Racism Stops Here – Galway City Action Against Racism

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Galway Traveller Movement, as part of its 20 year celebration is putting a spotlight on the racism experienced by the Traveller community in Galway City and County. On the 24th of March, in City Hall at 11.00am, Councillor Pádraig Conneely , Mayor of the City of Galway will launch the iReport, a human rights monitoring tool, the anti racist election protocol, ensuring that elections are conducted in such a way that they do not incite hatred or prejudice on the grounds of ‘race’, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origin, religious belief and membership of the Traveller community and the GTM Racist Incident log encouraging the Traveller community to record their experiences of racism. GTM and the European Network Against Racism, Ireland in association with Galway City Community Forum, Galway City Partnership and Galway City Council are taking action against racism as part of the European Wide Action Week Against Racism.

Hannagh Mc Ginley, a member of Galway Traveller Movement Management committee is calling for the full implementation of the Galway City Intercultural strategy “A city of equals” as a matter of urgency.

“Sadly, we still have a Galway City and County where some people are ‘more equal than others’. According to a survey carried out by GTM in 2011, for Travellers in Galway City and County racism is a harsh reality. The on-going discrimination experienced by Travellers continues to have a devastating negative impact on their lives. National and local government need to take substantial steps to address this very serious issue and engage in anti-racist dialogue with Travellers and Traveller representative organisations to work towards realising Traveller rights and the formal recognition of Traveller ethnicity ”

ENAR Ireland welcomes the relaunch of the Anti Racist Protocol “The parties are to be commended for renewing their pledge. The Protocol can act as a safeguard against candidates resorting to racism for cheap gain at election time” said Shane O’Curry, Director of ENAR Ireland.

Diverse groups will be represented on the day all calling for action against racism. According to Ann Irwin, coordinator of Galway City Community Forum “it is vitally important that ‘racism’ is recognised as the issue. This is the strength of the iReport system. It ensures that the focus is on the ‘racism’ that is faced by many, including Travellers, black people, refugee and asylum seekers, migrants and other minorities rather than on the group itself which can sometimes lead to a culture of blaming the group for the discrimination they experience”

Galway City is a member of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism. Liam Hanrahan, Administrative Officer, Galway City Council welcomes the Launch of the i Report in the West

“Galway City Council has been proactive in promoting the use of the online racist incident reporting system” says Mr Hanrahan.

There is a call at a European level to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The European Network Against Racism(ENAR) promotes equality of treatment between European Union citizens and third country nationals. According to ENAR,

“If you are not counted, you don’t count”: combating discrimination begins with knowing the extent of it

According to Abed Aldakar, the integration worker with Galway City Partnership “We all have a duty to ensure that members of ethnic minorities are not excluded. We need to take a stand and reject racism. To that end, I call on the Irish Government to reinvest in combating and eliminating racism”

GTM will also be hosting and delivering a workshop promoting intercultural approaches to the delivery of services facilitated by Hannagh Mc Ginley on the 26th of March in Jigsaw , 9.30 to 1.00 pm. A Street Action will also take place on Wednesday March 26th. It will be held in the city centre, on Shop street, between 12 and 3pm. The aim is to highlight the fact that Travellers experience racism, when people talk about racism, Travellers are very often left out of the discussion. We need as many people as possible to show alliance with Galway Traveller Movement, join in the campaign and stand in solidarity with the Traveller community.

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