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27 August 1998 Edition

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Colourful anti racism march in Dublin

By Michael Pierse

Colourful banners, street theatre, the carnival rousing Happy City Samba Band and 3,000 people lined the route of an anti-racism march last Saturday from the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin North Central across the bridge to Temple Bar.

Of particular significance were speeches by Eamonn McCann and Senator David Norris, who led in attacks on the scathing accounts of right-wing media correspondents, government inefficiency and contempt for asylum seekers and the racist antics of the likes of anti refugee leader Aine NĂ­ Chonaill.

The largely successful march was, however, criticised by some of those taking part. They believed that a show of strength to Dublin's elite in Temple Bar is of little consequence to refugees. Although it is right wing papers that are propagating the anti refugee hysteria, the real problem is sadly prevalent in impoverished areas, not far from Dublin's city centre. On Summerhill in Dublin North Central, or in correspondingly delapidated areas in the South Inner City, where refugees have been accommodated, the real problem has arisen. Racism is rearing its ugly head, due to the financial deprivation experienced by these people and a growing distaste for the resources being issued for asylum seekers. A march through these areas would be vastly more effective.
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