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Bertie's 'No Borders Europe' is a Farce
national | rights and freedoms | feature Tuesday February 17, 2004 19:37 by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Ireland
Residents Against Racism Protests Mass-Deportations at Dáil Éireann
Rosanna Flynn of Residents Against Racism remarked "We are having great difficulty in getting any information about who these people were. We know that some of them had children, whether there were Irish born children we do not know. We just don't know."
According to Joe Costello, TD (Labour) three of the families may not have been served with deportation orders previously. "That would be a breach of the procedures, they would have had 15 days to respond on humanitarian grounds." Costello added, "It's going to be very hard to deal with that now because they are outside the Country and are now banned from returning to Ireland"
Commenting further at the Friday the 13th Residents Against Racism protest in front of Dáil Éireann, Costello said "The way [Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell (Progressive Democrat)] acted is unacceptable, it's just unacceptable. This is effectively a mass deportation. Gardai came along - stood over people while they packed their bags and then took them away - a clandestine dawn raid on people's homes and lives."
Ciaran Cuffe, TD (Green) put the morning raids in a broader European context. Many of the deportees were from Romania, an accession country due to join the European Union in 2007. "Today, you saw pictures of Silvio Berlusconi embraced by Bertie Ahern, that's a fair reflection of the kind of agenda that has been pursured by the Irish Presidency." Rather than welcoming future EU citizens, "It looks as though McDowell is more interested in running a charter airline to get people out of Ireland than in putting human rights on to the agenda." Cuffe also tabled questions in the Dail this week requesting information about the deported children in an effort to establish whether or not they were Irish-born.
Finian McGrath, TD (Independent) notes the irony that Ireland needs migrant workers more than ever just as it is deporting them: "People have always moved away from areas where there was less economic growth to areas where there is more wealth and more resources ... there are many hospitals tonight in Dublin that would not be able to operate without the support of immigrant workers."
"Its sad." said Costello, "Its almost like going back to the time of Jim Larkin. So many of these workers have no right to join a trade union, virtually no rights at all ... Ireland is a country that brought in 50,000 migrants to work last year - we want to get cheap labor but we want it under such restrictive conditions that they effectively have no rights. They are bonded servants of the employers."
Also at the protest to express her support for the deported was Mary Kelly, known for putting an axe into a US Navy plane parked at Shannon a year ago. Kelly linked the issues of war and civil liberties: "It is sad but understandable why so few non-EU nationals came to this protest. It is fear. The Irish State currently has Eoin Rice in Limerick Prison for speaking his mind. There is fear in the anti-war community, too. The Irish State's racist policies and support for war have affected the civil liberties of us all."
In the weeks ahead, Rosanna Flynn of Residents Against Racism expects more mass-deportations and hopes to see renewed street activism to bring attention to this issue. "They now say that this will be the first of many such operations. We have to make our voices heard and really take to the streets and get more people out. I dont think Irish people want this to happen. This is like having a secret police force in Ireland - shades of the KGB."
More News & Links:
• Michael McDowell 'Monstered' in UCD - Indymedia Account
• Protesters jostle McDowell at University College Dublin - Irish Examiner
• Hypocritical McDowell unfit to guide immigration policies - Politics.ie
• Irish Refugee Council
• The National Network of Refugee, Asylum & Immigrant Support Groups
• No Border Network
• Another Europe Is Possible
• No To Fortress Europe
• 'No Borders, No Nations' - street theatre against Fortress Europe: Thursday March 4th
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