Today, June 15, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) and the Ireland For All coalition announced that they are joining forces for an upcoming event set to take place on World Refugee Day. The broad coalition is inviting people to join them and several other solidarity organisations in honouring the strength and resilience of refugees worldwide.
MASI and Ireland For All announced the upcoming event at a press conference in Dublin’s Bushwells Hotel, where they were joined by a panel of speakers, including the co-founder of MASI, Lucky Khambule, poet and MC, Edith Chukwu, and former asylum seeker, Mohamed Sahid Camara.
The press conference comes ahead of World Refugee Day, established by the United Nations in 2001 and held on the 20th of June each year. To honour this day, the event will take place at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance at 5.30pm on June 20 and will feature a range of speakers and performers, all in support of the coalition’s shared goals.
According to MASI, the event will be family-friendly and feature representatives from all segments of Irish society, including “women, men, people living with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ representatives, as well as organisations that support refugees.”
As reported by the organisers, the event has gained support from “numerous community groups, civil society organisations, NGOs, trade unions, and political parties dedicated to creating a better and fairer Ireland while celebrating our country’s rich diversity.”
“Almost 100 national and local organisations are endorsing the event, including the Irish Refugee Council, Access For All, the National Women’s Council Ireland, United Against Racism, LGBT Ireland, Anti Deportation Ireland, Le Chéile, Cost of Living Coalition, Helping Irish Hosts, Amnesty, and End Direct Provision,” MASI and Ireland For All added. GCN is also among the organisations endorsing the event.
We are asking organisations to bring contingents, banners and placards.
Contact us to endorse World Refugee Day.
— #IrelandForAll (@ireland_for_all) June 12, 2023
Ireland For All and MASI are hopeful that the World Refugee Day event will drum up support for their ongoing mission to “ensure that Ireland is a safe place for those who come seeking sanctuary”. Similarly, the coalition are calling for “equal rights for all refugees and asylum seekers including housing and the right to work,” the dismantling of Direct Provision, and an end to Irish government support for EU funding of “migration prevention measures in Africa and elsewhere.”
MASI has released a list of additional demands focused on the “plight of refugees”. The list calls for the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, to “consider granting Stamp 4 (Permission to Remain Status) to all international applicants who have been in the system for two years; reconsider the decision to classify certain countries as safe countries of origin and abandon the new methods of assessing applicants from those countries; consider granting immediate right to work for applicants who couldn’t be provided accommodation by the IPO or provide them with a full weekly allowance.”
#WorldRefugeeDay is just 7 days away! Join us:
?Tuesday, 20 June
?Garden of Remembrance
— Le Chéile #IrelandForAll (@LeCheileDND) June 13, 2023
At this morning’s press conference, Darragh Adelaide, an advocate for social and economic justice and a member of United Against Racism and Clondalkin for All, shared his thoughts on the confluence of World Refugee Day and Pride Month.
“I don’t think it’s an accident that, as we’ve seen this wave of misinformation and attacks on asylum seekers, that we’re seeing the same against trans people and LGBT people,” he said. “So as much as the 20th (World Refugee Day) is about celebrating asylum seekers…it’s also about unity, it’s about standing against division, we’re standing with the LGBT community.”
“There’s a massive number of asylum seekers who come here specifically because [they’re LGBTQ+]. Ireland’s such a welcoming place for people who are gay or lesbian or transgender, so in the spirit of Pride month, I wanted to mention that we are standing with the LGBT community, you know, we’re not going to be divided,” Adelaide concluded.
MASI and Ireland For All will hold their World Refugee Day event on Tuesday, June 20, at 5:30pm at Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park in Dublin 1.
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