[Sinn Fein]

5 January 2001

Adams: Racism and Immigration Control Platform must be challenged

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP has said that the openly racist attitudes of the Immigration Control Platform must be challenged.

The Sinn Fein president said:

``The launch by the Immigration Control Platform of an overtly racist campaign to have the Irish Government withdraw from the Geneva Convention on Refugees is deeply worrying.   But it is important to point out that racism does not grow by accident or in isolation.  Everywhere it has taken hold it is because unscrupulous people in politics and other spheres of society have nurtured it for their own cynical interests.

``The ICP's claim to represent the silent majority in Irish society is a challenge to all of us - to stand up and have our voices heard.  We want an Ireland based on tolerance, respect and understanding.   There is a huge richness to be gained from multiculturalism and, with information and education, much of the fear that genuinely exists among some Irish people can be replaced by understanding and appreciation.

``As we approach the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Convention, I call on the Government to abandon its antagonistic approach to this issue and instead embrace the growing diversity in Irish society.  It is the responsibility of all of us to give leadership on this issue and to make a public, united stand against racism.'' ENDS

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