The Young Greens are calling for an end to direct provision for asylum seekers in Ireland. Fundamentally, direct provision is a violation of basic human rights and basic human dignity. We acknowledge the dreadful harm that has been done to people seeking asylum in this country by past governments, including the Fianna Fáil/Green coalition.
Having taken part in today’s protest outside Leinster House and the Department of Justice, the Young Greens are fully committed to ending direct provision and making up for the mistakes of current and past governments. Politics today is lacking any acceptance of responsibility and any acceptance of the damage that governments can do when certain decisions are made. Especially in light of the role the Greens had before in a government that took these decisions, we decided that, unlike the other parties who fostered and engaged in this system, it is time to take responsibility for a series of mistakes that we were part of. We are not willing to stand idly by, bury our heads in the sand and do nothing to help bring an end to this crisis. In going to today’s protest we hoped to show solidarity and use what platform we have to help amplify the voices of those leading this necessary campaign.
The way that this country treats those who come looking for our help is abhorrent. As was pointed out today at the protest, migration is a part of Irish history. Throughout history, and even in the present day, many Irish people have been left with no option but to leave their homeland. The many Irish communities that exist around the globe are a testament to this migration, which was done as an effort to survive. As is well documented, the Irish abroad were so often treated as second class citizens and were unjustly abused and exploited in their new homelands. To deny that part of our culture and the similarities we share with other cultures is ignorant. To act as if we have learned nothing from our history, to treat those who come to this country is the same shameful manner as we ourselves were treated is a grave mistake. Unfortunately this mistake has been made by Irish people and their representatives for too long, as seen on an individual level in the intimidation of ethnic minorities in Waterford last month, and on a systematic level in the abusive practice of direct provision.
As far as the Young Greens are concerned, we stand in solidarity with the families who have been effectively imprisoned by the state. We stand in solidarity with who are trapped in an abusive system by inefficiency and bureaucracy. These people’s rights are being denied today and every day and will continue to be so until the system of direct provision is ended.
The Young Greens/ Óige Ghlas