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Police Draw Batons on Bank Bailout protestors

category national | anti-capitalism | feature author Wednesday May 12, 2010 17:24author by Paula Geraghtyauthor email mspgeraghty at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

Two thousand took to the street to protest at the bank bailout.

Anger at the devastation of Ireland in the name of bailing out the Banks was articulated at the Right To Work Campaign protest at the Dail.

This is a short video from when the first forty or so went to the gates to be joined shortly by hundreds more.

.

_mg_7049_garda_baton_web_indy.jpg

img_7083_dail_web_indy.jpg


Caption: Video from the gates of the Daíl.

author by petepublication date Wed May 12, 2010 00:17Report this post to the editors

Fair Play Paula, put RTE to shame yet again

Quote end of video

“Could everyone just move down and sit peacefully on the ground, that’s the way to go”

Day of siting down are over

author by radio headpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 00:18Report this post to the editors

You're a self contained OB unit!

author by Pat - nonepublication date Wed May 12, 2010 00:32Report this post to the editors

Might you change the title of this story to....Garda use batons on demonstrators. Drawing batons might just imply that they were not actually used to clock people on their heads, ''drawing batons'' would be a more suitable headline for RTE.

author by FSB!publication date Wed May 12, 2010 01:49Report this post to the editors

Spotted in the photo that the Garda swinging the baton is an inspector, if I am correct about his shoulder flash. Maybe someone with encyclopedic knowledge of Garda uniforms could enlighten us further.

I have also seen this guy involved in the policing of other Dublin protests. He's also a trashmouth. Probably a city-centre based cop.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 02:07Report this post to the editors

News tonight said abut 40 people turned up. TV3 played it down.

author by dubpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 08:15Report this post to the editors

Hi Just out of curiosty who organised this?

Kudos to em

author by Tarapublication date Wed May 12, 2010 08:36Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the video! Glad we had a look at the crowds- thats important. TV3 said this morning that 200 people marched yesterday evening, the Irish Examiner 200, Irish Independent 500 and no figure was given in the Irish Times.

I am sorry for anyone who got injured, hope ye will be ok.

author by We the Peoplepublication date Wed May 12, 2010 08:45Report this post to the editors


Interesting why there were no arrests or why more Gardai were not present.
So, the first step towards a Greek type situation on the Streets is being hatched that will bring in more restrictions on EVERYONE...........

A great excuse to deploy Defense Forces on our Streets and railings around the Dail on a permanent bases , a little like the four Courts.

author by NCpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 10:04Report this post to the editors

What a waste of time. Big deal, the garda used batons, what else do you expect?!! Individual acts of protest are a nonsense, they give plenty of ammunition to the media to undermine the legitimacy of such campaigns and further isolate the politics of the serious left. People look at this nonsense and see the same old usual suspects at work. If you want change, its not going to be through 'building' up for momentary protests. Its going to be a much slower process of work at grassroots and institutional level.

author by Watching and annoyedpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 10:18Report this post to the editors

I'm not trying to put down the motives of the protestors, as I think the bank bailout, (particularly NAMA) was robbing us to keep their friends happy.

But, I have to wonder WHY they did it and why people are keen to portray it as some brilliant idea.

Open gates = temptation sure, but, it wasn't some heroic class war gesture.
Fair play to people for getting off their asses, and I hope more people do, but I hate seeing energy wasted on silly knee jerk reactions or worse, publicity stunts.

The cops have said what they think of the Govt, but at the same time, they are not going to let some bunch of people of unknown intent rush the place, especially those carrying wooden poles (flags attached, sure).

So, unless there was some proper point, other than a gesture, why run at cops and (predictably) get batoned?

In case it has gone over the heads of these folk the Dail has gates, guards etc, and last night, there were more TDs standing on the street watching the protest than there were inside the Dail, cowering at the assembled crowd.

TD's clinics, on the other hand, have no line of cops to worry about, and the TD tends to turn up. So, rather than marching at shouting repetitive slogans at empty buildings, which does little other than vent a bit of anger, and get the adrenalin pumping, why are we not occupying TD's clinics?

I give my local TDs an earful everytime I meet them. If we did more of that type of thing, it would bother them more than the sight of people waving flags outside an empty Dail, confronting the cops, who, in fairness did not think up NAMA.

The Govt won't be quaking in their boots at a small section, with the usual banners staging little events like this. They will just have the gates better secured.

When folk who look like John and Mary voter start turning up in large numbers at clinics, or in even bigger numbers sit down on Kildare Street, and Merrion Square, then they will start to sweat a bit.

Sorry if that rankles people, but that's my constructive criticism of the action.

author by eco joepublication date Wed May 12, 2010 10:18Report this post to the editors

Mainstream media reports of “storming” the Dail very sensational. They emply “SWP or People before profit” tried to take power or something. Be careful not falling into their hands. They just want to make the public Apathic and not stand up for their rights. Don’t worry about what the media say, its their job to keep the pigs in power. Look at Greece, all the grassroot movements ignored, street fighting ALL they cover.

Don’t fall in to the trap. Grassroots movements are the way to go. The media turned large demonstrations around the world into a spectacle for their own ends. Learn from this

Watch Berlusconi's Mousetrap – excellent example how the state and media work in this regard. What they are doing right now in reporting this protest

Related Link: http://vimeo.com/8672001
author by krossie - none at mopublication date Wed May 12, 2010 10:26Report this post to the editors

I'm very much a hurler on the ditch at the mo but anyways!

Hi N C I don't think that there's a hard and fast distinction between the slower process of work at grassroots and institutional level. and street demonstrations and manifestations of anger or "individual protests" The two intertwine.

In fact any large well rooted "fire" in wind conditions of huge anger would throw off sparks in all sorts of directions quiet naturally.

Last nights spat looked pretty minor and not particularly organised but it is very heartening to see that tiny sparks are flying.

Any slow process of work at a grassroots level needs some thing to work with and it looks possible that maybe there is a little smoke coming from under the leaves...

kp

Related Link: http://vimeo.com/user1323806
author by Fact Checkerpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 11:20Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the video, Paula.

However, there were not 2,000 people at the march. 1,000 would be a fairer estimate. I realise though that this particular form of optimistic innumeracy seems to come issued with every SWP membership card.

Speaking of which, the "Right to Work Campaign" is a classic SWP front, emerging fully formed from Henrietta Street. That's a shame really, as a campaign of this sort could conceivably get somewhere if it was built on an inclusive basis.

author by Beancounterpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 12:04Report this post to the editors

I waited half way down O'Connell Street for the march before joining it. I tried do do a rough count. My estimate at that point was that there were at the very least 1,700 . I think 2,000 is a fair amount to claim, although one of the speakers later claimed 2,500.

author by pat cpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 12:26Report this post to the editors

The most worrying aspect of last nights incident was that Mary and others were struck on the head, Gardai are not supposed to do that as a blow to the head could cause brain damage or even death. I hope a complaint is being made to the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

author by D_Dpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 12:35Report this post to the editors

Myself and Andrew F counted the march as it passed the Parnell Monument. It was difficult to count as the pace was fast in the rain. We agreed on 900.

In my own opinion, judging the march impressionistically as it reached, say, Nassau Street, there could have been a couple of hundred or so more who joined in along the way.

In my own view the crowd quickly reduced after the march reached the speakers' platform in Moleworth Street and, soon enough, estimates for that stage, and certainly by the end of the speeches, of 500 would not be ungenerous.

It is very interesting to see the reportage (mainstream and left) of an event you were at or know a little about, and compare it to what you know or believe.

author by krossie - nonepublication date Wed May 12, 2010 13:54Report this post to the editors

Stormin an empty Dail for symbolism?

Hi “watched and annoyed” (good handle) I think to talk about symbolism almost as if it where empty or unimportant is to under rate an absolutely crucial element in politics and indeed human social relations in general.

Symbolism, perception and “optics” to use meeja speak are often the critical factors in political debate and perhaps some one in the SWP grasped this fact…

As to the Dail being empty or full– same difference!

“Could everyone just move down and sit peacefully on the ground, that’s the way to go”

The Garda here too seems to appreciate the symbolic difference between a “protest” – (well we made our point lads and we had a great day out…)
and a “something” that even in a rag tag, ill organized, (possibly even slightly opportunistic) gesture/spectacle based “effort” at least points to some sort of idea of the possibility of organised resistance counter to the current status quo…

Rushing the gates of an empty Dail... road to nowhere.

I don’t think it should be any one’s main focus of activity but I don’t think it was a waste of time either

author by Joe Listenpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 13:58Report this post to the editors

On Joe Duffy Now RTE Radio One

author by Jackie Masonpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 14:29Report this post to the editors

Having watched Vincent Browne last night (on TV3 website also) it was clear that KIeran Allen was uncomfortable with the scuffles. He made a half-hearted attempt to defend them and condemn the cops, but was pulled by both Browne and Fintan O'Toole and gave up. As it happens I think the whole thing was a half-arsed stunt. The march was lightly policed, no mounted or riot squad and actually a determined charge would proably have got people into the Dial grounds. But it was just a silly stand off, which actually only alienated a few of the non-party political people on the demo (and then dominated the media coverage). If you try and push past maybe 10 cops, they will draw batons and hit you. I have no problem with direct action, if it serious, but this wasn't and the people who were injured should not have been put in that position. The SWP website are trying to say it was of Greece proportions. Please get a grip. It was a good turn out (especially as it was pissing down) and the speeches by O'Toole and others were good: we need that broad base to mobilise beyond just the far left. In the meantime SWP members- keep it cool, you are not in Greece, and if you were you would not support the anarchists rioting anyway!

author by Ruapublication date Wed May 12, 2010 14:36Report this post to the editors

Just a few things which have been annoying me about the RTE report regarding the march last night.

Firstly, the march was a 'march for jobs'. Yes, people were commenting on the ludicrous amount of money that is being injected into the banks, but that was not the main point of the march.

Secondly, there were over 2,000 people at the march, not 500. Clearly the RTE journalist who was at the Garden of Remembrance (and who didn't bother coming on the march to the Dail) can't count.

Thirdly, about 20 people were jostling with the Gardai - not 100 and they were not trying to "storm the Dail". If the Gardai didn't want anyone in the grounds of the Dail, why did they leave one of the gates to the Dail open?

Fourthly, the picture on the RTE website was not from the protest last night, it is an archived photo. In the photo on the RTE website, streetlights are on. There were no streetlights on at the march last night as it was bright. Also, there are no banners in this photo. Anyone who was at the march last night would know that there were lots of banners, including the easily distinguishable red 'Social Workers Party' banners - which are not in that picture. Also, the white van where the speakers were standing was also not there.

As Vincent Brown (who was at the march) said on Tonight with Vincent Brown, it looked more dramatic than it actually was and if the Gardai really wanted to stop the crowd jostling they could have closed the gate (one of the gates into the Dail which opened onto Kildare Street was open). Perhaps they were looking for a fight?

Oh, and one of the protestors was concussed after he was hit on the head with a baton, so that to me is excessive force.

author by krossie - nonepublication date Wed May 12, 2010 14:52Report this post to the editors

I think its entertaining to see descriptions of "how to do direct action properly" and the Greeks know what its all about and the likes.

(I wouldn't see direct action personally as a code for simply more militant protesting but that’s another day's barney!)

What happened does seem to have been pretty much in the nature of a fairly un-thought-out rush at a gap - but I'm sure an awful lot of what is happening in Greece at the moment (despite a combative and organized left, despite much worse conditions and so on) is like that too.

It's a sign
A possible appetite for more, bigger better...

When people move to action for probably the first time it may well take a form that’s silly, tokenistic, opportunistic, un–thought-out or disorganized manner

But still they take a crucial step.

For sure more organised, combative, thought through and bigger stuff would be nice and lets hope it arrives
(tho' it certainly won't evolve out of moaning or waiting for the correct method for ever)

Kp

author by reporterpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 15:57Report this post to the editors

Some more video footage from outside the Daíl.

Caption: More footage from the gates of the Daíl


author by krossie - nonepublication date Wed May 12, 2010 16:02Report this post to the editors


That appears to be pretty much as un-thought-through and as likely to lead to broken heads as last night's scuffle tho' you have to admire their sheer god damn courage!!!

kp

author by careful nowpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 16:03Report this post to the editors

My two cents, for what it's worth......

I think the march was a great success, good turnout despite the terrible weather, and some great speakers. I left the demonstration feeling like I was there for the beginning of something big, something great. We always knew the mainstream media would criticise or ignore it altogether, but I think the "storming the Dáil" incident drew a lot more attention to the demonstration than it would have otherwise gotten. Anyone who was there knows that it was a relatively harmless incident that brought a lot of coverage, and any coverage is good coverage as now I think we can expect a much greater turnout next week.

author by caoipublication date Wed May 12, 2010 16:31Report this post to the editors

excuse me I certainly was trying to storm the dail!
I would like the SWP to account for what tactics or strategy has their self-appointed Leader Professor Allen of UCD Sociology dept. spreading his arms to protect the guards and stop and prevent the people storming Dail Eirienn?
What does he think he needs to educate them first?
anyone with footage of that shameful act please post it up!

author by old codger - pensionerpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 17:41Report this post to the editors

I have just listened to Joe Duffy demonising a protester, he was trying to deny the explanation of a man that was at the protest by continually asking ( are you a member of Sinn Fienn or Eirigi ? ) and he refused to accept the callers answer that he was an independant protester . Duffy wants to give the impression that the protesters are being led by terrorists just as they did with SHell 2 sea.
RTE is the Fianna Fail propaganda machine .
The Gardai know that they will not be held to account for brutality because the Ombudsman is accountable to the minister for justice and the DPP for any judgment he makes.
Protests should be aimed at individual TD's , they should not be allowed to show their faces in public anymore. Take them by SURPRISE.
When you forcast your protests you help them to deploy their defences "The Gardai" who are ready to assault members of the public with impunity.

author by Angry Irishpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 20:50Report this post to the editors

Well done to those in the rainy streets, perhaps more people might wake up and get out and join with others take action.
Perhaps Greece will be singing a different song in years to come?

Éirígí vid - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9Zcv8-oLUM
Civil Disobedience Justified - http://eirigi.org/latest/latest120510.html

Dublin Protest March to Dail - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2lEez-U4RY

Scuffles at gates of Dail in response to bank bailouts (WSM)
http://www.wsm.ie/c/scuffles-dail-bank-bailouts

Scuffles at the Dail, sectarianism and unity - what is the Right to Work? (Andrew Flood blog)
http://anarchism.pageabode.com/andrewnflood/scuffles-da...-work

Trade Union TV Ireland - Right to Work Protest at Dail
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51svKk_0FEY

The woman speaking at the end put it right, the message to Ireland:

come out and protest
dont be complaining,
dont be telling me that "ah look what they are doing with the cuts "
get out and fight for your own rights
dont be expecting us to do it
come and fight

i look forward to more action and more vids of that action from TRADE UNION TV - http://www.youtube.com/user/TradeUnionTVIreland

Caption: Trade Union TV- Right to Work Protest at Dail


Caption: Éirígí vid - Civil Disobedience Justified


author by FB'erpublication date Wed May 12, 2010 21:04Report this post to the editors

It is interesting that a facebook poster was doing the rounds in lead up to this demo
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=117026604976495&r...ef=mf

post on indymedia: Enough is Enough! No More Bailouts! - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/96427

2 vids -

John Bissett of the Canal Communities Campaign for Equality and Fairness gives an empowering speech to the crowd gathered for the Enough Is Enough Protest at Dail Eireann on 11 May 2010
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWyzce9S6K0
(anything to luther blissett???)

Enough Is Enough Demonstration - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_W79a6QbJw

Enough is Enough! No More Bailouts! - poster (only small version seems accessible)
Enough is Enough! No More Bailouts! - poster (only small version seems accessible)

Enough is Enough! No More Bailouts! - another bloody picture
Enough is Enough! No More Bailouts! - another bloody picture

Caption: Enough Is Enough - John Bissett of the Canal Communities Campaign for Equality and Fairness


Caption: Enough Is Enough Demonstration


author by Ferguspublication date Wed May 12, 2010 21:27Report this post to the editors

Interesting to note that no arrests were made. What were the protesters going to do if they had of succeeded to breach the perimeter?? Sit down and be batoned? Occupy and be batoned? What?

author by less annoyed and still watching.publication date Wed May 12, 2010 22:06Report this post to the editors

I think its entertaining to see descriptions of "how to do direct action properly" and the Greeks know what its all about and the likes.

(I wouldn't see direct action personally as a code for simply more militant protesting but that’s another day's barney!)

What happened does seem to have been pretty much in the nature of a fairly un-thought-out rush at a gap - but I'm sure an awful lot of what is happening in Greece at the moment (despite a combative and organized left, despite much worse conditions and so on) is like that too.

It's a sign
A possible appetite for more, bigger better...

When people move to action for probably the first time it may well take a form that’s silly, tokenistic, opportunistic, un–thought-out or disorganized manner

But still they take a crucial step.

For sure more organised, combative, thought through and bigger stuff would be nice and lets hope it arrives
(tho' it certainly won't evolve out of moaning or waiting for the correct method for ever)

Kp


Again I find myself agreeing with you Krossie. Nothing would be done if we waited for the 'ideal' circumstances.
I just think that if your going to do action for the first time, it should be like driving for the first time, (e.g. not on the motorway...)
If it's your first go at NVDA, don't take on the cops at the houses of the Oireachtas.
Engaging with baton wielding Gardai is not something to be entered into lightly. (nor is a bit of aggro with the cops a result in itself)
Some of the senior officers there remember events like the burning of the British embassy and other political violence.
In the current climate, and with their minds focussed by reports from Greece, they're not going to let a hostile bunch of strangers run around the Dail grounds. (Now, if they KNEW it was some fluffy bunch, it would make sense to actually let them through the gate, slam it behind them, and then engage it a game of cat and mouse to round them all up, bit of exercise etc.) No Inspector is going to be the one who let a TD, Senator get belted by a flag pole, a brick or molotov thrown through a window (if one is paranoid enough to worry about such things from the crowd last night, and cops tend not to give the benefit of the doubt, eh?)

Fairly dumb of the cops to leave the gate open, when they didn't have the personnel to shut it. They put themselves in a situation where it was possible to outnumber them, and they are then more likely to react with batons in a confined space, (which of itself makes it harder to hit anywhere other than the head). Next time I imagine the gate will be closed, and there will be more Gardai behind it.

If folk are going to 'plan' NVDA, then they should plan it. I'm sick of the amount of people who told me they had a plan, and it wasn't thought out, except from a political perspective. NVDA must at least attempt to be practical and effective. It's not the climax from a movie, where we storm the Csar's chambers and end the Empire. Actions have context and possibly longer term consequences (legal, financial or medical)
Be disciplined, be tactical, have a realistic achievable objective, and also look at it on a cost v benefit basis, and don't be afraid to keep one's powder dry for another day, another venue.

From the cost side, people got slaps on batons in the head, from a contact they initiated with a police line. Belts to the head can cause serious injury or death. Engaging with baton wielding Gardai is not something to be entered into lightly.

Now, the plus side from what I can see is that at least it increased the coverage that there was a protest and there is anger, (but little else got reported)

Would that be worth a cracked skull though? Would some other stunt, or less risky NVDA accomplish similar coverage, with less risk of being batoned in the head? Those questions should be explored before deciding to put a group in harm's way.

NVDA is not the 'macho militant strand' of resistance. It is a useful tool amongst others such as boycotts, marches, local re-organising of economy (eg. food independence, LETS).

author by Where are your balls?publication date Thu May 13, 2010 09:12Report this post to the editors

Shame on Kieran Allen and the SWP leadership for trying to diffuse and calm the situation, I remember them saying about the cops: "They're only workers too". No, they're not workers, they're symbols and active enforcers of state repression. They don't deserve working class solidarity.

At 0.33 you can see Mr. Allen, centre of the screen in a black and red jacket, taking a flag-pole of one of the young SWP members... WTF? Fair play to SWP youth, but shame on the leadership.

author by WaApublication date Thu May 13, 2010 09:55Report this post to the editors

Where are your balls? :
Shame on Kieran Allen and the SWP leadership for trying to diffuse and calm the situation, I remember them saying about the cops: "They're only workers too". No, they're not workers, they're symbols and active enforcers of state repression. They don't deserve working class solidarity.

At 0.33 you can see Mr. Allen, centre of the screen in a black and red jacket, taking a flag-pole of one of the young SWP members... WTF? Fair play to SWP youth, but shame on the leadership.


Cut the crap they didn't all join to be state oppressors, we're not in a police state (unless you're in Rossport). There's plenty of pr!cks in uniform, but they're not slavish believers in the government.

And what about the gobshite in the grey hoodie pushing other people intio the cops but not getting in the range of batons himself? What's your opinion of that guy?

author by Daithi37publication date Thu May 13, 2010 10:34Report this post to the editors

I'm very rarely go on demos except for Palestine. However I think something substantial could come here by the looks of things and I'm definitely going on the next one
I'm not to keen on the whole Euro Super State bank bail out so I where could I buy a large European Flag that we can march and stamp on? Also, Is it illegal to burn a flag in public?
Thanks, Daithi.

author by a and not apublication date Thu May 13, 2010 11:06Report this post to the editors

Cut the crap they didn't all join to be state oppressors, we're not in a police state (unless you're in Rossport). There's plenty of pr!cks in uniform, but they're not slavish believers in the government.

Lovely grasp of logic there and how now there's a new state existing on the island, that of "Rossport", I wonder if diplomatic ties have been made yet? No one is saying whether they're pricks or sound, it's what their job is, their tole in society that is in question. I'm sure the guards who evicted and arrested the thomas cook workers were lovely lads but that still doesn't take away the fact that in any increase in (working class) militancy and consciousness, the gardai will play a reactionary and anti working class role. I don't see anything about Rossport that is an exception to the rule, if anything, it IS the rule.

As for Kieran Allen's comments, that's just typical of the SWP's mechanical, orthodox marxist class analysis. *sigh*

author by WaApublication date Thu May 13, 2010 11:22Report this post to the editors

Lovely grasp of logic there and how now there's a new state existing on the island, that of "Rossport", I wonder if diplomatic ties have been made yet?

The govt has full contact with the offices of Shell and it's partners. : )

No one is saying whether they're pricks or sound, it's what their job is, their tole in society that is in question. I'm sure the guards who evicted and arrested the thomas cook workers were lovely lads but that still doesn't take away the fact that in any increase in (working class) militancy and consciousness, the gardai will play a reactionary and anti working class role.

I don't call it anti-working class to hold a gate. when you are physically confronted by people who are not interested in dialogue, whose intentions are not known to you and your job is to keep the peace in the area.
The Gardai didn't rush out and baton the protestors on the street, they gave verbal warnings, pushed and then batoned those in the gateway. Call it excessive, call it what you like, but, did the Gardai go profiling them by class before they belted them? Seems to me they hit who was in the gate.

Likewise, as someone who works in a deprived working class area, I have seen the cops turn up at a house where decent working class people were targetted by scumbags. The cops took up position to protect the decent residents, and they were carrying more serious weapons than batons. It wasn't politicians, nor big property owners, and the risk to the gardai was higher than the gardai at Leinster house faced, so don't paint a one sided view of the Gardai. Give credit where it is due, sometimes they will just do their job whether its protecting a single family or leinster house.

Rossport is different as the Gardai are working directly on politcal instructions. They dishonour themselves by doing that, and they truly have chosen sides there.

author by a and not apublication date Thu May 13, 2010 11:55Report this post to the editors

"I don't call it anti-working class to hold a gate. when you are physically confronted by people who are not interested in dialogue, whose intentions are not known to you and your job is to keep the peace in the area.
The Gardai didn't rush out and baton the protestors on the street, they gave verbal warnings, pushed and then batoned those in the gateway. Call it excessive, call it what you like, but, did the Gardai go profiling them by class before they belted them? Seems to me they hit who was in the gate."

I don't think this specific individual incident is anti-working class either, what I am questioning is the broader context of the social role of the gardai. In this specific individual incident, I agree with you, as the garda did their job! Complaining to the media about being hit by police when you try to force or break their lines doesn't make much sense to me either.

Your example of gardai helping a single family is an example of a positive social function that other groups not part of a police force/wing of the state could easily fulfill without necessitating their fulfilling the role of the gardai as protectors of wealth and power. This is just one example of social functions that have come under the control of the police force since their initial inception, use and role (which remains the same), social functions that don't necessitate a police force. A conscious or unconscious obfuscation of their role on the part of the powers that be. Even the name 'An Garda Siochana' when translated to english, I mean who could be opposed to that?! :p

"Rossport is different as the Gardai are working directly on politcal instructions. They dishonour themselves by doing that, and they truly have chosen sides there."

In the example I gave of the Gardai evicting the Thomas Cook workers and arresting them, was there a direct political instruction? I don't think so. Again, this is the social role the Gardai as a police force play, and in times of strikes, occupations, protest, increased militancy, consciousness and radicalism it becomes clear(er).

author by WaApublication date Thu May 13, 2010 12:15Report this post to the editors

I didn't contradict you on Thomas Cook.

For the record, I have personally made complaints against members of the Gardai, I just don't like the knee-jerk reaction from some posters and activists that the cops are always wrong or always acting in a political manner.

Following on from something Krossie said, about people's first go at NVDA, it should be done in such a reckless fashion that it puts anyone else off getting involved either. I don't think the bit of publicity it got would outweight that factor.

Gotta go. Nice 'chatting' with ya.

author by Super8publication date Thu May 13, 2010 16:44Report this post to the editors

Good protest on Tuesday. Pity about the group who thought they could make a difference by running at the gates of the Dáil. That'll scare off a good many people who would otherwise join these marches. Hot bloods need to calm down and help this become a much larger peaceful movement. Any violence will be used by the authorities to use force to quash these protests. They are not used to people speaking out in this country so don't give them any excuse to accuse people of breaking the law.

author by Ghost of Tom Clarkepublication date Thu May 13, 2010 18:44Report this post to the editors

The Joe Duffy interview with Paul "the shinner"
http://www.rte.ie/podcasts/2010/pc/pod-v-12051036m43sli...t.mp3

Shinners storm the Dail (Evening Herald)
- Hardline Republicans among protesters who tried to storm Dail
- TD says Gardai were left with 'no option' but to draw batons
- Fears of further violence as another march is planned
http://www.herald.ie/national-news/city-news/shinners-s....html

And ye remember when sparks flew, literally, last time...

Dublin Riots: What Happened and Why (Analysis) + 13min Video Footage
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74528

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Dublin_riots

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=755498329837743...6573#

Shinners trying to kick off armed revolution?
Shinners trying to kick off armed revolution?


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The Joe Duffy interview with Paul "the shinner"

author by Shop Stewardpublication date Thu May 13, 2010 22:19Report this post to the editors

We all know what the guards are capable of when push comes to shove (pardon the pun). I got my own split skull from them many years ago but surely the injured and organisers should be ascertaining what is the legal position of batons being applied to people's skulls.

As far as I know it is illegal, they can strike other parts of the body; arms, shoulders, legs, but a blow to the head can kill.

I hope the injured follow thisup even a PQ to Dermot Ahern to get the reply on the record.

Heard V Browne on RTE next day but he just said they used their batons on people without drawing any distinctions as above.

author by Greek anarchistpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 09:56Report this post to the editors

Good attempt but .there is something wrong in this story. When was the last time Ireland had a violent protest? Is your society ready to accept that and see it as a positive action? Are your authorities used to that? After the years of Celtic tiger's economical growth, which has resulted in social apathy and inactivity it is really hard for your society to see a kind of action like that positive. Don't try to imitate Greece or France or Spain or Germany. We came through dictatorships, we lost half a million in the WW2, for several years we had to confront serious far right parastate violence. Your case is different. You don't have May of 68, you don't have the large anarchosyndicalist organizations of Spain like CNT, CGT and a great history of anarchism as in Barcelona, you don't have rebellions like 17 of November 1973, 6 of December 2008 You don't have a huge history of social resistance up to recent times.

In order to have a successful mass protest, you have to work firstly on grassroots, you have to change the society's political approach. Collaborative effort and patience is essential also in order to see huge and deep changes in such a very right wing country. Your media system: try to compare RTE with other News Services of other countries and see the differences in terms of isolationism, crime hysteria, pro law and order opinions and chauvinism that your media promote. Work on that firstly, otherwise the public opinion will be against you which means, you simply make things worse for the serious left. I doubt if the protests who tried to storm the parliament are more than 50. In Greece there were more than 200.000 protesters in front of the parliament. See the difference. Don't harry up, your change will come gradually if you work steadily, stubbornly and consistently.

Please consult my criticism

author by D_D - PBPA - individualpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 11:21Report this post to the editors

Wise words from Greek Anarchist. And from the actual place we are supposed to 'copy'. Though your Irish history needs a bit more study. Ever heard of Belfast? Ireland 1913-1923? James Connolly?

author by Greek anarchistpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 12:11Report this post to the editors

@ D_D - PBPA - individual

Yes I know abt Belfast and Conolly, James Larkin etc... I have actually lived in Ireland. However what you mentioned has happened 90 years ago, before the WW2, almost a century back... and most of your resistance was national not social. Different things, different periods.Things have changed so much after then.

There is no social movement in Ireland as huge as in the rest of Europe during the past 30 years except religious conflicts in Belfast (which is actually UK) and some attempts of a few people to liberate the country from church's dictatorship. My advice, don't copy us. We follow different standards. Work hard and change people's minds. Make the people embrace your actions. Take the people on your side, tell them "we are your friends", show them what do you stand for, tell them about the media propaganda, otherwise they will always see you are "parasites" cause this is what the ruling class wants, to shut you down and transform your society to a consuming mass obsessed by law and security.

author by krossie - nonepublication date Fri May 14, 2010 12:18Report this post to the editors

Some excellent points from NVDA, taking action v not... first actions. and Greek anarchist shining through the murk there. Hope Tuesday is big, well organized and ready for thoughtful and effective action!

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/96622
author by D_D - PBPA - individualpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 12:44Report this post to the editors

Greek Anarchist,

I'm really on your side here but when did you live in Ireland and have you not read the Irish socialist and anarchist literature that firmly places a social base beneath the 'national' struggle - and beneath the secularisation and womens' struggles? Ninety years? The Dublin Housing Action Committee? The burning of the British Enbassy? The tax marches? The anti-drugs movement? The Water and Bin charges campaigns? The anti-war marches? The Irish Ferries march? The recent Congress marches? Not that I want a repeat of them, but what about the Dublin loyalist march and the 1980s British embassy riot? Ireland is not Greece, but it is not The Channel Islands either. Belfast really part of the UK...ahem.

author by anotherpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 16:47Report this post to the editors

"I'm really on your side here but when did you live in Ireland and have you not read the Irish socialist and anarchist literature that firmly places a social base beneath the 'national' struggle - and beneath the secularisation and womens' struggles?"

I'm guessing if he/she's an anarchist and was living here and is familiar with indymedia, then they are familiar with such literature.

The quotes worth looking at again are " most of your resistance was national not social" (I'm sure greek anarchist is aware of the social nature of many movements being subsumed into national ones) and "You don't have a huge history of social resistance up to recent times.".

Ninety years? - Yep.

The burning of the British Enbassy?, the 1980s British embassy riot? - national

The anti-drugs movement? The Dublin Housing Action Committee? - not so recent, but what has come of them? Particularly the housing action in light of the housing bubble of the last few years? Things like CUBE (Campaign to Use Buildings that are Empty) are a positive and recent step, but starting from scratch.

the Dublin loyalist march - national and recent

The tax marches? The Water and Bin charges campaigns? The anti-war marches? The Irish Ferries march? The recent Congress marches? - The key word again being 'recent'.

But still, some interesting, useful and thought provoking comments from greek anarchist. Thanks. We have to remember that building a culture of resistance, social change and (eventually?) revolution is a marathon not a sprint.

author by Greek anarchistpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 18:12Report this post to the editors

Thanks for this conversation...

Yes I know all these things you have done. ""You don't have a huge history of social resistance up to recent times." I didn't mean to sound so demeaning but what I point out is that you have not created a culture of resistance yet, and acting aggressively against authorities without having a significant support from the public it simply dooms your attempts.

In order to create culture of resistance you need to create a movement of resistance firstly, as it has been expressed in Spain against Franco, in Spanish Anarchist revolution, as in Greece against dictatorship (just google right wing junta in Greece) or even the Civil Rights Movement in America.

You have strong ties with USA and this creates a strong anti-left spirit in your society . You have another right wing giant, Britain, your neighbor. Nick Griffin tries to recruit people there in order to create an Irish version of BNP. Those are big obstacles and it seems that the Irish society irresistibly adopts the right wing propaganda. However, what I find out is that the Irish are well educated and friendly towards everything new, which on the other hand is a big helping hand to move forward.

author by tv on the webpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 19:12Report this post to the editors

RIGHT TO WORK! on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=375021360529

Boyd Barret and Right to Work organiser on TV3
http://www.tv3.ie/ireland_am.php?video=22468&locID=1.65.74

author by Confusedpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 20:22Report this post to the editors

Half way through the interview, James O'Toole (a member of the SWP) points to Richard Boyd Barrett (a member of the SWP) and says 'groups like Richard's People Before Profit'. Are they both ashamed to admit their membership of the SWP or are they trying to disassociate themselves from Mary Smith (another member of the SWP) who was one of those injured by a garda baton and from the people carrying SWP flags who were to the fore in the attempt to push through the gate?
How can a political organisation contain members who participate in such a stunt (whether planned beforehand or not is irrelevant) and others who pretend not to know them and who even pretend not to know each other? Doesn't give one much trust in their honesty if they do ever manage to take power.

author by Rise Uppublication date Sat May 15, 2010 11:27Report this post to the editors

Small number of Gardai outnumbered by protesters, gates wide open, if we coud rewind and replay it would have been easy to surge through and stage a mass sit down inside the gates. That would have been good headlines around the world- the Irish finally DOING something. We wont get that opportunity again guys.

author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Sat May 15, 2010 13:29author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors

Having been at many demonstrations in Dublin over the past 15-20 years, it’s common knowledge that the gardai and mainstream media (RTE usually) always underestimate the attendances. From what I saw, 1700 - 2000+ people is a fair estimation of those that took part. Considering the bad weather and the fact that Dublin City Council had most of the march posters taken down beforehand, it was a good turnout. Hopefully, it will be built on.

The march itself was lively, loud, good humoured and peaceful, as usual, and from what I heard, most of the speeches were good. But the inspiring contribution made by Dr. John Bissett really portrayed the anger felt by the community he represents and others around the country. He hammered many nails on the head.

Some people above have attacked the SWP for what happened at the Dáil gates, but I recognised people in that breakaway group from at least one other political party, there were also non party members of the public there. In fact, the first person to reach the gates is not a member of the SWP.
In my photo essay (links below), the people at the front of that group are carrying SWP flags (photo 12), but that doesn’t mean they were all members of that party. The flags were being given out free before the march started.
I don’t know if people decided during the march to split from the main group and go to the gates, but when people are angry -whether they are political party members or not- it’s understandable why they would want to vent their anger and protest their point in some way. Who knows what would have happened if a number of that breakaway group had got through the gates, but I imagine their would have been many more split heads or worse.

The SWP and their members are well capable of defending themselves, but Kiernan Allen (SWP) was unfairly criticised for getting between the gardai and people at the front of the crowd (photo 20). He did do this, but only after the batons had been used and the worst was over, and he was trying to calm the situation.
Sky News and the tabloids went way over the top (as usual) in how they described the events.

As I was writing this yesterday, Senator Terry Leydon (FF) -on the Joe Duffy show- was trying to defend his attack on Fintan O’Toole, (and not making a good job of it) whom he said was “inciting a riot” with some of the content in his speech before the march. Now Leydon, (after some encouragement from Duffy) is considering meeting a delegation from the people that turn up to next Tuesday’s march and inviting them into the Dáil. That could be a fun meeting. Maybe he should invite the whole of the attendance and we could all have a great time. Seriously though, what happened outside the Dáil was no more than a mild skirmish, far from a riot and thankfully nobody was badly hurt by the gardai’s over the top use of their batons.

The most important thing to do from here is to build on last week's turnout.

Just for the record, I am not a member of any political party or organisation.

You can see the images at the links below and more from the march in slideshow format on myspace, including photo essays and articles about workers issues and ShelltoSea etc at:

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/96629

http://myspace.com/libertypix

Thank you for looking.

author by Baggiepublication date Sun May 16, 2010 12:26Report this post to the editors

If there is a serious attempt to build up a strong movement to resist the governments attempt to foist the cost of this crisis onto the shoulders of ordinary people then little adventures like ‘storming’ the Dáil gates play right into the hands of the state. It seemed to me more to do with machismo and testosterone than any political thinking. What was the objective of the heroic twenty who rushed the gates?

Small groups like the one at the centre of this posturing are not interested in winning – they want to recruit the most ‘militant’ of the protesters and gain publicity for themselves. As for this continuous referral to the Greek situation [which we are not in a comparable situation too] the deaths of the three people in the bank has effectively killed street protest in the short term.

author by Celia Spublication date Sun May 16, 2010 12:38Report this post to the editors

Baggie

These sentiments from another thread apply to you also.

Yeah I have read 'Left wing communism' too. Maybe you should re-read it. I also have my opinions about what Lenin would have thought of people like you

Build the movement
author by Celia S, publication date Sun May 16, 2010 09:52

Union member

You seem to be of the opinion that éirígí are somehow not in agreement with the idea of building a mass movement to effect a real revolution. Where did you get the notion of éirígí having some sort of fixation on the (propaganda of the) 'deed'? éirígí has been consistent in what it has said about the task of building a real force for change.

From its website:

"The transformation from a capitalist to a socialist system cannot be achieved without the active support and participation of the mass of the people. Campaigns have the potential to empower, politicise and mobilise the people, who alone can provide the dynamic for such a transformation. Through campaigning on political, social, economic and cultural issues, éirígí aims to contribute to that dynamic.

"éirígí believes that a Democratic Socialist Republic can only be established and sustained through the collective action of a progressive social movement incorporating local communities, organised labour, cultural organisations, campaigns groups and political parties. The very diversity of such a coalition will be its strength. éirígí will be part of such a coalition, working on shared projects with other progressive individuals and groups in Ireland."

Are you suggesting that what éirígí did yesterday was somehow in conflict with that perspective? Are you seriously suggesting that groups like éirígí do nothing until the 'masses' have awoken, after patient work in the 'mass organisations' and communities?? Sounds like something out of a textbook

Whether it be the October, Cuban or 1916 revolutions, it has historically, maybe quite unfortunately but a reality nonetheless been the case, as Margaret Mead once said that we must: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Why aren't you arguing that your union supports these demonstrations, building momentum and support, and widening the movement as we go?

You do believe in the mass occupation of Anglo/the' Dáil' after all, don't you??

Regards,

CS

Union member also
author by Celia, publication date Sun May 16, 2010 12:30

By the way union member

As to your "Somehow provoking reactions from Gardaí is a way to achieve change in society" jibe, I think you had better wise up, or face the fact that comments like that put you on the side of reaction.

If that is what you really believe, then you will never be part of any real social change as you don't really understand what that entails (a priori police defence of ruling class etc.) That you can jump to blaming peaceful protesters for being attacked is deeply offensive.

That is not to say that we would have expected otherwise. However, it is a leap to blame protesters in the manner you have: 'sure if ye weren't there then the cops would have had no reason to attack ye'.

No wonder the trade union movement is so impotent, with attitudes and reactions like yours. I was at the DCTU 'There is an alternative' meeting and it was an unmitigated joke

There will be no social revolution if it is left to the apologetic social democrats

CS

author by Patrickpublication date Sun May 16, 2010 14:48Report this post to the editors

I'm a disenfranchised and disenchanted left-winger who went on the march and was very turned off by activity of the twenty or so who attempted to get through the gate. Thought it was an example of people looking for individualised symbolic glory at the expense of proper political achievement. I was there with six other people who felt alietated by this behaviour and none of whom are coming back this Tuesday. I'm still making my mind up. Now, I'm sure some of the more radicalised commentators will say good-riddance to the likes of us for not being militant enough or something, but I think that's reaaaaaally missing the point.

author by southern comfort - nonepublication date Mon May 17, 2010 20:22Report this post to the editors

Let's suppose the 20 had been allowed into the Dáil and remained there overnight. And allowed the run of Government buildings as well. Let's suppose that Brian and co. had moved over to the Merrion Hotel for the duration.

What then for our new rulers? Government departments would not take orders, Angela Merkel and Obama would not take calls... so the 20 or so would be left in a fancy building doing nothing.

Supportive crowds of thousands on the streets the next day would make no difference - even hundreds of 000s. No money, no wages, no banks. The satellites turned off. Brian and co would soon set up somewhere else, the eu would rally round him, and there would be no differ except the next billion we borrowed would cost our children a bit more.

Going back, the country has mostly wanted to be left alone to get on with its own business. No taxes, no green regulations, no health and safety, no drink driving limits, no political correctness. We would kowtow to the church and the politicians because we might get something out of it. We would accept money from Germany to build motorways, if they insisted. That's the height of our political consciousness. Most of us have learned to live on hard tack and run our own lives, and still keep smiling and singing.

author by linkerpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 20:55Report this post to the editors

Gardai train in secret for riots
Fears of Greek-style violence stirred in wake of Dail attack by protesters
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/gardai-train-in....html

So you think you want a revolution?
The 'storming of the Dail' was done by people out of touch with an economic tide that is beginning to turn
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/so-you-think....html

author by FB'erpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 21:03Report this post to the editors

Protest at the DAIL! on FACEBOOK
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=118179554883320

related
Right to work Ireland
http://www.facebook.com/righttowork.ireland

Protest at the DAIL! Poster on FACEBOOK
Protest at the DAIL! Poster on FACEBOOK

Right to work Ireland
Right to work Ireland

author by protesterpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 22:20Report this post to the editors

As one of the protesters who "stormed" the gate I just want to make it clear it wasn't planned, wasn't thought of, and had no ideological (pro or anti direct action connotations). The gate was open we made a run for it, and that was it. It wasn't discussed at any point, not even seconds before the run. It was a simple spontaneous action, whatever people want to make of it. Sometimes spontaneous action happens. People are almost reading as much into this as the tabloids are. It was a very minor and unplanned piece of civil disobedience and the only thing we should take from it is the over-reaction of both the Gardai and Press. Those on the left that think this minor piece of civil disobedience was so terrible should really should ask themselves if they think they can get social or political change without being demonised. And I would question their staying power. Those who think it was an 'SWP plot' are wrong. Of course it was not going to be 'successful' but sometimes people can actually be angry at these marches and want to strike out (however ineffectively). There's half a million of us unemployed out there and its not ending anytime soon. Sometimes people will act with their hearts as well as their heads. These political issues are about real people with real lives, not some sort of academic exercise.

author by Staying at home this time - nonepublication date Tue May 18, 2010 16:01Report this post to the editors

I was at the protest last week. If the goal of these protests is to put pressure on the government, we need tens if not hundreds of thousands on the streets. This means having inclusive protests, focused on as limited an issue as possible, probably the bailout of the banks. Chanting anti-FF slogans and trying to storm past the gardai throws away support, and it's a shame.

In the cold light of day we should realise that the government is not afraid of this sort of protest. When the voting classes are on the streets pushing prams to the Dail, then FF will take notice.

author by Witchfinder Generalpublication date Tue May 18, 2010 16:51Report this post to the editors

The amount of third-rate COINTELPRO stuff directed by the state apparatus towards this protest is unbelievable. They mus be really rattled, far beyond what's warranted, frankly. Just shows how fragile they feel their grip on power is, and how important it is that we continue to loosen it with protests such as these.

They've even been seeding rumours of army involvement in policing the event amongst gullible/compliant Twitterers to try and intimidate people off the streets. Don't let it work!

author by Balthazarpublication date Thu May 20, 2010 15:05Report this post to the editors

I just went to the swp website and they have an article on this Tuesdays demo. It says "More than 2,000 people attended the Right to Work protest at the Dail. This was represented an increase on the protest of the previous Tuesday. The real significance is that people stood up to the media scare mongering which tried to reduce numbers with headlines about ‘Gardai in secret Riot training’."
Is it too much to ask for people to be straight and honest. There is no way that 2000 were on that protest. There was less this week than last week and most of the protesters were members of groups and many were republicans. Not too many ordinary people and even less of the unemployed. If the swp can't be honest about simple things like this then what is the point.

author by The Vigilant One - Not SWPpublication date Thu May 20, 2010 15:51Report this post to the editors

State media said there were 1,000 people at it. Given their tactical imperative to downplay the numbers (and given that they reported last week's turn-out as 400), that would indicate that 2,000 is about right. Conservative, if anything. The SWP and eírigí combined couldn't mobilise 1,000 activists if they wanted to.

author by arty EEEEEEEEEEpublication date Thu May 20, 2010 16:26Report this post to the editors

On todays Joe Duffy show there was a discussion about cop violence against peacefull protestors. At end a girl Freda was stating that there is a vid of an Eirigi member who was selected and beaten by cops. No complaint has made against cops, perhaps someone can stick it up here and do so...

From Joes site today:

The girls with the painted faces, Leah and Holly, whose fake scars and "bloodied noses" featured on yesterday's programme call Joe to explain their actions. They made up their faces to look brutalised when they attended last Tuesday's protest at the Dail. They wanted to highlight the issue of "police brutality" and they say they witnessed several incidents of heavy-handedness. However the Garda Ombudsman's Office state that no such complaints have been registered with them.


http://www.rte.ie/radio1/liveline/
listen to show - http://dynamic.rte.ie/quickaxs/209-r1-liveline-2010-05-....smil (Thursday 20th May 2010)

"Cop brutality" girls - The girls with the painted faces, Leah and Holly, whose fake scars and "bloodied noses"  explain their actions
"Cop brutality" girls - The girls with the painted faces, Leah and Holly, whose fake scars and "bloodied noses" explain their actions

author by Balthazarpublication date Thu May 20, 2010 23:37Report this post to the editors

The wsm has an article that says there was 1000 on the protest. www.wsm.ie

author by missed oppertunitypublication date Fri May 21, 2010 10:10Report this post to the editors

Next time just sit down quietly... on the grounds of the Diall, within the gates, and refuse to go unless a representative of the minister will come over to officially note down all your queries, this may be dozens of questions, and have these put to the ministers in an aired Diall, a date to be set for the airing when you are all still sitting down quetly. Only then will you get your justice.

author by rianorr - napublication date Fri May 21, 2010 12:25Report this post to the editors

Personally I'm glad that one demostration has taken place, slow to get going maybe too late who knows but a lot better than nothing at all. The rush at the gates was not pre-planned, was frenetic and probably spontaneous and to all those who criticised it let me say that the mass of the public have precious little to fight the rulers with except their bodies. Sitting at home or waiting for the next election is the tactic of sure defeat. Some people think they can hunker down and sit this one out but unfortunately the number s are too big and the class war is being fought by the rich and no resistance encourages them to press harder.

author by Anononopublication date Tue May 25, 2010 09:19Report this post to the editors

As an Irish person living abroad (but planning to move back to Ireland soon) I try and keep up to speed with what is happening there...

On this thread, I think the most pertinent comments have been made by Greek Anarchist - who quite rightly points out that Ireland has a long future ahead of it in constructing social movements - pluralistic, autonomous movements with a real strong social base.

I would however point out that our Greek friend missed one important social structure in Ireland, which has volunteers in every rural village, town and city in the country, mobilizes thousands of people every weekend and encourages people to become involved in participating actively in their local community

It is of course our own beloved GAA

It is good to think outside the traditionalist box of left-wing alternative political movements when looking at what makes people move and shift in society, and where the entry points are - every context and culture is different and strategies and tactics applied in other places with great success cannot be replicated and expected to meet with instant success in Ireland

There is hope for us, but we need to start talking, looking to our strengths and building on them

author by Ciaran P Alanpublication date Wed May 26, 2010 12:50Report this post to the editors

400 - 500 at the most on last nights protest. Numbers are dwindling. I heard Kieran Allen say that the protests would get bigger and bigger and eventually they would bring the government down. Can't see that happening now.

author by People of Europe rise uppublication date Wed May 26, 2010 15:40Report this post to the editors

The victims of Ireland's economic collapse

Ireland was hailed during the boom years as a 'celtic tiger'. But now the government has had to introduce huge cuts to deal with its budget deficit. How is it affecting ordinary people?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/26/ireland-eco...lapse

Ireland is, per capita, the most indebted country in the EU. Its budget deficit of 14.3% is higher even than in Greece. For a decade, the "celtic tiger" economy was the poster child of free-market globalisation. Now, this bedraggled alley cat of an economy is neo-liberalism's favourite example of how to cut your way to recovery.

Now, O'Toole writes, the question is whether the Irish "have enough constructive anger to kick away a system that has failed them and make a new one for themselves".

Perhaps this crisis could spark something similar to the creativity unleashed a century ago by the struggle for independence.

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