Al Jazeera

Irish MEP strikes for right to speak her own language

An Irish member of the European parliament is staging a “language strike” in protest against what she calls the discrimination against her mother tongue within European Union institutions and the “dismantling” of Irish language services by the government in Dublin.

Liadh Ni Riada says the Irish language is "excluded and ignored" in EU institutions

Liadh Ni Riada says the Irish language is “excluded and ignored” in EU institutions [European Union/EP]

Liadh Ní Riada, an MEP for the south of Ireland who grew up and lives in an Irish-speaking community, has been communicating only in Irish in the parliament since the beginning of the month and plans to continue until St Patrick’s Day on March 17.

Minority and regional language campaigners and supporters from across Europe have backed Ní Riada, and accused the EU and member states of failing to meet their own commitments on protecting linguistic diversity.

Continue reading

Standard
Al Jazeera

Migrants to UK face political backlash as election looms

Chatham, United Kingdom – For hundreds of years, ships set sail from Chatham’s Royal Dockyards to extend and enforce British power and influence around the globe. Now the world has come to Chatham.

New shops catering to migrant tastes are re-shaping Chatham's high street. [Simon Hooper]

New shops catering to migrant tastes are re-shaping Chatham’s high street. [Simon Hooper]

Shop fronts on the southern English port town’s busy high street advertise foods from Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Turkey and SIM cards offering cheap international calls, while halal butchers and kebab grills vie for customers alongside traditional pubs, fish and chip shops and Indian and Chinese takeaways.

Such cultural diversity has become commonplace in many British towns since 2004, when the expansion of the European Union brought an influx of workers from Poland and other central and eastern European countries.

Continue reading

Standard