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Students Occupy and Blockade the Department of Finance in opposition to the Budget

category dublin | miscellaneous | news report author Thursday April 16, 2009 11:23author by FEE Report this post to the editors

Protest against the governments budget.

Students from several universities have occupied the department of finance whilst more have blockaded the entrances. Gardai have just arrived. Supporters encouraged to get down to the deptartment of Finance on Merrion street upper.

author by FEEpublication date Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:26Report this post to the editors

Over 30 college students from the Free Education for Everyone (FEE) staging a direct action protest at the Department of Finance on Merrion Street upper. Students from FEE have occupied the building itself while more have blockaded the entrances to the department as part of the protest.This is in protest against the Government’s recent budget and the planned reintroduction of college fees.

Julian Brophy, a student from UCD and one of involved in the peaceful protest commented:

“This protest is taking place in order to highlight the shameful action on the part of the government in it’s recent budget, the implications of which will see unbearable strain placed on young people, students and college workers. The government has shown callous disregard in it’s attempts to re-introduce college fees while slashing spending on education, burdening college workers with an income tax levy, and reducing the social welfare payments to those unemployed, under 20 years of age, despite a massive increase in unemployment.”

Donal Fallon, a NUIM student added:

“We oppose education cutbacks, the re-introduction of fees, in any form, and the attack on college workers. The actions of the government will force many young people out of this country. We demand Education not Emigration!”

To speak to a member of FEE involved in the protest:
Ring Jonathan at 0876851019 or Emma at 0871342896.

About Free Education for Everyone:

Free Education for Everyone (FEE) campaign is a national grassroots group of students and college workers active across the country. We are organised on campuses in University College Dublin, NUI Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, NUI Galway, University College Cork, and the University of Limerick.

In October 2008, FEE activists were involved in the two hundred strong blockade of Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan in UCD. In December, twelve students from UCD FEE occupied the office of Paul Gogarty Green Party TD for Dublin Mid-West and Spokesperson on Education in Lucan Village. On the same day FEE occupied the UCC's President's Office and Galway FEE occupied the office of Eamon O'Cuiv, Fianna Fail TD and Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Later that month, Galway FEE was involved in the blockade of Eamon O Cuiv and Batt O’Keefe to NUIG. In February 2009, FEE led a breakaway protest during the USI national protest against fees, which saw hundreds of students staged a sit down protest outside the Dail. Find out more at

author by linkerpublication date Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:07Report this post to the editors

1.00 RTE radio news, no coverage
Neither on RTE news site, yet, http://www.rte.ie/news/ireland_categories.html

Irish times, breaking news:

Protest at Department of Finance

Some 30 students are holding a demonstration outside the Department of Finance in Dublin in protest at the education cutbacks announced in the Budget and the possible reintroduction of college fees.

Up to 10 protesters from the Free Education for Everyone (FEE) group are understood to have entered the building in Merrion Street and staged a sit-in on the main stairwell.

A Garda spokesman said several officers were at the scene and there were no traffic diversions in place.

One of the protesters Julian Brophy, a student from UCD, said: “This protest is taking place in order to highlight the shameful action on the part of the Government in it’s recent budget, the implications of which will see unbearable strain placed on young people, students and college workers...


author by Ciarán - WSM - (In APC.)publication date Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:23Report this post to the editors

Well done to all in FEE for keeping the struggle ticking along!



author by Godot - feepublication date Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:26Report this post to the editors

Has also been on newstalk. They give a round up of the news every 30 mins so keep an ear out.

author by Barrypublication date Thu Apr 16, 2009 14:30Report this post to the editors

Fair play to you guys, and solidarity from UL.

author by Conor. Mpublication date Thu Apr 16, 2009 15:26Report this post to the editors

Certainly keeping up the pressure there FEE. I saw it first on the Irish Times website. Whats happening now? Is there a big Gardai presence?

author by Emma Beckettpublication date Thu Apr 16, 2009 16:54Report this post to the editors

"A strong Garda presence was on hand to monitor the protest, and there were no arrests.

After a meeting between student representatives and a senior Department official, at which the students submitted a written of list concerns, the protest ended."

From the Irish Times

author by hilary - NUIMpublication date Thu Apr 16, 2009 20:23Report this post to the editors

...keep the pressure on.


author by Paula Geraghtypublication date Fri Apr 17, 2009 00:01author email mspgeraghty at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors

Images (c)

Members of FEE enter and unfurl a banner on the first floor of the Department of Finance
Members of FEE enter and unfurl a banner on the first floor of the Department of Finance

Members of FEE sit and wait on the grand staircase of the Department of Finance, for the Gardaí  to arrive.
Members of FEE sit and wait on the grand staircase of the Department of Finance, for the Gardaí to arrive.

author by Jason Whelan - FEE Maynoothpublication date Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:25Report this post to the editors

Thanks for all the solidarity and all the support, but we must keep this going. This was the fright that less than 40 students could generate. Think of the damage that the whole student body could do. Register to vote. Be a threat in their own game. Hit them where it hurts; their pride and their wallets. Thats what they have been doing for the last 10 months to everyone else.

author by Deirdrepublication date Fri Apr 17, 2009 23:13Report this post to the editors

Fantastic - stay strong!

author by Joseph Loughnane - NUIG FEE & SWPpublication date Sun Apr 19, 2009 04:20Report this post to the editors

Well done guys, wish I could have been there, this is just the start, things are going to get bigger and louder, by the way, when and where is the national meeting?

author by Donal ÓF- FEE NUIM/WSM (both pers cap)publication date Tue Apr 21, 2009 01:07Report this post to the editors

Moving on from the above, here's two more images from the action:

second banner
second banner

mixmatch of heads
mixmatch of heads

author by NYC student occupationpublication date Tue Apr 21, 2009 13:02Report this post to the editors

Does it ever stop? What have we unleashed upon this metropolitan wasteland? If anything was shown by last night, it is that something has emerged at the New School, at NYU, in New York City that is not taking SHIT anymore. Until every last building is occupied, transformed, freed from its subservience to labor and consumption, WE WON'T STOP. A strange myst of truth was in the air, and words toppled each other before meaning could be frozen. Every body, every chant, every movement was a political gesture in a ballet of power. Bob Kerrey will go. We know this will happen. Together, we can find ourselves in the moments, find each other in these places where action and education blend, where streets and classrooms merge, where life and thought for one moment clearly see each other, and are consistent.

Until every clock is broken,



author by An Puca - Me Feinpublication date Thu Apr 23, 2009 02:49Report this post to the editors

I was a member of Campaign for Free Education (CFE) back in 2003 and took part in the occupation of the Department of Finance with amongst others Paul Murphy from Socialist Youth U.C.D., Finbar - Socialist Alternative U.C.D., "Red" Redmond. John from Mc Donough/ Farrell Sinn Fein Cumann U.C.D. and a group of Maynooth students. Labour Youth and Independents were also involved back then. The way I see it ye are fighting the same fight against the same group of burnt out fat old men who are burning our money - fair play to ye keep it up!

An Puca

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