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'No Cutbacks, No Fees, No Fianna Fáil TD's!', images from Student Protest of 25,000 in Dublin
Saturday February 07, 2009 21:38 by Paula Geraghty mspgeraghty at yahoo dot ie
The day public servants discovered how much Cowan was taking from their take home pay to bail out the system , 25,000 students took to the streets of Dublin shouting
'No Cutbacks, No Fees, No Fianna Fáil TD's!'
It was big, it was loud. The march went to Merrion Square bypassing the gardaí protecting the back entrance to the Dáil. A worker from Waterford Crystal was the first to address the assembled crowds. He was warmly welcomed and quite overwhelmed with the amount of support.
Next up, Mike Jennings, General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), said, “Speaking as a representative of the generation that benefited from the decision of Donagh O’Malley to introduce free second-level education, I can testify to the very real difference that not having to pay fees makes to individuals and society alike.”
Fine Gael had a few words while Ruairi Quinn, former Labour party leader seemed to trail off into another realm half way through. Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin received a good response and his talk can be seen here: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90996
Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party got a rapturous response when he called for a national day of action to shut down the colleges and a General Strike. He emphasised that students should protest with the road sweepers, the Nurses and that was the way to go. Richard Boyd Barret from People Before Profit got a similar response.
It was good to see workers and students on the platform- a marked shift from the usual only having politicians.
FEE, Free Education for Everyone had a break away protest rally, all very civilised on Kildare Street, outside the Dáil. The Gardaí, who were protecting the elected Government inside were in a rather sympathetic mood as those they were 'protecting' had robbed them of part of their wages ;-)
The assembled FEE group gathered and continued the protest right up to Aungier St. DIT where USI were continuing the discussion on strategy and tactics. It was more of a power point presentation on how to campaign. Cringingly bad, more painful than Peep Show and The Office combined. The kids weren't fooled by this. Think the pressure is on the Student Unions to shift the resistance to the government and escalate the protests.
images etc (c)
Video footage to follow!