Asylum Seeker revolt against Direct Provision spreads in Ireland

Protest at Kinsale road Direct Provision center - photo by Paul McAWe welcome the spreading revolt again the Irish state’s cruel Asylum process . In Cork up to 300 Asylum Seekers have been blockading the direction provision centre on Kinsale road over the last two days.

Those forced to live in the is centre include 9 year old children born in Ireland who have spent their entire lives in direct provision. Conditions under which they will have had little privacy, been unable to eat food prepared by their parents and forced to live off canteen food.

Adults in the system are forbidden from work and receive only 19.10 per week to live on, 9.60 is added per child. This extreme poverty ensures that they are isolated from the rest of society in Ireland, especially as many centres are located in relatively isolated locations.

Paul who has been active in supporting the blockade told us that “Three things need to happen, an end to deportations; the abolition of direct provision and the the right to work or go to 3rd-level education”. He contrasted this with the attitude of many official NGO’s which were arguing for a ’solution’ that amounted to “6 month maximum stay in direct provision through faster deportations”

He added that the action meant that the AsylumSeekers “don’t have access even to the usual terrible food. Please call by and support. Its next to the Bull McCabe pub on the Kinsale road”

WORDS Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )
Photo Paul McA

Comments

PROFIT BEFORE ASYLUM

PROFIT BEFORE ASYLUM SEEKERS

The visit by the Minister for Equality, New Communities and Culture Aodhain O’Riordáin to Globe House Sligo on the 17th Day of October this year is a visit of hope for all asylum seekers in the Direct Provision System in this country. It is a visit of realization of the great hopes and aspirations which over the years we have held so dear to our hearts as victims of violence and torture, institutionalized living and unholy circumstances beyond human expectations and an asylum seeker's comprehension. The plights of asylum seekers in this country is something beyond human judgement because experience is the best teacher. We believe the visit of the Minister has energized us, reinforced our destiny and become a source of hope to end the daily nightmares in our lives. How effective this visit and the work of the working committee set up by the Justice Department will be to right the wrongs and injustice in our lives will be that for which history and posterity will vindicate the just.

Seeking asylum in this country is not a crime against humanity, but a necessity as victims of circumstance in our quest to seek solace, love, safety and security of life, and sanctuary in this great nation, as we do not wish to go back to bad dreams. Even people who have created heinous and abominable crimes in society are often granted pardon and are more likely to be eligible for parole after serving a part of their sentence. But here we are as asylum seekers in Ireland with institutionalized living, dehumanized without dignity to human existence and not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Many of us have been living in the hostels with two or three people in a single room, and a family of six or less with children are confined to a single room for a period of up to fourteen years or less as the individual case may be or may not be.

Though we advocate for the abolition of the Direct Provision System, we must confess that the length of time that residents have been living in the Hostel is very unfortunate. (Residents live here for years up to 10 years already). Here in these hostels we grow old, our babies grow up to become teenagers, our parents and relations grow old back home and die without being able to be part of their funeral ceremonies. We weep here in silence inside our little crowded rooms on top of our beds, there is none to care. It is like walking in a lonely street. We become helpless and hopeless, there is nothing we can do. We weep and cry in vain. As we kill the time, the time kills us. Like sheep in the field, we do not know when the chicken will come to roost. Hope turns to despair.

The numbers of children that reside in the hostel, and the negative impacts that the length of their stay has had on their safety, protection and physical and mental well-being is a matter of great concern. These children are innocent and have become victims of circumstance in a vicious system in human lives. We seem to forget, that these children are the future of tomorrow. The question is that what lessons are we teaching these children? What legacy are we leaving behind for the future generation? They should be allowed to own their own rooms in their own houses like normal human beings, like their school mates in the class or peer group in the creche. Children born into this system and who grow up in it do not know the difference between a house and a room. All they know and grow up in is a single room without privacy between couples and their innocent children. Their eyes are forced daily to see certain things their eyes were never meant to see. They look at each other daily inside the room, love turns to hate. Anger becomes mental problems. The mind starts to think of what it should never have thought about. This continues for years until comedy or tragedy strikes. There is none to care.

Yet, all the money being paid by tax payers in this country for the rehabilitation process of asylum seekers do not go to homeowners or into the micro economy, but direct into the coffers of the treasury of those appointed by the Refugees Integration Agency, RIA to manage the affairs of those in the Direct Provision System. It is a draconian system of putting profit before human dignity and a right to fundamental human life. The opportunity cost of Direct Provision System is the pains, tears, and suffering of asylum seekers and the children in this institutionalized poor and unholy living conditions. An asylum seeker who gets a weekly social welfare check of about 186 euros, only gets 19 euros 10 cents as cash for miscellaneous expenses. The rest goes to the brokers or the business concern given the responsibility to perpetuate the issues of Direct Provision System of the asylum determination process in the name of the Irish public. Because of this business, and like the mines, mine owners and miners, human wants and needs as well as human dignity to life and a better tomorrow has become a financial concern of profit before people. That is why it survived for too long and for so long when in fact it was meant to be a temporary system not supposed to last for more than six months in the life of mother and child.

We are being discriminated against by not being afforded the opportunity for educational growth and development. We are not being allowed to study for FETAC 5 and in the tertiary institutions such as the IT and University. This is a deprivation of human rights and an affront on our progress. This is not healthy for our physical and mental health, and the health of this nation's economy. We should be given the opportunity to contribute our quota to intellectual development, skills acquisition, and provide a buffer tank for ready-made labour to the labour market in this country. We want to use our educational growth and development to contribute our quota meaningfully to the social, political and economic growth of this great nation, and strive to make this country one of the greatest nations on earth. We want to be like such people like Bill Gates, great actors and actresses, great technicians and engineers, great medical doctors and physicians, great scientists, great contemporary artists and strive to be the best that we are as true ambassadors to the land of our birth. We cannot do this if we are educational hampered and jeopardized, and our potentials and mental development washed down the drain.

The unknown length of time that it is taking to process our applications is terribly long whereby eating deep into the pockets of tax payers in this country. There are people in this hostel who are married to Irish citizens and those with Irish born kids. Their applications are stalled for years. Other residents have lived in rooms for years, eating the same food for ages on end, not being allowed to eat whatever we wish to eat like normal human beings while our applications are in limbo. Whether we like the food or not: whether we eat the food or not: whether we sleep in the boarding or not, whether we miss your meals or other rations or not, and are hungry: like a tickling time bomb, business goes on for years. The Irish people are quiet because they were not rightly informed about the state or fate of asylum seekers in the land of their birth. And if an asylum seeker stays away from this hostel for more than three days without signing the attendance register, even the 19 euros and 10 cents for that week will go back to the social welfare system, confiscated. If we work and pay tax, we are forced to return the earnings back to the system. They do not care to know if the earnings was meant to pay a child's school fees or for food back home. They do not care to know if it was for an aging mother back home or for her medications. Even so, we are prohibited to work like prohibited persons. That is the way life goes on in this system.

All these take us back to bad dreams as we face our daily nightmares. During this application processing period, all that is expected of us is to eat and sleep for years without being able to use our energy for meaningful growth and development in this country. Any man and woman on earth who eats and sleeps without doing anything meaningful for community growth and development is like a garden full of weeds, or a tree that does not bear fruit. There is a lot we must be allowed to do for community growth and development and give back to the Irish people who kept us and nourished us.

With proper education and skills acquisition comes employment. The impact of this length of time on our capacity to enter employment and educational opportunities is very precarious. We need to be allowed to work and contribute to the economy of this nation and pay our tax as tax payers. We must not be allowed to waste away and become like rotten potatoes. This is because the longer time we are not allowed to work, the more we rot and waste away. Our mental and physical health is greatly disturbed and completely demoralized. We believe we have been dehumanized without opportunity for true integration process into the Irish society. We have been segregated and confined in the Direct Provision System. Our fundamental human rights to live like normal human beings in society have been grossly and unjustly violated. They take from us what they say they are giving to us. They undo to us what they say to the Irish people they do for us. There is none to care. That is why this present Irish government is responsive and determined in every way and by every means to end the daily nightmares in our lives in the reformation of the system.

The Irish people are very humane and receptive and are known to be a society built upon the foundation of love for one another. Asylum seekers in this country need to be given true love and sanctuary and be allowed opportunity for true integration process into this loving Irish society in a legacy of goodwill, togetherness and love, because one does not fix appointments with fate. We asylum seekers are prisoners of conscience asking and begging for love like a Christmas tree. We should be pardoned and given parole, an opportunity to become tax payers, and contribute to the growth of the economy of this nation. We need opportunity to try and become better people in the life of this great nation and become on the long run employers of labour and laborious because there is dignity in labour. We want to be able to promote the tourism industry through industry, enterprise, music, art and culture. We ask that our lives be saved by being given safety and security of life. It is our hope that the positive impact we make in the life of this great nation will be tooled in gold in the annals of history. Even though we cannot be perfect, we can at least be given a chance to try and do something for the common good of society. In God we trust.

By; Joe Odiboh
Chairman: Globe House Residents Union
Contact: 0899732818

for and behalf of
(Globe House Residents Union)

I posted the comments below

I posted the comments below in response to some racist bile about this story on a tabloid site

---

Sometimes its better let ignorant racists to spout their bile for a while because the sheer volume of poison spouted tells the story so well in itself. There are kids who have lived in the squalor of direct provision since they were born 9 years ago.

I rather suspect you lot posting here would have been applauding what was happening in the Magedeline launderers and Mother and Child homes 30 years back in exactly the same sort of terms. And 30 years from now your grandkids will be disgusted by what you allowed happen. Shame


 

Good my comparison hit a nerve. Those who recently defended the Mother & Child homes did so in the same 'there wasn't the money' terms many of you are using here. There was money then and now but freeing it up would have involved going after the rich and powerful at the top of society, rater than kicking those at the bottom. And then and now most people considered it safer to kick those at the bottom.

Certainly the few who dared speak up for those stuck in them were vilified back then as 'do-gooders' by exactly the sort of mass chorus we see here. Legally for the most part women had the 'choice' to be in those homes and the laundries, actually more choice that those forced into direct provision who are required to live there but in practise both poverty and informal garda action forced them to stay despite appalling conditions.

Most of all people at the time believed and repeated all sort of stupid myths about the women trapped in the mother & baby homes and the laundries. The repetition of these myths, was what prolonged the existence of these places into the modern period. It was what kept women trapped in them. And indeed the way anyone who dared question this common wisdom was turned on was essential to preventing any movement growing in opposition to them. You are quite literally engaged in the same process here that your grandparents were.

As for the idea that people could simply return to Iraq or Syria, well lets hear you express the same thoughts the next time the Mirror covers an Isis beheading. Disgraceful stuff.

  


Like what you are reading?  Get a notification whenever we post a new article to

Anarchist Writers via Facebook or Twitter

where you can also like and comment on our articles