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Afghans on Hunger Strike in St. Patrick’s Cathedral

category dublin | racism & migration related issues | feature author Sunday May 14, 2006 23:33author by IMC Editorial Report this post to the editors

"Life in Ireland or Death?" Please Tell Us Minister.

A group of twenty to thirty refugees (UPDATE: numbers are now known to be 41) occupied St. Patricks Cathedral after today’s Cathedral Service. At least three minors are believed to be among the group of men. The group are seeking refugee status in Ireland and decided to hungerstrike after some of their applications were turned down last Friday by the Office of the Refugee Appeals Commissioner. Geen Party TD, Ciarán Cuffe has met some of the men and believes them to be genuine.

featured image
Hoping for human rights in Ireland

According to Amnesty International’s 2005 Country Report armed groups in Afghanistan continue to commit abuses against civilians, aid workers, election officials and potential voters. Abduction and rape are reportedly common. The legal system lacks basic provisions for fair trials and executions have been reported. AmnestyUSA reports that some of this violence (including torture) is perpetrated by the US troops currently occupying the war-torn country.

The asylum seekers issued a statement to explain the reason for their drastic decision to go on hunger strike in St. Patricks Cathedral, it states very starkly and clearly the reason why they believe they should be allowed to stay:

We have been in Ireland for years and most of us have been suffering from mental and physical problems besides the mental and physical problems we had in Afghanistan. We want an answer from the Irish Government, Is it life in Ireland or death?

Latest Updates: more join, water refused, show support | church authorities appeal, hungerstrike continues | McDowell responds, Catholic Church quiet | Request quiet night, solidarity is welcomed | Day 3 vigil announced solidarity picket photos|

Green Party Justice Spokesperson Ciarán Cuffe TD stated:

“These men are desperate. They have fled a war-torn country and are concerned that their lives will be in danger if they return. Minister McDowell should at least meet with the group and listen to their concerns. I spoke with the group’s representatives Osman Hotak and Sultan Kabirchakara and I believe that their cases are genuine. They are concerned that Office of the Refugee Appeals Commissioner is not taking sufficient account of the dreadful conditions in their home country.

“Ironically the men are sitting on pews under the regimental flags of Irish Regiments that under English command wreaked havoc in Afghanistan and contributed to the instability that continues today. Minister McDowell should meet with the men and consider allowing them to stay as either program refugees, or else as asylum seekers.”

There has been a steady stream of supporters and well-wishers bringing blankets to the hunger strikers. Earlier in the day men claiming to be Garda "special branch" as well as regular uniformed Gardai are reported to have sought personal information from the well wishers and recorded car license plate numbers. However, later on this intrusive presence seems to have vanished, and reporters within the Cathedral say that if you're interested in showing some practical solidarity then your presence will be welcomed.

Contact Information:
Osman Hotak 086 884 4354
Sultan Kabirchakara 086 306 7292
Ciaran Cuffe TD ccuffe@oir.ie 01-618-3082 96 Patrick Street, Dún Laoghaire

We would rather die in the Holy Church than Afghanistan
We would rather die in the Holy Church than Afghanistan

author by Madam Kpublication date Sun May 14, 2006 21:32Report this post to the editors

Hunger Strike for in justification of Refugee application commisioner (Justice Office) about Afghan Asylum Seekers in Ireland


Afghanistan has been a country in critical war conditions whether that was Russian Trooops or is Civil War, where human rights records remained poor due to weak central institution and a deadly insurgency.

There are reports of politically motivated or extrajudicial killings by the Government or its Agents. For example torture, official impunity, poor prison conditions, prolonged pretrial detention, abuse of authority by Regional Commanders, restrictions of Freedom of Press, Religion, movement, associations, violence and societal discrimination against Woman and minorities, trafficking in persons, abuse of of workers rights, child labour, etc...

Unacquainted of whole regional current situations in Afghanistan, the Refugee applications commissioner hasn't given full attention and unlawfully refused most of our asylum applications in Ireland. We had a disciplined demonstration against the decisions in Dublin, we were notified to have jusice and our rights, but unfortunately we haven't had a positive response from Justice Office or Court. We left Afghanistan to survive and have our rights protected.

We have been in Ireland for years and most of us have been suffering from mental and physical problems besides the mental and physical problems we had in Afghanistan. We want an answer from the Irish Government, Is it life in Ireland or death?

We couldn't bear this anymore so finally we are her in this Holy Church and have a hunger strike for our future whether that is death or freedom of life.



Statement from Rossanna Flynn RAR:


"33 Afghans all men are locked in St. Patricks Cathedral for the night. They say they will remain on huger strike until death. They are all Asylum seekers turned down on appeal. The Department of Justice said they would meet them tomorrow if they left tonight. They have refused. The Dean and Chaplain were very helpful, the Dean tried to contact McDowell without success and we heard him say Asylum Seekers are treated very badly in this country. Ciaran Cuffe TD and Aengus O'Snoddaigh TD will contact McDowell tomorrow. Many of these men were wounded in Afghanistan indeed one one was even blinded over there. All are anti-Taliban and fought against them."

author by Madam Kpublication date Sun May 14, 2006 21:41Report this post to the editors

Currently the 33 men are still in St. Patricks Cathedral and spirits are high, four are under 18, the youngest being 16. They have been there from lunchtime today.

There is a call from the men and their supporters for anyone who can to please come down and show solidarity asap.

They also urgently require sleeping bags and blankets if people could bring some down with them.

More reports and pictures to follow.

author by Padraic - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Sun May 14, 2006 22:23Report this post to the editors

Hi Jon,

Could you clarify the asap? Is the cathedral open tonight, when would it be too late to head down?

author by ipsiphipublication date Sun May 14, 2006 22:30Report this post to the editors

Get your cameras & microphones & mobiles down to St. Pat's Cathedral now! almost two years ago the non-regularised migrants of Barcelona occupied the Church of the Pi and the Cathedral. It was a night of very high politics and ended with a brutal eviction of cathedral, and split in the RC church, the then cardinal wanted 1,600 muslims out by Sunday mass, and the priest of the "pi" refused to allow riot police "defile the temple". Some think this resulted in an "amnesty" and changes in Spanish migration law which yet is claimed by the ZP regime as one of its good things, certainly Spain has been the only state to "soften" its migration stance. We made a movie about it, I did the subtitles in April, we intend distributing the documentary globally to inspire others to do the same.

All of us can work this situation to our best political advantage in teh future & must start now - horizontal media - use your contacts.

As one who is the Cathedral of Barcelona from the moment the doors were locked to the last minute when armed police came in -
they need water, blankets, toilets, communication, security, and any if there any Church of Ireland people online/ reading -
GET DOWN THERE!
= THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO BE A REAL ACTIVIST.

author by Madam Kpublication date Sun May 14, 2006 22:43Report this post to the editors

Could you clarify the asap? Is the cathedral open tonight, when would it be too late to head down?

People can access the Cathedral tonight, one of the side doors is open.. ask for Sultan. Thankfully people have started to arrive with some blankets etc. I would suggest people should try to get down sooner rather than later...

author by Revolt video - Revolt Video Collectivepublication date Sun May 14, 2006 23:03Report this post to the editors

.

We have been victimised by Terrorists and Warlords in Afghanistan
We have been victimised by Terrorists and Warlords in Afghanistan

Sleeping bags/ blankets urgently required
Sleeping bags/ blankets urgently required

imgp2049.jpg

We would rather die in the Holy Church than Afghanistan
We would rather die in the Holy Church than Afghanistan

We need your support...
We need your support...

author by Emma-rarpublication date Sun May 14, 2006 23:47Report this post to the editors

At the moment the church has been closed to visitors for the night so the guys can get some sleep but it will be open from 9am so people can go in and show support to the guys but the cannon has asked that you respect the cathedral and ordinary services will still go ahead. At the moment the guys need practical things like blankets paper and pens so anything would be appreciated.

author by .:.publication date Sun May 14, 2006 23:56Report this post to the editors

My impression is of resolute action caused by desperation. I ask everyone in media both open and commercial, to reflect on their choice of church & to do so as soon as possible. Saint Patricks is a deanery church where Jonathan Swift served, the national cathedral of Ireland for the Anglican communion. It is the only church on this island which represents the peoples of Ireland regardless of frontier. The Irish states courts might have ruled in the past on the nature of the "Afghani war", and the British state might also have ruled much on the nature of today's Afghanistan, but we may not be in any doubt that it is an unsafe country for these men to return to, and for those unfortuanates who could never leave.

For all those who profess to respect the love of God and fellow man, it is imperative that we return to consider the involvement of the Irish peoples whether of the Irish or British states in Afghani affairs, and extend to these men in these hours of their cry for help ; the support they ask for so that they may end their fast and the protection they may need in the future.

.:.
Inch'Allah!
=
solidarity.

author by .publication date Mon May 15, 2006 00:20Report this post to the editors

Just a note to anybody going down - the guards are standing outside questioning anybody who is offering support to the men inside. I just spoke to somebody who was down bringing blankets. There was a guard inside and also a guard and detective outside. As she was going was going she was stopped by by a man in plain clothes claiming to be a detective and asked was she a member of the supporters group and how did she "find out about this". She said she had received a phone call from a friend and was asked for her name and the name of her friend. She gave her name but declined to give the name of her friend and told him the story was all over the internet so it wasn't hard to find out about it. As she was leaving the reg of her car was taken.

Most of the men are asleep but there are still four without blankets. It seems to be closing up now.

author by psalms & good choirs but much less incense or paedophiliapublication date Mon May 15, 2006 00:34Report this post to the editors

horizontal media coverage so far :-
http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0514/asylum.html
the Irish state media organisation which shares jurisidiction with Mc Dowell reporting that the men wish to speak with him. Of course St Pat's has a theological jurisidiction which is six counties larger. Older Gardaí will remember the affable former Dean Griffen of Saint Patrick's whose son became something of a novelty as the "protestant Garda", of course that was back in the days before Michael Mc Dowell welcomed "black people" into the force, one of his greatest achievements which proved the true republican nature of the Irish state and its apparant regard for all its children regardless of class, creed, ethnicity or colour. If you haven't seen a "black garda" or been approached by a "black plain clothes man/woman" yet, you're obviously still living in the wrong neighbourhood. Of course the more witty will see through that - we may have protestant and black Garda now, but of course we don't have plain clothes special branch women Garda. But the radical and unmanageable amongst you will be heartened to know, a woman who is rejected by the Garda special branch might yet take "holy orders" and be an ordained minister of public worship within the "Church of Ireland". Indeed, the Irish anglicans were the first to get over the "bollox at the altar" question, but only if you she can get the "love of fellow man & women & God-ishness thing" together.

We now wait for other "political websites" and the commercial press first editions for further "horizontal media coverage". Of course we would once have counted the Irish Times amongst our C of I stable, but they went weird with Geraldine Kennedy, who is unashamedly liberal capatilist, PD and roman catholic.

author by kitty - revolt videopublication date Mon May 15, 2006 00:44Report this post to the editors

Of the 36 men inside all but 5 are sleeping,4 are in need of sleeping bags or blankets. As they intend to stay inside untill their situation is resolved,bring sleeping bags,pay the men a visit or simply show your support by maintaining vigil outside. I personally have had no experiance of police harrasment entering or leaving the cathedral.

author by Elainepublication date Mon May 15, 2006 01:45Report this post to the editors

I had no problem getting in around 8pm but earlier at around 6pm I was prevented from going in. But that was just after the Guards had arrived and turfed out everybody except the hunger strikers.

All God's Children
All God's Children

Awaiting Their Fate
Awaiting Their Fate

Bedding Down In The Pews
Bedding Down In The Pews

Some Blankets Arrive
Some Blankets Arrive

Copies Of The Constitution - Highlighting Article 40
Copies Of The Constitution - Highlighting Article 40

author by richard whelanpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 01:57Report this post to the editors

images of afghan asylum seekers at st patrick s cathedral last night sunday may 14th
Last night I visited St Patrick’s Cathedral, where I was introduced to Osman Hotak and some of the men on protest.
The men have been in Ireland for years and most of them have been suffering from mental and physical problems besides the mental and physical tortures that they have been through in Afghanistan.
They feel that the refugee applications commissioner has not given full attentions and unlawfully refused most of there asylum applications in Ireland.
Finally as the men say, we could not bear this any more and finally we are here in this holy church and have a hunger strike for our career whether that is death or freedom of life.

dsc_0039.jpg

dsc_0040.jpg

dsc_0041.jpg

dsc_0042.jpg

dsc_0043.jpg

author by richard whelanpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 02:08Report this post to the editors

more images
more images from cathedral

dsc_0046.jpg

dsc_0047.jpg

dsc_0048.jpg

author by Elainepublication date Mon May 15, 2006 02:15Report this post to the editors

there was a steady stream of well wishers and supporters. Activists from Residents Against Racism, Cosantoiri Siochana, SWP, Dublin Catholic Worker, The Green Party, Sinn Fein , Revolt Video and The Campaign For Free Speech, plus many unaligned activists all showed up to offer solidarity and to help publicise the hunger strikers plight.

Hello Guys
Hello Guys

Revolt Video - They ARE Everywhere!
Revolt Video - They ARE Everywhere!

Rosanna Offers Solidarity
Rosanna Offers Solidarity

Seeking Their Human Rights
Seeking Their Human Rights

Sultan, His Blindness Is A Result Of Torture
Sultan, His Blindness Is A Result Of Torture

author by curiouspublication date Mon May 15, 2006 10:33Report this post to the editors

If so, why do they no want to return now that the Taliban have been overthrown?

author by pat cpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 10:42Report this post to the editors

"If so, why do they no want to return now that the Taliban have been overthrown? "

Because the Taliban are still active in large areas of Afghanistan. The "coalition" forces have taken heavy casualties lately. Also, the rule of law doesnt run very well outside of Kabul, warlords control the provinces. The Afghan president is often refferred toas the Mayor of Kabul.

I need hardly mention that under the new dispensation Sharia courts still operate.

author by rudyard kipling esq.publication date Mon May 15, 2006 11:03Report this post to the editors

I hope that those damn fuzzy-wuzzies don't start defacing any of the regimental standards from earlier Afghan Wars ....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Anglo-Afghan_War

And I also hope that they show a bit more manners and respect than some recent Chinese visitors:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75277

author by robpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 11:04Report this post to the editors

I take it these guys supported the removal of the Taliban by US and British forces?

author by Madam Kpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 11:15Report this post to the editors

During the night more Afghan men arrived at the Cathedral, there are currenly 41 men now on the Hunger Strike and taking refuge.
The Hunger strike has taken a serious turn with many of the men also refusing water.
One of the youngest men (16) has been hospitilised due to Kidney problems, he has been suffering from this condition for quite a while.
There still has been no word from McDowell or his department
The men and their supporters continue their appeal for blankets etc..
It is vital that people come down and show their support and contact their TDs and councillors to support the men

author by Dr Alice Stipley - Australians against the warpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 12:25Report this post to the editors

John Howard, America's 'Sheriff of the South Pacific' will arrive in Ireland on Saturday. He is expected to address Dail Eireann on Monday or Tuesday. Howard is a proud supporter of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and will do down in history as the man who sent SAS troops to repel Afghan refugees from entering the Australian promised land. In an act of disgraceful electioneering, Howard publicly accused the refugees of throwing their children overboard in an attempt to gain attention. He later retracted his claim (the ship was actually sinking...) but only after he won a general election based on fear and scaremongering.

His internationally condemned anti-immigration policies have continued recently as Australia enters into discussions with the Indonesian government/military with a view to preventing West Papuans (www.freewestpapua.org) from fleeing repression in the Indonesian occupied resource rich country.

Australia is also famous for contributing to the bloodshed in East Timor by undertaking a policy of 'see no evil hear no evil' and continues to claim a large percentage of East Timor's oil reserves.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/1522723.stm

http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2004/589/589p9.htm

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/jan2002/woom-j26.shtml

author by Robpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 12:33Report this post to the editors

Hunger strike seems to be the favourite weapon of Afghans all over the world.

author by Dave - swppublication date Mon May 15, 2006 12:52Report this post to the editors

It goes without saying that these people should get our 100% support regardless of what the law says about anything. It's sickening that only a couple of years ago governmentnt ministers and TDs were queueing up to be photographed with Afghan refugees- as they did earlier with Kosovans. All part of sucking up to the empire. Now that the Afghans have outlived their political usefulness as propaganda totems for the war on terror they are being cast back into the hell they tried to escape. And Afghanistan is a hell that has been created by the clash of imperialisms. The British tried to subdue the Afghans for one hundred years from the mid-nineteenth century, launhcing a number of invasions. They carppet bombed tribal villages in the 1920s. But they never succeeded and suffered some serious defeats at the hands of the tribes. The Russians marched in in 1980 to prop up a failing stalinist regime. Then the Americans arrived and fed hundreds of millions of dollars into a guerilla war which forced the Russians to withdraw in 1989. The Pentagons plan was to 'give Russia its own Vietnam'.

Like many other extremist groups, the Taliban are the bastard offspring of this proxy war between the USA and Soviet empires, abandoned to their own devices in the aftermath of the end of the Cold war. They were created with the full support of the Pakistani ISI, an intelligence service that was little more then a subsidary of the CIA in the 1980's, when the Taliban cadres were formed. The US administration under clinton had no problem with the Taliban, and Taliban representatives were in Texas in 1999 discussing oil and pipelines with the bigwigs in the oil industry there.
Only when the tail bit the dog, and Al Queda launched the September 11 atrocity did imperial prerogatives take a different turn. Thousands of civilians died in the American bombing in 2001, but the bulk of the Taliban, on advice from the Pakistani govt, just shaved off their beards and took to the borderlands of west pakistan. Now they are regrouping and taking advantage of the chaos, despair and hatred of western troops in Afghanistan to launch a new campaign of violence in the south of the country. Afhanistan is unfortunately likely to remain a warzone as long as Empires seek to impose their order on its people.

Empire drives its victims to despair, and the hunger strike is the last stand of those who have had every other means of resisting taken away from them. It is 25 years ago since the Irish hunger strikers used this against the British Empire. Back then a mass movement was built in communities all over Ireland to support the prisoners. The Cathedral where the Afghans have blockaded themselves is, in some ways, just as much a prison as the H-blocks were. The afghans know if they allow themselves to be forcibly returned to their war-torn country they will, at best, face grinding poverty and oppression. We should all be thinking of ways to bring the numbers onto the streets that can make sure these courageous Afghans are allowed to remain and live a dignified live here in Ireland.

Related Link: http://www.swp.ie
author by Gerardpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 13:49Report this post to the editors

The UNHCR has said that its relatively safe for some 3 million refugees to return home to Afghanistan.

Related Link: http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/02/428ebe73-0....html
author by Jon - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Mon May 15, 2006 14:25Report this post to the editors

The canon and Arch-Bishop have just been with the men asking them to come off the Hunger Strike.
The Men have all refused to come off the Strike.
The 16 year old has left the hospital now and has rejoined the men on the Strike
The men are all in a solemn, determined and dedicated mood...
There has been a large media interest in the men today..

People are encouraged to join the Protest at 2.30

author by pat cpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 14:27Report this post to the editors

Human Rights Watch still worry about Afghanistan:

"Afghanistan: Reject Known Abusers as Police Chiefs
Time for President Karzai to Show He Is a Genuine Reformer
(New York, May 4, 2006) – President Hamid Karzai should not appoint known human rights abusers and warlords as provincial police chiefs, Human Rights Watch said today.

"If Karzai decides to appoint known human rights abusers to the country’s top police posts, he would be endangering the human rights of Afghans, not protecting them. These candidates should be investigated for their human rights abuses and other crimes, not appointed as police chiefs. "

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

In the coming days, President Karzai will appoint candidates for Afghanistan’s 34 provincial police posts. Karzai has now begun to review candidates for these positions, which are the country’s top police positions. At least four of the current candidates for provincial police chief were barred from standing as candidates in last year’s parliamentary elections for having links to illegal militias. Other potential appointees are known human rights abusers, warlords and drug-traffickers. Several of the candidates have been implicated in murder, torture, intimidation, bribery, government corruption and interfering with police investigations. "

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/05/04/afghan13308.htm

And they have reason to worry:

"U.S. Operated Secret ‘Dark Prison’ in Kabul
(New York, December 19, 2005) – Accounts from detainees at Guantánamo reveal that the United States as recently as last year operated a secret prison in Afghanistan where detainees were subjected to torture and other mistreatment, Human Rights Watch said today.

"The U.S. government must shed some light on Kabul’s ‘dark prison’ "

John Sifton, terrorism and counterterrorism researcher at Human Rights Watch

Eight detainees now held at Guantánamo described to their attorneys how they were held at a facility near Kabul at various times between 2002 and 2004. The detainees, who called the facility the “dark prison” or “prison of darkness,” said they were chained to walls, deprived of food and drinking water, and kept in total darkness with loud rap, heavy metal music, or other sounds blared for weeks at a time. "

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/12/19/afghan12319.htm

author by Paula Geraghtypublication date Mon May 15, 2006 15:23author email mspgeraghty at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors

in St. Patricks cathedral
c

afghanresized0007.jpg

afghanresized0009.jpg

afghanresized0027.jpg

author by Frankpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 15:56Report this post to the editors

Afghanistan is a much better place than it was before the Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorist training camps were daisy cuttered thanks to the US military but it goes without saying that it is still a deeply troubled economically backward country under the influence of Islamic crazies (remember the Afghan who was recently persecuted for converting to Christianity).
Naturally enough given the choice many Afghans want to live in civilised Western democratic countries and these poor guys are no exception.

Post war Afghanistan is still in crisis almost five years on.
Thats for the Afghans to sort out themselves.

But post war France is still in crisis 60 years after the fall of the Nazis.
Nobody could justifiably say that's America's fault either.
And besides the French are also leaving for greener shores too.

author by Martinpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 16:07Report this post to the editors

Could they be this lot?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Northern_Alliance

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/afghan2/Afghan0701-01.h...43109

Violations by United Front Factions

· Late 1999 - early 2000: Internally displaced persons who fled from villages in and around Sangcharak district recounted summary executions, burning of houses, and widespread looting during the four months that the area was held by the United Front. Several of the executions were reportedly carried out in front of the victims' family members. Those targeted in the attacks were largely ethnic Pashtuns and, in some cases, Tajiks.73

· September 20-21, 1998: Several volleys of rockets were fired at the northern part of Kabul, with one hitting a crowded night market. Estimates of the numbers killed ranged from seventy-six to 180. Although a spokesperson for United Front commander Ahmad Shah Massoud denied targeting civilians,74 the attacks were generally believed to have been carried out by Massoud's forces, who were then stationed about twenty-five miles north of Kabul.75 In a September 23 press statement, the ICRC described the attacks as indiscriminate and the deadliest that the city had seen in three years.76

· Late May 1997: Some 3,000 captured Taliban soldiers were summarily executed in and around Mazar-i Sharif by Junbish forces under the command of Gen. Abdul Malik Pahlawan. The killings followed Malik's withdrawal from a brief alliance with the Taliban and the capture of the Taliban forces who were trapped in the city. Some of the Taliban troops were taken to the desert and shot, while others were thrown down wells and then blown up with grenades.77

· January 5, 1997: Junbish planes dropped cluster munitions on residential areas of Kabul. Several civilians were killed and others wounded in the air raid, which also involved the use of conventional bombs.78

· March 1995: Jamiat forces were responsible for rape and looting after they captured Kabul's predominantly Hazara neighborhood of Karte Seh from other factions. According to the U.S. State Department's 1996 report on human rights practices in 1995, "Massood's troops went on a rampage, systematically looting whole streets and raping women."79

· On the night of February 11, 1993 Jamiat and Ittihad-i Islami forces conducted a raid in the Hizb-i Wahdat neighborhoods of West Kabul, killing and "disappearing" Hazara civilians, and committing widespread rape. Estimates of those killed range from about seventy to more than one hundred.80

· In addition, the parties that constitute the United Front have committed other serious violations of internationally recognized human rights. In the years before the Taliban took control of most of Afghanistan, these parties had divided much of the country among themselves while battling for control of Kabul. There was virtually no rule of law in any of the areas under their control. In Kabul, the Jamiat, the Ittihad, and the Hizb-i Wahdat all engaged in rape, summary executions, arbitrary arrest, torture, and "disappearances." In Bamian, Hizb-i Wahdat commanders routinely tortured detainees for extortion purposes.

What do we know about these men?

author by oliver cromwell the lord high protectorpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 17:17Report this post to the editors

was during my short stint as Lord High Protector of the Commonwealth. I stabled my horses there as a way of being rude . Of course i quickly realised that being rude wouldn't be enough to enforce my particular brand of Puritanism, so I removed most of the decorations as well, and then went and burnt Drogheda.

author by Cresent - ihmohmoafg govt.publication date Mon May 15, 2006 17:26Report this post to the editors

If you have any spare cresents and prayer mats please bring them along to make them feel at home - I'd like to see if I could gain asylum in a mosque, Why did they not run into a Mosque in Dublin for refuge,That begs an answer?, Most likley cause they would told by allah to f/o.

author by .:.publication date Mon May 15, 2006 17:39Report this post to the editors

you will see that all who wish worship God and His works are invited and welcome. You will also notice if you take the "guided tour" symbols of many other faiths are to be found in our national cathedral ranging from those of pre-christian times to more modern gifts representing inter-faith relations.
The anglican communion has also given sanctuary to Mordechai Vanunu in their cathedral of Jerusalem. The Roman Catholic church has only granted "sanctuary" in Ireland very few times, mostly in the "northern Irish" state, and the last time it occured in the "republic state" the parish priest allowed Gardaí to enter and remove the individual.

As a concept "sanctuary" forms the basis of Western "asylum law". The real question we ought all be asking as clearly as possible, is
When will Michael mc Dowell meet these men?

author by R. Isiblepublication date Mon May 15, 2006 17:40Report this post to the editors

The men that are so desperate not to return to the hell-hole that is Afghanistan (created over years by the US and UK supporting and creating the Taliban and the Northern Alliance) may or may not be, as you so sneakily suggest, members of the N.A. Do you have any reason to believe they are? If so then provide the reason. Otherwise we may well ask whether or not you rape children, after all there have been child rapists named Martin.

Meanwhile those interested in a picture of Afghanistan might be interested in reading the Oct 2005 article by RAWA (remember them? When everyone was so hot for bombing the hell out of the civilians of Afghanistan because it was a way of supporting feminism the media couldn't get enough of RAWA. Now, when they criticise the USA for supporting the brutish, inhumane NA and allies, and the USA for the torture carried out at Baghram they're virtually blacked out from the media).

Afghanistan is a hell hole by any of the reports by trustworthy organisations. I wonder how many US planes on their way through Shannon were delivering weapons to the Northern Alliance?

Related Link: http://www.rawa.us/seattletimes.htm
author by R. Isiblepublication date Mon May 15, 2006 17:45Report this post to the editors

According to Lorna Reid _Irish Independent_ May 15 2005:

"The people in the church have been very nice to us. We do not want to cause them trouble - we are only looking for help."

The men, all of whom claim their human rights would be violated if they were returned to Afghanistan, said they chose St Patrick's because it was a large church and a symbol of Ireland. They had picked the cathedral in preference to a mosque because Ireland was a Christian country, they said.


I'm sure a good Christian like yourself, dripping with the virtues of charity and honesty and humility, will be the first to welcome these unfortunates. Well done and thanks for the opportunity to make that point. See you down at the protest in support.

author by -publication date Mon May 15, 2006 17:47Report this post to the editors

Sharbat Gula who at the age of 12 in 1985 was photographed by Steve Mc Curry and made the cover of national geographic, and then was voted "photo of the year". She has posed for him again. 17 years later. The president of Afghanistan has twice been voted "best dressed world leader". Saint Patrick's cathedral remembers the warlike start of our national relationship with that country, and it if fitting that it prove the focus of our consideration of the war there now.


When will the jesuit Mc Dowell go to church and chat with these men?
Any protesters at his office door?

Sharbat Gula "the magazine image of Afghanistan" at 12 and 29 years of age.
Sharbat Gula "the magazine image of Afghanistan" at 12 and 29 years of age.

author by Eoinpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 17:55Report this post to the editors

Keep your spirits high, and know that Irish people abroad support your courageous action! I read about it this morning on the Examiner. I wish for just one day that McDowell and all the other politicians who supported the war in Afghanistan would trade places with their victims.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 18:04Report this post to the editors

The Irish Anti War Movement supports the Afghan asylum seekers on hunger strike in St Patrick’s Cathedral - period. About six members of the iawm were there last night and the whole day today. Bringing blankets, helping out, working with the press, talking and encouraging the men, working with lawyers and doctors who visited the cathedral during the day. We believe that while the irish Government condones, facilitates and participates in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq through the use of Shannon and Baldonnel, it is our responsibility, as active and thinking citizens to support all those who flee the war zone....and oppose the nonsense coming of that man who calls himself Minister of (in)Justice.

I am not even going to respond to some of the reprehensible and at times racist trivia above...particularly those rants about 'who are these men' etc. All who want to know please pay a visit, have a look, talk to them and make up your own mind.

Below please find the Press Release we in the iawm sent to the press on the issue:

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76048
author by Jonpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 18:07Report this post to the editors

Justice Minister Michael McDowell today urged the asylum seekers to call off their protest insisting he will not negotiate with them.

“I understand that in Belgium some 20 churches were occupied. We don’t do business that way and we won’t do business that way,” he said.
“We don’t deal with people in the lump so to speak, we deal with every individual case.”
McDowell said the Irish Government had developed a complex immigration system which was suitable to deal with asylum applications.
.
“There’s a system there. It’s wrong for me to try to break down our system and it’s wrong for anybody else to try to break down our system,” he said. “It’s a very sophisticated system and people can’t just suddenly say ‘we’re opting out’.”
He admitted asylum seekers had been returned to Afghanistan in the past.
.
“I would just ask the public to bear in mind that although there are disturbances in Afghanistan, that doesn’t mean that anybody has the right to come and live in Ireland,” he added.

So McDowell admits there are 'disturbances' in Afghanistan. Fairly unsurprising for such an allegedly educated man who must be aware of Human Rights Watch Reports ( http://hrw.org/doc?t=asia&c=afghan) or Amnesty International Reports ( http://web.amnesty.org/report2005/afg-summary-eng )

But the biggest surprise is when he compares the situation and refers to Belgium...

Currently, 25 churches across Belgium are being occupied by so called illegal immigrants demanding an amnesty and official residency. A series of hunger strikes have also been staged accross Belgium.

Monsignor Karl-Josef Rauber, the Papal Nuncio (i.e. the Vatican’s Ambassador) to Belgium, supports the occupations of Belgian churches by illegal immigrants. “The Church has always sided with the weak,” the Nuncio says in the recent issue of the leftist newspaper De Morgen. With his statement the Nuncio comes out in support of the embattled Belgian Catholic Bishops. Hans Geybels, the spokesman of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the Primate of Belgium, said the Nuncio’s support is “a positive signal.”

Not only is the Vaticans representive in Belgium supporting the occupations, but also all the Belgian bishops have officially accepted the series of church occupations being staged by illegal immigrants across the country, stressing their sympathy for their situation last Thursday.
The bishops said at a press conference in Mechelen that they hope for a humanitarian solution to the problem and urged politicians for unselfishness.

Now I suppose no-one could accuse McDowell of selfishness could they?

Since the late 1990’s individual Belgian Catholic priests have been opening their churches and chapels to immigrants who by Belgian law are subject to expulsion. In 2005, Belgian priests again began to offer “church asylum” to sans-papiers. This time the Belgian government refused to budge. Last March, however, when a group of 118 squatters in the Saint Boniface church in the Brussels suburb of Elsene threatened to go on hunger strike, the Home Secretary, Patrick Dewael, granted them residence permits. There was an ensuing rush on various churches. “The minister himself is to blame for this massive response,” says Father Didier Vanderslycke, one of the priests offering “church asylum.” According to Vanderslycke, “thousands” are looking for “asylum” in churches.

Last week several Belgian Bishops, including Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the Archbishop of Brussels, spoke out in favour of the “church asylum” movement. According to Monsignor Luc Van Looy, the Bishop of Ghent, the Bishops do not want to get involved in politics, but are supporting “social actions.”.
.
Church of Ireland Archbishop John Neill today said that Saint Patrick's Cathedral is not an appropriate place for refugees to protest. The Archbishop says he will do his best to help and support the men, and has no intention of asking them to leave.

“I don't think we've any particular right of refuge in this country. That was something that was there in ancient times,” he said today. “But certainly there's no intention as far as I'm aware that they would be expelled. But it's not an appropriate place for them to be because it is not a place with proper facilities.”

As yet there has been no response from the Catholic Church here regarding the Afghan men on Hunger Strike For Justice. Archbishop Sean Brady used his Saint Patrick's Day sermon on March 17 to remind the Irish that even their own national patron was "a migrant ... to our land." .
.
I Wonder will he use his good office to remind McDowell of this and open up his church's to those in need?

Migrants occupy Belgian churches
Migrants occupy Belgian churches

Related Link: http://today.reuters.com/business/newsarticle.aspx?type...91443
author by A Humanist - Humanitypublication date Mon May 15, 2006 18:49Report this post to the editors

“We don’t deal with people in the lump so to speak, we deal with every individual case.”
McDowell said the Irish Government had developed a complex immigration system which was suitable to deal with asylum applications.

Well, yes, the Irish Government does actually deal with people in the "lump". Last year over 4,000 people seeking access and refuge in Ireland were stopped and turned back at Dublin airport. They were not dealt with individually, and most of these were given no chance to apply for assylum, even though the UN regulations obligate states to allow such people to apply for assylum and to process their applications once they apply. The Irish refugee Council and other human rights workers have been repeatedly denied access to this large group of unfortunate people. No one knows just how many of these thousands of asylum seekers were genuine victims of torture.

"McDowell said the Irish Government had developed a complex immigration system"
It is so complex that one of the appeal commissioners has rejected virtually all the appeal cases that have come before him.
Its a numbers game, keep them out, and deport as many as possible of those who manage to get in.

With the exception of Chechnya, Afghanistan in the most dangerous country in the world. Sending these men back to Afghanistan is a death sentence.

author by Madam Kpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 20:23Report this post to the editors

There has been a request from the men that they would prefer if there were no visitors this evening.

The men were very grateful for the visitors today and are naturally worn out from hunger and thirst, chatting all day to people and the media.

They have gone almost 36 hours without food and water and are feeling very tired this evening.

There is a vigil tommorow at 12.30 at the Cathedral and all are encouraged to attend

Please spread the word...

author by chris - the unmanageablespublication date Mon May 15, 2006 21:13Report this post to the editors

When I asked a garda today, why he was at the cathedral he stated that his purpose was to maintain law and order. His purpose and the purpose of the emergency services is not alone to maintain law and order but to provide liasion officers
(even if they are regected). To provide emergency care and professional trauma counsellors. This is a mass hunger strike in a public place. The privacy of the men is not maintained, many tourists were photographing them , in what is a situation of extremis. The state should make these men aware that they have the right to personnel trained specifically for these situations. No one has apprised these men of their rights. I would ask why the gardai have not provided trauma counselling and contacted the red cross. One man/boy has attempted to cut himself and another suffers from diabetes and is refusing food. the situation may be perceived as political but human rights abuses are occuring. I have asked that this information is transmitted to the legal observors and NGO's who are doing all day , without support, an onerous job and why these people are not provided with basic human aid from the custodians of the law.

author by The last European Christianpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 21:17Report this post to the editors

See any similarity to the Dublin situation?

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1053

http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=WORLD...1.asp

author by + .:. @publication date Mon May 15, 2006 22:01Report this post to the editors

They are often men (& women) who take very seriously their love of God and the worship of God. In a time when Europeans more often than not turn their attention to cathedrals only when the advertising hoardings display something "controversial" such as the RC church in Italy protesting the appearance of Da Vinci code posters.
The men in Ireland's only national cathedral, are of true faith in God, that is why muslim migrants have occupied in the last 3 years in Europe, churches and the cathedral of Barcelona, & churches of Belgium. They are in serious and grave danger. The longterm danger of being deported back to country subsumed in war, and the short-term danger of failed kidneys and livers if they continue to refuse water.
I was in the cathedral of Barcelona with approximately 1,600 muslims supported by 300 south americans, the saturday night of June 5th 2005. As their assemblies with translations ended and they tried to bed down for the night, I walked amongst them, I will never forget how moved I was, at the sight of the poorest and most disregarded workers of society huddled in the alcoves and side altars of that cathedral. It was I reflected a scene I had only ever seen before in movies. They really appeared as they are in truth - "refugees from war and broken societies". Outside the commerical media spoke of "taliban" and "communists", a "masonic joke" and "al qaeda". The powers that were in that time called pres conferences and did their best to alling the main trade unions to condemn the "enclosures" whilst the minister with responsibility for migration said "she could not consider group cases- only one case at a time " . She then changed her mind and told the press conference called some hours after riot police cleared the cathedral, that "she could only give up her time [it being a non-banking day] because of cheap non-regularised labour".

I sincerely hope, that Irish society in general recognise the faith of the men in Saint Patrick's. Those charged with the custody of the cathedral have already noted it. It is sincere and simple faith. I also hope "political activists" make the right moves to express solidarity and move the issues forward -
Bringing these cases "one by one" to the door of the offices of the man with responsiblity - Michael Mc Dowell. & that those in contact with the men, do their best to confirm that they have support, but within the anglican communion, and the worldwide social & justice movement, and that their action has reported in the mainstream commercial press, national TV, and trans-national internet in more than one language, & that now they may adjust their protest to a simple "refusal of food" but at least accept "water". The love of God of the books, common to christian jew and muslim alike prohibit self-sacrifice, (accept some would argue in acts of just war) and the defaning of sacred places by such acts.

The men (& the cathedral custodians) have asked that no more people come and visit them tonight.
You need not protest or picket St. Patricks or the Church of Ireland. You must bring these cases one by one to Michael Mc Dowell

author by Madam k - The Unmanageablespublication date Mon May 15, 2006 22:06Report this post to the editors

.

Busnes as usual at the Cathedral this morning and the Hunger Strike continues...
Busnes as usual at the Cathedral this morning and the Hunger Strike continues...

weary_but_determind.jpg

Your words Micheal
Your words Micheal

They lie beside the reconciliation door
They lie beside the reconciliation door

Ladies offer solidarity
Ladies offer solidarity

author by F@#K!$%publication date Mon May 15, 2006 22:10Report this post to the editors

Leave the statements to the men in the church and those in contact with them. Jon's reports are the only source of information and although he reports that they don't want visitors tonight he said nothing about do/don't picket any particular place. Make suggestions if you want, but don't start pretending to be some sort of spokesperson. Ass.

author by madam k - The unmanageablespublication date Mon May 15, 2006 22:33Report this post to the editors


33 hours now... no food...no water...no justice...

Early this morning ...the 33 had become 41...
Early this morning ...the 33 had become 41...

United they stay..."we would rather die in this holy church "...
United they stay..."we would rather die in this holy church "...

.
.

author by Jon - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Mon May 15, 2006 22:53Report this post to the editors

"Jon's reports are the only source of information and although he reports that they don't want visitors tonight he said nothing about do/don't picket any particular place"

True..
I merely reported, as requested, that the men would prefer to rest this evening..
I make no mention that solidarity actions are not welcome. Indeed I personally believe that we should be making as much noise as we can, wherever we are regarding this situation, whether that is in Dublin or further afield...

Tonight 41 men are hungering and thirsting for justice...

What are we doing?

author by kitty - Revolt Videopublication date Mon May 15, 2006 23:25Report this post to the editors

Having maintained a consistent presence at the Cathedral over the last 30 hours and been in direct contact with the hunger strikers we can confirm that respectful acts of solidarity are most welcome.

Having witnessed some visiting `wellwishers` it should be noted that their arrival coincided with the that of the corporate press ...and so did their departure......

We would suggest; leave your press releases, loudhailers, egos and papers at home and turn up QUIETLY & RESPECTFULLY with sleeping bags and compassion.
.

author by dunkpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 23:43Report this post to the editors

a few of us turned up outside the locked church about 7.30, we met an afghani man who had come to visit his friends on hunger strike inside. We walked around a bit and one of the priests from st. patricks came out, we asked him how the men were "very tired" he said, more had joined them today and they needed warm things for the night. another group of about 7 afghani men arrived and an iranian man. i left the group for a while to get warm stuff, i got sleeping bags, hats, a scarf or 2, hot water bottle, some reading material and a brazilian talisman given by a friend for the men - got back down and a car had come with more warm clothes, the men were outside at the fence talking with their friends on the outside, we gave them the few bits and pieces and said we hoped things would move, that irish people would come out and support the men, and that they would succeed in staying here, inshallah. they seemed tired but very grateful for support and supplies.
a few irish supporters came out who had been in for about 7 hours with the men, "very very depressing" said one man as he came out, he told me how on entering one of the men came up and greeted him on entering and said "welcome". another girl who was inside was shattered herself and said the men must be really wrecked, but she said their spirits are high and they are strong. she said a doctor had been in with her earlier checking all the men out. Another girl said they were "so-so", she was waiting for another carload of supplies to be given in.
people were unclear about tomorows actions but it seems theres a general solidarity gathering outside at 12.30 and another organised by swp at 6.30

the have already gotten good coverage in the mainstream media - the made the front page of todays irish times and were on this evenings 9.00 news
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/front/2006/0515/

Afghan protestors to continue hunger strike- RTE web + tv news
http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0515/asylum.html

in tonights news it said that the 31 had grown to 41 and that a lad of 16 was taken to hospital with kidney problems, while there he slit himself open, he is now back in st. patricks
by going on thirst strike it is only a matter of days till their internal organs start giving up, some of the men have not taken water in 30+ hours according to the priest.
there was talk of trying to get them to come off the thirst strike but to no avail, an imam from the dublin mosque was in trying to convince them, again to no avail.
there was some talk of them coming off the thirst strike at midnight but that idea was given up on, there was talk that the elders asked the younger lads to come off the thirst strike but they refused.
as it stands now all are committed to thirst and hunger strike in attempt to get mcdowell to grant asylum, the young lad with kidney problems needs to drink water - he is already in a dangerous situation. the other young man with diabetes could also be in trouble, we dont know about his medical situation fully.

again there were garda around, probably from kevin st. station, which is only next door.

it will be a cold night tonight in the church, more supplies tomorow would be helpful, perhaps a silent vigil of sorts outside on the street, on patrick st. might be appropriate tomorow night; it might remind people passing that busy road that there are people DYING in that church

Ironically enough, this form of political protest falls on the 25th aniversary of the death of the H-blocks men: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75949

afghani hunger strikers - front page irish times
afghani hunger strikers - front page irish times

author by .:.publication date Tue May 16, 2006 00:37Report this post to the editors

that an Afghani hunger striker had slept there before
on their soft reserved velvet pew.

may he or she, whomever be the next excellency President of Ireland to sit there -
reflect on it, whether or not that Afghani "made history" or not.
The prayer cushions which are found under each ordinary seat in the Cathedral
are made by a variety of womens' associations throughout the island of Ireland.
Each bears a crocheted or needlepoint representation of county crest, religious iconography or symbol, city or town arms. They make comfortable mattresses when arranged.
It is odd, that they do not appear to be hanging as usual on the little hooks provided for their safe keeping on the back of the pew chairs in the nave.But these men are special. Which is why they sleep on velvet... Jonathan Swift was one of many deans of the cathedral who spoke passionately for the dispossessed and against the use of fine furnishings to ease the process of genuflectionary worship. His ghost may be there now as well, amongst the regimental flags, asking us to pose questions on the modest proposal "let the minister Mc Dowell meet them & talk to them & so exercise his Lilliputian mind". how will he open his egg?

author by MSMWatchpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 00:49Report this post to the editors

nothing new there except a quote from the Adminster of the Cathedral

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0515/asylum.html
author by . - Revolt videopublication date Tue May 16, 2006 01:20Report this post to the editors


Just left Cathedral ...having recieved more ( but not enough ) bedding the men are continuing to refuse fluids or food ...situation seems grave...

author by cpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 01:46Report this post to the editors

If the men are refusing fluids as well as food then their bodies will start to eat into their organs for nutrients much quicker, causing damage and eventually death. 48 hours is a very short time to be on a hunger strike -- not to dismiss the action of these men in the cathedral. Have a read of the article below for info on hunger strikes.

Good luck to them, I wish them all the best, McDowell is the hardest nut of the lot, and I'm not sure he'll crack. Thatcher didnt.

Related Link: http://www.slate.com/id/2102228/
author by dunkpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 10:31Report this post to the editors

on this mornings 8.00 news

this is terrible, many people will probably support the men but feel "sure, its only early days, did'nt the H-blocks men last 40, 50, 60 days"

This is a thirst strike, the men have only a matter of days before they DIE, 2 of them are already seriously ill and could die today

author by chekov - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Tue May 16, 2006 10:52author email chekov at indymedia dot ieReport this post to the editors

The hunger strikers have continued to refuse liquids. 4 men have now been taken to hospital by ambulance. In the last few minutes one of the men collapsed in fits and was rushed to hospital. His survival hangs in the balance.

author by Sinéad Ní Bhroinpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 10:53author email sineadnibhroin at eircom dot netauthor phone 0879266764Report this post to the editors

for the Afghan Hunger strikers
The men on hunger strike urgently need the following practical support.
Firstly they need duvets & sleeping bags. They will be increasingly feeling the cold as their hunger strike continues, & extremely uncomfortable. If you have a spare duvet/sleeping bag/ pillow please bring it down to St. Pat’s.

Secondly they need regular medical attention, especially as they have also been on thirst strike since Sunday. If anyone knows a sympathetic doctor or nurse that could drop into see the men it would be of tremendous help.

Solidarity,
Sinéad Ní Bhroin

author by Fintan Lanepublication date Tue May 16, 2006 10:58Report this post to the editors

Absolutely everybody who can should get to St Patrick's for the solidarity vigil at 12.30pm. This isn't one of those events that people can be slack about.

For those, like myself, who are working during the day, please get to the anti-war after-work solidarity vigil at 6.30pm outside St Patrick's. Bring placards and lots of solidarity.

author by supporterpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 11:09Report this post to the editors

The Men have expressed the fear that they will be arrested if they are revived. If anybody is available, it would be very useful for them to keep an eye on the situation in the hospital.

author by Mark Grehan - Residents Against Racismpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 11:13Report this post to the editors

Sultan was rushed to hospital this morning. I was talking to him over the phone and he is okay, he is still determined to continue with his thirst and hunger strike. RAR will be holding a picket at McDowell's constituency office this Friday at 6 o'clock. Could people please attend it.

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76062

author by Jon - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Tue May 16, 2006 11:13Report this post to the editors

They have now closed the church doors and a small group of protesters are outside.. it is imperative that anyone who can gets down asap
There are 5 more men inside in a very bad way.. medical staff are at hand in the Church...

author by marie66publication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:00Report this post to the editors

These Afghanis have put their cases to the ORAC. The ORAC decided after hearing their cases that they were not entitled to refuugee status.
They then appealed to the RAT where they were represented by counsel supplied at the expense of the Irish taxpayer. The RAT also didn't accept that they were entitled to refugee status.
Each of these failed asylum-seekers now has the individual right to apply for leave to bring a judicial-review challenging their refusal of refugee-status. Free Legal Aid is again available.
The Irish asylum-process observes standards and provided options to applicants which go far beyond the minimum required of international law. This has been explicitly recognized by the UN.

Having failed to get what they want through the proper legal channels they have now resorted to blackmail.

If they succeeded every failed asylum-seeker or group of illegal-immigrants whose claim to stay in Ireland has been found unwarranted would jump on the blackmail bandwagon. Sooner or later the government would have to take a stand and face down the blackmailers. McDowell has wisely decided to do it now with this group. He has stated unequivocally that he will not concede or negotiate. He has clearly told them that he will defend the integrety of the asylum-system.

The people who have the ears of these Afghanis now need to act responsibly and impress upon them that they have embarked on a course of action which will not succeed and that their actions may have disasterous consequences on the young people in this group who have been woefully misled down this cul de sac. Any asylum-seekers support groups who encourage this folly, just to satisfy their prejudices and ideology will have the blood of these people on their hands if any of them starve themselves to death.

This state has never succumbed to this sort of blackmail. Those in the asylum-industry with SinnFein connections will be especially aware of this and will be in a position to advise these Afghanis before it is too late.

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:08Report this post to the editors

will be on the hands on the state - if this happens.

So it needs to be ensured that it does not - with the greatest matter of urgency. D

author by Leftypublication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:10Report this post to the editors

Making Appeals to the Constitutuion means nothing. You are misdirecting this campaign if you advocate that there is some kind of salvation in the Constitution. The Irish State is a brutal state. The Irish State has a long history of ignoring freedoms and Constitutions. Stop going around with copies of Constitution! I don't need Ciarán Cuffe TD to tell me that they are 'genuine' before I support these refugees. Cuffe is happy to get into government in a years time and deport people. Way forward is to mobilise people in protest. That means getting people and organisations to protests. Remember the Kunle deportation. That was stopped by School Students having an active campaign. We need militant action to prevent deportations not righteous indignation!

author by Deirdre Clancy - Pitstop Ploughshares/Unmanageablespublication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:37Report this post to the editors

I was in the church briefly last night, and it seems to me what is needed right now is solidarity outside the church (as well as the practical support that has already been mentioned - blankets, etc.). The men to me appeared too tired and weak to engage too much except when they have to do so, and I think those of us who aren't medically qualified or otherwise of practical use should respect that.

McDowell should resign (wishful thinking I know). He has allowed Ireland to facilitate the invasion that tore these men's country apart. He cannot abdicate responsibility for their welfare when we as a country played a role in destroying their country - it's utter hypocrisy.

The Six-One news two nights ago had a long item on the plight of the Irish illegal immigrants in the US, for whom our politicians are now lobbying tirelessly in order to gain votes back home from voters with relatives who are illegal in the US. Straight afterwards, there was a half a minute on the Afghan men. Again, hypocrisy abounds. Although I sympathise to some degree with the illegal Irish, their plight is incomparable to that of these men on hunger strike. The worst that could happen to them is that they are deported back to a country with 99% employment and a social welfare system. They would survive, though some might end up in the 'working poor' category that our government denies exists. These men's lives are not guaranteed. Our politicians are self-interested and inconsistent. There is a conspiracy of silence in the mainstream media about this, as the two items back to back on Six-One, and the relative time given to each item, displayed. It's up to us to point out the anomalies.

We helped destabilise their country (even further). We need to take some responsibility as a country - for a change - and show some compassion. The lack of large-scale public outrage about this so far says a lot about how far we've gone in the direction of self-interest here.

author by Observerpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:41Report this post to the editors

The lack of public outrage is an accurate reflection of what most people think. That is, that these men have gone through due process and been found not to be genuine refugees. Therefore, they must be deported.

As regards the Irish in the US. They are Irish. Hence our understandable concern for them. That's the way the world goes round.

author by dunkpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:43Report this post to the editors

according to rte website:

It is understood that some of the men have now agreed to take water.

The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, has said he would not be negotiating with the men.

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0516/asylum.html
author by Jon - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:45Report this post to the editors

Altogether at this stage, Five of the men have been transferred to Hospital, a member of RAR has gone with the last one to be admitted.
Four of the the Hunger Strikers are in a bad way inside the Cathedral
Only 1 member of RAR has been admitted inside at 11.20 although a member of the Health Board and Corporate media have gained access...
There is a need for legal observers and witnesses...

A Statement from the Men is expected at 12:00

author by dunkpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:53Report this post to the editors

if 1 of corporate media has been allowed in, is it possible, or desired by the men and their network, that 1 of the non-corporate, grassroots media that is IMC-IE be allowed in. have they someone who is a group spokesperson who is not on strike, think it would best serve the men if they requested 1 of imc to go in, for whatever reason

well done to jon and others for solidarity and updates

author by Support them!publication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:58Report this post to the editors

A poignant front page splash on Daily Ireland today on the thirst-hunger strike.

http://www.irelandclick.com/dipdf/di001.pdf its the second front at the end.

www.dailyireland.com

author by yoyopublication date Tue May 16, 2006 13:15Report this post to the editors

"These Afghanis have put their cases to the ORAC. The ORAC decided after hearing their cases that they were not entitled to refuugee status.
They then appealed to the RAT where they were represented by counsel supplied at the expense of the Irish taxpayer. The RAT also didn't accept that they were entitled to refugee status."

Many ORAC and RAT decisions are, at best, questionable. THE RAT overturns about 15% of the decisions made by ORAC. Anyone who has actually read through an ORAC decision will generally find a cut and paste of reports from various sources, sometimes referenced (usually US Dept. of state and UK Home Office country reports), sometimes not. The reliability of some of these sources is dubious. ORAC interviewers have been known to, whether unconsciously or not, misquote interviewees testimony. Spurious reasons for doubting interviews testimonies are frequently given. On one occasion, an interviewee who refused to sign an inaccurate transcript of his testimony was threatened with serious repurcussions for obstructing the asylum process.

There are also suspicions about the impartiality of the RAT. 2 of its members resigned last year in protest at a lack of transparency (Sunniva McDonagh was one, cant remember the name of the other). The member who hears most cases (James Nicholson), has allowed something like 2 of 400 appeals. A number of immigration lawyers are taking a high court case aginst the RAT claiming that this bias indicates that their clients cannot get a fair hearing.
The quality of assistance that the Refugee Legal Service provides is varied, partly due to underfunding, partly due to incompetence. Many asylum seekers go to private solicitors for their RAT hearing. RLS infamously made a submission about a client to the RAT where they got the gender incorrect, an indication of lthe level of consultation they have with clients.

"Each of these failed asylum-seekers now has the individual right to apply for leave to bring a judicial-review challenging their refusal of refugee-status. Free Legal Aid is again available."

The RLS almost always refuses to bring judicial reviews, again this appears to be a due to funding and staffing constraints

author by Joepublication date Tue May 16, 2006 13:30Report this post to the editors

This is from an SMS
A total of 7 have been taken to hospital. They are continuing their thirst and hunger strikes. Can people contact McDowells office

author by Anthony - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Tue May 16, 2006 14:03Report this post to the editors

For readers who are new to Indymedia and are wondering why posts which are in breach of editorial guidelines are being hidden, they can check and see the reasons for themselves in the Newswire archives. All editorial discussion takes place on the editorial list and the newswire is reserved for news reporting.

author by Anthonypublication date Tue May 16, 2006 14:06Report this post to the editors

"The Department of Foreign Affairs advises against all non-essential travel to Kabul and against all travel to other parts of Afghanistan. The security situation in Afghanistan remains serious and the threat to Westerners from terrorist or criminal violence, including kidnappings, remains high. Irish citizens travelling to Kabul are urged to exercise extreme caution and vigilance throughout their visit."

Related Link: http://www.dfa.ie/services/traveladvice/01.asp
author by roarpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 14:16Report this post to the editors

“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Or if he ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children,
how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”
(Luke 11:11-13)

not that it matters much to the minister. His own gardaí don't talk to him, the nurses nor ambulance staff don't talk to his colleague the minister for Health & he really is a far way from ever sitting on the reserved pew.

author by Jaqian - nonepublication date Tue May 16, 2006 14:29Report this post to the editors

Hi,
I have some blankets that I could deliver tonight. What time does the Cathedral close at?

Regards,
Jaqian

author by Interestedpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 14:39Report this post to the editors

What is the political affilitation of the men? Some reports describe them as ex-Taliban, others as people who were opposed to that regime? Anybody know.

author by Mepublication date Tue May 16, 2006 14:52Report this post to the editors

With regard to the Afghan hunger strikers - My sympathies are with them and their families. I truely hope they resolve this issue without unneccessary death. BUT I don't believe it would be prudent for the Irish government to be bullied into making decisions on this kind of basis. Doing so would send a strong message to Ireland, and the world, that this is how to get your way. This is not a case of genuine political prisoners demanding their war be recognised (as I'm sure the strikers are aware is a sensitive issue in Ireland right now). This is a bunch of illegal immigrants trying to force the Irish state to accept them as refugees, despite the fact that their applications were refused. We already more than take our fair share of asylum seekers in this country, and every one of those ligitimate cases is a life changed forever. These particular strikers are seeking to undermine that system, which would have drastic implications for other asylum seekers in the country, not to mention the damage it would do to the already tarnished public opionion for refugee's.

(General comment on editorial guidelines removed - use the appropriate forum -ed)

author by Fintan Lanepublication date Tue May 16, 2006 14:58Report this post to the editors

70 is an excellent turn-out for a vigil during a work-day. Well done to all those who participated!

For those stuck at work or elsewhere, please do turn up at 6.30pm.

author by Revolt Videopublication date Tue May 16, 2006 15:04Report this post to the editors

We have been in direct phone communication with the men since this morning. These men are extremely tired to the point of not being able to communicate at this stage and would prefer not to film at the present moment. We feel it would be undigified to film them in their present serious condition.

Unlike corporate media we respect their wishes

Representives from the Church later admitted there should have been no media access.
The Church Staff have treated the men and their situation with the utmost of respect and humanity

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 15:08Report this post to the editors

I was in the cathedral for a good portion of Sunday.

I spoke with Osman Hotak, we talked about his fears, his hopes and myself and a friend whom I shall refer to as 'H,' advised him and his companions that our Constitution legislated on his behalf. I concentrated on showing how the preamble of our constitution mandated that Osram and his companions be treated in a fashion contrary to the fashion they have been treated.

"And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,"

The reader should note that the preamble refers to the 'individual' and not the 'citizen' which means Osram and his companions are covered by it.

My friend H spoke about Article 40 and then nipped off and got the Constitutional pictures that some of these poor people are displaying in some of the photographs above.

Some will argue that Article 40 refers specifically to the 'citizen' and so these refugees are not covered by it.

My answer to this is that the preamble sets the terms and conditions and that Article 40 defines fundamental rights, if one examines both pieces of law together it would be impossible to argue that Osram and his companions are not entitled to fundamental rights at the very least.

I'm confident that McDowell and co. will try to argue contrary to the above. This is made all the more dispicable by the fact that this very same 'government' recently and treasonably altered the Irish Constitution in their submission to an EU comission on Rendition and Torture. They substituted the word 'citizen' with 'person' without a referendum to do so. Check out Ed Horgan's submissions to this Body and his subsequent reports here on Indy. This act of alteration is something our 'government' should be held accountable for. It will come as no surprise when McDowell will fail to recognise the interchangeability of the words 'citizen' and 'person.'

When 'H' was getting the constitutional and 'McDowell-quote' posters for the refugees he took the time to draft a very short letter to McDowell, which was subsequently signed by all the refugees. It was my pleasure to register and post this letter to McDowell.

I'll post a photocopy of this letter and signatures later when I get home. I'm currently in an Internet cafe in Limerick having been caught up in the rail strike yesterday.

These men are human beings, questions relating to their past are mostly irreleant at this point. Basic human rights (Ie. the right not to be rendered for torture) are the issue.

I urge people to go to the Cathedral to support these men and to witness what is to happen.

Sláinte,
Seán Ryan

author by anonpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 15:26Report this post to the editors

http://www.irlgov.ie/refappeal/ Such great service their site is down for two months

Assessing the Refugee Appeals Tribunal: The Case for the Publication of Decisions Sunniva McDonagh BL http://www.lawlibrary.ie/documents/publications/April05.pdf

author by anonpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 15:33Report this post to the editors

RTE reports It is understood that three representatives will be taken from the cathedral by church staff for the meeting, which will take place in the Garda National Immigration Bureau Offices on Burgh Quay in Dublin.

Will they be free to leave there?

author by Sean - Organise!publication date Tue May 16, 2006 16:00Report this post to the editors

There will be a picket tomorrow at the EU offices in Bedford Street {which hold an Irish Government office}, at 1pm in Belfast city centre!

Spread the word!

author by ('',)publication date Tue May 16, 2006 16:07Report this post to the editors

Is there another vigil at 6.30 tonight?

author by Gedpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 16:35Report this post to the editors

Try looking at the events listing!

There's an antiwar solidarity vigil at 6.30pm for those who weren't able to make it at 12.30 cos of work. Its organised by AWI and other antiwar activists. Remember: no megaphones, no party papers, just solidarity.

author by Madam Kpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 17:29Report this post to the editors

There still is around 40-50 people gathered outside the Cathedral.

One of the Waterford guys has had access to the Church Grounds now and has a blanket wrapped around him.

One of the men who were admitted to Hospital earlier 'celebrated' his 17th Birthday yesterday..

RTE have just recorded a piece there which didnt go down too well with those present when the Journalist made a nonsensical reference to the entirely unconnected 'Plane Hijackers' in the UK.

The mood is solemn as concern grows for the men who have now gone over 50 hours without Food or Water. People are hoping for a large turnout for this evenings vigil at 6.30

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 17:46Report this post to the editors

Hope there is a large turn out, and that activists and organisations mobilise for a good turn out - to show solidarity at a time of many's greatest need.

We shall be holding a Solidarity Picket tomorrow in Belfast

In that Solidarity - Davy Carlin, Organise!

author by Garrett Mullan - Show Racism the Red Cardpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 17:51Report this post to the editors

I have placed a link to this thread on www.theredcard.ie

Is there a protest on tomorrow?

Today is Tuesday 16th

Related Link: http://www.theredcard.ie
author by Davy Carlinpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 18:01Report this post to the editors

Posted edited to remove response to blatant breach of guidelines. Please see http://www.indymedia.ie/editorial Hi, Garrett there is one in Belfast and it is at 1PM at the EU offices in Bedford streets - ATB - D

author by Starstruckpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 18:04Report this post to the editors

Dont usually take the bait on these kinds of insults but for those posters above whose kindess lobe in their brain appears to be switched off as well as their intelligence being permanently so,cop the fuck on.
Firstly,boo-hoo for you who feel that St Patrick's Cathederal has been "invaded" by these poor people who have been forced by the racist state into taking this action.I thought the church was a place of sanctuary and shelter for people in such a position//I guess not...
And for those who are posting that these brave individuals are in the taliban-what fucking proof do you have do substantiate these ridiculous accusations???Are you from Ireland???Well,then ,I guess you're in the IRA-thats the absolute level of stupidity,ignorance and racism that you are operating on.

If your ancestors had been met with this kind of idiocy and ignorance when they emigrated from Ireland over the past few hundred years,I'm sure they would have been as bewildered and disappointed by it.

Solidarity with the Hunger Strikers!
No Deportations!

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 18:05Report this post to the editors

There was a brilliant demo at 12.30 earlier today - see Jim's message and pics above. It was wonderful to have the kids from the school opposite the cathedral join us. A real eye opener.
We will try to have another vigil at 6.30 this afternoon for those who were working earlier and could not make it.
After a short discussion earlier it was also decided to have two vigils every day - 12.30 and 6.30 in the afternoon.
There are also plans for a demonstration on Friday 19th. Watch this space.

author by RAR supporterpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 18:18Report this post to the editors

"There are also plans for a demonstration on Friday 19th. Watch this space."

Those plans were announced earlier.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76062
author by : }publication date Tue May 16, 2006 18:21Report this post to the editors

Demo on Saturday?

It would make sense.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 18:23Report this post to the editors

Well done Mark - I didn't see it.
As the title indicates, I stand corrected.
Solidarity

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 18:24Report this post to the editors

I have already circulated that Demo around the Northern Networks for those who have connections in the South -

As I had done re Anti War Ireland - and the noon - tea time vigils

Again excellent to see so much solidarity.

author by anonpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 19:19Report this post to the editors

To promote a narrow position on illegals in the US, those people may be ulitimately deported back to Ireland while sending Afghani's back to country which is unsafe for all the reason that it was invaded by the likes of him sill existing in the first place.

http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/Press_Releases/20060516/20...6.htm

author by .:. - (iosaf)publication date Tue May 16, 2006 20:27Report this post to the editors

he too had taken part in other protests which included hunger and thirst fast. I've suggested that he and his community talk by mobile telephone to the men of Saint Patrick's later tonight.

for the love of fellow man.
for the love of God.
for the love of Justice.
for the understanding of why those regimental flags still hang there,
for the understanding of what those war memorials mean to our families...
Why can't the Minister talk to these men?
Must they pass on and out beyond his jurisdiction, through failed kidneys & liver?
Will he deport their corpses for a decent burial?

author by Hadipublication date Tue May 16, 2006 20:31Report this post to the editors

"All men are members of the same body, Created from one essence.
If fate brings suffering to one member, The others cannot stay at rest.
You who remain indifferent
To the burden of pain of others,
Do not deserve to be called human."

Related Link: http://WWW.HOZHABRI.BLOGSPOT.COM
author by rorypublication date Tue May 16, 2006 22:02Report this post to the editors

at the 12 noon protest day it was confirmed that there will be protests each day at 12.30 and 6.30pm at st patricks cathedral -friday at mcdowells office and saturday at two pm at st patricks cathedral-spread the word

author by Emma-RARpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 22:23Report this post to the editors

The men are willing to hold out until the end. At the moment 8 have been taken to hospital and they have started to drink water, some met with justice but nothing came out of it. At this stage I think its just taking things day by day hopefully it wont be too much longer.

There is a demo tomorrow at 2.30pm and a vigil at 6.30pm but I am sure people will be outside throughout the day.

author by ahemhempublication date Tue May 16, 2006 22:29Report this post to the editors

ok first of all to starstruck your saying that those calling the strikers members of the taliban must be in the ira eh hello . . . . thats just as bad you are giving out about one form of racism while using another cop yourself on . . even if you were just making a point come on your stopping.

i totally agree with the strikers i am a member of patricks school and have seen a lot of the happenings first hand, and have heard a lot of racist comments. it is pure ignorance to pass judgement on the strikers, they are standing up for themselves and willing to die to make their piont heard. they need support. it is such an insult to hear people saying they dont deserve tp be here when there are irish all over the world. we have been let stay in many countries in our times of need and in times when we didnt even need to leave ireland. but when people come to ireland seeking asylum and trying to escape from whatever traumas they have faced in their own countries, whet do we do. . . . kick them out clap clap

author by Fenianpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 23:25Report this post to the editors

starstruck.....for an anarchist you're awfully sectarian

author by My IQ is 85 - What's yours?publication date Tue May 16, 2006 23:43Report this post to the editors

I'm not very clever, but even I can understand Starstruck's comment. S/he is saying that to say that because the men are from Afghanistan then they must be Taliban members is like saying that because someone is from Ireland then they must be IRA members. No equivalence is drawn between the IRA and the Taliban. As people are going to misunderstand this though, it might have been better to say:

Saying that people from Afghanistan must be in the Taliban is like saying that people from Ireland must be Progressive Democrats. Or Fianna Failers. Or Fine Gaelers.

That's all. Does anyone have any actual news to add now or are you all just going to sit around flapping your lips about stuff you heard third hand on the radio or read in the newspaper? Some of you might get off your arses and actually do some reporting instead of sitting there like passive babies. Carry on.

author by Madam kpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 23:49Report this post to the editors


Have just been physically threatened by racists outside of cathedral a group consisting of 3 men and a woman.

author by ( .:. @ + * %) / (€ = $)publication date Tue May 16, 2006 23:57Report this post to the editors

For those who may yet be unfamiliar with what we promote and facilitate in "world indymedia land", "No border actions" have been bringing attention to the internment camps for refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, and the unquestionable injustice whereby the USA and EU send men and women whose only "crime" is seeking work in another state, or worse (it seems) fleeing wars that "officially are finished", through a legal maze of lies, criminalisation, and arbitary detention without trial or due judicial process to spend an indefinite time in a situation clearly beyond the professed "US" or "EU" respect for "human rights", for many years http://www.indymedia.ie/article/69199 http://www.indymedia.ie/article/71744.
For its part the US has closed its borders with the army, whilst the EU moves its "relocation and internment camps" to "partner states" south of the Mediterranean sea whilst a weekly average of 1000 africans brave the seas on rafts. The very same "partner states" the EU hides its "returned migrants" in, are those the EU routinely criticises for breaching human rights in their "official prisons".

& above all this global misery and evil, sit the prosperous new middle classes of progressive democracy and celtic tigers, secure on their pews, double blissful and unaware of the evil done in their name by the omission of commercial media. No Celtic Tiger could have been possible without such imperialist injustice, as blatently imperialist as the wars great great great grandfathers of Irish people served in, whose regimental flags still hang, as trophies of loss and misery.

7th October 2006.

We want to draw together all migrant struggles;- worldwide. Be they the hispanics of the USA, or even the Irish of the USA, be they the "sub saharans" (where is that place sub-sahara?) of Europe, or the Asians who fleeing tyrannies or "emergent democracies" do what is natural to the human -
"Move on."

Ahead of the 7th of October (7/ x /06) we must all as activists of whatever ethical motivation or political hue do our best to enstill amongst the migrants of our states, a sense of "community". That they realise that their experiences of injustice, racism, beurocratic marginalisation are trans-national, that they belong to a global struggle for justice and real social progress. I'm writing from the south of Europe, where many asian and other migrants have come in hope of a better life, and who have long organised themselves and demonstrated an ability to protest and achieve political results. In the next 48 hours, their assemblies and representative groups wish to enter contact in the Urdu, Arabic, Hindi and English languages with their "trans-national" community in Ireland. To reach out the hand of solidarity. To love fellow man and woman, to reject the injustice that allows such materialist "prosperity" to sit so unavowedly on the suffering of others.
Those messages will be addressed first to the men in the cathedral of Dublin, and then hopefully be "bounced on" to others through mosques, shops, schools etc.,
It was of course the Irish minister of justice, a man of very paltry political achievement but much noted self-agrandisement who made the link with the migrant protests of Belgium. What a clever big swinging mickey he is. We may reflect that Mc dowell thankfully, not only has less than a year ahead of him as a government minister, and that his party "so un-neccesary to the .:. good governance of Ireland" will too pass into irrelevance, but that he Mc Dowell will never have a career in European politics. & then someday when the poets have had their pound of satirical flesh, we'll dance on his grave.

7th October 2006. - let us prepare our communities!

author by mepublication date Wed May 17, 2006 00:08Report this post to the editors

There were about 30 to 40 people at the 6.30 antiwar vigil. Not a bad turnout considering it was called by AWI only this morning. Good mix of antiwar activists. Saw activists from AWI, IAWM, Cosantoiri Siochana, Pitstop Ploughshares, WSM, Grassroots Dissent, SWP, People Before Profit, etc etc

The antiwar activists have decided to put their backs into getting people who are working during the day (and who cant make the 12.30 vigils) to turn up at 6.30 every evening.

Good solidarity. Seems to be gathering pace. See youse all at 6.30 tomorrow evening!

author by !publication date Wed May 17, 2006 00:13Report this post to the editors

School Students protest - 2:30pm.

St. Patricks Cathedral.

All out!

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76084
author by sheila na gigpublication date Wed May 17, 2006 02:48Report this post to the editors

Lone fascist racist nutter made an appearance today at 2.30, confronted by a number of women he widthrew. Later that evening a more sinister element appeared with threats to lone camera woman and promises to return with kerosene having maintained a presence outside cathedral from aprox 8pm till 11.30 they promised to return later...

Heres their ugly mugs

awrigh' mahte...
awrigh' mahte...

lovley couple of...
lovley couple of...

author by mossiepublication date Wed May 17, 2006 03:22Report this post to the editors

Drove over to st.Patricks a few times last night between 6pm and 1am and i'm amazed that these people had an ambulance and two medics on stand by outside the church!!!

In a capital city that has 11, yes 11 ambulances for emergencys its wasteful that 1 of these gets used on stand by for people who have had a bite of the cherry and failed to be allowed to stay in the country!!!

All of ye who crib on this site about the national emergencys in our health systems and lack of Gardai on the street should take note of the waste of state resourses on these men.

2 Gardai on a post inside the church is also a serious waste of two professional police men who are needed on the street.

Wake up you do-gooders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mick Mc Dowell for once i'm 100% behind you! Stand firm and show these men the depature gate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed May 17, 2006 08:17Report this post to the editors

Didn't see them all clamouring to come here in the eighties to this 'safe' country when we had no arse in our trousers

Afghanis specifically maybe not, but does anyone remember the Kurdish refugees being beaten back onto the Aeroflot flight at Shannon by the Gardai? Ah, shure that was a grand day for Ireland.

And as for the stuff about imperialism above... you might have a point if Ireland weren't busy being part of the US imperialist machinery by allowing uninspected US military flights through Shannon.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed May 17, 2006 08:20Report this post to the editors

We already have war-criminals and various butchers of every hue bleating

Like the very rich ex-boss of the PRI in Mexico, or was it his brother?

author by yeppublication date Wed May 17, 2006 13:25Report this post to the editors

I think the last two front pages in Daily Ireland have been smart, the paper obviously "supports" the strikers but they have put the focus on McDowell.

Because of the nature of the system here the Minister for Justice has a lot of power over individual cases so it is important to focus the campaign on him.

Obviously most of the press think that a train strike, or rather the 'commuter distrubtion' is a bigger story then men starving themselves to death, but there have been exceptions.

It is great to see so many comments on indymedia over this, probably the highest amount I have seen anyway since the Feb/March/April 2003 period and the height of the anti-war movement.

http://www.irelandclick.com/dipdf/di001.pdf

the Daily Ireland front today is on the second page, the first is the Northern front I think.

www.dailyireland.com

author by Niall Crowleypublication date Wed May 17, 2006 15:09author email niall_crowley at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

I agree a procees should be put in place so as the people already on this island are not ousted or affected in terms of a peaceful style of living. We are a very big economy and we can afford to have these people come and stay wth us until such time as the country cannot cope anymore .Then you would have to refuse, as it not fair on the people already here.

What im saying is they we should see them as brothers . We are all on the same planet and should try and help each other.You could say this is idealism but whats wrong with idealism. It only becomes idelaistic because we are moving so far away from the real purpose of life.

There is a lot of bogus immigrants who take advantage of the island and the people, this is wrong and if the people cannot live in harmony with the people already here then they should go back home and try somehere else .We have a deportation process which looks into that. This is the goverments job.

However I think our Afghani brothers are in danger if they go home granted them asylum. We might be failing our duty as the caring Irish. Think about what they would have been through. And then think of how we don’t want to know or how we dont care.

Main point is, "untill the philosophy that holds one race superior or more threating to another is discredited, we will have war. Unitl the colour of a mans skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes, there will be war. " Emperor Selassi 1st

This is only the beginning of multiculturism in Ireland really. We will have to accept and embrace it. It will improve, as generations move forward we will see more integration and harmony aslong as we keep an open and free mind devoid of any previous idealistic conditioning imposed on us by the media and governments

We can all live in peace if we change attitudes which in this country will take a few years.

author by timothypublication date Wed May 17, 2006 15:24Report this post to the editors

Afghanistan is still suffering from extreme poverty and violence. Thousands of peoples lives are in danger. The population is over 20 million.

Shouldn't we help get those 20 million to safety?

author by Anthony - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Wed May 17, 2006 15:57Report this post to the editors

Further news updates on this story can be posted on one of the more recently published articles with titles such as "Update: .. Day 4"

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