Kildare for All

Earlier today in Courthouse Square, Maynooth I attended the gathering described above. It was organized at very short notice in response to a demonstration by about 20 fascists in the same place last week (which I didn’t see). Although the rally was quite small – I counted about 60 or 70 people – many motorists passing by along Straffan Road honked their horns to express support. Well done to the organizers for pulling this together on such a short timescale. I only found out about it yesterday.

The rally was in response to a wave of violence against refugees in Ireland incited, and in many cases carried out, by thugs belonging to fascist organizations. Kildare For All part of a national movement, Ireland For All, that seeks to take a stand in support of those facing violence and abuse from far-right thugs. We can’t let Ireland go down the fascist road. We know where it leads.

The fascists are trying to play on the understandable anger and resentment felt by many people in Ireland at the chronic housing shortage, poor healthcare and inadequate public services. These are not the fault of refugees who come here fleeing war and persecution, but are the fault of 15 years of failures in Government. If the Far Right were really bothered about housing etc they would have been protesting against homelessness all that time, which they did not do. They’re just using the situation as an excuse to exercise their racist and xenophobic views. Refugees are not to blame. All the recent influx of refugees has done has been to expose the indolence and incompetence of those in Government.

The rally included a number of speeches by union leaders and political figures, including Réada Cronin, the Sinn Féin TD for Kildare North of which Maynooth is a part.

Réada Cronin, the Sinn Féin TD for Kildare North at today’s rally

It is important for decent people to counter the campaign of disinformation from fascists on social media and to stand in solidarity against the threats, intimidation and actual violence against refugees in the places where they live. Today’s event was small, but it is only through grass-roots organizations like this that we can hope to stem the rising tide of bigotry and intolerance. There will be a much larger event in Dublin on 18th February.

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