Detached reporting of asylum crossings in the English Channel resemble “a sports commentator watching a boat race or a tour operator on a whale watching tour.” Dehumanising refugees is is a long-standing problem within UK journalism that is seeping into politics and impacting the lives of those seeking international protection.
The General Election of February 2020 feels like a world away now. Not only do the pre-social distancing days seem like a weird alternative universe, but also the hopes for radical change which many, particularly young, people dared to hold as they headed to the ballot box are starting to seem like a crazy dream. As the coalition of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party settle into the Dáil, the political landscape of the next five years is beginning to come into focus.
STAND spoke to Evgeny Shtorn, Russian LGBTQ+ and direct provision activist, scholar and poet, and Rayann, community organiser, advocate for black queer folk in Ireland and poet. Both agreed that while Pride had accomplished so much, but was and still is, first and foremost, a protest.
With the recently formed government setting out its new legislative programme, the current legislation for hate speech, the Incitement to Hatred Act of 1989, is also set for an update. How is hate crime in Ireland currently not legislated for and where is it most sorely needed?
While the coronavirus pandemic creates chaos and trauma in communities across the globe, rather than being a ‘great equaliser’, the virus, in many cases, is causing the greatest harm to those already vulnerable. The Rohingya Muslims are one group identified by organisations such as Oxfam and WHO as being at risk of coronavirus spreading rapidly through their community.