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To represent as wide a range of views as possible, this week we launched “The People’s Letters Page.”
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Here is this week’s People’s Letters Page…
Further to Gary Ibbotson’s article, I think that the pedestrianisation trial in New Street was a success. People strolled, chatted, shopped, lunched and had coffees without the fumes of traffic.
On the eve of the Chinese New Year, and with just under a year to go before the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, it is time to act to highlight the ongoing persecution of Uyghur Muslims, and other ethnic groups, by the Chinese government in Xinjiang and bring pressure to bear to end this persecution.
In 2019, the so-called China Cables revealed inter alia the the Chinese government has detained more than a million Muslims, mostly Uyghurs, in ‘re-education camps’ in the north-western region of Xinjiang and that they have been subject to arbitrary detention, torture, egregious restrictions on religious practice and extensive digitised surveillance. The Chinese authorities claimed these camps were ‘vocational training centres’ used to combat violent religious extremism.
In 2020, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute published a report into alleged complicity by corporations with the Chinese government in respect of forced labour camps and repression of Uyghur Muslims.
In 2021, the BBC broadcast detailed accounts that women in China’s “re-education” camps for Uyghurs have been systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured.
Concerned Irish politicians across the political spectrum are using their voices about this shocking repression and Jewish leaders used Holocaust Memorial Day in 2021 to highlight this persecution of Uyghur Muslims, and other ethnic groups, in Xinjiang.
As Dubliners, we can all do something effective – however small it might seem – to bring pressure to bear to end this persecution.
- By calling for a boycott by Team Ireland of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, to counter China’s opportunity for a soft power win. #NoRightsNoGames2022
- To boycott companies and products complicit with repression in Xinjiang. #NoRightsNoCommerce
I know – from personal experience of speaking with ANC activists when I visited Capetown in 1996 – that boycotts were a powerful tool in defeating apartheid.
Silence and inaction are oppressions only friends.
No action is too small and no voice is too quiet in the fight against persecution.
Julian Charlton LLB
The government seems intent on accepting the dictum, enunciated by Napoleon the Pig in Orwell’s novel, that “some animals are more equal than others.”
Announcing “Ireland’s Animal Welfare Strategy 2021-2025”, Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has stated that the plan “reflects the government’s clear commitment to animal welfare” and expressed the hope that “together, we can ensure that as a society, we afford our companion, farmed and wild animals, the respect, care and high welfare standards they deserve.”
Fine sentiments, but while the document envisages a greater emphasis on humane treatment of animals it conspicuously omits the plight of hares and foxes that are subjected to the vilest forms of maltreatment, not for any alleged scientific or agricultural purposes, but for human amusement
Successive governments have ensured that hare coursing and fox hunting, though demonstrably inhumane, have been exempted from the general prohibition on animal cruelty. The pro-blood sports lobby has always won out in the battle for political hearts and minds, thus condemning these wild creatures, which are surely entitled to “respect, care and high welfare standards”, to protracted and unnecessary suffering.
Minister McConalogue rightly asserted that “animal welfare is increasingly important to Irish citizens.” What he unfortunately overlooks is that, according to a recent Red Sea poll, 77% of Irish people want hare coursing and fox hunting banned.
An animal welfare strategy that allows hares to be snatched from the countryside and used as live bait for dogs, and foxes to be hounded until their lungs give out and exhaustion delivers them to the pack to be eviscerated, is not only inadequate or lacking in vision. It makes an absolute mockery of our animal cruelty laws.
I urge the minister and his government colleagues to widen their circle of compassion to include the fox and the hare. It’s time to call off the dogs.
I am shocked by the blatant disregard the insurance companies have shown to publicans, the length and breadth of the country, hence I am helping to organise the campaign with all the details on saveirishpubs.ie.
The interpretation of insurance policies has evolved since the start of the COVID crisis and for the first time small publicans will have access to the best legal advice for free, which previously was a luxury that only large insurance companies could afford.