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12,000 rally in Dublin against Education Budget Cutbacks

category national | education | feature author Thursday October 30, 2008 08:53author by Paula Geraghty, Andrew WSM, Richard Whelan and 1 of imc.ie Report this post to the editors

featured image
Observe the Children of Ireland, Marching Towards the Dáil

Thousands protested outside the Dáil against the government's education cutbacks.

Thousands protested outside the Dáil against the government's education cutbacks.
by Paula Geraghty mspgeraghty@yahoo.ie 0876101340

According to the Irish Times 'At least 5,000 teachers, parents and students gathered outside Leinster House this evening to express their opposition to Government spending cutbacks.' More like 12,000 according to organisers. The response to budget cutbacks have shaken the political establishent. Opposition though has been mostly sectional, first pensioners, later on the same day Students and tonight parents and teachers.

Tonight was different though - a huge trade union presence, and not just the teaching unions. SIPTU and Impact made themselves quite present. While most trade unions are out of kilter with public opinion just as they were with the Lisbon Treaty, recommending members to accept the pay deal, they are being pressured to offer opposition to the vicious cuts the Fianna Fáil/Green/PD government are imposing.

The INTO cancelled their protest which they had initially called for on October 4th. Tonight has proved that there is a huge appetite for demonstrating with protesters cheering even louder for speakers who pledged to keep the pressure and protests up until they got what they wanted.

A demonstration in Galway was announced for Saturday week.

Images (c)


Over ten thousand take part in anti-education cuts protest at Dail
by Andrew - WSM (personal capacity) Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/education

Somewhere in the region of 15,000 people took part in the INTO protest at the Dail this evening. From the crowd it was obvious that as well as teachers many parents, secondary school puplis and college students had turned up to show solidarity.
The Gardai prevented access to Kildare street and the mounted riot police were on standby at the gates of the Dail. An elobarate filter barrier had been installed across the top of Kildare street.

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author by Andrew - WSM (personal capacity)publication date Wed Oct 29, 2008 21:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Video to follow

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Children play with riot horses
Children play with riot horses

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/education
author by Andrewpublication date Wed Oct 29, 2008 21:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

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Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/education
author by Paula Geraghtypublication date Thu Oct 30, 2008 01:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Images (c)

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John Carr, INTO
John Carr, INTO

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author by Gregor Kerr - Dublin City North INTO and WSM- pers cappublication date Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Text of leaflet distributed by anarchist teachers and students at last night's demo:

CRISIS! DISASTER! ECONOMIC CHAOS!
The world seems about to end. The markets are convulsing, the banks are tumbling, the entire island is about to become some sort of black hole off the coast of Europe...

Never fear though, we’ve got a brilliant political establishment to shepherd us through the economic wilderness, and in the Budget on Tuesday 14th they revealed their master-plan, carefully crafted, as Mary Hanafin said, to ‘protect the vulnerable’. Unfortunately, it seems like they’ve got a different understanding of who exactly ‘the vulnerable’ in Irish society are.

It’s not the poorest workers, who’ll get hit hardest with the one percent levy, it’s not all of us who can’t afford private health-care, and it’s not the chronically under-educated sectors of society, who are facing the loss of child benefit, class size increases etc. etc. No, ‘the vulnerable’ are those like the banks, whose deposits and stability have been guaranteed by our tax money, and the builders, who, thanks to former PD TD and now head of the Construction Industry Federation, Tom Parlon, don’t need to worry about limits on their profits from fixed-price contracts. In fact, maybe ‘the vulnerable’ means the friends and cronies of the Fianna Failers, those who have access to the decision-makers and can put a bit of pressure on to make sure things turn out alright.

It may have been the bankers and builders who gained most from the economic boom, but that sure doesn’t mean they’re willing to help pay for the bust. No, if cuts are to be made, they’ll be made where it won’t harm the government or their friends – increased taxes, attacks on an already underfunctioning health service, and the further wealth-based segregation of education.

It’s in this context that this latest round of education cuts comes. The government’s slashing of teaching posts for children for whom English is not their first language, their decision to increase class sizes and their attacks on substitute cover will have a hugely negative impact on the quality of education that can be provided in our schools, and on the working conditions of teachers.

This must also be looked at in the context of the re-emergence of fees for third-level education, with the doubling of registration fees as just the start. If you add this to the halving, and eventual cut in child benefit for 18-year-olds, it’s pretty clear that the people who’ll be hurt by this are the ones who are already struggling to get their kids to college. As for students, they’re going to be forced to take out big loans, work shitty jobs (if they can find them) to keep heads above water and finally emerge out of college into an economic wasteland.

The reason that students, teachers and all the others getting shafted in the budget, are being told to take the fall-out of the recession is that the government think they can safely push us around. The government retreat on the over-70s medical card shows that we don’t have to choose to let them push us around. But what’s needed is more than just a few demonstrations and speeches; we’ll need to develop our own power, in massive self-organisation from the grassroots level and in our willingness to take the fight to the government.
We need to build a national campaign that can fight the battle to prevent cuts at all levels of education, to demand more not less investment in our children’s future, to stop the further limitation of access to third-level and, ultimately, to push to improve the entire education system from pre-school upwards. This will require a lot of work, and means that links will need to be built between students, parents, teachers and other education staff at all levels.

Third-level students have begun the process of building an open campaign which will fight for equal access to education. The ‘Free Education for Everyone’ Campaign is organising across all colleges. If you want to join the fight for equal access to education. get in touch with Free Education for Everyone.
Free Education for Everyone
Open group fighting for equal access to education
stopfees@gmail.com

This leaflet is being distributed by anarchists who study or work across the education
sector. We’re working together to build a democratic and open campaign that can fight education cuts, challenge the imposition of fees and push to improve access to, and quality of, education. We want a society where access to wealth and power is equally distributed, and we start by pushing for improvements in our everyday lives. If you want to find out more about anarchism, or just work with us in the fight against education cuts and fees, check out our website at www.wsm.ie, or contact one of the below addresses.
UCD Anarchists
ucdanarchists@gmail.com
TCD Anarchists
anarchist@csc.tcd.ie
NUI Maynooth Anarchists
maynoothanarchists@gmail.com

author by Niall Smyth - People Before Profit & INTO (Personal Capacity)publication date Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:40author email pbpdubcentral at gmail dot comauthor address www.people-before-profit.orgauthor phone 087 2947 100Report this post to the editors

People need to start piling on the pressure. This should begin with pickets on government party clinics asap. The People Before Profit Alliance will hold a picket next Tuesday at FF offices in Drumcondra (see: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/89688)

This government needs to feel the anger locally from both parents and teachers. Fight the cuts!

author by Richard Whelanpublication date Thu Oct 30, 2008 14:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Protest outside Leinster House
Photo essay from last nights rally outside Leinster House
Photo essay, from last nights large demonstration outside the gates of Leinster House.

Images copyright 2008

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author by Richard Whelanpublication date Thu Oct 30, 2008 14:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photo essay from last nights rally outside Leinster House
Images copy right 2008

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author by Richard Whelanpublication date Thu Oct 30, 2008 15:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

more images.
Copyright 2008

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author by attendeepublication date Thu Oct 30, 2008 16:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One Day I Will Be A TD
And You Will Be Very Old.

Here's a few more=

Battman Robin Our Kids Future

FF Fled to China Like Batt out of OUR Hell

Crowd Me Out and I Will Shout

28:1 Not The Right Sum

and the old reliables:
GREENS AND FIANNA FAIL
OUT OUT OUT!

THEY SAY CUT BACKS
WE SAY FIGHT BACK!

author by Gruffalo - Movement for Common Sensepublication date Fri Oct 31, 2008 21:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The teachers are right, the kids should not be the ones to suffer but the permanent teachers are not so quick to point out that they are overpaid, immune from dismissal and enjoying a level of job security that none of the private sector have at this point in time, and have secure pensions for the future unlike the rest of us.

Instead of having a go at the Government, why dont they themselves put the kids first. Take a pay freeze for 2 years and that will help the country out. It amazes me how much of a neck the public sector have. They give out about all Government measures while they are the ones crippling the country.

No to medical card cuts, no to education cuts, YES to major public sector reform!

author by seedotpublication date Sat Nov 01, 2008 00:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ah gruffalo

how right you are - how can we make the shift from recession into full blown depression unless we make every worker and citizen as miserable as the oppressed private sector worker.

Not only should we seize the pensions they have bought for themselves but we should make sure that any public sector workers who are within walking or cycling distance of their workplaces are shipped out to a field in Carlow where they can be made do the same planet destroying commute that the oppressed private sector workers do.

What a neck they have, standing in the cold and the rain and the dark in their thousands trying to protect the education of our children. In the most tightly packed crowd I've encountered at a demo the overpaid, job secure workers in a system that we all know will be the end of us became the latest in the successive waves of anger to wash up on Kildare street. One thing though - if even the teachers, who have it so good are angry enough to come out as Revolutionaries on Kildare street - can you imagine how pissed off the oppressed private sector workers are - those whose pensions are disappearing into market bullshit and whose jobs are more precarious by the day and whose children need their teachers to march on power to try and protect their education.

Gruffalo - yes we need public sector reform. We also need private sector reform and financial reform and economic reform and social reform and, dare we say it, maybe a bit more than reform, maybe some real changes.

Poor teachers - unlike Gruffalo they just don't have a clue.
More power to them and lets join them all on Molesworth Street and party like its 1929.

Great pics btw.,

C.

so much cardboard, so many slogans
so much cardboard, so many slogans

author by Mark C - ASTI (pers. caps.)publication date Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gruffalo,

Us teachers have taken a pay freeze, as have all public sector workers. Have you not followed the latest round of pay talks? Pay freeze for ALL for the next 11 months. You suggestion has been noted and implemented, while myself and my wife (another teacher) struggle away to pay the mortgage, car loan, childminding, bills, food, etc.

Our pay is not that good; teachers make the average industrial wage (or thereabouts) - that'd hardly count as being "overpaid", and don't get on to me about pensions and permanent jobs, we don't all have them, and they are not too easy to get (I, for one, will more than likely lose my job this year because of the cuts announced in the budget (as will two or three others in my school (which is a lot in a school of only 25 teachers))).

We're all in the same sea of struggle I'm afraid.

_____________
Paula, Andrew, Richard,

Great reporting, great photos, well done.

Mark.

author by rob - RIRBpublication date Mon Nov 03, 2008 03:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the reason for the education Cuts...in all quarters...is to do with the fact, that the Department of education has (just) recieved the Annual Residential Redress Boards (compensation for victims of Institutional abuses) report...(which it refuses to release) and the figures are STAGGERING....(victims compensation-to date...=€2.4 BILLION) with further costs, for Legal Fee's...=(€768 Million) the grand total €3 Billion, 100 and 28 Million.....

author by Niall Smyth - People Before Profit Alliance, SWP & INTO- Personal Capacitypublication date Sat Nov 08, 2008 18:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Today up to 8,000 teachers and parents marched through a wet and windy Galway city. The mood was angry and determined. There was a call for unity among teachers and parents in the wake of attempts to wipe up anti-teacher sentiment around the issue. The march included teachers from INTO, ASTI and TUI and the Socialist Workers Party, Labour, Sinn Fein and WSM were also present.
The SWP (Galway) have a picket organised on Fianna Fail Sean O Neachtainn's Office, Prospect Hill, Galway @ 2pm Sat 15th Nov, followed by a meeting "But whats the alternative?" upstairs in Richardson's Bar, Eyre's Square afterwards.

Also this week the People Before Profit Alliance held a serious of picket on FF and Green TD offices. Around 100 teachers and parents took part in a picket called by the People Before Profit Alliance outside Sean Haughey's clinic. The picket was addressed by parents, teachers and members of the People Before Profit Alliance and Sinn Fein.

Further pickets are planned and the INTO have further rallys planned for Tullamore, Cork and Dublin in the coming weeks (See www.into.ie).

Related Link: http://www.people-before-profit.org
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