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Drimnagh vigil for Pawel Kalite and Marius Szwajkos

category dublin | crime and justice | feature author Sunday March 02, 2008 14:51author by 1 of indymedia Report this post to the editors

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From the Newswire: An original first-hand report of a solidarity vigil that took place on Saturday 1st in Drimnagh to commemorate the deaths of two Polish men who were attacked and killed the previous Saturday.

It has been noted that this is just one of the most recent and most tragic examples of anti-Polish racism. Other commentators have pointed out such aggression is often directed towards anyone who is different and that it's not just nationality or difference in race that motivates such violence. All agree that such aggression should not be tolerated.

Despite the wind and rain, up to 1500 people took part in a vigil at the spot where Kalite and Szwajkos were attacked last Saturday, an assault which led to their deaths.

A large contingent of Poles resident in Dublin joined local people in tonight's vigil, which centred on a few moment's silence and a decade of the rosary.

The vigil was conducted by the local PP who introduced a colleague who worked with the Polish community in Dublin. The latter thanked the local people for their attendance and said a short prayer in Polish.

The silence was diluted by an alarm in the near distance, a typical Dublin Saturday night background noise and by several unusual mobile phone ring tones, which turned out to be Polish pop tunes.

Despite a denial last week that the murders were racially motivated, this local has been aware of an increase in racial assaults and intimidation since last summer. Barely an hour after the Garda sub-aqua unit packed up their kit at the bottom of Benbulben Road on Monday, a Polish family had the windows of their car smashed in immediately adjacent on the Inchicore side. This is the 7th attack on this family since Christmas. On Wednesday evening a Polish couple were attacked walking along the canal by a group of 5 or 6 kids, 'some hardly 15'. They were called 'Polish c---s'.

How are kids so young able to articulate a hatred sufficient to carry out such actions? What will they be like in 10 years time?

We hope what is happening here in this part of Dublin will be recognised for what it is; why is official Ireland still unable or unwilling to recognise racism?

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author by -publication date Sat Mar 01, 2008 21:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was attacked by a gang throwing stones while cycling, one hit my head and one hit my leg.
The stones were big enough to knock the front wheel of the bike.

reports coming from the area suggest that no counsellors were brought in to discuss
the issues and that the kids who killed were egged on by a group of screaming girls.

who obviously are attracted to their young guys violences.

no -one has gone to the schools to discuss violence

and no-one gives a shit about a wasted generation of kids who see violence as a spectator
sport- this is a brave society made of money with a hopeless youth who have no morality.

hundreds went to voice their abhorence tonight and stayed and talked.

author by .publication date Sun Mar 02, 2008 09:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You don't have to be foreign to be attacked in some areas.
I used to work and live in a fairly poor estate, and I got a lot of grief for sticking out like a sore thumb, (not wearing tracksuits, talking differently etc)
Even amongst the locals who I worked with, some of the younger ones were very defensive as a reflex. When I first met, them, before I'd even said "hello" I was on the receiving end of "I bet you think you're better than us. You think we're all robbers don't you"... that was an 18 year old, that I'd been introduced to about 10 seconds earlier.
And even on the block where I lived I was told to "f*ck off back to England" by one group of 14 -16 year olds. I told them I was Irish and lived my whole life in the same city, (about 3 miles down the road). I've never lived in England, I talk in my normal accent, but to them I was an outsider, and suffered unprovoked attacks on my house with stones, and had stones thrown at me on my way to work, even by a young girl who had watched me the previous week give first aid to her cousin when he broke his leg falling off a motor bike.
Things only improved when I managed to get a cousin (well known in the area) to start visiting me regularly so people would get the message that I had roots there. The respect they had for him, rubbed off a bit on me. Still, I never felt welcome, even though I joined the residents association, and tried to get on with my neighbours. It's something I said to the residents association at the last meeting I attended before moving out, that they should make an effort to reach out to people who move in, just a small knock on the door to say hello, welcome to the area. That type of thing has an effect.

So, I think this vigil of solidarity is a very useful thing. To say that the community at large considered these men, as part of the community, is a good signal to send out, and that the community.
The next step is about reducing people's tolerance of this behaviour, which is the tricky bit, but very important, because there is too much hatred and violence building up in some parts of our cities, and more people will be killed or badly injured because of it.

author by nostalgiacpublication date Sun Mar 02, 2008 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is the sort of thing that happens when the SF leadership tells its party workers not to get involved in community issues and "leave it to the guards thats what they are paid for". 10 years ago community representatives would have sorted out the little gutties and guttiesses who did this well before they did it.

What we need is decent representative government. The time to organize is now. Organize on a non-sectraian basis.

Does amyone think that if the SWP or the Socialist Party or the old decent SF were able to excerise influence in the community that this would have happened.

Do you think that if Richard Boyd Barrett or the Kebab Man himself were running the show that the little gutties and guttiesses would have anytime left in their busy days planting trees and digging turf under the loving supervision of guys who knew all about "tough love" for any of this ill behaviour?

What we need is a non-sectarian decent socialist party with some of the old socialist values of silence, obedience and hard work forced into the gutties and guttiesses.

Could a peoples summit be called. Even some Greens might be invited. THe non corrupt ones not the ones on the FF payroll?

author by anonpublication date Sun Mar 02, 2008 17:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Yes racisim is everywhere.

And is actively practiced by some indymedia contributors.

author by Tompublication date Sun Mar 02, 2008 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The racism industry needs to portray incidents such as this outrage as racially motivated to bolster the myth of its own relevance.

The sociopaths who perpetrated this crime, as with the other out-of-control brat-gangs in Drimnagh and elsewhere in the Dublin suburbs, have a record of violence and intimidation against decent people of all races, creeds, and colours. They are, alas, very democratic and indiscriminate in their viciousness. Does anyone really believe that if two Irish lads had done the same thing as the two Polish men they wouldn't have been at the receiving end of exactly the same treatment. Dozens of victims of random teenage violence would say otherwise.

The people who portray these killings as somehow racially motivated, or a reaction to the supposed social disadvantage suffered by the poor dears who did this are only providing a smokescreen behind which the real guilty can hide.

These crimes are caused by feckless parenting and the morally dislocated children of feckless parents. You can be sure that the perpetrators, far from being disadvantaged, wear expensive designer-clothes and have been well fed and reared at the expense of the taxpayer.

The criminal justice system will now substitute for the moral education their parents so sadly neglected to provide them.

author by observerpublication date Mon Mar 03, 2008 00:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two years almost to the day since two Chinese shop workers were attacked but saved from possible death by intervention of woman passer by,a member of Residents Against Racism .

chinese workers
chinese workers

author by Con Carrollpublication date Mon Mar 03, 2008 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

nostalgic
it is not SF role to go to communities. everone has to be on the alert. there are SF activists working in the area they cant be at the beck call of all. reading yesterdays article in Sun Trib. about people from Poland been attacked in Limerick. is depressing article.

author by Nodinpublication date Mon Mar 03, 2008 14:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This incident started when one of the two lads was asked to buy drink for some of the crowd hanging around the shops and he refused. Had they been Irish and done the same I have no doubt whatsoever they would have suffered the same fate. While there are incidents of racism, ignorance and bigotry in this country, this does not seem to be one of them. It serves no one to cry wolf, unless wolf there be.

author by REPUBLICANpublication date Mon Mar 03, 2008 18:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Harassment of Republicans more important than protecting people!

The deaths of two Polish men Pavel Kalite and Marius Szwajkos who were stabbed in Drimnagh on February 23 were condemned by Comhairle Laighean (Leinster Executive) of Republican Sinn Féin.

In a statement PRO Ger Foran said:

“On the same day a large Garda presence was deployed to protect a representative of the British Crown in Croke Park and to harass Republicans engaged in a peaceful protest, two innocent men were stabbed to death in Drimnagh. It would appear that political policing rather than the protection of innocent people is the priority of the 26-County state.”

author by Laurapublication date Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi,

I really don't think this is a racist attack, they are quite simply...scumbags. I am from Drimnagh and happily say, I don't live there (or never will again)

I have been verbally attacked and also head butted on the bus, I've been called queer, hippy, ugly bitch etc. If my skin was darker I'm sure they would have used the N word.

These scumbags have been running riot in Drimnagh since I was a kid. Now people and the cops are copping on. Only at the loss of two lovely polish men.

And FYI...We love the Poles, U guys rock

author by Siofrapublication date Sun Mar 09, 2008 18:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This incident was probably not racially motivated. Like someone mentioned below, any difference is not tolerated in deprived areas, I know, as I am from a similar area in the south. If you do not wear a tracksuit or have an accent you are immediately "posh" or a hippie or goth...strangely, I too have been called English, or a "proddie", even though I am neither. I heard an interesting comment recently that linked these kind of attacks by underprivileged young people to the post colonial class system in Ireland..people from these areas often stick together against any outsider, it seems to be a primal instinct in this country.anything not familiar is English, is the enemy..
I remember well what it is like to be a teenager in Ireland; miserable. There is nothing to do but get drunk in the rain and cause trouble. There is nowhere to go.I am not in any way excusing what was done though.
But I do feel it is important to look at the root of the problem; to see the corruption of a society that produces young murderers like this. To see such a society in it's global context too..
The imbalance of wealth is disgusting. If your born at the top- you stay there easily. For this system to survive, there has to be an underbelly.. in India they are the untouchables, the lowest caste...however in India there is no opportunity for them to rebel, they are completely repressed. In Ireland they are bored and hostile. They have enough money to hang around doing nothing until they are provoked. Roll on economic depression is what I say...Survival is distracting.
I see this double murder as an expression of the rot at the core of Irish culture. People finally have more money, and no one is happy.

Anyone from Belfast?
Lots of anti-Polish graffiti popping up all over the place here...also a few Polish guys I know sometimes turned away from night clubs because they are Polish, no other reason given by the bouncers. Although it is Northern Ireland, what can you expect?

Related Link: http://www.drakkart.com/eire2/2006/08/18/northern-ireland-poles-out-%E2%80%93-are-we-another-side-of
author by localpublication date Sun Mar 09, 2008 18:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i remember the last rescession in drimnagh and crumlin. It's shit. people resorting to crime for basic nessesity. alot of the time against our own. at the moment crime has changed because of the celtic tiger it's not nessesity it's greed, add nesesity on a large scale and the drugs industry in crumlin will soke it up. black market capitalism and the consequence will be faught out amoung lower ranking drug dealers trying to get or hold their foot on the lower rung of the ladder. rescession shouldn't be welcomed, it should be prepared for and prepared against.

author by wobbelyheadbobpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 14:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's sad it's taken the deaths of two men to bring the fucked up country we live in ti the media, these problems dont just exist in the city suburbs either, itis all over the country, every medium sized town has the same problems and has done for years, new drink laws, religion, FF, FG, SF the greens, none of them are going to change this, it's quite simple, the people who commit these crimes, quite simply do not see it as being wrong!

author by dfall - nonepublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 15:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"rememember being a teenager in Ireland having nothing to do except get drunk and cause trouble" or words to that effect.Im not sure if you know the Drimnagh area but the main suspects of this appaulling crime are part of a gang that hangs around the canal area.This criminal frenzy also took place yards from where this gang normally gather.Ironically it is also only yards from a well ran and funded community centre that incorporates football clubs,boxing clubs,youth clubs and services and many other youth services.The excuse of having nothing to do doesnt stand up.Avail of the services should be the message to all youths dont just huff around like ridiculous teens all your life feeling sorry for yourself.Proper community policing should be directing vulnerable teens into services instead of jlo s.

author by mid corkpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 19:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The teens who murdered the Polish men have no moral values whatsoever.

Twenty or even ten years ago this level of violence did not happen because the values instilled by Christianity still held sway.

Things can only get worse.

author by Irishman in Aucklandpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 05:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There's no reason I can think of why the 'scumbag' who likes to batter those guilty of the heinous crime of difference might not include racism and xenophobia amongst his repertoire of motivations. So I wouldn't rule out racism, even if the perpetrators have form for attacking anyone whose face doesn't fit, be they Irish or non-Irish.

author by DUBpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 16:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

not ruleing raceism out is not the same as jumping to the conclusion that because of the diference between the ethnicity of the atacker and the victims that the crime was raceily motivated.

author by Phelimpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 17:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I take the view that Pawel and Marius were the victims of a murderous anti-human attack of the kind that has become too common in our post-christian, alcohol- and drug-crazed society. The attackers were not racists or xenophobes - they would have done this to anybody, although the motive for the attack can be no palliation for the sorrows of the grieving relatives in Poland nor the shock of the hardworking Polish migrants here in Ireland.

Like several posters here I put much of the murdering behaviour of young people down to the loss of christian ethics to do with moral right and wrong.

We have ditched religious guidance and replaced it with mindless hedonism including the instant gratification of alcohol, drugs and sex. This and the decline of family stability and the resulting breakdown of effective education in schools is producing a "chav" savage culture. Dublin working class communities had tough living conditions during past decades of poverty, but they had self respect.

A nihilist violent culture has emerged in so-called respectable middle class circles too, of course. The battering to death of a teenager at Mirabelles and the self destructive cocaine parties among the residents of leafy suburbs are other examples of social nihilism. Ireland has lost its moral bearings.

author by The Liberatorpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 01:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What evidence do you have that this was a racist attack? And are Poles a different race anyway.

Please post all the evidence you have confirming this as a racist attack .

author by Whinger - Vanguard of Opportunitypublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 15:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Like raping small children over the last century, at first denying it and persecuting the accusers, then admitting it only after repeated revalations by brave people who had been horribly abused by those sick machines, then pretending to come over all contrite all the while angling for indemnification from redress and attempting to legally gag those that the RC machines violated? I call them machines because no creature with any animal awareness could have perpetrated what the priest-machines did. These sick mechanisms are still in control of most of Ireland's schools, so there's no point in pretending that Christian values are somehow untransmitted or unheeded in this society. Christ and Caesar are bigging it up in Ireland Inc. and soon the richest man in the world will be the last Irish Catholic priest. Christian values me arse! Human values are what's needed not the vampire values of churches or 'gentlemen's clubs' like IBEC!

author by french0210publication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 22:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

whatever if its racial or not...the most important is to punish the guilty person. Do the garda held him or her?. How teenagers involved in a murder like that can be released and sent back home ? Cos maybe one did...but the others were certainly agreed...thats horrible .I can t express all what i would like to say cos of my poor english...Its not to talk about racism or not its just that the irish gouvernment should change the law regarding minors...Kids here, are doing what they want....and should be punished as adults.... I am too afraid that the murderer is still around ....cos he or she is dangerous...somebody knows what s the story ?

author by sarahpublication date Tue May 20, 2008 14:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Whatever you want to call it, 2 innocent men are dead and the lives of how many others destroyed? There has always been this element in Ireland but I think that most of the time in the past people helped keep it/them down. I left Ireland with my family in the 80s so I can't talk much about what happened afterwards. I grew up in an area considered "rough" by many but I really only have great memories in general. But there was always those groups of people that made you nervous and that you knew could cause problems. Now I wonder with how quickly things have changed in Ireland that all of this increase in crime and hatred is really just this section of dublin or ireland that used to be kept in check by others is now just spawning out of control? And you have so many people from other cultures moving in who now not only become a target of this group but also can't keep them under control as they had been before. I was just wondering but does it feel as if a lot of people left in the 80s? Because it seems to be over here in the US that a lot of people moved over here around that period of time. And obviously that's not the whole problem , maybe just a little bit of it, but I think Ireland is really just going through severe growing pains without the base and support of some of its people and some of its instiutions in particular the Church, which I think in the past helped keep things better under control as did the schools. So I can only hope that the people of Ireland, the majority of whom I know are wonderful, kind, caring people ,will find the strength to overcome the horrible hatred and ignorance and violence of this small but destructive group of delinquents. These kids need to be targeted as do their parents because where is this hatred coming from? All of this shouldn't just be swept under the rug. It needs to be dealt with and addressed. And I know it's easier said than done and it's easier to say when you're not living there but I love Ireland, I am Irish, and I'm a proud Dubliner, and am at present ashamed at what is taking place in my home. My thoughts are with you. Best of luck!!

author by A survivorpublication date Tue May 20, 2008 16:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well said, Sarah. You've really put your thumb on the problems of Ireland with the remarks " but I think Ireland is really just going through severe growing pains without the base and support of some of its people and some of its instiutions in particular the Church, which I think in the past helped keep things better under control as did the schools."

The poverty of former years was awful and lots honest of people like yourself had to go away for better opportunities, but they'll be kicking their grannies on the streets here one of these days, the way things are going.

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