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Articles in "Anti-Zone"

Despite being under no illusion, it is very disappointing to read that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visiting Lesbos said "It is imperative that we reach an agreement with Turkey to stop the flows by targeting the smugglers".

Petitioning RTE - Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland's National Public Service Broadcaster: Interview a migrant to challenge Nigel Farage's racist views on migrants in Ireland

Not the elephant in the room anymore: Direct Provision System and Deportations

Do you remember the story of Somali asylum seeker Mohamed Sleyum Ali? Irish Times reported it: In March 2014 he was deported from Ireland, attacked and left to die within hours of his arrival in Tanzania…

One day he was in Dublin, soon after he was fighting for his life.

What do you think of this story?

Suspicious?

Horrific?

Sad? 

Unbelievable?

‘Immigration control’ demands. as a response to economic crises and rising unemployment are not new. In the past and current times, immigration control has been repeatedly debated in many countries with pro-immigration control argument coming from both the reformist-central left and right wing neoliberal circles.

Personally, I wouldn’t have chosen the legal route to challenge the Direct Provision System (DPS) in Ireland and try to get a ruling to prove that it breaches human rights. This is NOT because I think the Direct Provision System is in accordance with human rights, Hell No! But because I don’t trust the state to ever give such a ruling on Direct Provision System.

 ‘Immigration control’ is one of the forms of racism – among other forms – that specifically targets the workers. Firstly, it targets the ‘local’ workers by pretending to be on their side and protecting their wages and working conditions and in the process tries turning them agains migrant workers. Secondly, it targets the ‘migrant’ workers by accusing them of ‘stealing’ jobs from the local workers and ‘lowering wages’. A detailed and open minded look into the arguments of ‘immigration control’ defenders will reveal that these arguments are as ridiculous as suggesting that “the workers of Kilkenny are stealing the jobs of workers in Waterford”.

The US led airstrikes in Syria and Iraq seem to have little or no real impact on ISIS. Since the beginning of the airstrikes a number of civilians and some ISIS fighters are killed but the overall organizational structure and the fighting capacity of ISIS are intact. We are told by the US administration and the leaders of states who joined the coalition that “they will continue the airstrikes till ISIS is destroyed”. 

Today is Blair Day on the news... He says "People should listen to my advice on Isis as I have been to war in Iraq before".  He is addicted to invading Iraq. Unless he gets a good dose of it every ten years or so, he can’t function properly. If he doesn’t get his dose, he starts sweating; his hands itch, his stomach rumbles and his eyes go crazy red… You see, like any addiction, his brain starts playing games…  He starts producing arguments to get what he wants.

For seven years I have worked with asylum seekers. These years were an eye opener for people like me who had no real first-hand experience of what the whole 'asylum seeker' concept was about. Throughout these years I have learned many things about the conditions of asylum seekers in Ireland and about the realities of faraway places they came from.

The debates on asylum seekers are usually conducted in a 'negative' tone and asylum seekers are seen by the state, political powers etc. a problem that needs to dealt with. It seems, the establishment - as per the popular phrase - can't think outside of the box of discrimination, racism and a 'no-solution' approach.

There is a new mobile app called "Everyday Racism" and there has been some media coverage of it in the recent days. "A new mobile phone app that challenges Australians’ understanding of racism through role play has won global praise for promoting cultural understanding. The app focuses on subtle racism – an indirect or understated form of discrimination that researchers found to be prevalent in Australia. It invites players to put themselves in the shoes of an Aboriginal man, a Muslim woman or an Indian student, or to be themselves, as they negotiate a range of scenarios in which subtle racism is at play. Promoted as both a game and an educational tool, the Everyday Racism app sends players texts, tweets, images and videos over the course of seven days"

Make no mistake; Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson has no problem with Islam and Muslims. You all misunderstood him. He loves Muslims.

Addressing delegates at the annual conference of the Association of Garda Superintendents in Naas Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has warned Garda superintendents not to “jump to conclusions” about people on the basis of racial profiling. (1)

On April 10th 2014, Human Rights Ireland is calling for contributions and engagement on Direct Provision System to mark the 14thanniversary of it. A statement published by Human Rights Ireland says, “On April 10th 2014, direct provision will be 14 years old. On this date, Human Rights in Ireland will dedicate 14 hours (from 7am to 9pm) to discussing direct provision: its impact on people, law, physical and mental health, politics, art, pain, human rights and asylum processes. Over the last number of years, we have had a number of such events, and it has contained a mix of different contributors, but has tended to been overly focused on academics and the NGO community.”

People Before Profit Dublin 15 local election candidates Memet Uludag and Louise Bayliss launched a campaign to raise awareness among migrants on local election voting entitlements and encourage migrants to register and vote. As part of this campaign the candidates have organised a public meeting and information session on 18 March 2014 in St. Brigid’s Community Centre, Blanchardstown.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London: Children at risk of radicalisation should be in care.

“Muslim children who risk radicalisation by their parents should be taken into care”, Boris Johnson has said. “How do we make sure the kids in London are not growing up with these kind of nightmarish ideas in their heads?”

Should racism sometimes be ignored as part of the wider fight against it and not be given any air, social media etc. time?

Specifically, should we speak, write and share articles about the newly formed National Independent Party in Ireland, what should be our response to it?

Suddenly, there is a social media storm created by some angry customers and Marks & Spencer finds itself right in the middle of it. Various media in the UK and around the world report that “UK retailer faces boycott after report claiming Muslim employees can refuse to serve alcohol and pork.” Celebrity Atheist Richard Dawkins joined in the debate and attacked M&S over this issue.

Today, there is a sense of joy among the EU and Turkish politicians; a joy that is shared and reported enthusiastically by the mainstream Turkish and European media. The main headlines give the good news in big bold letters: "Visa free travel for Turkish citizens to EU countries!" But wait! There is a much smaller, almost invisible sub-heading underneath this joyfully breaking story: "Readmission Agreement to be signed between EU and Turkey on December 16". Horror hits you!

The burning to death of a horse in Tallaght is a horrific form of animal cruelty and also a clear proof of what the cutting of local public services and removal of social facilities could lead to.

Muslims in Ireland are shocked by a letter posted to schools and mosques declaring war against them.

An anonymous letter has been received by Muslim schools and mosques in Dublin. The letter is full of hatred and threats beyond comprehension.

Discussions on racism often focus on education as a tool in fighting and eliminating it. One of the most repeated explanations for the cause of racism is identified as the ‘lack of education’ and therefore the lack of ‘understanding’ by racists of why racism is such a bad thing.
 

Last weekend we read on social media about the horrific racist attack on Alminna halal food store in the Cookstown Industrial Estate (Tallaght). The shop was broken into by racist vandals. It was ransacked, looted, doused in petrol and defaced with racist writings on the wall.

It seems our little island of Ireland isn't always a friendly place without the problem of racism and attacks on migrants. Just a short while after the horrific state racism against the two Roma families, a halal shop in Cookstown Tallaght has been attacked and vandalised by racists. The scenes from the shop are horrific. There are many racist writings on the walls, full of  hatred.

The horrible events of two Roma children being taken away from their families, undoubtedly, based on racial profiling, created a huge debate in Ireland. Thankfully, there were many organizations, commentators and citizens who were extremely disgusted with how the state (the Gardaí, HSE, courts and political leaders etc.) and some of the mainstream media handled these events. Although there were all sorts of racist and out of context focus on Roma people, it would be not an overstatement to say that majority of the people in Ireland expressed solidarity with the two families. (Am I being optimistic?)