from thefreeonline on 19th Feb 2023 by Julia Conley at Common Dreams.
“There are enough resources in this country for everyone to have a decent home, job, and services and welcome refugees,”
Demanding an “Ireland for All,” tens of thousands of Irish people on Saturday marched through Dublin to make clear their opposition to recent violent attacks on migrants and rallies claiming the country “is full” and can’t accept refugees.
Carrying signs reading, “Protect Lives, Not Borders” and “Everyone Is Welcome,” the demonstrators on Saturday called on the federal and city government to ensure there is enough housing for everyone and to address the cost-of-living crisis—which advocates said the far-right is exploiting to drum up anti-immigration sentiment.
Demonstrators display signs with messages welcoming refugees at a protest in Dublin on February 18, 2023. (Photo: @TooManyEmmas/Twitter
A rise in racism across Ireland “has been deliberately been stoked up by organizers of the far-right,” Bríd Smith of the ecosocialist group People Before Profit told The Independent. “We had [cost-of-living] crises long before refugees came, long before the Ukrainian war.”
The rally was organized by the rights coalition Le Cheile, along with groups including United Against Racism, National Women’s Council of Ireland, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and the Union of Students Ireland.
Many participants spoke out about the need for public and affordable housing, which they said should be prioritized over expensive new developments.
“All around the city we see cranes building more offices, hotels, and flash apartments for rental only as our government welcomes vulture and hedge fund capitalists into Ireland,” said musician Christy Moore. “What we need is social housing.”
Late last month, a group of Irish men attacked an encampment inhabited by several migrants from India, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, and Scotland. They descended on the camp with baseball bats, sticks, and dogs and shouted, “Get out… Pack up and get out now.”
Housing and rental prices have more than doubled in the past decade in Ireland. A poll commissioned last month by Aldi Ireland found that 77% of people in the country are concerned about affording essentials as the price of food, electricity, and fuel skyrocket.
Also in January, the far-right applauded rallies that broke out in Dublin and surrounding towns, with attendees declaring Ireland is “for the Irish.”
Paul Murphy, a People Before Profit-Solidarity politician who represents Dublin South West, called Saturday’s rally “a powerful response to the attempts to spread division and hate.”
“There are enough resources in this country for everyone to have a decent home, job, and services and welcome refugees,” said Murphy. “We need to unite against those who currently hoard that wealth.”