5th November 2013
An Expression of Solidarity with the Roma and a Call for an End to State Racism
Today Minister of Justice Alan Shatter will face questions in the Dáil in relation to the removal of two Roma children from their families.
“The Anti Racism Network (ARN) with the support of ENAR Ireland, it’s network members, and concerned members of the Irish public made the decision to assemble on that same day” said ARN spokesperson Luke Bukha Kasuwanga, “so that our voices could be added to this discussion.”
Families and individuals are subjected to ethnic or racial profiling on a daily basis; singled out, targeted or treated differently because of how they look or how they are perceived. Today’s protest is twofold: firstly, it is an expression of solidarity with the Irish Roma community and secondly, an opportunity to highlight growing concerns about state racism and ethnic & racial profiling in Ireland.
“We are asking for a ban on the practice of ethnic profiling and for proper measures to be put in place to monitor and prevent institutional racism. The Irish Government says that its actions aren’t racist,” says Luke Bukha Kasuwanga “but the experiences of people from minority groups tell a different story. The recent removal of Roma children from their families is one clear example. We believe this is only the tip of the iceberg.”
Shane OCurry, Director of ENAR Ireland. Went on to say “Through our independent racist incident reporting system, www.iReport.ie, we have received increased reports of racism against Roma in Ireland in recent weeks. At the same time we are receiving a significant number of complaints about racism involving Gardaí and other institutions.”
“A police force must have measures in place to ensure that it does not allow racism in its ranks, or practises that are racist in their effect. What happened to the Roma families in Tallaght and Athlone would not have happened to white settled families. Policing systems must not single out specific ethnic groups for different treatment; that is ethnic profiling. When a system fails to stop things like this happening then that is institutional racism,” O’Curry said.
Visuals: Large banners with slogans ‘Stop state racism. End racial & ethnic profiling now’ and ‘No family should fear the state.’
Music: By Roma music collective Musicantia
ENAR Ireland’s submission on Integration, Multiculturalism and Combating Racism to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, October 2013: http://enarireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ENAR-Ireland-Submission-to-JC-FINAL1.pdf
Anti Racism Network: www.facebook.com/arnireland?fref=ts
Independent racism reporting site: www.iReport.ie
Luke Bukha Kasuwanga, ARN activist 085 8072476
Shane O’Curry, Director of ENAR Ireland 086 3940042