Statement on Dublin Riots

First and foremost, the Communist Party of Ireland extends our deepest sympathies and well wishes to all the victims and their families of the horrendous stabbing and the subsequent violence in Dublin on 23rd November, and in the strongest possible terms, denounces the riots on the city centre’s streets later that evening.

It should come as little surprise that violence erupted on the streets of Dublin city. Across the cities and towns of our country, decades of neoliberal economic and social policies have left deep scars, with a generation of people completely alienated and marginalised. This is manifested particularly among large sections of our youth.

Working class communities have been systematically stripped of their capacity to self-organise by various institutions of the state and NGOs. Their relationship to the state and to power is mediated and defused by layers of bureaucracy and self-appointed “experts”.

Our people, and in particular our youth, have been subject to a narcissistic ideology of contemporary capitalism, which proclaims that community and social organising is a waste of time and that one should just look after oneself. Working class people are told not to consider or take account of what is best for our communities.

In previous generations in many working-class communities, trade unions and their activists would have been central to self-organising and building support networks within and between working class communities. As the trade union movement has been increasingly assimilated by the state and has abandoned any concept of class analysis and working-class interests, its political and organisational influence has declined. This is reflected within working class communities, leaving them open to the siren calls of the far-right. Decades of neglect by the state has resulted in many working-class communities being exploited and dominated by criminal gangs.

People’s frustrations with decades of neglect is being misdirected against migrant workers and asylum seekers. Neither migrant workers nor asylum seekers caused the deepening crisis in our health service, nor are they responsible for the lack of GPs in our communities, nor the overcrowding in schools, nor the housing shortages, or the minimal services available in communities.

Responsibility for these serious social crises which impact on the lives of millions of workers lies with capitalism and with successive governments, and all the establishment political parties in the Dáil reduced to a talking shop by EU controls.

This society and this economic system are run to make the rich richer, to grow the profits of big business, to enrich the landlord class – both individual and corporate – and to make workers pay a very heavy price for a bankrupt economic system.

To our youth, turn your anger at those who are responsible, not our brother and sister migrant workers. This violence can only strengthen the hand of the establishment and the state, ensuring more control over our lives and over our communities. It will only strengthen the power and the grip of petty criminals and criminal gangs. These anti-people forces already have a grip over our communities. Don’t allow yourself to be misled by those who wish to steer your anger against migrants, against other workers.

These forces have no answers to our problems, just division and hatred. Kick up, not down.

We express our solidarity with the activists involved in Dublin Communities Against Racism, local activists striving to build and strengthen our communities, and have a record of opposition to government economic policies.

We stand in solidarity with all migrant workers who are experiencing fear and insecurity at this time. In particular, on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we stand in solidarity with all migrant women workers who experience daily abuse at work and on our streets from racist thugs.

You are not alone, it is not a journey you have to take on your own. Our class has a long history of solidarity and comradeship.

We will walk arm in arm with you, we will stand together, to face down the exploiters and the spreaders of hate and division.

We call upon the trade union movement to lead a community base and lead opposition to both racism and this government’s economic and social policies.

Ní neart go cur le chéile!