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It'll Be a Winter of Discontent - The Old and the Young Arrived at the Dáil

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Monday October 27, 2008 11:53author by Seán Ryan Report this post to the editors

featured image
Ah there's the minister now ...

Today thousand of protesters, young and old, marched on the Dáil to tell our government to shove their plans, regarding fees and medical cards for the over 70's, where the sun don't shine.

15 to 20 thousand people visited the Dáil today to have a chat with the government. Twas a beautiful day, weather-wise and because the people of Ireland have taken to the streets to voice their absolute disgust with those charged with running the country. There were two protests, the first consisting of mainly the elderly who were angry with the government’s decision to sacrifice them and the second group consisted of mostly the young who came to tell the State that fees were not on the table for discussion.

The Medical Card Protest

I arrived at Leinster House fifteen or so minutes before noon. I thought I’d get there before the pensioners and set myself up for the day’s festivities. So much for that idea, fifteen hundred or so angry pensioners had had the same idea and were in full swing, chanting and waving placards when I arrived.

It was impossible for me to figure out how many folks turned up at the medical card protest as hundreds were leaving at any one time whilst hundreds more were arriving.

An Garda Síochána pulled out all the stops for this protest and policed the event with the best behaved and good humoured bunch of Gardaí I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. Though some of them did act a little strangely (see the photos).

I didn’t focus too much on the speakers who roared their stuff from the big blue truck parked opposite the Dáil, I wasn’t there to listen to them (I’m sure the mainstream media will give a good account of what they had to say anyway). I attended to interact with the folks whom our government have attempted to throw on the slag heap.

They’re very angry. To put it mildly. One woman, who looked very reserved, told me that we “should shoot the fuckin’ lot of em.” I agreed with her.

It was a very emotional protest, as the politicians who joined the crowd that remained after the protest. Ruari Quinn was told that he was part of a government that were openly practicing treason and that he should “hand himself in - now!”

The elderly gradually and angrily petered out and I awaited the students.

The Fees Protest

At first I thought they weren’t coming. I thought maybe that the gathering at the Garden of Remembrance had been small and that the protest had been called off. Many possibilities went through my mind. Then I heard the distant sound of war drums. A low murmur became an ear-splitting roar as thousands of young people roared their defiance and jubilation, having reached their destination.

I’d thought that the medical card turn out had been huge. The body of people that arrived to protest fees was much larger and not surprisingly, a lot more animated. For many, this was their first large protest. And I think they liked it.

The Gardaí were take totally by surprise at their number and had to hurriedly draft in horses and dogs to help make up numbers. And one or two very strange Gardaí, one of whom, I swear was trying to levitate (see the last photo).

The mood of the crowd was very defiant and party-like at the same time. All in all though, they were very well behaved and the Gardaí need not have worried.

And this is only the start of it. What’ll happen next week when educational cuts and broken promises are up for grabs?

We’re in for a winter of discontent methinks. Our government had bloody well better get their act together. And quickly. We’re taking no more shit.


Pull my finger!
Pull my finger!



author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Oct 22, 2008 20:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors





Tug job
Tug job


author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Oct 22, 2008 20:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors





This says it all really
This says it all really


author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Oct 22, 2008 20:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors



No Parking...
No Parking...

... On The Car!!
... On The Car!!


Garda Gets Ready to Levitate: "Nnn nnn nnn nnn."
Garda Gets Ready to Levitate: "Nnn nnn nnn nnn."

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Oct 22, 2008 20:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First Correction - the sixth paragraph under the heading "The Medical Card Protest" reads: "It was a very emotional protest, as the politicians who joined the crowd that remained after the protest." It should read: "It was a very emotional protest, as the politicians who joined the crowd that remained after the protest were to find out."

Second Correction - the third paragraph under the heading "The Fees Protest" reads: "The Gardaí were take totally by surprise at their number and had to hurriedly draft in horses and dogs to help make up numbers." It should of course read: "The Gardaí were taken totally by surprise at their number and had to hurriedly draft in horses and dogs to help make up numbers."

author by Kevinpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2008 08:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great photos and well done to all...

author by shoegirlpublication date Fri Oct 24, 2008 02:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is wonderful and all very well, but it will be worth nothing to us if all of these angry people simply migrate back into prostrating before their FF Gods and Godesses next time there is an election on the back of yet another cheap shot election ploy. We need to permanently end the political patronage system in Ireland whereby people vote for a party and/or representatives on the belief that they are getting "favours" done for them, be that a medical card, a college grant or even a policy.

It brings entire point of democracy into disrepute and is as dangerous outside of Ireland as it is within.

Why? Because all we need is one Haider type personality with the same kind of policies and we are on a very slippery slope. If we want policies like universal healthcare etc then we have to be willing to pay for it out of our own pockets. And that means higher taxes and proper regulation.

FF have created the illusion of a psyeudo welfarism in order to hide the Thatcherite free-market policy that impacts most people.

Let us please not forget that for every happy pensioner who is getting to keep his medical card because he is under the 480 euro a week threshold, there are maybe 20 or 30 minimum wage earners who get nothing despite earning half of that. Not to mention minimum wage earners maybe paying out 100 euros a month on prescriptions because they are athsmatic.

author by cropbeyepublication date Fri Oct 24, 2008 19:16author address Cork (Northside)author phone Report this post to the editors

Just a question for the students who were at the protest

Did you take the opportunity to actually chat to the senior citizen protestors?

Did you think to try to get to know them?

Governments often get thier way by tactics of divide and conquer

and this can be true amongst the generations as among any other parts of the population.

author by Gruffalo - Movement for Common Sensepublication date Mon Oct 27, 2008 23:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with all, that Education should be free and that Medical Help should be easily available to all. However, the question that really needs to be asked is are we prepared to make the sacrifices that are required to achieve this?

Isn't it about time that our great country returned to it's Socialist roots and put people before free market politics. It is time we stopped trying to model ourselves on phony countries like the USA and instead copied the Scandinavian countries. Yes, we would have to pay a lot more tax, but we would then have free access to all the basic requirements for a happy life such as healthcare and education. My Danish friends even get paid to go to University, is it any wonder that they are consistently voted the happiest people on earth.

It is all well and good to blame the politicians, and God knows they make some stupid decisions, but until we accept the sacrifices required to improve things, we will have to accept that our politicians are going to have to keep robbing Peter to pay Paul. Our greed is as responsible for this mess as theirs' is!

author by Mature Student - T.C.D. publication date Tue Oct 28, 2008 00:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I can only concur with the total common sense as so excellently expressed by Gruffalo.

And I think that the hard-pressed government would indeed be now ready to listen to such wise advice.

What we want for our few years here on Earth is "The Leisure Party" not "The Labour Party" , this approach based on common sense to give everybody as much happiness as possible, the Scandanavian governments light the way.

We now see the Crisis that the Politics of Greed visit upon us all, reckless and dangerous as such politics are as we now experience in our daily lives. Nobody and nothing is spared. Human development and the Environment are ignored -

As reckless speculator-gamblers with the money-making fever in their blood destroy the tranquility and infinite possibilities of our daily lives.

Let politicians of all political parties and persuasions take lessons in realism from this, apply them to their Thinking, and they will win out:

More important, the human race, pathetic as we are now, will finally find its way to its true destiny.

author by GPpublication date Tue Oct 28, 2008 08:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"It's a little like the Middle Ages," the insider told me, "When the patient died they would say, "well, he stopped the bloodletting too soon, he still had a little blood in him."

"I took away from my talks with the professor that the solution to world poverty and crisis is simple:"


Related link:

author by tagmatapublication date Sun Nov 09, 2008 18:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you folks are not to be fooled

Over here in Germany, oblivion rules. The gov't uses a slight GDP growth for its budget calculations, while the IMF already assumes the hardest recession in the post-WW2 history of Germany will hit full force next year. And they didn't even consider the data of October, because it's too fresh. The Left? Completely dumbed-down and apathetic. "Crisis? What crisis?". The *best* we get is some commies digging out 5-year-plan shite.

I really fear my country is gonna go tits up next year; at least the Left in its present state won't be able to prevent anything, not be able to exert any notable influence, not even be able to make a reasonable stand. Wrapped up in gov't lies and whitewash from head to toes, the crisis is almost universally dismissed among the German Left as "just another of the inbuilt hiccups of Capitalism, nothing to worry about". The mass media are doing an outstandig job of smothering any unsavoury questions that might raise up. Nobody of the fucks who made our homegrown breed of crisis has to fear for their jobs at present. The few of us who are aware that this may well be the Big One, who listen to what our companer@s report from Brazil and India and Iceland and Argentina and Pakistan and Indonesia, feel like they live among zombies.

The Left in Éire could do us a massive favor and ever so often drop an insightful piece or two on what the status quo actually *means* for the global Left struggle into our laps over @ de.indymedia. Don't worry about translation, English is just fine. Situational reports are better than analyses - Germans can pull off analyses "better" than anyone else (most of these "analyses" are not worth killing trees for a hardcopy version, but that never stopped anyone).

For your present is what the near future holds for us. You already have seen more than we do; I kindly invite you to show us what you have seen, and how you take a stand. The Left over here needs a heavy dose of perspective more than ever. On de.indymedia, I have just once or twice seen single individuals admit that the uncertainty is too large to be anything but flexible, adaptable, DIY-or-die, and that we have to play the ball to the other side of the field fucking yesterday, as long as the Caps and Cons are still wondering WTF.

"An Garda Síochána pulled out all the stops for this protest and policed the event with the best behaved and good humoured bunch of Gardaí I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing."

This is interesting. Are they aware that any mistakes the gov't makes these days will bust their balls, too? Because this is the linchpin - a global economic crisis will affect the police force just as anybody else. For from my personal experience, the Gardaí are neither better nor worse than our fuzz, so it'll be interesting to know if they are already "situationally aware" :D

Keep up the good work!


author by Bittenpublication date Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The bloodsucking "Money Masters" have been making complete fools of ALMOST everybody for centuries now, and they continue to do extremely well despite their massive contribution to the present global financial crisis.

"If the American people ever allow PRIVATE banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks will deprive The People of all property until their children wake-up HOMELESS on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to The People, to whom it properly belongs". (From former US President Thomas Jefferson -- for more see at )

I wonder how much longer the bloodsuckers will manage to get away with their monumental deception?

Most people still do not realise that, despite President Jefferson's strong warning (made some 200 or so years ago), that the relatively very small group of owners of private banks, using names which give the impression the banks in question are state owned, still dominate "life on earth" to a degree that most people are completely blind to.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this suffocating and soul-destroying domination, is the almost total control the Money Masters now have over so many of the world's legal systems (and legal professions!!).

"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws" -- the words of Lord Nathan Mayer Rothschild. (For more on this subject see at )

Leader of the "global pack" of the bloodsucking group of banks in question: The privately owned bank deceptively named "The Federal Reserve" (United States of America).

Related link:

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