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Over eighty blockade Grangegorman bin-truck depot
From about 5pm thursday evening a blockade was placed on the Council waste depot at Grangegorman on the north side of Dublin. This was to disrupt the evening rubbish collection in the city centre. More than eighty people took part.
I came down the Grangegorman Road about 4.30 this evening. As I passed the depot all was quiet so I went a further couple of hundred yards until I met between seven and ten people waiting at the corner of a side street. I only recognised a couple of them. A couple more seemed to be members of the media, one of them had a video camera. Someone else had a sack with some placards.
We waited there until close to 5pm, then began to make our way up toward the depot. As we arrived more people were also arriving, some in small groups and others on their own. Some of the people were from nearby houses. We began to walk around in a circle in front of the depot gate. The placards had words to the effect "How to defeat this tax" and had sp
ace on them for people to add their own slogans. On some placards people had added "Don't pay" or "We won't pay".
A bin truck was driven out of one of the buildings into the main passage leading toward the gate. The driver drove at a steady pace and stopped abruptly just inside the gate as he could go no further without endangering us. Shortly afterwards he reversed the truck and one of the supervisory staff then drove a small van in front of the truck and drove out the gate. He made as to drive through the crowd, with the truck just behind him but the people refused to give way, so he gave up, reversed back a few feet, and shortly afterward got out.
We continued the blockade, walking around in a large circle. Two gardai eventually arrived in a patrol car. they had a discussion with a council official who then attempted to address the protest. His voice was drowned out by the protestors shouting loudly that "We won't pay" and "All bins or no bins".
All this time the blockade was increasing in size. I stood aside and counted the number of people on the blockade, it quickly increased from about 47 on my first count up through 55, then 64. More people were arriving, some of them had come there straight from work, some were local people. I made several more counts over the next one and a half hours, as the blockade increased up through seventy and toward eighty. At times some of the people stopped to rest or chat or take photos, but most of the time there were between seventy and eighty actually walking around chanting and displaying placards.
I was wondering when garda reinforcements might arrive, and if they would try to move the protestors, but all that happened was that another garda came walking down the hill to the depot. So there were eighty plus on the blockade, and three gardai standing near the gate. No attempt was even made to take names. The whole affair was very low key and good natured. Some time after 6.30pm someone arrived with a few pizzas, I managed to get one of the last slices, which was more than welcome.
I stayed on the blockade until shortly after 7pm. At that stage a few people had gone, and had been replaced by more, but while I was there the number walking on the blockade varied between 65 and 75, with a few more standing around. Allowing for those who were replaced the total number of individuals who took part in the blockade while I was there would have been about 90.