Le Chéile alliance launches campaign to counter rise of far-right in Ireland

A new alliance of public figures, activists and social justice organisations has been formed to campaign and work together to counter the rise of fascism and far-right politics in Ireland.

Members of Le Chéile alliance holding a banner that reads

Le Chéile is a new campaign for a United Front with the tenets Unity, Diversity and Solidarity at its core. This new alliance of public figures, activists and social justice organisations has been formed to campaign and work together to counter the rise of fascism and far-right politics in Ireland. With numerous politicians, NGOs, activist networks and businesses have already pledged their support, the group, named Le Chéile, is building a national alliance across all sectors of society to counter the organisation of the far-right in this country.

Discussing the formation of Le Chéile, Black Lives Matter activist, Rohana Perera explained that the group is truly reflective of the make-up of Irish society and seeks to represent diversity and progression.

Mr Perera said: “We are delighted to see such national support for the campaign. Every group we have contacted so far has expressed a need for a progressive, inclusive anti-fascist alliance to combat those seeking to spread division through Irish society.”

Prominent figures lending their voice to Le Chéile’s appeal for anti-fascist unity include LGBTQ+ and feminist icon, Ailbhe Smyth; Independent Senator Eileen Flynn and housing activist and charity leader, Fr Peter McVerry.

Launching today in Dublin with representatives of the alliance including  Orla O’ Connor of the National Women’s Council, Liam Herrick of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Éirénne Carroll, TENI CEO.

Members of Le Chéile alliance holding a banner that reads "diversity not division"

Le Chéile commits itself to principles of anti-fascism, anti-racism, social equality, and opposition to all forms of discrimination, marginalisation, racism, bigotry and hate. Le Chéile member Ailbhe Smyth said:

“Women, LGBTIQ people, migrants, and people of colour are among the primary targets of the far-right, and we cannot and must not stand idly by as individual lives, communities and rights are threatened, assaulted, abused and trampled on. I am proud to stand with Le Chéile to protect the right to freedom, equality, respect and dignity for all people and to vigorously resist those who seek to foment hatred and division.”

Public figures that have already joined the alliance:

Eileen Flynn (Independent Senator), Vincent Browne (Journalist), Damien Dempsey (Singer), Christy Moore (Singer), Ailbhe Smyth (Feminist/LGBTI Activist), Dr Panti Bliss Cabrera, Evgeny Shtorn (sociologist, LGBT activist), Paul Murphy TD (RISE), Mick Barry TD (Solidarity), Richard Boyd Barrett TD (People Before Profit), Gino Kenny TD (People Before Profit), Brid Smith TD (People Before Profit), Gerry Carroll (People Before Profit), Louise O ‘Reilly (Sinn Féin), Gary Gannon TD (Social Democrats), Thomas Pringle TD (Independent), Lorna Fitzpatrick (President, USI) Dave Lordan (Poet and Activist), Karl Parkinson (Poet), Raymond Deane (Composer, Activist), Noelle Brown (Actor, Writer, Director), Fr. Peter McVerry, (Housing Activist, Peter McVerry Trust), Gisèle Scanlon (President Trinity College GSU), Rohana Perera (Black Lives Matter Activist), Gary Daly (Solicitor & Human Rights Activist), Eamon McCann (Derry City Councillor and Journalist), Mark O’Halloran (Actor, Writer, Film Maker), Wumi Obi (Black Lives Matter activist), John Douglas (Ex-President Mandate & ICTU), Mary Murphy (Maynooth University), Sisterix (band), Derek Flynn (Musician), Tadgh Williams (Musician), Sarah Clancy (Poet, Author), Taryn De Vere, Izzy Kamikazee, PJ Hogan (Coordinator of East Cork Traveller’s Project), Lisa Connell (GCN)

Members of Le Chéile alliance holding a banner that reads "diversity not division"

Member organisations in the Le Chéile Alliance:

National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI), Union of Students in Ireland (USI), Action for Choice Ireland, Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), United Against Racism Ireland, Rohingya Action Ireland, All Ireland NHS Campaign, Enough is Enough Ireland, Access for All Ireland, Carlow Choice and Equality Network, Gay Community News, Doras Lumní, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Dublin Council of Trade Unions, East Cork Traveller’s Project, Galway Anti-Racism Network (GARN), Sligo Travellers Support Group, AKiDwA, Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Workers Solidarity Movement, Dublin Renter’s Union, UNITE, Inner City Helping Homeless, Peadar Browns, Ballyfermot Anti-Racism Network, INAR Ireland, Irish Traveller Movement, Skellig Star Direct Provision Campaign, Irish Writers Performers & Musicians Against Fascism, The Lime Tree Theatre Limerick, East Cork Traveller Project, GAZA Action Ireland, Ballyfermot Star Addiction Services, Refugee Support Ballaghaderreen, Pavee Point, People Before Profit, RISE, Solidarity, Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Travellers of North Cork, Bi+ Ireland, Extinction Rebellion Ireland

You can read Le Chéile’s principles here.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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