Ireland is not free from racism. The Union of Students in Ireland is committed to campaigning for equality in our society and for radical changes across our island. We need to listen to black people and people of colour. We can and must do better.
We stand in solidarity with everyone impacted by recent events in the US. Too many black people and people of colour have died, suffering under systemic oppression. We urge our members to listen to, amplify and take their lead from black people leading the reaction on this island to current events.
Across Ireland, black people and people of colour face racism in their daily lives. This racism takes many forms: being turned away for accommodation, racial profiling at the border and abuse on the streets to name just a few. This affects students on our campuses and also in wider society. We are committed to tackling racism with Higher Education Institutions and at all levels of Irish society.
The system of Direct Provision is an inhumane and racist system that must be abolished. We believe that ending Direct Provision is a step towards making this nation more inclusive to the refugees and asylum seekers who come here and the USI will continue to campaign, with others, for its abolition.
In 2004, Ireland voted to insert the 27th Amendment into its constitution, denying those who are born here the automatic right to citizenship. USI condemns this discriminatory law and calls on the Government to introduce legislative efforts to grant citizenship to those born here.
The USI is committed to holding an event every year for ethnic minorities in leadership in order to help address the lack of people of colour in leadership roles across Ireland, including in the student movement.
If you are engaging in actions or attending protests to support the Black Lives Matter movement, please follow the public health guidance. Maintain social distancing, use face masks and ensure you follow respiratory hygiene.
If you are, or will be in contact with anyone who is immunocompromised, you can still support these actions online by sharing petitions, donating, or having conversations with friends and family. If anyone is affected by this, please seek support from your Students’ Union and services in your college.