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Movement Of Asylum Seekers in Ireland

Freedom, Dignity & Justice for Asylum Seekers

Ask Us What We Want – On ‘Reforming’ Direct Provison

aboriginal-protest

To reform or not to reform, that is a question:

This is the breeder to hate

This is the breeder of poverty

This is the breeder of racism

This is the breeder of discrimination

This is the breeder of inferiority.

This is the promotion of greed

This is the promotion of segregation

This is the promotion of capitalism

This is the promotion of racial discrimination

This is the promotion of long term oppression

This is the promotion of slavery.

Human dignity must be restored

Social justice must prevail

Freedom must be attained

Equality must have to boundaries

Unity must prevail.

As long a white man sees himself as a white and a black man sees himself as a black, there will always be racism and disunity. We need to live in a society whereby we all see each other as one people living in one world in a peaceful spirit. Freedom of movement should be the order of the day with no restriction of any boarders. Wars and killings have so many victims in history and it’s all about greed and making the other nations feel inferior and the others superior.

Direct Provision is an animal that is designed from all these principles above. As long as it is still in existence, I am afraid people will continue to suffer and the nation deteriorate. Direct provision must end Mr and Mrs Minister, not matter what kind of reform you can put in place, it will never be any sort of model conducive to human consumption.

Digging the hole and bury a man alive, sailing the man to the deep sea and throw him to the sea to die and locking a man in direct provision for ten or more year is the same thing. He might be alive in real, but his spirit is dead and there is nothing you can do to revive him. That’s what direct provision does to people.

The troops are getting restless:

END DIRECT PROVISION, DON’T REFORM IT

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Learn to Listen from the Bottom. Writing on Direct Provision

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Give me education department, I will reform it; give me Health services department I will reform it; give me Justice Department I will reform it. But don’t try and reform a system that is not meant for good purpose that is not meant for long term that is not meant to keep people for many years and destroy their lives. Direct Provision is just a system that was never meant to exist from the word go. Whoever came with this idea the first time must have been misguided somehow. So how on earth can you begin to reform such a system which has no future on society? When Direct Provision was initially introduced in Ireland in 2000, it was a system that was supposed to be in existence only for six months. As soon as it started it was evident that it was a system that was not going to work. Even the then Minister of Justice and Equality agreed that it was not the cleverest of the decision the government made.

Fifteen years later, the system still exists and it has failed to operate for the purpose it was intended for. Instead it is a mechanism that promotes oppression and racism, go to the centres around the country, people are living in fear as some of the so called centre managers are dictators that keep harassing poor people who already vulnerable due to one thing or another.

There are few factors to look into that lead to direct provision to be still in existence.

  • The influx of immigrants that seek asylum from year 2000 increased in alarming numbers.
  • This direct provision was then a tool that was seen as a mechanism that would address this increase and make it as hard as possible for those that were already in the system so that a word will go out there and discourage new applicants.
  • This indeed was achieved as the numbers rapidly started decreasing from 1999 to June 2014 as is demonstrated on the graph below

graph

Take a good note on the following years:

  • Year 1999, 7724 applications were received
  • Year 2000, 10938 applications received. (Remember this is the year DP was formed)
  • Year 2001, 10325 application, (Numbers were still high)
  • Now take a look at year 2004 about five years later, the figures dropped to 4766, these were now the evident effects of direct provision.
  • And this decline continued as a result only 946 applications were received for the whole year 2013.
  • You judge for yourself.

Cost:
Even though the cost also kept reducing as the numbers were reducing, most of the privately owned hostels kept increasing their profits as they kept negotiating the rates as and when. Have a look at this:

  • In 2013 RIA closed one centre and this, alongside an aggregate reduction in bed spaces in the remainder of the centres, led to an overall reduction in contracted bed spaces of 411 (7.5%).
  • The cost of the Direct Provision system continues to fall.
  • RIA spent €55.23 million in 2013, a reduction of 13%from the 62.3 million in 2012.
  • The spend in 2013 represented a decline of 40% from the peak of €91.5 million spent in 2008.

The Scandal report on Direct Provision by TV3 in 2014 managed to expose facts and figures the department spent per centre and what the owners gained in profits per year for the first time in years. Also the newspaper The Journal.ie covered an article on some figures the department spend in millions of Euros of which the minister spelt it out as money spent on asylum seekers without any break down. Mind you asylum seekers only see €19.10.

Children:

  • Direct provision keeps destroying our children’s lives the longer they are kept locked up in these centres.
  • As parents we are not in full control of the proper growth of our children as this right is taken away from us due to the constraints that we are living in.
  • A mother cannot even prepare a simple lunch for her daughter or son and package it to the school bag, this joy is taken away from us.
  • Instead someone from the centre takes over this wonderful duty and child and parents must queue in the morning to pick up the already pre-prepared lunch box.
  • This makes the child to envy more the worker at the centre rather than the mother.
  • Need I say more? A lot has been reported on this subject from the expects point of view.
  • The bottom line is, no child is meant to be raised in direct provision and be treated like prisoners with restricted movement with no visiting or sleep over rights.

Health issues:

Direct provision leads people to health issues such as depression, mental issues and little is being done to address current issued we are even facing now here in KRAC.

Deportations:

  • Some of these health issues are as a result of the long term deportation orders that are hanging over us for so many years.
  • Those on deportation orders must report at the Gardi station with their children on monthly basis.
  • Children are forced to be taken away from schools just to go and sign with the parent and if the parent did not do this, she/he will be subject to immediate deportation.
  • Deportation orders are even issued to those countries the government know they cannot deport to.
  • How do you lead a normal life with a deportation order for five years and more, it’s insane.
  • Direct provision exist as it is easy to pick up asylum seekers from the centres and deport in the middle of the night when no one is watching.
  • Families have been separated throughout these years through deportations.

Enforced poverty:

Direct Provision is an inhumane system that degrades individuals and make us feel useless as we cannot directly provide for ourselves. We are not allowed to work as you all know. Last year the minister for Justice and Equality reacted with shock to a newspaper article that run a story about a lady that resorted to prostitution due to poverty and promised to do an investigation to that. Only she knows where that investigation went.
Working Group and Reform:

The working group appointed by the minister to look into the ways to reform the direct provision to make it more humane in her view. It is our view that the reformed direct provision is no different to the same one that was created 16 years ago.

That is why we are saying there is no way this direct provision can be reformed, the only option is to close it and allow us to work and integrate with society like normal human being while we wait for our applications.End direct provision

Killings of immigrants:

Mark my words, what has been happening in recent times with the daily killings of immigrants from Africa and other parts of the world is not an accident. Someone somewhere is responsible for all this and it cannot be going on for so long with little effort for the powers that be. We have seen some countries willing to help while the other choose to sit back and let people die. People are toying with people lives and we only see finger pointing that’s all. Get to root cause of this and sort it country to country start talking and help people and save lives, one life lost is one life too many.

Finally one day this government or even the one to come in the future will see fit to make an apology to all asylum seekers for what they have put them through for so many years.

BRAVO

MASI letter to the Irish Times

This letter was sent by MASI to the Irish Times last week, signed by MASI activists in direct provision detention in Clare, Cork, Limerick, and Portlaoise. Unfortunately the letter was not published so we are publishing here. We saw an article the next day in the Irish Times announcing that four writers had received awards for their writing about Direct Provision.

And they keep getting awards out of our misery, but we are still here suffering.

The HIQA report on children held in direct provision finds that “young people in these settings were almost nine times more likely to be the subject of a referral relating to child welfare or safety issues than children in the wider community.” (‘’Grave Concerns’ over welfare of asylum seeker children’, Monday May 25th). As people who are detained in the direct provision system, we welcome HIQA’s highlighting of the institutional neglect and deprivation that our children suffer. However, we find ourselves asking, once more, what is going to be done to right these terrible wrongs.

The Working Group that was set up to consider ‘reforms’ to Direct Provision and the Protection Process has finished its work. Publication of its recommendations is expected this month. From the outset it was made clear by the Department of Justice that Direct Provision would remain in place. However, as the people who have lived in direct provision, some of us for ten years and more, we can say with certainty that there can be no reforming this system that blights our children’s well-being, lives and futures.

According to speculations in the press this weekend, the working group proposals will include ‘cost effective’ improvements of living conditions for families. We ask: how can living conditions in the direct provision system be improved when this institution is dysfunctional at its core? Leaks in the media also suggest there will be accelerated and ‘sympathetic’ consideration of the applications of those who have been in the system for five years or more. However, at the same time as these leaks are fed to the media, deportation orders continue to be issued to many people in the system, including those in the system five years and longer. Is this what is meant by ‘Clear the Backlog’? Residency for some, and deportation for many, including many children, back to places where our lives are in danger?

The Committee for Public Oversight and Petitions recently published their report on the Direct Provision system, and unanimously declared the system “not fit for purpose”. Minister Aodhán Ó Riordáin himself has said that the Irish State has to “get over this love affair we have with incarcerating people.” And yet, despite these admissions, the State has no intention of bringing an end to direct provision.

We are weary of the empty promises of those who say they are on the side of justice, yet allow this suffering to continue. Our lives are more than statistics to be haggled over by people who will never have to make the difficult decisions and journeys we have all made, who will never spend a day in the open prisons where we watch our lives and our futures, our hopes, our abilities and our potential dwindle with each passing day. After the resounding vote for equality for LGBT people on May 23rd, Minister Fitzgerald released a statement thanking Irish citizens for “making us all equal”. While we and our children are detained year upon year, deprived of basic rights to work, to education, and access to basic services, it is difficult for us to agree that we are now “all equal”.

Freedom, Dignity & Justice for Asylum Seekers!

WHAT IS MASI?

KRAC end dp

We came together as MASI in autumn 2014, following self-organised protests by asylum seekers in Ireland across eight of the 34  centres of indefinite detention called Direct Provision. We believe that speaking together in one voice, moving together in one direction, we are much stronger, our voices much louder and more difficult to ignore and dismiss. Part of the purpose of the system of direct provision and dispersal is to keep us apart, divided, ghettoised, our power stolen. For us, MASI is a way to take back our power and demand freedom, justice and dignity for all asylum seekers.

  • MASI is the collective Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, a platform for asylum seekers to join together in unity and purpose
  • MASI seeks justice, freedom and dignity for all asylum seekers.
  • MASI demands the end of direct provision, the right to work and education, residency for all, and opposes deportation.
  • MASI is independent: it is not an NGO, it is not affiliated to any NGO or political party.
  • MASI is not funded; we depend on our own resources and raise our own funds as we can.
  • In MASI, all are equal to each other; all are of equal value and deserving of equal respect and dignity.
  • MASI is democratic and collective. All decisions are made collectively, through discussion and agreement.
  • MASI has no ‘membership’. We are part of MASI through our commitment and contribution to the collective work of the movement.
  • MASI has no organisational structures. Structures can become rigid and hierarchical. We decide on tasks according to the nature of each action, and according to who is able to commit the time and energy needed at that time.

MASI demands an end to direct provision, the right to work and education, residency for all in the system, and an end to the brutal deportation regime. Some might say these are not reasonable or realistic demands. We have found that being ‘reasonable’ achieves little for asylum seekers except more time locked up in DP, deportation orders, and forced removal.

It is time for us to rise up once more in unity and purpose. It is time to fight together for our freedom and for the freedom of our brothers and sisters in the time to come. The struggle may be long, but we will prevail.

 

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