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national | worker & community struggles and protests | feature Friday December 09, 2005 15:16 by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Ireland
Indymedia Coverage of Protests against Irish Ferries
150,000 Workers March Against Exploitation
Today, December 9th, 150,000 workers took to the streets all across Ireland in the biggest working class mobilisation since the 1970's. They were protesting against the treatment of their fellow workers in Irish Ferries, who the company want to replace en masse with hyper-exploited immigrant labour, earning less than half the minimum wage. The protest's aims were more broadly defined by ICTU to include a general opposition to exploitation, racism and 'the race to the bottom'. it clearly struck a chord.
Dublin 50-100,000 march
From the banners: "Unity is Strength ... "Polish against exploitation" ... "divided we are sunk" ... "Sink That Idea - 3 euro ph" ... "Bertie We're Not Impressed" ... "INTO Stop Exploitation" ... "Belfast Unemployed Centre .. Health Dignity Peace" ... "An Injury to one is the Concern of All" ...
Background Info & photos and reports from the March in:
Cork: "Thousands on the Streets"
"In our thousands we fell in behind the banners of our unions. TEEU, SIPTU, IMPACT, IWU, CWU. etc a few Starry Ploughs, Anarchist flags, Socialist party banner, Labour, Shinners.... The speakers on Connolly Hall played Luke Kelly. People shook hands met old friends made new ones. Men and women who had know hard struggle to beat poverty and oppression mingled with the children of the Celtic Tiger. There was grim determination on faces all around."
Galway: "1000+ brave the rain"
"Listening to Michael D. powering it out, Countess Markievicz's description of Big Jim Larkin speaking during the industrial dispute of 1913 came to mind: "Sitting there, listening to Larkin, I realised that I was in the presence of something that I never came across before, some great primeval force rather than a man, a tornado, a storm-driven wave, the rush into life of spring, and the blasting breath of autumn, all seemed to emanate from the power that spoke."
Belfast: 100 attend Solidarity Rally
Limerick Report: 10,000 - 15,000
"To be honest, I was afraid that the whole thing was gonna be a bit of a damp squib, with just a few union heads around the place, but when I arrived at ten to one it was already obvious that it was gonna be big" Read more from "St John's" report here
Thousands also marched in Sligo, Limerick, Athlone, Rosslare & Waterford
We have heard estimates for the crowds in Sligo (3,000) and Limerick (20,000) but these are not confirmed.
If you have any pictures or reports from any of these marches, add to our coverage, by publishing them on our Open Publishing Form
Updates From the March itself
Dub 13:22 Several thousand present. Chopper over head. Lots of Gardai.
Dub 13:47 Crowd swelled, to maybe 15,000. March about to begin. Horseback cops moving now
Dub 13:52 March kicked off from Parnell statue. Rapturous applause.
Dub 14:02 Many Polish, Lithuanian, Scottish banners. March quite tame
Dub 14:09 Apx. 20,000. David Begg,Pat Rabbite,Joan Burton, John Gormley present. "Poles against Exploitatiion" banner
Dub 14:16 crowd going in sections like marathon. Applause each time.
Dub 14:38 crowd over 30,000. solidarity with immigrants. Crowd takes 80 min to pass.
Dub 15:20 At least 70,000 crowd at TCD gates
Cork 15:37 c.3/4000 speeches ongoing
Dub 16:02 March ending according to anarchists at back!