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A Blog About Human Rights
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Right To Work Campaign - 28 Photo Essay
An Eye Witness
For the record, I want to give my account of what I witnessed at the Dáil on Tuesday at the Right To Work Campaign march.
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.
All images © Michael Gallagher
Fintan O'Toole. "...we are not peasents..."
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 responding to Paula Geraghty’s video on Indymedia 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 photos 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 someone in Paula’s video thread also unfairly criticised Kiernan Allen (SWP) for getting between the gardai and people at the front of the crowd. 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 earlier today, 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.
Just for the record, I am not a member of any political party or organisation.
You can see the images below and more from the march in slideshow format, including photo essays and articles about workers issues and ShelltoSea etc at: http://myspace.com/libertypix
Thank you for looking. Roll on the revolution.