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Reclaiming Mayday

category dublin | summit mobilisations | press release author Friday January 30, 2004 14:11author by Jenny K - Dublin Grassrootsauthor email grassrootsdublin at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

Dublin Grassroots Calls European Days of Action on May Day Weekend

Activists from the Dublin Grassroots network are calling for a European day of action in Dublin on Saturday, May 1st, as the highlight of a weekend of action from Friday April 30th, to Monday May 3rd. These days of action will focus on symbols of all that is wrong with the EU as it currently stands: militarism, neo-liberalism, fortress Europe and the EU police state. We are inviting people from all over Europe, and the world, to join us in Dublin on Mayday to show our leaders that their agenda for EU integration, driven by the wealthy and powerful, will face resistance. We will also be using the days of action to highlight local issues and campaigns which are linked to the broader problems of corporate globalisation and the EU.
Bertie - Euro Fraud
Bertie - Euro Fraud

We will be holding an initial planning meeting for the days of action on Saturday February 7th, at 2pm in the Teachers Club on Parnell Square. This meeting is open to all and all ideas and suggestions are welcome. This meeting will be participatory in nature, designed to give everybody a say and to involve everybody in the planning and decision making, rather than merely turning up to listen to experts. No matter how much experience or political expertise you may have, we welcome your active involvement on an equal level with everybody else.

The Irish government is currently holding the rotating presidency of the EU. After almost a month of the presidency, we have a pretty good idea of what it is going to mean for us. The two ministerial meetings that have taken place so far have both been characterised by extraordinary and expensive police operations, paid for by the public and aimed at keeping the public as far away as possible from the decision makers. They have also revealed the sinister side of EU security. A well-known anti-war activist, Eoin Rice, was arrested for protesting during the EU ministerial meeting in Galway and was brutally beaten in custody. In Dublin, Indymedia reported that an independent cameraman was forcibly removed from the vicinity of Dublin castle and had his camera damaged by police. Obviously the EU leaders aren't too keen to allow critical public scrutiny of their deliberations.

The government has announced that Mayday is going to be Bertie's big day out as EU president. This is the date - traditionally workers' day - when the EU will formally expand to incorporate 10 new states, mostly from Eastern Europe. The government plan to hold street parties and other 'celebrations' for the population, while the 25 heads of state of the enlarged union are wined and dined in the plush surroundings of Farmleigh house. However, the government's celebrations to 'welcome' the accession countries are a fraud.

We anticipate that an unprecedented police operation will be put in place to ensure that the public are kept far away from the decision makers. Also, while the leaders of these countries might be welcome in the EU (along with their farms and sweatshops), most of the current EU countries will remain closed to the people of the accession states for the next 6 years. Worse still, at the same time as the EU leaders talk about international co-operation and openness, they are actually implementing a 'fortress Europe,' a closed EU from which the inhabitants of the third world, the majority of the world's population, will be ruthlessly excluded. It is instructive that the first 'achievement' of the Irish presidency was the establishment of a 'repatriation fund,' to allow the wealthy countries to share the costs of deporting people to poor countries.

We are not at all opposed to international integration. We do not seek to defend our national sovereignty. We do not oppose the accession of new countries to the EU. We do not think that a sovereign Irish government will represent us any better than a EU government will. However, we are completely opposed to the direction that the EU is currently taking. In particular, we are opposed to the militarisation of the EU, as embodied by the Rapid Reaction Force and NATO/Partnership for Peace. We are opposed to the capitalist agenda of the EU, driven by multi-national corporations, as embodied by article 133. We are opposed to the creation of a fortress Europe, which forces borders to open for capital and builds walls against people. We are opposed to the police state that the EU is becoming, where protestors are criminalised and brutalised and EU co-operation focuses on co-ordinating spying on the public, as exemplified by the Schengen Information System. That is not the EU we want.

In opposition to the current EU of the rich and powerful, we propose a grassroots Europe. A Europe united through empowered communities taking decision making power back into their own hands. A Europe without borders, internal or external. A Europe where wealth is equally shared and everybody has the same opportunities. A Europe where our resources are spent on education, health and sustainable development rather than war and capitalist profiteering. This Europe cannot be formed from above, but needs people to stand up for themselves and say 'no' to our corrupt and greedy leaders. The time to start is always now.


Dublin Grassroots network is part of the Grassroots Network Against War and the Grassroots Gathering. Our meetings operate according to the following principles:

1. Decisions about/from Dublin Grassroots can only be made at Dublin Grassroots meetings.

2. Anyone can attend Dublin Grassroots meetings. However, decisions taken by meetings will be consistent with the Grassroots Principles (see below).

3. In order to be informed of the meetings people should either subscribe to a Dublin Grassroots Mailing list or leave other contact details with the Dublin Grassroots meeting co-ordinator (see below).

4. Each Dublin Grassroots meeting will elect a facilitator whose role is to ensure that all are included in discussion and also to ensure that decisions are actually made. An agenda should be drawn up at the beginning of each meeting.

5. Each Dublin Grassroots meeting will elect a secretary who will keep note of decisions made. These will be read back to the meeting at the end to ensure that there is agreement. If circumstances permit, these decisions will be posted on the Dublin Grassroots e-mail list.

6. Dublin Grassroots will elect a meeting co-ordinator whose only job is to publicise the time and venue of our meetings to all those who have signed up to Dublin Grassroots. Except for emergencies, at least two days notification should be given for meetings.

The Grassroots Principles

The Grassroots Gathering aims towards a network which would:

· Be based on the principle that people should control their own lives and work together as equals, as part of how we work as well as what we are working towards.
· Within the network this means rejecting top-down and state-centred forms of organisation (hierarchical, authoritarian, expert-based, Leninist etc.) We need a network that's open, decentralised, and really democratic.
· Call for solutions that involve ordinary people controlling their own lives and having the resources to do so: the abolition, not reform, of global bodies like the World Bank and WTO, and a challenge to underlying structures of power and inequality.
· Organise for the control of the workplace by those who work there.
· Call for the control of communities by the people who live there.
· Argue for a sustainable environmental, economic and social system, agreed by the people of the planet.
· Work together in ways which are accessible to ordinary people, particularly women and working-class people, rather than reproducing feelings of disempowerment and alienation within our own network.

Related Link: http://www.geocities.com/eufortress/
author by ipsiphipublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and ye'z didn't notice.
But Bertie has tacitly agreed to the sloppy big hug, and remember the wombles words:
"how are the prisons in Ireland?".
Now Bertie, we don't want you locking up the cream of Europe's alternative thinkers, so have a nice word with the Gardaí before hand for us.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=62845
author by jeffpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 15:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what ya'll do every year- have a party, ignore the malcontents on the street that will shout at ye because the Evening Herald told them to, and play music.

Reclaim the streets is the only bit of spontanious fun left in Dublin. 21st century liberal democracy seems intent at sterilising all walks of life, so keep on keeping on.

I gave an awful slagging to last years one, but that was all in jest. The alternative suggeted by cretins in the Sindo is too scary.

September 2003 got me happy. My kid sister was taking part in it so I went along to see that she was alright.

Dame stret was empty of traffic for that evening. The Man and The Machine did an impromptu set. Beforehand, some bogman bricklayer and his mates were giving good humoured abuse towards the marchers. When TM&TM started though, bogman and his mates went quiet, and actually started bopping their heads, serious faces that suggested " Hey, this ain't too bad..."

A classic moment. There will be many more Reclaims, in fact, I can see it become a cherised institution in ten years time.

Walking back to the bus, Dame street was emptied. I could breath clean air. Apparantly this is a bad thing if you are one of dem writers I love to hate ( Especially Breden O' Connor) Clean air is a fallacy, especially if you need to be seen in some posh restaurant, sniffing wine & pretending you know what you are talking about. Lawdeefecking daw.

Good luck again on clean air day.

author by Davidpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 15:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A free gig by U2 and the Corrs..
I dunno where they'll be held.. probably the phoenix park?
we could have the city all to ourselves

author by Mr tpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 17:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

people into Pheonix Park.....

author by $$$publication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 17:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As far as I know Another Europe Is Possible are also planning an alternative event. I know, technically, they are the worst enemy of Grasroots Gathering - However as an outsider might I suggest some coordination between the two events so that they don't clash and joe block can maybe go to both...?
I think AEP are planning a gig of some sort.

author by jeffpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 17:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you guys put on your own free gig. That way, the naff people can go and see the Corrs, those younger (in spirit, that is) can nip on down to the city center and party.

That way, Sunday Indo writers will be writing about how talented and wonderful the Corrs were, and that the cream of Irish talent (ie; Westlife, Louis Walsh, etc) also made an appearance, and how good young people were there, etc.

They won't bother giving negative coverage to you guys, they'll be too busy lining up to fawn over Bertie, Hernia, or any of the other gimps that constitute our spastic elite.

In fact, I might go to the Corrs gig instead. Why? Well, I like chasing girls, and girls at RTS events are way too sharp to be taken in by my nonsense.

Those chicks brainwashed by the mainstream are much more susceptible to my rogue, Satanick charm.

I remember doing steward p/t work at a Westlife gig, and this gimp had brought his girlfriend to the fecking thing.

The couple were in their late twenties, and, while they were clearly enjoying the pap on offer, yer wan (the female) was giving me the eye the whole time.

Just goes to show that if someone represses themselves in a staid enviornment because it is "sensible",the chance that their unconscious Id will lead them into all kinds of psycho sexual adventures is far greater than say, an attractive female anarchist (them wans TAKE their men).

Thus, I shall easily seduce some attractive female bourgeois sap, through use of my wit, charm, and, above all, experience gained, from NOT thinking Westlife, Corrs, that orange tan fella from Lord of the Dance, are part of a great Aesthetic pool of High Culture.

Bless me, Readers, with Strength.

author by Badmanpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The grassroots weekend of action will comprise a range of different events. It will try to link up with as many groups as possible. If 'another front is inevitable' do something worthwhile, it shall surely be supported. However, the idea of a trot street party competing with the corporate entertainment industry seems like a bad idea to me. Would you rather look at the Corrs or Kieran Allen on stage?

In any case, it seems that another front might have disappeared by May. I heard that only a half dozen or so showed up to their protest against the justice ministers' summit. From its composition it looks like being no more than a euro-election platform for a few lefty hopefuls. I assume that whatever they plan for Mayday will be built around giving publicity to their euro and local election candidates. If this is the case, they are welcome to go for it, but you probably won't find too many grassroots types interested in going along. We'll be too busy trying to do something that might have some effect on Bertie's big day out.

author by Degeneratepublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 17:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tut, tut. You are such a cynic Badman.

(Tongue stuck firmlly in cheek!!)

author by bluekingfisherpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 17:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is a publicity poster for this public meeting now available in MS Word format up on the geocities site. You can download this and print up HUNDREDS of copies and poster it EVERYWHERE around the city (hint, hint!) so loads of people get involved in the Grassroots Gathering Mayday EXTRAVAGANZA.

Reportedly at the AEIP public meeting there wasnt a single flyer for the demo outside the justice ministers meeting but there were HUNDREDS for the March 20th IAWM demo. One or two Res Against Racism people were handing out flyers at the door but they just didnt seem to have the support of the body...

I think GG should try and work with RAR in future.

Related Link: http://geocities.com/eufortress
author by Andrewpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 17:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't flypost the posters as the council goes after the venue nowadays rather then the organisers.

author by Badmanpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 18:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"poster it EVERYWHERE around the city (hint, hint!) "

DON'T flypost it - you can stick it in shop windows and on lamposts etc. But the litter wardens fine the venue for any flyposted meetings - and we really don't want to piss off the teachers club.

author by soundmigrationpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 20:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

then get your interested minds and even more interesting wiggly bottoms together. Much work is need in the run up to May Day, the process {more important that any particular event} starts now, and needs the involvement of everyone who goes to these events as spectating punters and many more. Dont wait for someone else, be it GG or others to do it for you. whos street? OUR streets.
can you help??
We need as many poeple getting active NOW be it in a big or small way because big ideas take big effort and every time you get off your seat from the pc, tv,pub or whereever it is we escape to/in, and let your motivation be guided by your insticts before your censor yourself with 'what can i do..probably fuck all' {which incidentally may be true if your plugging away on your own on an isolated island with radioactve seaweed to keep you company}. TRUST yourself and and feel your fears. Its normal to be daunted about going to meetings, nevermind speak at the if it something your not used to but we all feel/felt that way some times but 'organisations' like Grassroots are no more{and all the stronger for being no more} a growing group of people who realise that we need no leaders to tell us what to do, how to think and more importantly how to organise.
Grassroots is as much a process of self empowerment as it is a tool of expression and an expanding avenue of solidarty with all those actively seeking and working towards a world where equality and justice ensure that all people in ireland, in eu and in this world are prioritised before the dodgy bookkeeping of not so faceless companies, corporations and the nations/states that best serve their interests at any particular time .
WE NEED {because the devil is in the detail}

TRANSLATORS for both those those coming to ireland and those already living here whos first tongue isnt english so that information is shared and involment is maximised

NGO's and the beatiful caring indiviuals who make up these organisations. You have the experience of working on the cold face of poverty, racism, bigotry, housing, unemployment, homelessness, civil liberties, human rights and many other areas that make up our society

ARTISTS{thats us all!!!!!} but help with colourful, musical expression

HONEST ACCOUTANTS haha you say and i agree but poeple with fundraising skills and talents please apply!!!

POEPLE with time however little to help coordinate and lessenen the workload. Many hands make the for much more fun

whos world ? your world my world ourworld
Their politics is boring corrupt biased and, above all else, literally kills millions across this world each year.....

Be part of the story your grandchildren's children will be proud to speak of

C U Sat 7th MAY 2.00pm @ the teachers club

author by Davidpublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 13:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If we advertise the meeting as taking place on the footpath in front of the Teachers club (hint hint) will the council be able to fine the teachers club?

author by Gardapublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 19:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did you feckers not get enough of a kicking the last few times. I am looking forward to educating a few of you in the new tactics me and the boys have been learning in Italy. We goit one of you there, maybe this year we'll get another.

Bring it on and please make sure if you are gonna throw stuff at us, its something interesting and not cans of Dutch Gold!!

author by jhpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2004 13:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what im interested is in how they days on that week end will play out, it won't be about reclaiming the streets for the cars i think (as anyway it won't be simply a rts)
they probably have the city centre roads closed to traffic anyway i remember for the paddys day fireworks they have a lot of the roads the rts has been on closed form early evening

im interested in not competing with the corrs but unsurping perhaps having our event before not to prevent ten of thousands going into town that night but trying highlight issues that might give em pause for thought

im thinking the highlight will not be reclaiming from cars but from commercial crap
the might be alot of adevertising around that could get busted for the mass population to read later....

so as suggested it best to have seperate event even on at a diferent time ....

author by John Hanleypublication date Tue Feb 03, 2004 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maybe this year we can up the stakes a bit instead of our usual frivolous (read: inefficient) resistance to the State. Fuck RTS and culture jamming! Middle class wank.

author by ..publication date Tue Feb 03, 2004 14:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

go to the meeting on saturday.
you can talk about them here but there is a much smaller chance that they will have any impact on the decisions that are made

author by ecpublication date Tue Feb 03, 2004 16:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Protesters vow to mar May Day celebrations

A NETWORK of activists is planning street protests to mar the May Day celebrations being organised by the Government as a highlight of Ireland's six-month EU presidency and to mark the expansion of the union.

Many of the organisers of the protests were involved in the previous May Day demonstrations in Dublin and in last year's anti-war confrontations with gardai in Shannon and in the capital.

They are planning a series of measures from April 30 to May 3 to "focus on symbols of all that is wrong with the EU, militarism, neo-liberalism, fortress Europe and the EU police state".

The organisers pledged last night that EU leaders attending a special ceremony at Farmleigh would "face resistance", while it was also intended to highlight local issues and campaigns linked to the broader problems of corporate globalisation and the EU.

The proposals, which are due to be drawn up at the weekend in Dublin, will pose major headaches for the Gardai whose resources will already be fully stretched providing security for the EU delegations and the proposed venues.

author by Starstruck - UCD Leftpublication date Wed Feb 11, 2004 20:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the indos excellent journalism is well placed here cos the cops are gonna have their work cut out for them.
Mayday is ours!

author by Rorypublication date Fri Feb 20, 2004 23:44author email mckevitr at tcd dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I know that Saturady the 1st of May is to be very busy for most and many already have plans but those of you with an interest in cycling please consider below.

The Dublin Cycling Campaign (DCC) is delighted to host the Spring 2004 CTC /
CCN Cycling Conference. It will take place on Saturday 1st May in the
Hamilton Building of Trinity College Dublin, with social events organized
for the evening before(joining the Critical Mass for Friday), the Saturday night, and Sunday 2nd. This will be the biggest cycle campaigner's conference ever held in Ireland.

The general theme of the weekend will be "Making Dublin a Bike Friendly City" Lessons for All from 10 Years of Campaigning. It will be of interest to
everyone who has worked to make their own town or city bike-friendly, or
generally to promote cycling. Speakers will include representatives from
the Dublin Cycling Campaign as well as Galway and Cork, and the Cycle
Training School in Kildare. Representatives from the Dublin Transport
Office and the Department of Transport have been asked to speak on the Irish
government's past experience and future plan for promoting cycling. Lively
speakers from the UK will update us all on developments on issues of
interest to campaigners on both sides of the Irish Sea. In all, it promises
to be a terrific event. Mark it in your diary now for the May bank holiday

The timing of the event comes just one year ahead of the Dublin's hosting of
the International Velo-city bicycle conference when 600+ 'cycling promotion
professionals' will descend on Dublin. This is the UK campaigner's
opportunity to listen to Irish campaigner's experiences in advance of that
event. Dublin has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, so a visit
to the Irish capital will be of interest both to those who have never
travelled across the Irish Sea and those who haven't done so in years.
Guided cycle tours will be provided by locals on the Sunday (2nd May) to
give visitors an insight into all matters local ; be they social, political,
historical, economic, planning-related, environmental or otherwise. There
might even be an opportunity to visit to some of the capital's watering

Details of the event (conference speakers, fees, transport and accommodation
options, social events, etc.) will be available on the DCC website
www.connect.ie/dcc by the end of February (or mail dcc@connect.ie). The
Dublin Cycling Campaign looks forward to welcoming you all to Dublin

Related Link: http://www.connect.ie/dcc
author by regualar cyclerpublication date Sun Feb 22, 2004 22:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what exactly is a cycling "expert"? am i one cos i get on my bike every day? u dont need some tosser in a suit to tell you about bikes.

author by stevepublication date Sun Feb 22, 2004 23:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

how are you on planning regulations, transport law, road or civil engineering, how would go about creating commuter simulations or modelling for predicted capacity etc. have you you ever seen those hefty guideline documents that deal with the design of cycle lanes.(that little red stripe on some roads) I could go on......

author by Rorypublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 05:18author email mckevitr at vodafone dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Steve and "regular cyclist" I am puzzled by your negative remarks. If you knew anything about the subject matter you would not criticise the conference and talk of "tossers in suits".
I am afraid what you said is idiocy.
The whole point of things like this is to pressure the suits in the government, the DTO, city councils etc into actually producing real cycling facilities.
One of the speakers is Shane Foran from Galway cycling campaign-see www.eirbyte.com/gcc.
He has an entire thesis on why the afore mentioned "hefty guideline documents" is to put it bluntly-Bullshit, not to mention very unsafe.

All one has to do is look at the census to realise that cycle lanes are a joke in Dublin.
Action is needed to provide real facilities for cyclists.This is what most professional cycling experts represent (hopefully)
I for one would tear apart any speaker who would suggest the greatness or benefit of the current 'cycle network' in Dublin.
But any regular cyclist in Dublin should be concerned that some “cycling professionals” are basically ghettoising cycling into a dangerous off road activity in order to allow freer flow of automobile traffic.

Fact; the likes of the DCC and the GCC and the conference attendees are attempting at the moment to reverse this trend and allow cyclists space on the road and the rights they deserve as vehicles on the road system.
In order words regular cyclists are only helping themselves by supporting these organisations.
I think that’s all I have to say for now
except for the suggestion; Research before you Condemn.

Thanks Ro..

author by stevepublication date Wed Feb 25, 2004 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

sorry but I was being negative towards 'regular cyclist'. I think what DCC and GCC do is great and cyclists owe them a lot of gratitude. I would love to hear what an expert has to say primarily because I dont know enough about those issues I highlighted. I wouldnt consder myself knowledgeable enough on the issue just because I avail of the service.

author by al the palpublication date Sun Apr 11, 2004 19:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There will be many more Reclaims, in fact, I can see it become a cherised institution in ten years time.

Don't kid yourself, in 10 years time you will have a cardigan and slippers and a pipe and read and belive the Irish time.

With age comes conservitism....


author by Grey Blockerpublication date Sun Apr 11, 2004 19:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"With age comes conservitism"

Well I have the slippers and the cardigan
(young people take time to learn to be comfortable, they still buy into the macho shit)
but I still don't believe the Irish Times, and I definitely would not smoke a pipe (definitely would not smoke, full stop), but I still have plenty of 'fire in the belly'.

And 'al', you may be happy enough to become conservative as you grow older, but the odds are you were probably already quite conservative when you were 19.
And I hope you learn to spell properly by the time you reach my age.

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