Anarchism and Anti - Racism in Ireland

For many years racism in Ireland was primarily directed against Travellers because our weak economy and racist immigration laws made Ireland an unattractive destination for immigrants. Instead tens of thousands of people left the country every year to look for work. As of 1996 the 'Celtic Tiger' economic boom resulted in the arrival of a few thousand refugees and a rapid growth in racism fuelled by the media and politicians. Articles on this to be found at Refugees & Asylum seekers in Ireland

Graphic from CNT-F

General articles

Any discussion of Racism needs to examine the roots of Racism in order to understand it and to struggle against it effectively. There are basically 3 explanations for the existence of racism.

Racism: Where it comes from, How we should fight it?
With racism on the rise in Ireland, it has become more important than ever for anti-racist activists to examine where such ideas come from and how they can be fought. In this article, the South African anarchist organisation, the WSF, puts forward its view that the fight against racism and the class-struggle are inextricably linked.

Racism and Irish travellers
Irish travellers are an ethnic minority who are culturally separate to the rest of Irish society. Because they are white and most of the are Irish, people reject the idea that the concept of racism applies to them. However an examination of policies and practises operated by the state and by non-state bodies clearly shows that it is racism that defines these policies and practises.

Employment Equality Bill [1997]
The Employment Equality Bill effectively gives schools and hospitals which are controlled by either of the churches the right to discriminate on the basis of marital status, family/parental status, sexual orientation, race, religion or membership of the Traveller Community

Anarchism: A history of anti-racism
A history of anarchist involvement in the fight against racism

WSM Position Papers


Travellers fighting back
The history of Irish Travellers' struggle for civil rights and ethnic recognition. Their struggles have much in common with those of Indigenous people worldwide and with the struggles of Native Americans and Australian Aboriginals and also with the struggles of Gypsies, Travellers and nomads against racism and oppression.

Who are the Travellers?
Travellers are a distinct "ethnic" group with their own traditions and customs. Very few people want to accept that they are. This reflects the widespread racism towards them, a racism which insists on seeing them as "failed settled people".

Racism in Ireland : Travellers [1993]
Very few groups or individuals on the left in Ireland understand that the situation of Travellers is the most explicit form of racism in this country. Because Travellers are white, people have difficulty applying the concept of racism to them.

A taste of 1960's Mississipi in 1990's Ireland [1994]
The attack on Travellers in Glenamaddy, Co Galway last October was a shocking exposure of the extent of the racist attitudes that Irish people have towards Travellers.

Anti-Traveller thuggary on increase [1995]
Over the past year, there has been a series of physical attacks on Travellers in different parts of the country. Travellers were attacked in Glenamaddy in New Ross, Wicklow and Bantry.

Stand up for Travellers Rights [1995]
Three decades of polite appeals to 'liberal' politicians have changed little for Travellers. It is up to anti-racists, trade unionists and other ordinary working class people to join with Travellers and deal a crushing blow to the politics of discrimination.

Travellers March against Shanty Towns [1996]
Travellers and their supporters held a protest on December 10th last year. The march was against the Dublin local authorities' policy of herding Travellers into primitive temporary sites and forced removal of Travellers into these officially constructed shanty towns.

Ireland's 'Traditional' Racism Remains [2004]
An interview with Mrs Ellen Mongan, a Traveller with seven children. It's 2004 and close to 1,000 Traveller famlies are still living on the roadside without access to basic facilities-water, sanitation or electricity

Traveller and Settled Solidarity picket court hearing [2004]
in support of a traveller woman Mrs Harty who was summonsed by the Gardai under the Trespass Act for failing to obey their instruction to vacate an empty site at Brocklesby Courton Seminary Road on Corks northside


Red and Black Ireland

News of Anarchism in Ireland

The Ainriail mailing list carries the latest news from the WSM and the struggles anarchists are involved in. There are never more then 8 posts a week (and normally only 2-4). We post printed articles to it shortly after they are published.

More details!

Refugees & Asylum seekers

see articles at Refugees & Asylum seekers in Ireland

Articles on fascism in Europe

Remembering the Anarchist Resistance to fascism
The history we learn in school would have us believe that the working class of Germany and Italy hardly even complained about the rise of fascism in the 1920s and 1930s. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Fascist terror grows across Europe [1992]
Today the fascists are not on the way to taking state power anywhere in the world. However this does not mean that they can be safely ignored. Tapping into widespread discontent, they are providing the leadership and stimulus for growing racist hatred and terror. Should they continue to grow they will pose a major threat to all working class and left-wing organisations.

Can the European fascists take power in the 1990s? [1993]
THE GROWTH of the far-right throughout Europe in the last few years has alarmed many who thought fascism died with Hitler. It also has given rise to a debate on the left over the nature of fascism, one that has spilled over into the letters pages of Workers Solidarity. The debate continues with Andrew Flood discussing some of the historical features of fascism and the importance of racism as the central plank of fascism to-day.

The fight against fascism...yesterday and tomorrow [1997]
On February 15th, the 'Plume Noire' anarchist bookstore was plastered with fascist stickers. At around 5am the bookshop was completely destroyed in an obviously well orchestrated incendiary attack.

Fascism leading the racists
Rostock recently became infamous as we all witnessed pictures of the Neo-Nazi youth hurling petrol bombs at the asylum hostel containing mostly Bulgarian and Romanian refugees. One local activist in Germany reported the following. " On Sunday night, a line of riot police could not prevent a second night of attacks, this time by nazi youths armed with molotov cocktails"

Tactics to fight fascism
Fighting fascism can not be done just in terms of ideas. Fascists do not wait until they have convinced a sufficient number of people to put their ideas into power before they put their ideas into practise. Even tiny groups of a dozen or less organise and carry out terror attacks on those they oppose or scapegoat. Only physical confrontation can deter and prevent these activities

Check the publication index for more recent articles