The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools

Zinn Education Project

The school curriculum could and should ask students to reflect on the contradiction of starvation amidst plenty, on the ethics of food exports amidst famine. And it should ask why these patterns persist into our own time.

by Bill Bigelow

To support the famine relief effort, British tax policy required landlords to pay the local taxes of their poorest tenant farmers, leading many landlords to forcibly evict struggling farmers and destroy their cottages in order to save money. From Hunger on Trial Teaching Activity.
To support the famine relief effort, British tax policy required landlords to pay the local taxes of their poorest tenant farmers, leading many landlords to forcibly evict struggling farmers and destroy their cottages in order to save money. From Hunger on Trial Teaching Activity.

“Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or get pinched.” That pretty much sums up the Irish-American “curriculum” that I learned when I was in school. Yes, I recall a nod to the so-called Potato Famine, but it was mentioned only in passing.

Sadly, today’s high school textbooks continue to largely ignore the famine, despite the fact that it was responsible for unimaginable suffering and the deaths of more than a million Irish peasants, and that it triggered the greatest wave of Irish immigration in U.S. history. Nor do textbooks make any attempt to help students link famines past and present.
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The Almost American Family

PBS Newshour

BY Elizabeth Summers
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Meet the Fofanas–a Baltimore family facing a constant threat of deportation. Their story, which features three distinct immigration battles within one household, shines a light on the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and the challenges facing reform.

Macky Fofana, 21, spends his days flipping pizza dough and his nights searching for news on immigration reform. His soft-spoken brother Mohamed, 14, is a middle-school basketball star. And then there’s 17-year-old Ramata, fashionista and high school track athlete, who cooks dinner for her two brothers in their three-bedroom Baltimore apartment every evening while their mother and father work.
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What does locking up migrants say about society?

New Internationalist

By  Horatio Morpurgo

The entrance to Verne Prison in Dorset.  Jim Linwood under a [  ]Creative Commons Licence
The entrance to Verne Prison in Dorset. Jim Linwood under a [ ]Creative Commons Licence
This month will see Britain’s 12th Immigration Return Centre (IRC) open on Portland, Dorset. The expectation may have been that re-opening the Verne (which was previously a prison) as an IRC would pass unnoticed down in the West Country, away from the largest migrant communities with their specialist lawyers, but this has not been the case.

With 580 places, the Verne will be Britain’s second-largest detention centre. According to Detention Action, it will house single males only, mainly transferred from prisons. During 2013 the Home Office increased the number of migrants arbitrarily held in prisons from 400 to about 1,000. It is these detainees who will be transferred to the Verne, which will provide a cheaper way to ‘warehouse’ them.
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Immigration Pockets N520 Million From Job Seekers, As Interior Minister Blames Applicants for Deaths At Recruitment Centres

Premium Times  – Sent by Eucharia Madueke, SNDdeN

About 520, 000 people registered for the recruitment exams, and that only 4,556 will be recruited at the end of the exercise based on the available vacancies. During registration for the job tests, the Immigration authorities received N1, 000 from all the applicants, in defiance of several directives from Nigeria’s House of Representatives that government agencies refrain from charging job applicants.

By Andrew Ajijah and Ibanga Isine, 16 March 2014

nig4Nigeria’s interior minister, Abba Moro, has denied responsibility for the deaths of more than a dozen job applicants at Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment centres across the country Saturday.

Mr. Moro said the job seekers were to blame for the stampede that killed over 13 applicants. Continue reading Immigration Pockets N520 Million From Job Seekers, As Interior Minister Blames Applicants for Deaths At Recruitment Centres

Thousands in Japan protest nuclear power, conditions at Fukushima

Al Jazeera

As regulators look to restart two reactors in southern Japan, workers at crippled Daiichi plant talk of dangers, low pay

Fukushima nuclear workers and their supporters shouts slogans as they raise their fists in front of the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the tsunami-battered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, during a rally in Tokyo on March 14, 2014.Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images
Fukushima nuclear workers and their supporters shouts slogans as they raise their fists in front of the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the tsunami-battered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, during a rally in Tokyo on March 14, 2014.Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of people in Tokyo have rallied against nuclear power as the government and utilities prepare to restart reactors in southern Japan.

More than 5,000 protesters gathered at Hibiya Park in Tokyo on Saturday to pressure the government not to restart the country’s nuclear power stations.
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Immigration Job Stampede: 20 Applicants, Nursing Mothers Die

The Guardian (Nigeria) – Sent by Eucharia Madueke, SNDdeN

This is a country that the world classifies as one of the fastest growing economies, focusing on economic growth and ignoring 61% of the people living in abject poverty. Eucharia Madueke

Written by Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt) Karls Tsokar, Ezeocha Nzeh, Joke Falaju (Abuja) and Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Benin City), Murtala Muhammed (Kano)

As 90,000 Job Seekers Squeeze Into~Abuja, PH Stadia
As 90,000 Job Seekers Squeeze Into~Abuja, PH Stadia

STAMPEDE involving some 90, 000 applicants for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) job, yesterday, killed, at least, 19 people and injured many others in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Edo, Minna and Kano.

The applicants were struggling to gain access into the stadia, the recruitment test venues of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). Three, including a pregnant woman, died in Kano, while the stampede also claimed three in Minna.
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New twists in DR Congo’s Inga 3 Dam saga

Pambazuka News

Rudo Sanyanga

congo
The project model for Inga 3 does not prioritize access to electricity for the poor, especially considering that the bulk of the power has already been committed for export. Social and environmental impacts of the dam have not been given due attention.

Citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo may wake up one morning in the future to find that, while $12 billion was spent to construct the largest hydropower project, Inga 3, they still live in darkness while power lines bypass them- sending power to far off urban cities in South Africa and mining industries in Katanga. Or find that they have drained the Inga Falls, destroyed the gigantic carbon sink of the ‘Congo Plume’, the estuary, the protected mangrove forests and lost aquatic biodiversity, but have nothing to show for it, just the giant infrastructure that is the Grand Inga Dams – developed for others to benefit. This gloomy picture would pass for a bad dream, except it is a very likely reality, given the recent chain of events surrounding the development of the Inga 3 Hydropower project.
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