political deaths, at least a dozen people wounded (2 of them very seriously injured), an unknown number of people imprisoned, prison camps in which hundreds of people are imprisoned without charge, a police force which acts with impunity against the weakest of the population........
This description is not of a dictatorial regime such as those of Hitler, Pinochet, Duarte but describes the actions of a government which is a member of the European Union and which defines itself as "European, civilised, free..."
We're talking about the Italian government, and its attitude towards immigrants - towards people who have fled murderous regimes and have come to the EU looking for shelter.
In its efforts to implement the "Fortress Europe" policies of the EU, the Italian government has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of immigrants over the past three years, and is currently holding hundreds of "illegal immigrants" in prison camps.
The Anti Racism Campaign is today (January 29th, 2000) protesting outside the Italian Trade Centre in solidarity with anti-racism and pro-immigrant groups in Italy who are demonstrating against the policies of their government. We are doing this both as a gesture of solidarity with our Italian friends and also because refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland are also feeling the effects of "Fortress Europe".
The Irish government has shown a mean-spirited and racist attitude to asylum seekers who have come to this country. They have faced increasing hostility from politicians and a government who whip up racist hysteria in order to deflect attention from the failings of the "Celtic Tiger".
It is in the interest of ordinary people throughout the EU to take a stand against the "Fortress Europe" policies being implemented by our governments. Problems such as poverty, unemployment and homelessness will only be dealt with when we all - native and immigrant alike - unite against politicians who have been ripping us all off for decades.
Leaflet issued by Anti Racism Campaign,