As the World Trade Organistion (WTO) meets in Seattle, the Anti Racism Campaign joins with other progressive groups to show our opposition to this gathering, and our solidarity with oppressed people throughout the world.

The WTO is basically a gathering of the world's most powerful interests, aimed at ensuring that those who currently have the power in our world are allowed to maintain a tight grip on it.

It is run - not in the interets of the world's people - but in the interests of an elite - multinational companies, banks and the wealthy.

The world in which we live is a very unequal place. In the developed world, we see huge growth in the gap btween the rich and the poor. The Ireland of the "Celtic Tiger" has seen - despite the so-called economic boom - a growth in homelessness, and large numbers of working-class people are more likely to be mauled than purred at by the "Celtic Tiger".

On a world scale, the inequities in development and distribution of resources are even more glaring. And as a direct result of WTO agreements (the removal of trade barriers, interference in domestic markets etc.), these inequalities are further entrenched.

These inequalities have, naturally, led a number of people from the Developing World to come to the more developed countries of the Northern hemisphere in search of a better life.

The sight of people fleeing poverty and deprivation is one which should strike a chord in the heart of every Irish person. After all, it was as a direct result of famine and poverty that hundreds of thousands of Irish people took to the famine ships.

More recently, tens of thousands of Irish people were forced to emigrate throughout the 1980s as a direct result of government policy.

The EU's (and Ireland's) response to the arrival of refugees and immigrants has been the establishment of "Fortress Europe" - the setting up of barriers and borders to limit the movement of people. It is ironic that the same people who argue that there should be absolutely no barriers to the free flow of capital want to ensure that the barriers against the movement of people should not alone be maintained but strengthened.

Ironic perhaps, but not surprising. The Irish government appears determined to pursue a mean-spirited and penny-pinching attitude to asylum seekers and immigrants. If and when the government resumes its attempts to deport people from this state, all progressive forces will be needed to resist this. We ask all to take up this issue and to join with the anti racism movement to resist racism and deportations.

The Anti Racism Campaign has established a telephone tree of activists as a mechanism for contacting people quickly when deportations are threatened or protests being organised. If you would like to have your name added to this list, contact us

Part of the Anti - Racism Campaigns web site