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Dublin Opinion >>
An Interesting Week For Occupy Galway.
Monday April 09, 2012 14:49 by Gillen Hardesty - Occupy Galway
(Somewhat belated sorry!) Report on successful actions on st Patrick's day by "Occupy Galway" and weeks events leading up to this.
Apparently St Patrick didn't get all the snakes out of Ireland so more work was needed!
We have become well used to calls for the removal of Occupy Galway by now. These have always been met with assurances by the Gardai that we are breaking no laws, and so, we have carried on with our various activities, secure in the knowledge of our legal entitlement. The calls for our removal seemed no more troublesome than the squawking of the seagulls and crows that clean up the remains of the night before from the square.
With this in mind, we were confident that the members of Occupy Dame Street had little to worry about when they received a letter ordering them to move on before St. Patricks Day.
We were quite shocked by the brutality of the Dublin eviction. Without due legal process, or even fair warning, they were dragged from their tents and had their property confiscated or destroyed. As news of this event made its way to Galway, and with renewed calls for our own camp to be removed before St. Patricks day, we feared the worst.
“It’s an ill wind that closes a door and opens a window” as the old saying goes, and the response to our rallying cry was heartening. The next week was spent talking to the many well-wishers who stopped by to encourage us to stand our ground, and the nights were spent in “lockdown” mode with a good sized gathering of brave volunteers, ready to peacefully defend the camp against any incursion. Occupy Galway would like to thank everyone who showed their support during the week. Whether it was words of support, the loan of “specialised” equipment or the physical presence of so many who turned up for lockdown, it was much appreciated and galvanised us for the kind of action we were expecting.
We would also like to thank the Galway City Councillors who voted in favour of the Occupy Galway camp being left alone. We were relieved on Friday to hear that a vote to remove the camp was passed with a very small majority and that the Gardai had, once again, told the council that they would not be removing the camp by force. With no further fear of a repeat of the Dame Street saga, we were able to relax and focus on St. Patrick's day and the part that we would play in the celebrations.
Occupy Galway would, of course be represented in the parade. The original plan was to join in with a float organised by Debt Justice Action, but when the parade organisers refused permission on the grounds that it was political commentary, those plans were replaced by a daring alternative.
On St. Patrick's day morning, in a scene that was repeated across the nation, a small group of community minded people gathered in the house of a friend to prepare their entry to the parade. But this was not the usual St. Patrick's Day fare of leprechauns and shamrocks. This was an entry that would showcase Ireland, as seen daily by the good people of this country. Zombie Bankers!
The brave infiltrators waited for an appropriate gap in the proceedings, and, to much applause, joined the procession. There were of course the Zombie Bankers and the good St. Patrick in his (sadly futile) attempt to drive them from the country and the foolish but generous People of Ireland with a huge cheque for the billions that we are needlessly throwing away. Many thanks also for the thunderous cheers and claps that our little band of infiltrators received, and to all who signed the cheque, the money will be debited from your account in due course.
The day was rounded off nicely with music and dance from a variety of musicians, including the good folks from the Sonke Choir, free face painting for the youngsters and, of course, plenty of tea and conversation.
There are a lot of people who Occupy Galway would like to thank. Due to the clandestine nature of some of the weeks events they would prefer to remain anonymous. You know who you are and we love you.
A closer look at the cheque