• Clodagh Meaney

Traveller organisations across Ireland call for action on racism

Pavee Point are among the groups asking the Irish government to address the issue immediately

By Clodagh Meaney

Traveller organisations across Ireland have released a joint call for action on racism.

Pavee Point, Irish Traveller Movement, National Traveller Women’s Forum,  and Minceirs Whiden are among the groups calling for action.

It comes following a global discourse on racism following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, at the hands of Police in Minnesota, US.

As riots and protests in the states began, and have since continued, Irish activists have staged a number of demonstrations in solidarity, and against racism in Ireland.

"We as Traveller organisations are outraged by the death in police custody of George Floyd and by the ongoing responses of his country’s leadership," their statement began.

"We express our sympathy and solidarity to his family, community and to African Americans who are voicing their determination to demand that the racism embedded in colonialism and slavery is once and for all addressed in their country."

"We stand in solidarity with all people of African Descent and the anger they feel at this time and with the efforts of Black Lives Matter and other groups, including those here in Ireland, to name and address this racism," they added.

"As Travellers, we have long since been exposed to anti-Traveller racism in Ireland and elsewhere," they said.

The statement called for the government to act immediately to end discrimination faced by Black communities, and many other communities including Travellers and Roma people.

"We call on the incoming government to act immediately to address the discriminations, including structural racism, experienced by Black communities here and by many others including Travellers and Roma."

"The time for action is now," the statement concluded.

Exchange House Ireland, Involve, The Parish of the Travelling People, Traveller Mediation Service, Traveller Counselling Service and Traveller MABS all back the calls for an end to racism.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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