Republican News · Thursday 30 March 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Ahern's office occupied

Members of the Anti Racism Campaign and the Anti Fascist Association occupied Bertie Ahern's constituency office in Drumcondra, Dublin, on Tuesday evening, 28 March. They were protesting the cabinet's latest discriminatory measures to deal with refugees and asylum seekers. Eleven people were arrested and later released, with files sent to the DPP for possible charges.

In a statement, the campaigners said: ``The occupation was organised to highlight the government plans to introduce discriminatory measures against asylum seekers which include voucher payments, forced dispersal, mandatory fingerprinting and the use of `flotels'.

``We feel that these measures discriminate against asylum seekers and prevent them from integrating and participating in Irish society. They are not a suitable solution to the housing problem.

``Any solution to the shortage of housing must include measures to encompass Irish homeless and to provide affordable housing for all those in need. The government plans to provide accommodation for asylum seekers in `flotels' while ignoring the problem of Irish homelessness can only result in a rise in resentment and racism within our society.''

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