2nd June 2020

#ELECTION2020: DIRECT PROVISION IS STILL AN ISSUE!

DIRECT PROVISION SYSTEM: NOT IN OUR NAME!

United Against Racism National Organiser Memet Uludağ argues for building a mass mobilisation against Direct Provision System: It is now time for all of us to join forces against Direct Provision System and say “not in our name!”DIRECT PROVISION SYSTEM: NOT IN OUR NAME!

For nearly 20 years, since the foundation of the Direct Provision System, asylum seekers and campaign groups have tried hard to get their voices heard.  During the same period, every Irish government has ignored numerous  human rights reports, abandoned the basic duty of care for fellow human beings and continued the extend this system.

The plight of asylum seekers fell on deaf ears. Now is the time to make or voices heard.

Direct Provision System was established as a temporary measure to ‘deal’ with asylum seekers applying for protection in Ireland. Over time the system not only became permanent but also the main feature of a legally very complex, bureaucratically and politically non-transparent, commercially profit and private business driven, at the core inhumane and institutionally racist asylum system in Ireland.

Direct Provision System, provided the best cover for FF and FG led Irish governments over the past 20 years not only to continue with their unwelcoming asylum polices, but also to get away with the unforgivable inhumanity of the official state response to asylum seekers.

In fact, the entire asylum system is based on single-simple logic: Keeping the asylum seekers out. If possible, out of Ireland altogether, but, if that fails, out of sight and out of public and social life, in other words, out of minds. It is designed to ensure the asylum seeker don’t sink roots in this country while the state considers various options about their lives, the least likely being granting them refugee status, because the state knows that people with roots are much harder to deport.

BUILDING A MASS, UNITED-FRONT CAMPAIGN AGAINST DIRECT PROVISION SYSTEM

The next government of Ireland is not known yet, but Direct Provision is still an issue. It is now time for all of us to join forces and say “not in our name” and demand an end to it.

Among many reasons, because of the horrific nature of this system and its long history we have to be clear on our demands and be committed to our ambition to force the next government to act and end Direct Provison. This will require building a mass campaign and people-power based mass protests.

Despite all their fights asylum seekers are ignored by the government and state agencies. Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland have done tremendous work to raise awareness.

The campaigns against Direct Provision Systems are dismissed by those in power because

  • They don’t see it as a vote winner, in fact, they see it as risking votes
  • They don’t see these campaigns as a public pressure point.

Having learned from the past and seen 20 years of indifference by the governments, it is now time to escalate the struggle and bring broader sections of the society in to the fight of asylum seekers! After all, the more we are, the stronger our voices will be in shaping the public consciousness and forcing the government to act.

People power is the way forward.

BUILDING A PROGRESSIVE IRELAND

No society or no government will be progressive if the most vulnerable people are left behind and the rest don’t care about it. Direct Provision must be an issue for all progressive sections of the society. Among others It is an important struggle for human rights, dignity and equality. Furthermore it is a struggle against the threat of far-right that attacks the most vulnerable people.

2020 should be a year of serious campaigning against Direct Provision System with an aim to force the incoming government to act. In recent years there have been various rallies and events to raise awareness to Direct Provision System. A rally in 2017, organised by United Against Racism, Masi and other organisations had mobilized more than 1500 people. We have to now build bigger and broader mobilisations to win this struggle.

After the election 2020 a united-front mass national rally should be called to bring the issue of Direct Provision System to the forefront of national politics.

Enough is enough. Not in Our Name!

DIRECT PROVISION SYSTEM IS RACIST

Elections are a time for signing various pledges. Political parties and candidates make an effort to declare their support to various causes and ask for votes.  As in previous elections, more than 10 political parties have signed the 2020 Election Protocol by Irish Network Against Racism. These parties include: Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, Green Party, People Before Profit, Social Democrats, Rise, Independents4Change, Solidarity, Worker Party and the Labour Party.

Direct Provision System is a system of discrimination and racism. The fact that so many parties have signed this pledge must mean something in real life. Can these parties simply ignore this system and still continue to present themselves as not racist? In government or opposition, will they push for ending it?

Direct Provision System is a system of racism and political rulers should not be allowed to pick and chose when to be racist and when to be not!

Whatever government will be formed after the 2020 general election, we must put them under pressure.

People power is the key.

It is now time for all of us to say: End Direct Provision. Not in our name!

Are you up for it?

Are the politicians up for it?

Memet Uludağ, National Organiser, United Against Racism.

Pic: Coalition for End Direct Provision March, Dublin, November, 2017

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