The candidates who have been selected by People Before Profit are Gillian Brien- Dublin (www.gillianbrien.ie), Adrienne Wallace- Ireland South (www.adriennewallace.ie) and Cyril Brennan- Midlands-North West (www.cyrilbrennan.ie).
The press conference was chaired by Richard Boyd Barrett TD.
People Before Profit are standing for:
- Oppose neo-liberalism and austerity- build affordable housing and fund vital services– We will oppose EU austerity and support workers’ struggles against it. We will demand an end to undemocratic EU oversight over our national budgets. We will campaign for the Irish government to use the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to build social housing.
- Radical action on Climate Change– Press for and EU ban on fossil fuel extraction. Mandatory standards on air pollution and waste disposal. Campaign for EU wide free public transport. Renationalise the railways for freight transport. EU wide ban on fracking. Stop the overfishing of Irish waters.
- No to an EU army and further militarisation– We will be a voice defending Irish neutrality and will oppose Irish troops being involved in wars promoted by big powers. We will press for an immediate withdrawal of Ireland from PSECO and will insist on a ban on arms sales to dictatorships.
- Fight for women’s rights and equality– We will fight against the gender pay gap and support women workers in fighting back against low pay. Call for a reversal of child benefit cuts and cuts on lone parent allowances. Demand publically funded childcare.
- Democracy in Europe– People Before Profit will challenge that lack of democracy in the European Union which is an executive run institution where the elected representatives have very little power.
- No Hard Border on the island of Ireland– A hard border is totally unacceptable to the people of Ireland. We will join a movement of civil disobedience to remove border posts if they are imposed by either the UK government or the EU. A border between North and South will return us to the dark days of division and conflict. Peace in Ireland is more important than Tory Nationalism or the EU Single market. We seek to build social and progressive movements that unite people, Catholic and Protestant, North and South, and across Europe.
- Apple Tax– One area we do agree with the EU Commission is the Apple Tax. Ireland should take the Apple €13bn and invest it in our public services.
- Defend Migrant rights– We will campaign to allow NGOs to launch rescue missions for migrants. Rescind pacts with Libya, Algeria and Turkey which allow for migrant detention camps. Open the borders of Europe for those fleeing persecution and war. Remove the Dublin Regulation. Create an EU fund to help host countries with migrant support programmes. Stop EU intervention in countries abroad.
Speaking on the launch of the People Before Profit campaign, Gillian Brien (candidate for Dublin) said:
“People Before Profit are putting forward a slate of candidates so that we can become disturbers of the political peace in the EU.
“Poverty and homelessness are rising all across Europe. We will fight for public housing, funding for vital public services and to end poverty and exclusion.
“We will speak out against EU austerity policies and neo-liberalism which has caused untold harm to ordinary people. We will fight for women’s’ rights, an end to the gender pay gap and for affordable state run childcare that is accessible for all.
“The EU is also a fiercely undemocratic institution where the vast majority of power lays with the EU Commission which is made up of commissioners who are not elected directly by the people of Europe and who also earn a monthly wage of €22,000 and top ups and expenses on top of that.
Adrienne Wallace, candidate for Ireland South, said:
“We will demand that Ireland withdraws from the PESCO arrangement so we can protect Ireland’s neutrality. The prospect of a European Army has become frighteningly real and must be opposed.
“We will also be a voice for refugee and migrant rights and oppose the wars which destabilise their homes and force them to flee.
“Climate Change is the biggest threat to our planet as we know it. We know from the science that we have to keep 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. People Before Profit will be fighting against climate change and we will seek to initiate a Europe wide ban on the extraction of fossil fuels. We will also campaign for the provision of free public transport across Europe to get people out of their cars and into buses and trains.
Cyril Brennan, candidate for Midlands North-West said:
“We will oppose the imposition of a hard border on the island of Ireland whether it is imposed by Brussels or London. A hard border on the island of Ireland is totally unacceptable to the majority of people.
“We will also participate in a campaign of peaceful civil disobedience to remove border infrastructure if any such infrastructure is constructed.
“A border would impose significant economic damage to border communities- we cannot allow that to happen.
“Poverty and homelessness are rising all across Europe. We will fight for public housing, funding for vital public services and to end poverty and exclusion.”