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Personally, I wouldn’t have chosen the legal route to challenge the Direct Provision System (DPS) in Ireland and try to get a ruling to prove that it breaches human rights. This is NOT because I think the Direct Provision System is in accordance with human rights, Hell No! But because I don’t trust the state to ever give such a ruling on Direct Provision System.

 ‘Immigration control’ is one of the forms of racism – among other forms – that specifically targets the workers. Firstly, it targets the ‘local’ workers by pretending to be on their side and protecting their wages and working conditions and in the process tries turning them agains migrant workers. Secondly, it targets the ‘migrant’ workers by accusing them of ‘stealing’ jobs from the local workers and ‘lowering wages’. A detailed and open minded look into the arguments of ‘immigration control’ defenders will reveal that these arguments are as ridiculous as suggesting that “the workers of Kilkenny are stealing the jobs of workers in Waterford”.

Why do migrants die at sea?

First of all let us agree on one thing: No one, no mother, no father, no child should be labeled as ‘illegal’ because they are running away from war, death, oppression, hunger or poverty. It is far too easy to feel sad while watching on TV a 5 year old kid crossing the desert on his own to reach the refugee camp, or to see a mourning women for the death of her children. But the real test is about what we say and what we do when these people get up and run for their lives and for the lives and safety of their children.

A few days ago, Ukip leader Nigel Farage was debating the 'immigration issue' as part of a panel on UTV in front of a live audience in the studio. At one point, when he was challenged by other guests on the panel on how the country benefited from immigration and migrants, he replied "the rich liberals in central London benefited from immigration by having cheaper chauffeurs and house maids, the corporations benefited from low-wage workers".

The US led airstrikes in Syria and Iraq seem to have little or no real impact on ISIS. Since the beginning of the airstrikes a number of civilians and some ISIS fighters are killed but the overall organizational structure and the fighting capacity of ISIS are intact. We are told by the US administration and the leaders of states who joined the coalition that “they will continue the airstrikes till ISIS is destroyed”. 

Today is Blair Day on the news... He says "People should listen to my advice on Isis as I have been to war in Iraq before".  He is addicted to invading Iraq. Unless he gets a good dose of it every ten years or so, he can’t function properly. If he doesn’t get his dose, he starts sweating; his hands itch, his stomach rumbles and his eyes go crazy red… You see, like any addiction, his brain starts playing games…  He starts producing arguments to get what he wants.

Asylum seekers could have decision on status ‘in weeks’. Main purpose of new legislation is to cut time spent in direct provision”, says Minister Fitzgerald in a statement about a forthcoming bill. Let's be clear on one thing. The direct provisions system is not going anywhere according to the proposed changes. The question is, what happens to the - more than 90% - applicants who are refused the status of refugee? That's where deportations may well be coming into play... Or, is it "back to the old direct provision system" for refused applicants who will continue to spend many years, filled with long appeals and disbelieving court hearings...

For seven years I have worked with asylum seekers. These years were an eye opener for people like me who had no real first-hand experience of what the whole 'asylum seeker' concept was about. Throughout these years I have learned many things about the conditions of asylum seekers in Ireland and about the realities of faraway places they came from.

The debates on asylum seekers are usually conducted in a 'negative' tone and asylum seekers are seen by the state, political powers etc. a problem that needs to dealt with. It seems, the establishment - as per the popular phrase - can't think outside of the box of discrimination, racism and a 'no-solution' approach.

There is a new mobile app called "Everyday Racism" and there has been some media coverage of it in the recent days. "A new mobile phone app that challenges Australians’ understanding of racism through role play has won global praise for promoting cultural understanding. The app focuses on subtle racism – an indirect or understated form of discrimination that researchers found to be prevalent in Australia. It invites players to put themselves in the shoes of an Aboriginal man, a Muslim woman or an Indian student, or to be themselves, as they negotiate a range of scenarios in which subtle racism is at play. Promoted as both a game and an educational tool, the Everyday Racism app sends players texts, tweets, images and videos over the course of seven days"

Minister Fitzgerald should be kinder to herself. There is really no need for her to suffer the level of 'shock' she is experiencing at the moment due to 'reports of direct provision prostitution'. To remind her, we shall repeat the call: Don't be shocked, don't ask for another report. Just address the urgent and undeniable issue of Direct Provision System.

In a few days’ time millions of living rooms around the world will be filled with the intoxicating sound of football stadiums. Like modern day gladiators, special elite forces of the nations will battle in grand arenas for the biggest sporting trophy in the world. Thankfully, these battles won’t be a fight for life or death. There won’t be wild animals, brutal fighting, blood and killing at the end but there will be something else that is wild about these games and actually has brutalised the lives of millions in Brazil and around the world. That beast is called neoliberal market economy, or simply ‘capitalism’. Like the gladiator battles of the ancient times, these modern day games will be a fight for more wealth, not for the millions in their living rooms and thousands filling the stadiums but for a few who are in the business of football.

As the international mergers, acquisitions and takeovers happen; multinational corporations compare (purposefully so) apples and oranges and come-up with propaganda to win the political and public battle against workers and trade unions. The jargon they use sounds scientific. It seems as if the numbers and figures they are presenting are undeniable facts and as if these are objective and independently verified figures.

Bausch & Lomb says 200 jobs must go to save Waterford plant. “Contact lens maker is also seeking 20% pay cuts to bring subsidiary in line with other divisions. Management at the contact lens plant in Waterford warned staff it may be forced to close the entire operation with the loss of all 1,100 jobs if the substantial cost reductions are not implemented immediately.

Make no mistake; Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson has no problem with Islam and Muslims. You all misunderstood him. He loves Muslims.

Addressing delegates at the annual conference of the Association of Garda Superintendents in Naas Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has warned Garda superintendents not to “jump to conclusions” about people on the basis of racial profiling. (1)

I must admit that I was wrong when I - being unusually pessimistic - thought that there will be only around 50 known faces at today's “Our Water Is Not for Sale” conference.

I must also admit that I was worried that this conference may turn into an inward looking debate without the outcome of a renewed commitment and activism by people to fight the water charges and all other cuts.

On April 10th 2014, Human Rights Ireland is calling for contributions and engagement on Direct Provision System to mark the 14thanniversary of it. A statement published by Human Rights Ireland says, “On April 10th 2014, direct provision will be 14 years old. On this date, Human Rights in Ireland will dedicate 14 hours (from 7am to 9pm) to discussing direct provision: its impact on people, law, physical and mental health, politics, art, pain, human rights and asylum processes. Over the last number of years, we have had a number of such events, and it has contained a mix of different contributors, but has tended to been overly focused on academics and the NGO community.”

People Before Profit Dublin 15 local election candidates Memet Uludag and Louise Bayliss launched a campaign to raise awareness among migrants on local election voting entitlements and encourage migrants to register and vote. As part of this campaign the candidates have organised a public meeting and information session on 18 March 2014 in St. Brigid’s Community Centre, Blanchardstown.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London: Children at risk of radicalisation should be in care.

“Muslim children who risk radicalisation by their parents should be taken into care”, Boris Johnson has said. “How do we make sure the kids in London are not growing up with these kind of nightmarish ideas in their heads?”

Should racism sometimes be ignored as part of the wider fight against it and not be given any air, social media etc. time?

Specifically, should we speak, write and share articles about the newly formed National Independent Party in Ireland, what should be our response to it?

In a statement Richard Boyd Barrett TD criticised attempts by AIB to change cap on executive pay. The People Before Profit TD said the idea that executives in AIB, a bank that got a bail-out of €21 billion, with an existing pay cap of half a million and executives on six figure salaries are now looking for more money is shocking.

People of Ireland have already been robbed of millions of Euro for the privatization of water and the establishment of the Irish Water company. Before Irish Water has delivered even a drop of clean-safe water, they have flooded us with scandals that continue to cost us millions. For health, education, public transport, even fixing the old and leaking water system there is no money - as we are told repeatedly - but there are millions available for some dodgy consultancy services to tell Irish Water how to rob our free-natural resource from us and how to charge us for this robbery.

People Before Profit’s European election candidate for Dublin, Cllr. Brid Smith is calling for full disclosure from Oxigen and the Enviromental Protection Agency about the nature of the hazardous waste on the premises in Ballymount during the recent fire. She is calling on the EPA to immediately disclose any potential dangers for local communities.