Archive for March, 2012

Richard Boyd Barrett TD on Friday Gathering with Pat Kenny on RTE Radio 1, Friday, 30th March 2012

Palestinian hunger striker Hana Shalabi to be banished from the West Bank and exiled to the Gaza Strip

Peaceful march to Jerusalem met with indiscriminate violence by Israeli army

Richard Boyd Barrett, TD for the People Before Profit Alliance expressed his grave concern about the fate of Palestinian hunger striker, Hana Shalabi, who had been protesting her illegal detention in an Israeli prison by hunger striking for the last 43 days. She had already spent two arduous years in an Israeli prison without charge or trial before being released in 2011, only to be arrested again a few months later. She had been facing the prospect of months, or perhaps years, of imprisonment without charge or trial, when she decided to begin her hunger strike on February 16th. The Israeli authorities now claim to have struck a deal with her for her release on condition that she be exiled to Gaza, away from her home and family in the West Bank. Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians and international supporters have been participating in a peaceful march to Jerusalem which was met with live ammunition resulting in several injuries so far.



Richard Boyd Barrett said: “Hana had been imprisoned for two years without charge or trial, like hundreds of other Palestinians, including children, also currently held without charge. She went on hunger strike to protest this unjust practice and call on an end to her and others’ unlawful detention. The latest move by the Israeli state to exile her to Gaza is typical of that state’s informal policy to empty the West Bank of Palestinians. It echoes the banishment of Winnie Mandela in 1977 to the town of Brandfort by the then Apartheid South African government.”

“Two NGO’s that had been following her case, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Palestinian human rights group Addameer, have raised concerns the “deal” to banish her to Gaza in exchange for her ending her hunger strike had been reached under duress.”

“There are few states in the world today that can get away with what Israel is getting away with. Israel arrests and imprisons people arbitrarily. As we speak 320 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons without having had any charge brought against them.”

“Meanwhile today thousands of Palestinians and international supporters from 82 countries had been marching from the West Bank to Jerusalem when they were met with both plastic and live ammunition. The protestors were simply trying to reach Jerusalem – occupied Palestinian territory under International Law. In Gaza, a similar peaceful march took place along the border of the besieged strip and was met with violence on the Israeli side.”

“when is the international community and particularly the European Union going to condemn the forced and continuous exile of Palestinians from their towns and homes and put real pressure no Israel to halt its outrageous abuses of human rights.

I am calling on Eamon Gilmore the Minister for Foreign Affairs to go beyond words of concern about Israel’s flouting of human rights. He should be raising his voice clearly within the European Union demanding real sanctions against Israel for its continuing abuse of Palestinian rights”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit/United Left Alliance discusses the No to EU Austerity Treaty Campaign on TV3’s Ireland AM, Thursday 29th March 2012.

Noonan’s announcement changes nothing- We should cancel the debt

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, ULA Finance spokesperson, in a statement this afternoon following Minister Noonan’s announcement in the Dail said that this is nothing more than accountancy trickery. Paying the Anglo Promissory note with a government bond instead of cash does nothing to relieve the debt burden or brutal austerity.

This is turning a crazy commitment to bail out Anglo Irish Bank into sovereign debt and is confirming that the Irish people without ever having been consulted are commited to paying off bankers debt for years to come.

As far as the ULA are concerned this should never have been about deferring the debt but should have been about writing off this debt. As well as an accountancy trick to smooth the path to the Fiscal Treaty it is just more spin and PR by the government thinking they can fool the people into voting for the Treaty.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said, ” This is just more spin and more words that means nothing to the lives of ordinary people. It is another cynical attempt by the government and the Troila to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes”.

“We are calling on the government to cancel the debt or force the bankers and bondholders to pay their own debts”

” We need to take heart from the huge numbers out on strike in Spain today and mobilise for a demonstaration at the FG Ard Fheis on Saturday”


In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for People Before Profit/United Left Alliance has called on the Irish public to follow the lead of Spanish strikers and protesters by taking to the streets in large numbers this Saturday March 31st to join the demonstration taking place against household charges and austerity policies at the Fine Gael annual Ard Fheis.

The demonstration will assemble at 1pm this Saturday at the Garden of Remembrance from where protesters will march to the National Convention Centre where the Fine Gael Ard Fheis is due to take place.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that from Greece, to Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, and across the wider European economy it was clear that austerity policies were deepening the economic crisis, fuelling mass unemployment and inflicting severe suffering on the majority of ordinary citizens.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that a mass popular revolt against austerity was needed across Europe to demand that job creation and social justice were prioritised ahead of bailing out the private financial and banking system that had caused the economic crisis in the first place.

Richard Boyd Barrett said:“I want to salute the people of Spain who are today taking strike action and joining mass protests to resist the disastrous policies of austerity – policies that are crushing the ordinary people of Spain and have resulted in an unemployment catastrophe.

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Palestinian Land Day picket

Palestinian Land Day picket

(Palestinian Community in Ireland)

11am, Fri, 30 March 2012

Israeli Embassy, 122 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4

The Palestinian Community in Ireland will be holding a picket outside the Israeli Embassy, 122 Pembroke Road from 11am to 12 noon.

Ireland Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) members and supporters are encouraged to attend in solidarity.

Public Meeting:

“Protect Dublin Bay- No Oil Rigs on Our Seafront”

Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire

3pm, Sunday, April 1st

Speakers: Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Speaker from AN TAISCE, William Hederman (Journalist & Campaigner)

Seafront Leaflet March 2012

Download Leaflet by clicking on image above

There are a number of areas of extreme concern regarding this application:

1. Drilling for oil or gas in Ireland under the current licencing agreements is of little or no benefit to the people of Ireland.

2. The planned drilling is too close to shore. Nowhere in Ireland has any company been allowed to drill this close to the coastline.

3. The world’s dependency on oil is the single biggest contributing factor to climate change.

4. The area around the site of the planned rig is designated a “Special Conservation Area”.

5. Providence Resources reported to councillors in Dun Laoghaire that there is a very high chance of a find in Dublin Bay.

6. This application for a foreshore licence is being rushed very quietly. Many people have no idea it is happening.

Further info: Richard Boyd Barrett TD 01 6183366

ULA Finance spokesperson calls for massive campaign of people power to oppose treaty

Richard Boyd Barrett TD and Finance spokesperson for the United Left Alliance, said today, in response to the Government announcement of a date for the referendum that passing the Fiscal Treaty would see even many more years of austerity. The Fiscal Treaty if passed would spell disaster for the country with mass unemployment for years to come and a generation of young people being forced to emigrate.

There is a massive double-standard at the heart of this treaty. Democratically elected governments will be told they can’t borrow to invest in jobs and future economic and social development but they are demanding that we borrow tens of billions to pay off the gambling debts of toxic banks and financial speculators.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said in a statement, “While I welcome a date for the referendum, the government is trying to gloss over the fact that this is not a rescue treaty, it’s not a positive development it is an austerity treaty plain and simple”. “The Treaty if passed would effectively prohibit investment and jobs, the very things that we need to get out of this mess.” “I am calling on people to get active, get involved in a campaign of people power to oppose this treaty.” “We need to campaign vigorously across the country for a No vote over the coming weeks, to say we want a Europe of social solidarity and fairness, a Europe where jobs and public services are prioritised, not a Europe engineered purely in the interests of bankers and super-wealthy elites.”

Restructured or not – payment of Anglo-promissory note means a generation of disastrous austerity awaits us

Richard Boyd Barrett, TD for the People Before Profit Alliance and Finance spokesperson for the United Left Alliance, intends to challenge Central Bank Governor, Patrick Honohan, on the Anglo-Irish promissory notes, when he appears before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform today. Deputy Boyd Barrett intends to question Mr Honohan on the possible restructuring of the promissory note which appears to represent little more than a postponement of the debt to a later time. The ULA TD will instead argue for a complete repudiation of the Anglo Irish debt on the grounds that this is an unjust debt and definitely not the responsibility of the Irish tax public to repay.

To coincide with the payout of €3.1b to Anglo and the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, Deputy Boyd Barrett called on the public to come out on the streets in their thousands in Dublin this Saturday (March 31st) to oppose continued bank bail-out and austerity policies by joining the demonstration called by the Campaign Against the Household Tax. The demonstration will assemble at 1pm at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Sq. before marching to the National Convention Centre where the Fine Gael Ard Fheis will be taking place.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “Regardless of whether the promissory note to Anglo is restructured or not, severe austerity will be the inevitable result if the Anglo payments continue unchallenged. The fuss over the possibility of replacing the imminent payment with a state bond is designed to confuse the public over what is really going on. Whether we pay now or after a short postponement, the austerity that will have to be inflicted upon us will be of the same severity and will last for longer.”

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