Oppose Deportations

The government’s position on asylum seekers is fairly plain. The first step is to minimise the numbers of people who can actually get into Ireland to claim asylum. The next step is to have the majority of asylum seekers deported. The current Minister for Injustice admitted that people are being turned back at Cherbourg because they do not have "adequate documentation". But if you are fleeing, for example, from Iraq whom do you ask for a visa? The government is currently drafting legislation to make it an offence for carriers to carry any passengers without the necessary documentation

Some people who arrive on our shores are escaping torture and death and others are simply trying to escape a life of abject poverty. Anarchists make no distinction between economic or political refugees. Whether people are fleeing persecution or whether they are simply availing of an opportunity to have a better existence they should be welcomed to this land. Instead the Irish State treats poor strangers with open hostility.

Over 30 people have been deported from the state this year already. Blessing Ogueri, for example, was taken in handcuffs to Dublin airport and put on a flight to Lagos via London. At the time of writing, nobody knows what has happened to him. The brutal reality is that some deportees to places such as Nigeria face imprisonment or even death.

Most asylum seekers are not allowed to work. Everything the government does is designed to keep refugees separate, different, apart. The government does not want us to have friends, neighbours or co-workers who are refugees. They reckon you are less likely to defend someone you don’t know.

While Bertie Ahern may say he’s opposed to racism, everything his government does is designed to encourage it. Keep refugees isolated and dependent on the state so that the poor blame the poorest, while we are all being screwed by our rich masters. This is a classic example of divide and conquer. Successive governments have had plenty of practice of this tactic with the racist scape-goating of Travellers.

Consider this. If money can travel why can’t people? If Fruit of the Loom can move from Donegal to Morocco why can’t Moroccan workers come to Ireland? The simple answer is that the bosses want to profit from a global economy. They prefer a weak workforce, divided nationally. Racism is good for business.

It’s vitally important that we let the Irish Government and the State know that we will not allow them to get away with the deportation of people. At Christmas 1999 I stood outside Mountjoy with others, protesting against the imminent deportation of Ekundayo Ominiyi. That time we were succesful because plenty of people turned out to protest. Together we must stand up for the rights of people to stay, live and work here.

Dermot Sreenan

This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper '
Workers Solidarity'. We also provide a PDF files of our publications for you to print out and distribute locally

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This edition is No63 published in March 2001