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Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

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Public Inquiry
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Occupy Galway (and friends!) Occupy the Labour Party Conference in Galway

category national | anti-capitalism | press release author Tuesday April 17, 2012 21:00author by Occupy Galway Report this post to the editors

The members of Occupy Galway were proud to take part in what must be the biggest peaceful demonstration of solidarity and people power in Galway for many years. Between six and eight thousand people gathered on Eyre Square on Saturday to march on the Labour conference

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The members of Occupy Galway were proud to take part in what must be the biggest peaceful demonstration of solidarity and people power in Galway for many years. Between six and eight thousand people gathered on Eyre Square on Saturday to march on the Labour conference and air a range of grievances from housing, water and septic tank charges, anti-bondholder bailout campaigners, anti-war, anti-fracking, SPARK, Shell to Sea and the Rossport campaigners, as well as many people unaffiliated with any group. We were particularly heartened to see many people that we recognised as visitors and supporters to the camp.

As the crowd grew throughout the morning, it became clear that there is massive discontent at the way that the labour party has represented itself in government.

There were exaggerated claims that the protestors were violent, but these are wholly unfounded. We understand that Cllr Conneely has suggested that Occupy Galway were responsible for this. One only has to watch the many videos that are available online to see that this is a ridiculous suggestion.

Thousands of people were there and wished to ensure that the Labour delegates were aware of their presence but were herded into the area at the front of the NUIG quad building, not even within sight of the conference. This left many of the protesters with the feeling that they were, once again, being ignored by their elected representatives. When several young demonstrators were pepper sprayed for simply approaching the barrier to the conference hall, the crowd became even more determined to push their way past the Gardai.

Dismissive comments by Eamonn Gilmore that he hoped the demonstrators “have a nice day”, and accusations of “bully boy tactics” levelled at the people present only serve to further distance the Labour party from their electorate.

The March on the Labour Party Conference was a hugely successful show of Solidarity and People Power and Occupy Galway were proud to be a part of this massive gathering. Labour would do well to heed the message that it delivered.

-Occupy Galway

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