This Saturday, an important counter-demonstration has been called against the far-right and racist forces who will be gathering outside the Dáil at 1pm. Here are five reasons you should join this counter-protest, which has the backing of a number of trade unions, migrant and anti-racist organisations.
- We cannot allow the far right and organised racist forces to gain a foothold in Ireland. Migrants and refugees already face huge levels of racism in society – a report has found that 38% of migrants from sub-Saharan have experienced racist abuse or harassment. An organised far right will lead to a rise in such racism. If the far right are unopposed, that will embolden them further. If young people, women, migrants, Travellers, LGBTQ people and the working class generally mobilise against racist division and the poisonous ideas of Gemma O’Doherty and her ilk, this will have a powerful effect in knocking back racist and far-right forces.
- Oppose all forms of state racism: This week, a direct provision centre was compared to Guantanamo Bay in a report conducted by the Doras Luimní. Eight people are forced to share a single room in this centre. Forty percent of the refugees in the centre have been there for two years or more. The European Union, aka Fortress Europe, is a racist body also. The EU cooperates with NATO, which has unleashed misery in Libya and has forced many thousands of Libyans to try to escape their war-torn country by crossing the Mediterranean sea. Thousands of people are left to drown in the Mediterranean sea, while the institutions of Fortress Europe look on indifferently. All the while, the European Union continues to sell arms to Turkey, fueling the horrific war in Syria, which is one of the main countries refugees are attempting to flee from. The racism from the capitalist state is legitimising and giving credence to the arguments of the far right and the tiny fascist forces that exist.
- Oppose the scapegoating of refugees and asylum seekers: Cynical, right-wing and racist politicians like Noel Grealish TD have no problem coming up with blatant lies about Nigerian migrants in Ireland. The purpose of Noel Grealish’s lies about billions of euros of remittances leaving Ireland was to stoke up racist sentiments to distract from those who are to blame for the fundamental problems confronting working-class people in Ireland: the political establishment, corporate landlordism, developers and the capitalist system they are a part of. When it comes to the vote of no confidence in Fine Gael’s Housing Minister, however, Noel Grealish backs up the government and their record on housing. Rank hypocrisy! Racist politicians like Grealish, who scapegoat migrants, need to be challenged, exposed and knocked back!
- Globally, right-wing populism and the far right are making gains. Just look at Trump and Bolsonaro. These creatures of capitalism are clearly racist and reactionary. One need only look at Trump’s treatment of Muslims and the Latino community and Bolsonaro’s ethnic-cleansing of indigenous people of the Amazon. These men are not just racist; they are anti-working class and anti-environment. They stand for the economic status quo, oppose women’s and LGBTQ rights. They are creatures of capitalism in the sense that they foster and perpetuate division of the working class and the oppressed in society. Their ascent to power can and has emboldened reactionaries around the globe. Just look at the mass murderer behind the New Zealand mosque attack, who praised Donald Trump as ‘a symbol of renewed white identity’.
- We will not be divided. We need to build an anti-racist movement that unites working-class people for decent affordable homes for ALL, proper jobs for ALL, the right to work for ALL. All of the working class and oppressed living in Ireland face the same crises. Those living in direct provision, in overcrowded and shamefully underfunded Traveller halting sites, in emergency accommodation, those of us facing unaffordable rents, or the 140,000 children living in substandard accommodation; we are all impacted by the housing crisis. There is ample wealth to provide for everyone in society. One needs only look at how the richest 10 people have €31 billion in wealth and how Apple owe the Irish state €13 billion in tax.
Capitalism will continue to breed misery and division amongst workers and the oppressed. The racism and the racist attitudes that exist in our society are fostered and nurtured by this system . This must be opposed and fought against. What is ultimately necessary is to seize the wealth from the super-rich and big business. We need to build a democratic, socialist society based on human need, solidarity and co-operation – a society where everyone will have the right to dignity and the opportunity to reach their full personal development.