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Pre-Budget Anti Austerity March in Dublin - Sat 24th Nov 2012 - Photos

category national | worker & community struggles and protests | photo-essay author Sunday November 25, 2012 14:38author by T Report this post to the editors


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At yesterday's pre-budget anti-austerity march there was a turnout of up to 10,000 people from a diverse range of groups. The march was due to set off at 1pm but finally set off at 2pm led by Austerity on a horse followed by a colour sea of banners and placards. Groups ranged from SIPTU to community groups, pissed-off citizens and quite a large group of supporters from the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes.

However organisers had hoped for a large crowd of at least 50,000 similar to the march 2 years ago which brought out in excess of 120,000 so on that basis the turnout was disappointing, although this is not surprising since even the unions gave it lack-luster support and many in unions noting there was very little notice of it or call for members to attend.

The low attendance can probably be put down to two things. 1) is that people deep down know their democratic wishes count for nothing and at some level they must recognise there has been a financial coup d'etat of democracy since it is European bankers, representatives of bond holders and other members of the elite and their technocrats in places like the ECB and the IMF that call the shots and dictate exactly to government what cuts back will be made and where. Enda and the rest are just obeying instructions. Given that people came out in large number two years ago and daily we see massive demonstrations in Greece, yet nothing changes in a positive way for them; their voices are completely ignored and further austerity is imposed, then it is perhaps little wonder that people bother and resign themselves to apathy.

For 2), this state of affairs has not come about entirely on its own and it ought to be realized that the unions whilst appearing to be on the side of workers have long since been co-opted by the state and simply become another tool in which to carefully manage the reactions of working people to the needs of the system and those of late are austerity and the new reality in the world of the global debt crisis. With the concentration of unions over the previous decades into a small group of bigger unions with a hierarchy of high paid officials some of whom earn over €100,000 these people have naturally long since lost their connection with the roots and it therefore makes it easier for the corridors of power to influence them because there is a smaller number to deal with and they perhaps sense they would be isolated and feel all the heat if they were stupid enough to call a general strike. After-all people who are identified as leaders who make serious challenges of the system get mauled relentlessly by the media and in places not so nice go to jail or end up dead. And so not just here but in every country we see this process of assimilation where the unions main purpose is to tone down reaction and calm the restlessness of the workers and when the situation does threaten to slip away out of their hands, they do call a march to vent that pent up emotion and in some other countries where the workers are more militant they let it go as far as a strike for a day or two.

author by Nick - Nonepublication date Sun Nov 25, 2012 15:43Report this post to the editors

Sorry, who wrote this article? Would you be kind enough to put a name to go with it? This is important in the interests of objectivity etc.,

author by enoughpublication date Sun Nov 25, 2012 16:25Report this post to the editors

It was a huge march- Gardai said 18,000 and then revised it down. This is a right wing article which lies- none of the organizers said there'd be 50,000. The article is rubbish. Wake up.

author by JoeMcpublication date Sun Nov 25, 2012 18:05Report this post to the editors

The author ,T , is a long-standing member of the indymedia collective .

I posted a comment on an already existing thread about the march yesterday that pointed to the divergence of figures provided by RTE for the attendance See: comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment293368

Perhaps T's "article" -really more of a comment - would have been more appropriate at that thread ?

author by Tpublication date Sun Nov 25, 2012 19:50Report this post to the editors

Taken from: it says:

Gardaí will be out in force today as anti-austerity campaigners predict up to 50,000 people will take part in a pre-Budget march in Dublin.....

The estimate above is my estimate and having been at many marches over the years that is the figure I estimated. Obviously during any march the numbers present constantly varies so there is no absolute figure. A turnout of 18,000 would have been great and maybe there really was, but we have to be realistic. and not delude ourselves.

This was published as a photo-essay in its own right. It also serves as a good placeholder and archive entry point for the actual march as opposed to the article at which was the event advertising it.

It would be great if people would cover all the other protests and other events that take place and publish their reports and pictures too.

author by JoeMcpublication date Sun Nov 25, 2012 20:47Report this post to the editors

I really don’t think that any one person should attempt to estimate the turn-out for a march of much over two or three thousand people -especially for a report intended as a "good placeholder and archive entry point for the actual march”. Interestingly T’s estimate of “up to 10,000” is the same “revised” figure given by Rte and the gardai.

T originally wrote:

"Gardai will be out in force today as anti-austerity campaigners predict up to 50,000 people will take part in a pre-Budget march in Dublin... "

In defending his critique of the low turnout as against the organizers’ expectation, he quotes a radio station saying:

“However organisers had hoped for a large crowd of at least 50,000”

There is a difference between “up to” and “at least” 50,000.

I do agree with many of T’s criticisms , especially the need to be “realistic and not delude ourselves." But for that you need accurate reporting. Did the organizers predict “up to” 50,000 or “at least” 50,000 marchers?

author by Tpublication date Sun Nov 25, 2012 21:43Report this post to the editors

More photos of the pre-budget anti-austerity march can be found at: -previously linked in a comment on event posting

author by Tpublication date Thu Nov 29, 2012 22:12Report this post to the editors

For additional coverage of the march last week see the article here: and in it they give a figure of 15,000

However in the article from WSWS, they give the figure of 10,000 which goes to show estimates vary. The WSWS article titled: Irish unions make show of opposition to new austerity measures opens with this interesting paragraph which tallies with the points made above.

The president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Eugene McGlone, was booed as he started to speak at last Saturday’s anti-austerity march in Dublin. ...

.....By agreeing to participate in a fresh round of talks, the trade unions have shown once again their determination to impose the full burden of the crisis on to working people. The successor to Croke Park will seek to slash at least another €1 billion from public sector budgets. Spokesman for the ICTU Bernard Harbor declared, “What’s clear, or what the Government is saying is now clear, is that there’s a bigger hole to fill now than we expected when we went into this process. So I think unions accept that that problem exists.”
A genuine opposition movement can develop only to the extent that working people break organisationally and politically from the unions and adopt a socialist perspective to unify their struggles with their class brothers and sisters across Europe-—all of whom confront an assault on their living standards by the ruling class.

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