right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken
End bigotry and racism is the message from the streets of Ireland
THE attacks on a Catholic trade union activist in Belfast and the murder of a Chinese student in Dublin need to be unreservedly condemned by all sections of society as the crime of the victims was simply to be seen as differing in colour or religion by a bigoted hateful minority.
Unfortunately some politicians are still using words of division which lay the base for ethnic-religious tensions. Fortunately, the rallies against sectarianism called by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the rallies to be held in Dublin by Globalise Resistance against race attacks bring together those of different ethnic and religious backgrounds under one common bond of unity against hatred.
Such action will further isolate the bigots from wider society.This common stance should be supported from Dublin to Belfast by those who abhor such attacks... as the common goal of peace and equality for all citizens on this island is an overwhelming one of consensus.
It should not be forgotten that in countries such as Colombia trade unionists who speak out or join rallies for peace, equality or justice are still being intimidated, tortured, disappeared or murdered. Will it take similar intimidation and murder before the trade union leadership in Ireland speaks or acts decisively? Will it take multiple racist murders in the south before they call enough?
Much has been promised by union leaders after the rallies... we will have to see if their deeds match their words. Union members need to jolt their leaderships into action. Politicians and trade union leaders need to do more than to talk of initiatives... they need also to implement them.
Those of us who believe in the peaceful, just and equal collectivity of our peoples need to stand firm and speak out against those who seek and embrace hateful divisions.
Let the lessons of the recent magnificent rallies prevail: An injury to one is an injury to all. We can beat the hatred of the bigoted minority and embrace the future as one.
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The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
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