In an open letter, TD’s who were part of the anti water charges campaign have urged people who fought against the imposition of domestic water charges to come together to oppose racism in the upcoming by-elections.
The letter notes that a movement, similar to that of the anti-water charges movement, will be necessary to oppose the right wing alliance of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail who have presided over the housing and health crisis’ and the widespread inequality in Ireland.
The group of TDs have called on those who opposed water charges to reject attempts by far right and racist forces which are looking to gain traction from the crisis’ emanating from policies of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.
The TDs pledge to stand against those who would use racism or who try to divide working class people. They condemn the firebombing of Martin Kenny’s car and the intimidation tactics used against those who defend minorities and the vulnerable.
Open Letter from Right to Water TDs
Four years ago, we came together from different political backgrounds to promote a movement of people power to defeat an attempt to introduce water charges and protect waters resources.
We believe that a similar movement will be necessary to tackle the right-wing alliance of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail who are presiding over an unprecedented housing crisis, a crisis in our health service and widespread inequality in our society.
In the intervening period, however, the ugly face of the far right and racist scapegoating has appeared on the fringes of Irish politics.
The aim of the far right is to divide working people so that we take our focus off this government and their FF allies and turn our anger and frustration onto migrant workers and asylum seekers.
Yet these same migrant workers keep our health and public services going and make a major contribution to Irish society, just as Irish migrants for generations have contributed to Countries where they moved to work and live.
We call on everyone who backed the fight against water charges to actively resist this divide and rule tactic. Racism and anti-traveller discrimination has been used for decades by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to divide working class people to divert attention away from their failed policies. It is no accident that at this time of a major housing crisis we see this happening again in comments by the Taoiseach, and by-election candidates from both parties.
Scapegoating migrants and asylum seekers for the ills of society is a well-honed tactic. We note that those who are attempting to establish far right organisations here have worked with fascist and far right organizations in Britain that have historically targeted Irish migrants with similar racist slurs and stereotypes.
We collectively condemn the fire bombing of the car of a Sinn Fein TD and other tactics designed to intimate those who speak out for solidarity with migrants.
We declare that we will stand together against any attempt to play a race card or divide working people.
We say let’s unite and fight against the policies that are causing homelessness, the health crisis and poor working conditions. That means fighting against the privileged and social inequality and the two major parties that promote their interests- not encouraging division among those at the bottom.
- Richard Boyd Barrett – People Before Profit
- Mick Barry – Solidarity
- Thomas Broughan – Independents 4 Change
- Catherine Connolly – Independents 4 Change
- Ruth Coppinger – Solidarity
- Gino Kenny – People Before Profit
- Paul Murphy- Rise