of a group of Nigerian men who decided to go on hunger strike to protest against the department of Justice's draconian immigration policies.
Irish union branch Opposes Tactics Of Deportation Cops 20:41 Tue 09 Aug 0 comments
The Dublin City North Branch of the INTO has passed a motion endorsing the call by outgoing union president, Austin Corcoran, that all schools become safe places for all children -to be given the status of embassies. It is hoped that more branches within the union will take up this issue and that by next year's annual congress a campaign will be launched in the union to make this a reality
Deported to be Mutilated? 23:57 Sat 02 Jul 0 comments
The Irish government is currently trying to deport women and children under the threat of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which frequently results in death. Asylum in Ireland can be sought on grounds of religious or political persecution. However the government refuse to acknowlege FGM as a political act and therefore women and children cannot apply for asylum on the basis they have suffered or will suffer FGM if deported.
Solidarity Action for the political seekers Bahoz & Temiz 05:02 Sat 25 Jun 0 comments
Solidarity Action with the political asylum seekers Bahoz and Temiz, Friday, 24/06/2005 6pm outside the Greek Consulate, 50 Gogarloch Syke, Edinburgh, EH12 9JB Kurdish Asylum Seeker on Hunger Strike in Greece – close to death.
2016 is fast approaching and we will be subjected to endless documentaries about that start of our bloody history as a nation. It will also be a time for analysis of how far we’ve come since the proclamation of this Republic.
Travellers’ struggles are our struggles too: decent housing for all! Oct 14 0 comments
Last weekend, ten people died in a fire at a halting site in South Dublin. Thomas Connors, Sylvia Connors, Willie Lynch, Tara Gilbert, and Jimmy Lynch and five children lost lives. Their deaths are a tragedy, and we mourn their loss. But we are also angry. Because we know the loss of their lives was not the outcome of chance or blind fate. Our society, its laws and its institutions are designed to marginalise, to penalise and to discriminate against Travellers (traditionally itinerant ethnic group) . So long as we accept these forms of oppression and exploitation, tragedy will follow tragedy.
A critical view of the Refugees are Welcome Rally in Dublin Sep 16 0 comments
The Refugees Welcome rally saw a good crowd assembled at the Spire in Dublin. The rally was a response where people wanted to express their solidarity with the refugees who are attempting to escape war and death.
March in support of refugees in Dublin Sep 15 0 comments
Thanks to the work of a few volunteers we had some banners to bring to the Refugees are Welcome rally and march at the Spire on Saturday the 12th of September. I was on my bike into the Barricade Inn to pick up the banners. The banners were important to link up certain struggles. One linked the appalling reaction to the social housing crisis by this government with their slow reaction to the humanitarian crisis on the edges of fortress Europe, which simply stated Homes for All, Refuge for All, and another which read No Borders No Nations. There was a good crowd assembled there when we arrived at the Spire and it grew steadily as Memet Uludag spoke frequently, often, and introduced each of the speakers. The rally was a response where people wanted to express their solidarity with the refugees who are attempting to escape war and death.
Céad Míle Fáilte*? Racial Profiling in the Ireland Oct 24 1 comments
Over the last couple of days we have witnessed massive media hysteria about the case of Maria, a young girl supposedly abducted by a Roma couple in Greece. DNA tests and Lombroso-style racial profiling have come into action in a case that has stirred the irrational anxiety that feeds racism and bigotry. Beyond the fact that child abduction is a serious issue, the "whiteness" and "blondeness" of the alleged victim have been emphasised together with the "Roma" condition of the alleged culprits. Let us remember that this is taking place in Greece, a country where blatant racism (as expressed by Golden Dawn) is on the rise, so there are good reasons to be cautious about this whole case.more >>