Now Is the Time For Action

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Dublin Protest at the American Embassy. Photo Credit: The Irish Times, 1st June.

The long history of systemic oppression, stereotyping, and stigmatisation of black and brown people in the world we live in has created two worlds: a world of privilege and advantage and another of oppression, discrimination, and violence.  These two worlds set the context of who is seen as a criminal and who is not, who is seen as a threat and who is not, and whose life is valued and whose is not.  The differential valuing of life based on which racialized group one is thought to be a member of is manifestly unjust and generates the insistence that, yes, black lives matter.  Black lives do matter, and our collective practices, discourses, policies, and laws must reflect this.  

Saying that black lives matter does not claim or entail that other lives do not also matter; what it does accomplish is to directly confront the devaluing of black and brown lives in present practices, discourses, policies, and laws.  For these reasons, we believe that black lives matter, and we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.  

As your Students’ Union, we believe it is vitally important that students educate themselves on societal issues rather than relying on those facing oppression. There are so many resources that can be accessed online and we also urge you to: 

  • Sign and share the petitions going around
  • Email Charlie.flanagan@oir.ie the Minister for Justice and Equality to demand an end to the horrific direct provision system 
  • Email your TDs about racial inequality in Ireland and the lack of basic access to work and education rights. 
  • We also ask that where possible you donate to causes that support our black communities or at least share their messages. 
  • To our white colleagues and students, we urge you to listen to the black community, learn for yourselves the issues that they face and use your privilege to support them. 

Microaggressions, hateful comments, online abuse and violence unfortunately still happens every day across the world. Now more than ever, we need to seek positive change that will enhance the daily experiences and lives of those who have to endure endless hatred, purely because of the colour of their skin.

This isn’t a struggle the black community should face alone. As your Students’ Union, we want to ensure all our members that we will stand by you. YOU matter.

The Students’ Union will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to racism and any other form of hatred or harassment based on people’s race, religious beliefs, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. There is never room for discrimination.

This is a difficult time for many of you and please know that you are still able to access the University’s Student Support & Wellbeing service while away from campus. You can find information on the different available services in TU Dublin here

If you can, we encourage you to get out to march on the 6th of June at the GPO at 3pm. Social distancing is still so important, so please only attend if you aren’t breaching Government guidelines. You can find more details about the event over on facebook here.

 

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