Sunday, 3 November 2013

Solidarity with Roma community and no to racism

From Anti Racism Ireland
The removal of two Roma children from their families by the state earlier this week has left us feeling deeply shocked and angry but has also served as a reminder that racism is very present in everyday Ireland including institutions of state, and that the government needs to do more to curb it and to protect minority groups like the Roma (see the attachment on the attacks on Roma community in Belfast).

Campaigns and calls for inquiry are already underway from many groups. We think its very important that we mobilise around this issue by taking actions to keep racism at the center of the debate about what happened. We can already see the public debate shifting from racism and racial profiling to issues of procedural failings.

The ARN would like to call a public mobilisaton to show solidarity with the Roma community and against Traveller racism and all forms of racism. We would like to do this in co-operation with as many individuals and groups as possible so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to support such a protest.
On Tuesday 5th November 2013 at 2pm , Minister for Justice Alan Shatter will face questions in the Dail and we are calling a lunchtime protest to call on Minister Shatter to address the following issues without delay:

1. Ethnic profiling should be illegal - ethnic profiling must be made illegal, with proper sanctions and monitoring systems put in place.

2. Make racism a crime - Ireland must recognise racist crime in Irish law

What happened this week showed us that racism is prevalent in institutions of the state. We need to push hard to have the reality of state racism recongnised and that steps are taken to stamp it out. We know such things can happen again. One of the problems with racist practices by authorities is that it effectively gives others permission to be racist. There is a justified fear of a rise in racist crime -look at Belfast- and we must have the legal means to sanction and deter such crimes.