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National Day of Protest Against Irish Ferries

category national | worker & community struggles and protests | feature author Friday December 09, 2005 15:16author by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Ireland Report this post to the editors

Indymedia Coverage of Protests against Irish Ferries


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Polish Workers Against Exploitation
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Thronged Crowd preparing to leave Parnell Square
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An Injury To One Is The Concern of All
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ICTU Youth and Migrant Rights Center
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Kid supporting decency
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UNISON N.Ireland
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:
The Sleeping Giant Stirs - Irish Labour on the March
More Photos & Reports

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."

Read the full report


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."

Read the full report and view the photos

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!

At the last Dublin demonstration
At the last Dublin demonstration

Tearing up and "pulling down the pillars of the social order" and Sustaining Progress - Social Partnership Agreement.
Tearing up and "pulling down the pillars of the social order" and Sustaining Progress - Social Partnership Agreement.

Patients Together
Patients Together

author by Davy Carlin - Street Seenpublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 16:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

AGAINST POVERTY PAY AND EXPLOITATION OF MIGRANT WORKERS

Over 100 people rallied outside the UTV studios today at lunchtime in Solidarity action with workers in Irish ferries. Several Trade Unions where prominent {with banners - placards etc} including SIPTU, NIPSA, UNISON and ATGWU as was the Belfast Trades Councils members and Banner.

Political parties banners had seen one from the Socialist Party and had seen also a sizable contingent from Sinn Fein. Other banners included Organise! and others again were written in Irish with the quotes of James Connolly.

Various others where in attendance and I had seen many who had and do give active support to the ARN there - so thanks for the support. This more especially with it being called and 'Networked' at very very short notice, as so to lend that practical, visual and collective solidarity.

author by kevin - imc éirepublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 17:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some pix...
Very large march today through Dublin. Possibly up to 50,000 people in the streets, maybe even more? The numbers were very hard to estimate. The crowd just kept on streaming down from around Parnell Square.

Just ripped these pictures from video footage. Hopefully someone else can put up a more comprehensive report.

Trade union leaders and TDs at the front of the march.
Trade union leaders and TDs at the front of the march.

Finian McGrath.
Finian McGrath.

David Begg, John Gormley, not sure who the others are.
David Begg, John Gormley, not sure who the others are.

Loads of builders on the march.
Loads of builders on the march.

Union members from Poland, and, um... not sure what that other flag is... help anyone?
Union members from Poland, and, um... not sure what that other flag is... help anyone?

author by kevin - imc éirepublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More...

author by -publication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 17:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brilliant,thank you for sharing.

Glad to see such a great turn out.

author by kevin - imc éirepublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 17:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More...

author by kevin - imc éirepublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 17:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last ones... enjoy.

author by Jimpublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 17:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some pictures from today's massive demonstration in Dublin

Sea of red at today's demo
Sea of red at today's demo

nassau_street.jpg

kildare_street.jpg

author by workerpublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 18:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Labour were marching under the slogan 'partnership not piracy'. This is an utter disgrace. This sell out tired out party are still wanting the working class to 'hold their fire' and take the attacks from the bosses lying down.

100,000 workers on the streets of Dublin and tens of thousands more across the country came out to oppose the offensive in Irish ferries but also to oppose the generalised attack by the employers. IBEC and ISME have condemned the protests and they have publically came out in support iof Irish Ferries management. How can Labour say that we should go into partnership with these bastards! It is time the unions broke with partnership it is the only way our pay and conditions can be defended.

author by Jamespublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well impressed with the turnout today. Shows the power of the labour movement when it is mobilised.

Parnell Square
Parnell Square

author by Darraghpublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's good to see Scoil Chaitríona students out on the march! Maith sibh a chailíní!

author by sovietpop@hotmail.compublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 20:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An inspiring day, we marched in our thousands, the rain held off until the end.

Building worker and banner
Building worker and banner

The beginning of the march
The beginning of the march

No Slave Ships
No Slave Ships

Irish National Teachers Organisation
Irish National Teachers Organisation

WSM banner
WSM banner

author by Michael Doherty - P.Dpublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 21:00author address Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to everyone who participated in the Irelandwide protest.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 21:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

19:49 RTE cites Garda claim of 40,000 in Dublin and says 100,000 nationwide.

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/1209/irishferries.html
author by Oisín - ÓSFpublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 23:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just a few more pics from the day

Ógra banner, a little smal but did the job
Ógra banner, a little smal but did the job

No To Slave Labour!
No To Slave Labour!

Sinn Féin banner
Sinn Féin banner

author by Mary McNicholaspublication date Fri Dec 09, 2005 23:13author address Finglas, Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to all who participated in the protest.

author by Chekov - wsm (personal capacity)publication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 00:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.

Taken from the Parnell Monument towards Parnell square
Taken from the Parnell Monument towards Parnell square

The band that entertained the crowd as each section left - with renditions of the internationale
The band that entertained the crowd as each section left - with renditions of the internationale

author by Davy Carlin - Street Seenpublication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On the Belfast Solidarity action, photos of it can be found in todays Irish News and Daily Ireland. D

author by pat cpublication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i certainly disagree with the LP "partnership not piracy" slogan but i was glad to see them on the m,arch. just as i was glad to see the greens and SF. we have our differences but we can unite on defending workers pay rates and fighting racism.

i will be writing an article "piracy not partnership" in response to the labour leaflet.

author by Dermot L - Labour & ATGWU (personal cap)publication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 17:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Labour's slogan "Partnership not Piracy" was against my beliefs and that of my union and is certainly something I'm querying with the party - but what was far more significant yesterday was the combined power of the wider movement. The Labour Party had a fantastic turnout with many members and activists marching under their union banners as well as with the party - as did many other parties and groups. Something in the region of 150,000 workers came out onto the streets yesterday. If workers are able to recruit and extend unions further we will be in a much better tactical position, as well as having the massive ideological weight behind us, to oppose the partnership model which fails working people and those who are disadvantaged.

Related Link: http://www.labour.ie
author by Chris Bond - Labour & UCD Students Union (pers cap)publication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That comment is sensationalist and shows a lot of political nieveity on behalf of the poster. Furthermore it could not be further from the truth.Hundreds, perhaps even thousands of Labour members took to the streets yesterday in the name of one thing and that is the defence of workers rights. If we wanted the workers to ''take attacks from bosses lying down'' then howcome we put forward a motion restricting seafareing companies from flying flags of convenience in order to circumvent employment standards (which was rejected by FF &PDs). We came out in the support of this march purely on the pretext of defending the rights of workers. I dont support social partnership at all, and i disagreed with our slogan. But i believe that comments like that are an insult to the Labour members who put in hard work over the last few days in order to promote this march.

author by James Rpublication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But if the political expression of your tendency on that demo went around shouting a slogan like "partnership not piracy" then how can you call someone naive for expressing disagreement with that? If you are concerned with people not having a sense of the depth of the "broad church" because it chose to use such a god awful slogan, then you might be best off having words with the reverends for spouting such tosh instead of attacking activists like Pat C. An attack on a political entity isn't an attack on individuals, as Dermot realised in his reply.

author by Fin - Indymedia Irelandpublication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 18:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Set of 5

Beginning
Beginning

Communist Party Steering Clear of Labour
Communist Party Steering Clear of Labour

Gate
Gate

Get Ready
Get Ready

You're Waiting Ages .... and Then!
You're Waiting Ages .... and Then!

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 18:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given that the Labour Party only claims to have 3,500 members in the country I think we can safely rule out the possibility that "thousands" of Labour members "may even" have taken to the streets. But what matters either way, is that they took to the streets to push and defend the idea of social partnership. If some of you "disagreed" with that slogan, you shouldn't have marched under it. You can't have it both ways lads.

Partnership is the number one issue facing the workers movement in this country. The Labour Party have chosen their side in that argument and it's the wrong side. If Chris and Dermot are sincere about opposing that, they should be spending their time trying to change that policy rather than bitterly complaining here when somebody criticises it. Labour's slogan was the single worst thing about an otherwise very encouraging march.

author by Dermot Lpublication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 18:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Typical SP tactic to try to change the nature of a thread.

"Given that the Labour Party only claims to have 3,500 members in the country I think we can safely rule out the possibility that "thousands" of Labour members "may even" have taken to the streets."

Eh, no. The Labour Party has somewhere in the region of 9000 registered members (source; 2005 Report to Annual Conference by General Secretary). There was a huge Labour presence there yesterday, as there was from SF, libertarians, Marxists and other groups as well as the unions (many Labour activists marched under their union banner, myself included). Nor did anyone come out to march "for" social partnership. This march was about far more than that.

Even that great despised figure Pat Rabbitte said in a speech on Wednesday night that the march should have had nothing to do with social partnership and should have been promoted around issues of displacement and wider politics. You have a very condescending and arrogant view of other party's activists if you think people were marching yesterday "for social partnership."

Stay on topic please.

author by Chris Bondpublication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My previous post was in no way directed at Pat C who made some very valid points, the content of my comment was purely in response to ''worker''

author by pat cpublication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the LP had a sizeable contingent on the march, many more LP members no doubt marched with their Unions. the same was true of the SP, i saw many SP members i know behind union banners.

lets not dwell on the size of delegations. its the LP slogan and leaflet which should be criticised. not all LP members are happy with it. i met another LP member at the Terence Wheelock demo today who was furious at the leaflet and wanted to know "who authorised it". he will be taking the matter further.

congratulations to the SIPTU members for their Piracy in seizing the engine room.

author by eeekkkkpublication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 19:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.

author by confusedpublication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 19:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I thought Bertie was a Socialist, anyone see him?
No sign of Enda, interesting.

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Sat Dec 10, 2005 20:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm tempted to point out Dermot that your response is typical of the kind of careerist hack who joins the Labour Party these days, but I don't think that responding in kind to your bluster would be very worthwhile.

Firstly, the side issue. Only a couple of years ago the Labour Party openly admitted it had fallen to just 3,500 members. Nobody seriously believes that the Labour Party has more than doubled its membership since then. Of course this is itself a somewhat academic argument since Labour Party "membership" involves nothing more than signing a piece of paper. It is not a commitment to activism in the sense of joining a socialist or anarchist grouping.

On the meat of the issue, the issue of social partnership is absolutely central to the Irish labour movement. It lies at the heart of the emasculation of the trade unions, and in turn the ability of employers to even attempt to behave like Irish Ferries or GAMA. This is not a peripheral issue and it is not in any way off topic. Any industrial struggle in Ireland is deeply related to social partnership.

The Labour Party leadership, the most fervent supporters of social partnership, are well aware of that just as socialists who oppose partnership are aware of it. That's why the Labour Party chose to march yesterday with support for partnership as its main slogan. That's why socialists in their material and slogans raised our opposition to the gutting of union militancy which partnership represents.

Pat is right to draw a distinction between attacking the Labour Party's right wing policies and attacking its individual members, but its members too have a responsibility. If Labour Party members like Chris and Dermot are really opposed to partnership, their response to complaints about the Labour Party's reprehensible behaviour on yesterdays marches shouldn't be to attack those who raise criticisms or to desperately try to defend their organisation's stance. Instead it should be to do everything in their power to change their organisations stance. Of course that's never going to happen because it would mean confronting the uncomfortable fact that social partnership is at the core of Rabbitte's Labour Party.

Some anonymous contributor complained about people "attacking each other". I'd like nothing more than to be able to just slap each other on the back and say well done. But this is an ongoing struggle. The fight to reclaim the Irish trade union movement is an ongoing struggle. And no matter how many marches they turn up on, those organisations which favour partnership are on the other side of these struggles because they are proponents of a weak labour movement which collaborates with the employers rather than fights for its members. This is particularly the case when an organisation, in this case Labour, seeks to use an expression of working class solidarity to push an agenda - partnership - which is all about undermining working class solidarity.

These are not trivial disagreements. These issues are vital and any opponent of partnership who doesn't have a problem with the Labour Party's stance and behaviour is doing the trade union movement a disservice.

author by Pol - Saules Ielejapublication date Sun Dec 11, 2005 02:38author email saulesieleja at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't know why, but in photo is Lithuania state flag.

BR,
Saules Ieleja
(Sun Valley)

author by Ciaránpublication date Sun Dec 11, 2005 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it's because there are tens of thousands Lituanian workers here? Many of whom sympathize with the march??

author by Dermot Lpublication date Sun Dec 11, 2005 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Pat is right to draw a distinction between attacking the Labour Party's right wing policies and attacking its individual members..."

"I'm tempted to point out Dermot that your response is typical of the kind of careerist hack who joins the Labour Party these days..."

Brilliant. Congratulations on your own self-contradiction. That is of course a typical tactic but if you knew me or anything about me you mightn't be so quick to call me a careerist. Indeed, I suggest you ask many of your comrades with whom I have worked, without rancour, on a number of issues over some years. Or else continue with your unwarranted insults. Your call buddy.

Related Link: http://www.labouryouth.ie
author by Chris Bond - Labour (pers cap)publication date Sun Dec 11, 2005 18:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I dont need you or anyone else to remind me about the principles of socialism.''the core of Rabbittes Labour party'' i have never heard such Leninist drivel in my life. If you wanna be sensationalist get a job with the Sunday Indo. In no way does the Labour party foster a cult of the leader. Policies are decided by members at delegate conferences, it its the core value then howcome Labour youth and one of our affiliate unions actually oppose social partnership. its called democracy. My last post was NOT in defence of the partys stance on partnership, but in defence of the partys values and in defence of the notion that the Labour party has always stood for socialism and the rights of working people.

Your attack on Dermot Looney was disgraceful. He is far from being a carrerist. Dermot is one of the most ,perhaps the most solid activist i know. Dermots activism predates his membership of the Labour party, he has perhaps been more proactive on issues that affect students working people and young people than you will ever be.

author by mjkpublication date Sun Dec 11, 2005 20:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That the Lithuanian flag.

author by Mark Ppublication date Sun Dec 11, 2005 20:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dermot's a "solid" activist, fine, wonderful, give him a medal forged in the white-hot furnace of struggle. The Labour Party is democratic, again fine, wonderful whatever. I'm sure we could get a PD activist on here to say much the same about their own organisation and I would be about as interested.

What I am interested in is the issue of partnership. The same issue, funnily enough, which Rabbitte's Labour Party leadership is interested in. So interested that that they used the defence of partnership as the main slogan for the Labour Party's participation in yesterday's marches. Strangely our two "solid", non-careerist, Labour Party companeros don't seem to be interested in this. Why don't you lads share with us your thoughts on being involved in an organisation which fervently supports partnership? Why don't you share with us what you are doing to change that, rather than giving us nonsense about the Labour Party's commitment to socialism?

For that matter can either of you explain to us all how a Fine Gael led government, with the Labour Party as a junior partner would deal with the Irish Ferries situation differently to the current FF-PD government? Can you explain to us how such a government would deal differently with the issue of social partnership? Can you explain to us how such a government would move us towards the socialism you claim the Labour Party supports?

After you've dealt with some of those issues, I might be more inclined to listen to your protestation about what fine activists you are and how committed to the cause of socialism and workers rights the Labour Party is.

author by Dermot Lpublication date Sun Dec 11, 2005 22:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chris, I appreciate your posting but I'm more than happy to speak for myself.

Mark, with all due respect I couldn't give a toss what you think about me. For the record I was very active in opposing the pre-electoral pact and am opposed to social partnership. I am also a member of a union, affiliated to the Labour Party, which is actively opposed to partnership.

Those within your party who know me are more than able to discuss these things, as I have done more than once this weekend, on a reasonable and intelligent basis. I have no desire to waste more time by entering into such a discussion with you, and I certainly don't need someone like you to justify my beliefs or activism.

author by Mark Ppublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 00:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well Dermot, I have to say that your detailed and coherent defence of the Labour Party's actions really cut the legs from under its critics. If anyone else from the Labour Party feels up to dealing with any of the questions posed above, I will look forward to reading their responses.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i am not a member of the LP but i dont think you are helping to build unity on the issue of support for the Iish Ferries workers through your polemical style of debate. there is probably a need for another story line based around the more fundamental issues, maybe you should start one. but you are not doing the SP any favours by attacking genuine socialists who choose to remain in the LP.

In 1984 Labour was in government and they sent Irish Shipping into liquidation. Militant was in the LP at this time, Militant fought against this and did their best to try and organise solidarity for the Irish Shipping workers. (This was a difficult time I was on the CPSU NEC at the time and ICTU burocratically suppressed attempts to organise solidarity action.) In the end , Labour in government let Irish Shipping go to the wall.

While Militant opposed the line of the LP leadership they chose to remain inside Labour. Indeed they preached to those of us outside of Labour that our only salvation was to join. I dont see how Labour then is different from Labour now. Before you cast stones at Dermot and Chris remember that the Irish Section of the CWI once lived in a glasshouse.

author by Michael R.publication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is a comment above stating the Gardai estimate about 40,000 as reported on RTE website.

I would concur with this estimate. I counted (very roughly) about 30,000 but that was at the start of the march and would not include people who would have joined in along the way. So assuming 10,000 joined in and maybe my count of 30,000 was a little conservative - 40,000 sound about right.

I would not think over 50,000.

Therefore the Indy reporting here of 50,000 to 100,000 on the Dublin march, I think, is inaccurate.

In any case a massive turnout and a brilliant day out. Lets hope we see some real change and positive action eminating from this.

author by hmmpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dermot if you are not a careerist can you deny that you've been headhunted by Rabitte to stand in the next local election?

author by SP Member - Socialist Party/CWIpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 13:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the difference between the Labour Party of 1984 and the Labour Party of 2005 I suggest you try taking the blinkers off.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 13:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Pat C if you can't see.......
by SP Member - Socialist Party/CWI Monday, Dec 12 2005, 12:47pm
the difference between the Labour Party of 1984 and the Labour Party of 2005 I suggest you try taking the blinkers off."

I can see the difference. In 1984 when the CWI were in Labour , the LP did not support the Irish Shipping Workers. In 2005 when the CWI is not in Labour, the LP is supporting the Irish Ferries workers.

This storyline is not the place to try and make cheap political points. It should be about supporting the Irish Ferries workers.

author by anonpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 13:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat can you not see that there has been a huge shift to the right in the labour party during the 90s? Can you not see there has been a huge emptying out of activists and shop stewards and most importantly people no longer look to the LP as a party that could really represent the views of working people. The LP is seen by the vast majority as identical as FG and as no real alternative. Or is it Pat that you can't see this change as you've drifted to the right as well?

author by hmmpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 14:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can you not see that the LP are incapable of providing a solution to the Irish Ferries workers? The LP supports partnership and will back a deal that sees a complete sell out and a drastic reduction of wages just to keep a flag!

If LP were in governemnt how would they resolve this? I say they would do no different to the current government

author by historianpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 15:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good point Pat C regarding the Labour Party. The Militant Tendency were in the LP when the LP was part of the most right wing Government since the 1920s (the Cosgrave led 73-77 coalition). AND. They only left because they were fked out. They'd still be sucking at that dried out oul teat if they were given half a chance.

author by Comedianpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That the objective conditions of the time made it too premature for them to go it alone and that they probably set back the working class movement by years.

author by hmmpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 15:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Could someone from the LP that claims to be a socialsit please say how they think a FG-LP government would deal with the irish ferries dispute. up until now Dermot has refused to answer this question.

author by Mark Ppublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Pat,

Your point about unity is on the surface fair enough, but what kind of "unity" are we talking about? The Irish Ferries workers, and the Irish workers movement more generally, are in a very serious situation - a situation which has in large part been created by the weakness of the unions over the years of partnership deals. If some people or organisations want to sidetrack this struggle into shoring up social partnership - as the Labour Party tried to on Saturday - there can be no real "unity" with them on that basis. Social partnership, as I'm sure you are well aware, is all about undermining fighting trade unionism. No amount of calls for us all to be nice to each other will disappear that essential fact. I want to see the maximum possible unity of the left and the workers movement behind the Irish Ferries workers, but a unity built on an understanding that the trade unions will have to fight for their members not seek to be the bosses "partners".

I didn't go on the march on Saturday looking to pick a fight with the Labour Party. My interest in their doings one way or the other is usually pretty minimal. The Labour Party went out of its way to pick a fight with me, and with every other supporter of real trade unionism in the country. The Labour Party turned up on the demonstrations with "partnership not piracy" as their slogan because their leadership well understands that partnership is central to all this. Whatever else you can say about them they aren't stupid. I won't gloss over that, let them away with it, out of concern for a false "unity" with those who would sell us out at the first opportunity.

I'm giving Dermot and Chris a hard time here because as Labour Party members who claim to be leftists they bear a responsibility to do something about this. It's not good enough for them to say, well we disagree with this but we are going to get in a huff if anyone criticises Labour over it. You raise the issue of the changes in the Labour Party, which I don't really want to get into because although I think they've been massive and destructive I don't think this is the place for it. One point on that is relevant to this discussion though: The Labour left of a couple of decades ago, the social democrats as well as the revolutionaries, certainly would never wash their hands of right wing Labour policies and shrug their shoulders. They campaigned vigorously and organised to change them. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect nothing less from what's left in the Labour Party today that still considers itself left.

author by Barringtonpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 16:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Trade union demonstrations took place throughout southern Ireland on Friday, 9 December, in a massive show of opposition to the job displacement and the gross exploitation of immigrant workers by the Irish Ferries company and, more generally, in society.

Continued at http://www.socialistparty.net

author by pat cpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

we are at one in attacking the LP slogan and leaflet. Demot also disowns it. i dont think you should gloss over it, but i dont think you should attack those who dont support the line.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 16:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i dont think you are correct in your analysis of the LP. Facts speak for themselves, in 1984 the LP threw the Irish Shipping workers on the side of the road. In 2005, Labour are supporting the Irish Ferries workers.

I disagree with the LP Partnership Not Piracy line and I will get around to writing an article on this whenever I get a chance to cease replying to these comments.

author by Geoffpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 18:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The text of the leaflet issued at the Irish Ferries demonstration by Labour Youth is available here.

http://www.labour.ie/youth/news/index/20051212172247.html

The policy of Labour Youth against social partnership as adopted at its conference in November is available here:

http://www.labour.ie/youth/policy/index/20051128170944.html (you'll need to scroll down its near the bottom of the page)

author by Mark Ppublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 18:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's certainly better than the approach of the Labour Party, Geoff. But even the Labour Youth leaflet stops short of explicitly opposing the continuation of partnership. Instead it only supports unions refusing to take part in partnership discussions "until this dispute is resolved".

Meanwhile the view of the Labour Party can be found here: http://www.labour.ie and it is not a pretty sight. The main banner urges us to support "partnership not piracy". Meanwhile the first link to the story is to a piece by Pat Rabbitte, attacking the government for endangering social partnership.

author by Chekov - Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Irelandpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 20:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The comments on the seriously tangential issue of the SP's position on the fabled "mass party of the working class" have been moved to a relevant article.

Please try to make sure your comments are directly related to the article - if you have general critiques of any groups stance on unrelated issues, it probably isn't too hard to find an article that is better suited for the job.

author by Paula Geraghty - Indymedia Irelandpublication date Tue Dec 13, 2005 01:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All pictures (c) Paula Geraghty 2005.

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author by Jenefurpublication date Tue Dec 13, 2005 06:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All photos (c) Jenefur

corkonians
corkonians

Equality for all
Equality for all

French contingent
French contingent

Happy gang
Happy gang

Head of march
Head of march

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It Affects Us All
It Affects Us All

CWU
CWU

INTO 2
INTO 2

INTO
INTO

IWU 1
IWU 1

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IWU 2 (Independent Workers Union)
IWU 2 (Independent Workers Union)

Marel on the march
Marel on the march

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Proles on the march

Serious anarchist on the march
Serious anarchist on the march

Teachers on the march
Teachers on the march

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Workers
Workers

SIPTU
SIPTU

SIPTU again
SIPTU again

TEEU
TEEU

Women workers
Women workers

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Young and old
Young and old

author by AgainstPoliticalCorrectness - nonepublication date Tue Dec 13, 2005 21:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Lithuanian flag.

author by SameOldStorypublication date Mon Dec 19, 2005 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... were so happy to see close to 200,000 people supporting the Irish Ferries workers. Pity it didn't lead them to support the workers themselves. The result: Irish Ferries can re-flag "our " ships; pay any new employees the minimum wage for 3 years; and then tear up their obligations from their new foreign base.
This was not what people marched for. But the union bosses are fat and lazy after decades of Programmes for Poverty and Exploitation (PPE). Well, folks, watch out, next time you're asked to march as cannon fodder for a dirty deal.

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