In this guest piece Damien Walshe, long term anti-racist activist, takes the opportunity to reflect on what happend in the last week when State authorities acted to take away blonde children from their Roma parents.
“Damned if they did something, damned if they did nothing”
A standard response (and the one trotted out by the Minister for Justice) is that it was best for the HSE/Gardai to err on the side of caution: “better be safe than sorry” has been the mantra. Okay, let’s have a look at that statement: What the danger was established in order to abduct the two Roma children from their families? Under the Child Care act children can be taken into care if a child has or is being assaulted, ill-treated, neglected or sexually abused, or whose health, development or welfare has been or is likely to be impaired or neglected. No one has remotely suggested this was the case for either child.
Solidarity is unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards. It refers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one.
A good barometer of any society is how it treats people who are the most socially disadvantaged. In other words we are talking about people on the edge or on the bottom of this heap. In Ireland we have a pyramid structure which has 1% of individuals at the top owning 34% of the wealth. At the broad base of this triangle we have people who are treated appallingly, who are discriminated against, stigmatized and ultimately written-off before they reach the age of adulthood. People who are never given a chance; many Travellers find themselves here.
Last night, just after midnight a cowardly attack by over 15 members of Golden Dawn resulted in the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-fascist, left militant and hip-hop artist also known by his rap name Killah P.
Athens which is already in the grip of a public sector general strike, is in turmoil with Greek anti-fascists vowing vengence. Despite the murderer, reportedly a member of Golden Dawn, being arrested at the scene, knife in hand, the Greek neo-nazi party denied any involvement in what was clearly a pre-meditated ambush by a paramilitary uniformed mob.
“If you don't like me, how can you like my child?”
The following is a report from the situation at the Drishane Castle direct provision centre, after successful protests by residents there this week forced a number of immediate changes there. Listen to the audio clips attached to hear directly the opinions of the residents themselves. These audio clips can be listened to individually or as one full recording.
As class-struggle anarchists dealing with the relations between gender, race and class, we must, in theory and practice, pick a path between two pitfalls. On one side is economic reductionism – the reduction of all political questions to the social relations of production – which erases the perspectives and struggles of women, queers and people of colour; submerges their voices within an overly generalised class narrative, in which the idealised Worker is implicitly white heterosexual and male; or consigns their struggles to a secondary importance compared to the “real struggle” of (economic) class against class. On the other is a stultifying and inward-looking liberal-idealist identity politics, concerned fetishistically with the identification of privilege and the self-regulation of individual oppressive behaviour to the (near) exclusion of organised struggle, which, while amplifying the voices of the marginalised, consigns them to an echo chamber where they can resonate harmlessly.
Workers Solidarity position paper No Platform for Fascists as ratified at April 2006 National Conference
Workers Solidarity Movement position paper on Travellers Rights as rewritten Oct 2008 National Conference
The Workers Solidarity Movement postion paper on Fighting Racism as ratified at November 2010 National Conference
Racial oppression remains a defining feature of the modern capitalist world. It is manifest most spectacularly in violent attacks on immigrants and minorities by fascist gangs. More important to the fate of these communities has been the systematic and increasing discrimination by capitalist states, manifest in attacks on the rights of immigrants, cuts in welfare services, and racist police and court systems.
In response to growing racism against refugees and asylum seekers, recent months have seen the beginnings of an anti-racism campaign in Dublin. This campaign had its public 'launch' at a very successful public meeting, attended by over 80 people, last October.