Immigrant Solidarity (IS) is a Cork-based pro-immigrant, anti-racism campaign. We have been active in Cork since January 1998. Initially formed in reaction to the rise in racist discourse at that time, the focus of the group quickly changed to the draconian practices of the Irish government. The group is a group of individuals and not affiliated to any political party. In 1999 IS, along with the 'Anti Racism Campaign' in Dublin, formed the National Federation of Campaigns Against Racism, which now has twelve constituent member groups around the country all of whom subscribe to the same platform. This Federation is the emerging anti-racist movement in Ireland.
IS's platform centres around the rejection of all restrictive border controls. We believe that the primary purpose of border controls is to protect the wealth of rich countries from from the poor beyond. Indeed the Western world takes only a small of the worlds migrants. Since most of the Wests wealth is based on the exploitation of poorer countries, it is obscene that the victims of these economic practices, are denied access to countries like Ireland.
It is now time that Ireland acknowledges the part it plays in the global economy instead of assuming that it is only the ex-colonial countries that continue to exploit the underdeveloped regions of the world. The distinction made between 'economic' and 'political' migrants is simplistic and invalid. Indeed Irish history shows how economic and political forces are often one and the same.
That is, would an Irish emigrant in the 1930's be a 'political' or 'economic' migrant? One could argue that s/he was an 'economic' migrant because his/her motivation, in leaving, was primarily economic. However one could also argue that s/he was leaving because his/her country was in a depressed economic state because of centuries of exploitation, or even the conservative economic policies of the Cumann na nGaedheal government or because of the Wall Street crash or World War 1 etc. Political and economic forces are always interlinked and can not be separated.
We reject racism and prejudice including Ireland's own brand of anti-traveller racism.
In Cork we:
On a national level we are an active part of the National Federation, which has produced an anti-racism exhibition currently touring the country, and campaign for immigrants rights on a national scale.
Immigrant Solidarity is interested in increasing communication flows with all progressive movements and individuals in Ireland. We invite you all to help fight the draconian legislation being introduced in our name and to fight the rising racist discourse in Irish society.
You can read more about the group at our web site at:http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/is.html which is soon to be updated. ARC's web site is at: http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/arc.html We look forward to the development of solidarity links.