Ireland's Traveller community issues joint statement calling for end to racism

Ireland's Traveller community issues joint statement calling for end to racism

IRELAND’S TRAVELLER community has called for an end to racism. 

Speaking in a statement issued on behalf of 10 different Traveller organisations, they said the time for action on racism is “now” following the shocking death of George Floyd in US police custody and the “ongoing responses of his country’s leadership”. 

The group expressed sympathy for Mr. Floyd’s family as well as support and solidarity for the African-American community and its desire for the racism embedded in American’s history of colonialism and slavery to be “once and for all addressed in their country”. 

“We stand in solidarity with all people of African descent and the anger they feel at this time and with the efforts of Black Lives Matter and other groups, including those here in Ireland, to name and address this racism,” the statement said. 

The community geoup also spoke of the anti-Traveller racism many of its members and others across Ireland and the rest of the world have faced. 

They said: “We call on the incoming government to act immediately to address the discriminations, including structural racism, experienced by Black communities here, and by many others including Travellers and Roma.” 

"The time for action is now."

As many as 10 different traveller groups signed the statement, including Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre, Irish Traveller Movement, National Traveller Women’s Forum, Minceirs Whiden, Exchange House Ireland National Travellers Service, the Parish of the Travelling People, Traveller Mediation Service, Traveller Counselling Service and National Traveller MABS