MASI conference a celebration of the struggle for a humane asylum system.

Date:

MASI - the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland - held its first ever conference Saturday to mark FIVE years of struggle to end Direct Provision.

Hundreds of people attended the conference in Liberty Hall whose theme was 'Towards a More Humane Asylum Process'. People in the asylum system travelled from across Ireland to discuss the past and present of the asylum and deportation machine and to point the way forward to the end of Direct Provision and a more humane asylum system.

All speakers were people who had been or were currently in the asylum and Direct Provision system. The harm and violence that DP causes people - including survivors of trauma, mothers, children, LGBTQI* people, people with mental health problems - was made clear. Those who benefit from this system of incarceration - the state and private capitalist companies - were also named and shamed. 

The day was one of discussion and reflection, where people in the asylum system shared their experience and advice. It was followed by an evening of fun, music, song, fashion, and dance.

Pictured is the cover of the first MASI journal with contributions from a wide range of MASI activists and supporters. (The WSM recommend you pick up a copy soon). As Lucky Khambule writes in the foreword: 'It is our goal and objective that the struggle for our people's freedom, dignity and justice continues until our victory has been realised and achieved. This journal is a reflection of the lives many of us have lived before and continue to live. There is no reason whatsoever neither for the system of Direct Provision to exist in our society, nor for deportations to be enforced on our people'.

MASI first came together in 2014 during protests by residents in Direct Provision hostels across the country. It is a grassroots organisation based in Ireland. It is a movement of people who are or have been in the asylum and direct provision system in Ireland, working and advocating together for justice, freedom and dignity for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. MASI's focus is on the Right to Education and the Right to Work for all people seeking asylum, on the complete abolition of direct provision and an end to deportations.

WSM members were among those volunteering throughout the day. We stand in solidarity with all those struggling for humanity against oppression.

END DIRECT PROVISION!
STOP DEPORTATIONS!

[FB copy of RTE news report]

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