- Oppose Racism in all its forms – legislate to make racism a hate crime
- Oppose the policy of Fortress Europe – welcome those fleeing war and persecution
- Legislate to end the Direct Provision System
- Oppose all deportations – treat refugees and asylum seekers with dignity and respect
- Integrate Migrants – Give them Voting Rights
- Oppose all forms of Islamophobia
- Support the right of Muslim people, along with all other religions, to practice their religious beliefs
- Oppose state racism against Travellers. Establish an Independent National Housing Agency to oversee the delivery of safe and culturally appropriate Traveller Accommodation
- No Platform for Fascists – oppose them on the streets if necessary
- Oppose Israel as an apartheid state. Support the Ban Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel
People Before Profit stands against racism in all its forms, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-Traveller racism.
Racism became a major force in the modern world as a justification for slavery and empire. Later, it was used by the rulers of capitalism to divide and conquer, setting ordinary people against each other to the advantage of the elites and their rotten governments. Racism is based on a reactionary myth.
People have been moving across the world in large numbers since the dawn of history. With the exception of the Native Americans, for example, who arrived about 20,000 years ago, the entire population of North and South America have arrived at various points in the last 500 years. Without migration, human development would have been impossible. The Irish have been forced, by poverty and unemployment, to emigrate to many parts of the world where they have made a huge contribution to the culture and economy of their destinations as well as playing a crucial role in the development of the international labour and socialist movement.
Just think of James Connolly as one example. We absolutely reject the view that immigration causes unemployment, that immigrants ‘take our jobs’ or that immigrants are responsible for the housing shortage or the state of the HSE. These social problems derive from an economic system based on production for profit and capitalist governments that serve the interests of the rich. Where unscrupulous employers try to use migrants as ‘cheap labour’ our answer is to fight alongside those migrant workers for decent wages for all, not to object to the presence or employment of ‘foreigners’.
Immigrants are welcome here. Their presence enriches our society and brings both economic and cultural benefits. We seek to unite with them in the struggle for a better Ireland and a better world. We are completely opposed to the politics of scapegoating minorities and expect all our public representatives and spokespersons to combat it.
Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees
People Before Profit is opposed to the policy of ‘Fortress Europe’ which is designed to keep out migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. This policy has already led to the deaths of thousands of people with many more being trafficked into slavery due to their vulnerable positions. We believe that
- Europe should open its borders. With 500 million people, Europe can easily cope with two million refugees. Europe should open its borders and Ireland has a duty to welcome its share of refugees from war, oppression, persecution and other inhuman conditions. Western imperialism bears a heavy responsibility for the creation of these conditions.
- End Direct Provision System. Ireland has a duty to treat asylum seekers and refugees who arrive here with decency and humanity. There should be no delay in ending the disgraceful system of direct provision. Asylum seekers should have the right to work, the right to a house and the equal right to a third level education.
- End Deportations – Legalise Undocumented Migrants. We support the call to normalise the undocumented Irish in the USA, but this must go both ways. We are for the normalisation (i.e. ’legalisation’) of undocumented migrants here in Ireland too. We oppose all deportations either from Ireland or the USA.
- Integrate Migrants – Give them Voting Rights. People Before Profit supports the right of all residents to vote in elections and referendums after a suitable period of residency. We believe everyone should be able to have their say regardless of race or citizenship.
- Oppose all forms of Islamophobia. Islamophobia is one of the main forms of racism in the contemporary world. It has been systematically cultivated by the US and European ruling elites since ‘Muslims’ replaced ‘communists’ as the enemy of choice with the end of the cold war. Just as racism was used to justify slavery and empire in the 18th and 19th centuries, so Islamophobia has been used to justify Western wars, interventions and occupations in the Middle East. People Before Profit opposes Islamophobia. We reject the idea that there is a particular link between Islam and terrorism. People Before Profit is against terrorism and we reject the demonisation of Muslims. We also reject the idea that Islam is a peculiarly backward or reactionary religion. Like the adherents of all major religions, Muslims come in all political shapes and sizes ranging from right-wing and reactionary to left-wing and revolutionary.
- Support the right of Muslim people, along with all other religions, to practice their religious beliefs. Just as we support Christians in practising their religion, so we defend the Muslim community in the same way and fight against any discrimination or racist attacks.
Travellers are Ireland’s indigenous minority who have lived as a distinct ethnic group. They have long been subject to massive racist discrimination and bigotry, resulting in major economic, social and political deprivation and disadvantage.
Statistics on life expectancy, health, employment, educational attainment and poverty all confirm that Travellers are one of the most oppressed groups in Irish society. This oppression has been added to in recent years by huge cuts in services to Travellers. This racism and oppression must be fought and reversed.
- Reverse Cuts to Traveller Supports. There have been huge cuts in the funding of traveller services. These resources must be re-established as an urgent priority.
- End State Racism. There is an established and deep-rooted institutional racism against Travellers which is quite complex. It is racism from the top-down, backed through the institutions of the state. Government policies create the conditions for this racism to take root and grow. Equality legislation from 1998 formally made discrimination against Travellers an offence. Contrary to this, the rise of anti-Traveller racism among arms of the state has been alarming. This must be ended immediately.
- Independent National Housing Agency. The establishment of an Independent National Housing Agency is essential to oversee the delivery of safe and culturally appropriate Traveller Accommodation.
- Zero Tolerance to Traveller Racism. Politicians who play the anti-Traveller card to win votes should be held accountable – expelled/banned for going for public office. The media bias which feeds prejudice and discrimination against Travellers should also be challenged and offenders held accountable.
Fighting the Far-Right
One symptom of decaying capitalism is the rise of racist and fascist organisations. Typically these organisations use racism as the principle lever for dividing the working class, attacking the left and building support for themselves. In so far as they succeed, they pull the whole political climate to the right.
Up to now, the far-right has not gained any significant electoral in Ireland (with the exception of right-wing loyalism in the North) but there is no room for complacency. It is clear from everyday experience, there is also a significant form of racism in our society, particularly with the cry ‘we should look after our own first’. Luckily United Against Racism and Le Cheile have emerged as key anti-racism and anti-fascist organisations. People Before Profit supports both and works alongside its members in their key initiatives.
In terms of the far-right, the following are our key objectives.
- No platform for fascists. People Before Profit opposes any opportunity for fascists and hard-right groups to spread their hatred. We will oppose them on the streets if necessary and stop them from spreading their message in any way we can.
- Black Lives Matter. We stand with groups like Black Lives Matter in opposing police violence and racism.
- Oppose Israel as an Apartheid State. Israel is an apartheid state. People before Profit stands with the people of Palestine. We support the Ban, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel and look to a one-state solution that gets rid of all sectarianism.