IWW - Fight Fascism No Matter What Form It Takes
On Saturday 11 July members of the far right gathered outside Dáil Éireann in Dublin. Assembling under the guise of an anti-paedophilia protest, those present included well-known members of the far right, including representatives of Generation Identity, the Irish Freedom Party, and the National Party.
They were there to call for the resignation Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman. It’s claimed that because O’Gorman was photographed with LGBTQI+ activist Peter Tatchell in 2018, that means he shares the views of Tatchell and is therefore unsuitable for the position of children’s minister.
In 1997 Tatchell wrote a letter to the Guardian in which he argued that some children choose to have sexual relationships with adults. He has since claimed that his letter was edited and that he does not condone paedophilia.
But for the far right, they have used this to attack O’Gorman and question his commitment to the safety of children. O’Gorman has pointed this out in a statement he published on his Twitter account. By attempting to link him to Tatchell, a man who only met one time, the far right is “playing upon the genuine, deeply held concern we all share for child protection”. To put it simply, “far-right Twitter accounts” are “using manipulation for their own ends”.
The far right was not outside the Dáil to protest against paedophilia. It was there to target a progressive gay man for the simple fact that he is progressive and gay. One of the speakers was Justin Barrett, leader of the National Party. In the past he has called for the death penalty for doctors who carry out abortions. He believes that Ireland is in need of a Catholic dictatorship. And he has spoken at neo-Nazi gatherings in Germany.
Another speaker was Hermann Kelly, leader of the Irish Freedom Party and spokesperson for Nigel Farage’s UKIP. Kelly’s party follow the same blueprint as UKIP; stoke up existing and unfounded tensions about immigration and push for an Irish exit from the European Union. Unsurprisingly, Kelly has previously stated his belief in the so-called “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. Kelly has also argued that there is an “extreme LGBT lobby pervading our schools”.
Traveller activist and actor John Connors also spoke at the rally. He accused anti-racism activists of being pro-paedophilia. He further argued that O’Gorman has an “agenda” when it comes to children. Connors said this is the case because of the minister’s intention to allow children under the age of 16 legally change their gender with the consent of their parents/guardians and doctors. And for this reason, according to Connors, O’Gorman “is not fit to be minister for children”. Connors has himself been previously photographed with convicted rapist Mike Tyson.
Events took a violent turn when parts of the crowd surrounded and attacked a small, disorganised and unprepared group of counter protesters who had gathered across the road. They only managed to escape serious injury because of the intervention of the gardaí.
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is disturbed by this development. In recent years we have seen how homophobes and racists in both the US and across Europe have become more emboldened. As a result, activists and minorities are targeted more and more often. In some cases they have been murdered. The gathering on Saturday was nothing more than a poorly veiled attempt at stirring up hatred for a politician simply because he is gay and supports the rights of Trans children.
This cannot be allowed to become the norm in Ireland. Fascism and far-right hatred must be fought no matter what forms they take. To not do so means abandoning those most at risk to the whims of extremists. The Industrial Workers of the World will combat this bile.
An injury to one is an injury to all!
Confrontation outside the Dail here
Confrontation outside the GPO here