Protesters take to the streets and give racism the red card
Everyone in Ireland owes their ancestry to people who came from somewhere else, Ictu vice president Jack O'Connor told an anti-racism rally in Dublin yesterday.
Around 1,000 people marched from the Garden Of Remembrance to the Dail to demand a racist-free society. Mr O'Connor, who is also general president of the country's largest union, Siptu, said the only thing that was different was when our ancestors arrived in Ireland.
He said some of our ancestors came to plunder, some to oppress, and some came to improve their lives.
Mr O'Connor said Ictu had demanded over the last 10 years that every worker in Ireland, no matter who they were, be treated with dignity and respect.
He also articulated a demand on behalf of Ictu that those who work to build sustained communities in Ireland be supported as well as "those who destroyed our country".
MEP Joe Higgins said more attention needed to be paid to what he called "low-grade racism".
Rosanna Flynn of Residents Against Racism said everyone should stand together and fight together against racism.
The Tyrellstown Residents Association, from one Dublin suburb which has 2,500 ethnically diverse households, said as a community they welcomed and enjoyed the diversity brought by residents from Ireland, Western and Eastern Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.
A number of smaller political parties supported the march including the Socialist Workers Movement, Sinn Fein and the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.
Hundreds of black and white marchers carried banners proclaiming "We will fight for justice" and other slogans, while they chanted "we are Irish".