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Bondholder Proclamation at Arbour Hill

category dublin | crime and justice | news report author Tuesday April 26, 2011 01:43author by Dave Donnellan - Afri Report this post to the editors

Easter Monday

Afri, along with other global justice NGOs, has long highlighted issues surrounding 'Third World' (Global South) debt and IMF/World Bank structural adjustment - including the erosion of sovereignty in the Global South and the devastating socio-economic consequences. Those issues have come home now to Ireland.

And we can look to the experience of the Global South for lessons in both understanding our crisis and how we might tackle it.


Caption: Bondholder Proclamation

author by DDpublication date Tue Apr 26, 2011 07:52Report this post to the editors

IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of the Markets and not of the dead generations from whom she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to our interests and strikes for her enslavement to debt.

25.4.11 Dublin. Actor Donal O'Kelly as a bondholder, reading a satirical version of the 1916 Proclamation, which cedes Irish sovereignty to international bondholders, alongside Andy Storey reading the actual Proclamation at an Afri event at Arbour Hill on Easter Monday. Photo by Derek Speirs

Having disorganised and demobilised her spirit through her clandestine nexus of bankers and property developers, and through her open political organisations, having patiently perfected her corruption, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal ourselves, we now seize that moment, and, through the IMF and the EU, but relying in the first on her own weakness, we strike in full confidence of victory.

We declare the right of senior bondholders to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by the Irish people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by their repudiation of the bank debt. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty: two times in the past decade they have asserted it in EU referenda – and been sent back to vote correctly. Standing on our fundamental right and again asserting it in public in the face of the watching markets, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a wholly-owned subsidiary of international financial markets, and we pledge our continued prosperity and the lives of the Irish people to the cause of its dependence, of its pauperisation, and its abasement among the nations.

The senior bondholders are entitled to, and hereby claim, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. Our Republic guarantees every necessary restriction on civil liberties, unequal rights and unequal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the misery and poverty of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing none of the children of the nation, and mindful of the differences carefully fostered by the senior bondholders, the IMF, the EU and the Irish government, which divide a rewarded minority from the passive majority at present.

Until our actions have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a full-on dictatorship, unrepresentative of the whole people of Ireland and needless of election by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Irish Government will administer the civil and economic affairs of the Republic in trust for the senior bondholders.

We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God of the Financial Markets, Whose blessing we invoke upon our actions, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by courage, humanity, or generosity. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its docility and lack of organisation and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the senior bondholders, prove itself worthy of the supine destiny to which we have called it.

Signed on Behalf of the “Provisional” Government by financial speculators unknown to you, acting through Enda Kenny, Eamonn Gilmore and Michael Noonan at present, with and for Olli Rehn, Jean-Claude Trichet, Ajai Chopra and Angela Merkel.

Afri, along with other global justice NGOs, has long highlighted issues surrounding ‘Third World’ (Global South) debt and IMF/World Bank structural adjustment – including erosion of sovereignty in the Global South and devastating socio-economic consequences. Those issues have come home now. And we can look to the experience of the Global South for lessons in both understanding our crisis and how we might tackle it.

For example, Ajai Chopra, the head of the IMF team negotiating the Irish ‘bail out’, previously worked in the IMF’s Asia-Pacific department and led its ‘rescue’ mission to South Korea after a financial collapse in 1997. In Korea, state interventions were curtailed and the government budget was slashed (leading to massive redundancies), despite the fact that government overspending had nothing to do with the Korean crisis. Between 1996 and 1999, South Korea’s unemployment rate tripled and the proportion of the population identifying themselves as middle-class fell from 64 per cent to 38 per cent. Korean trade unions and other forces opposed these policies but they were quickly assured that their opposition would count for nothing, as documented by Naomi Klein:

‘the end of the IMF negotiations coincided with scheduled presidential elections in which two of the candidates were running on anti-IMF platforms. In an extraordinary act of interference with a sovereign nation’s political process, the IMF refused to release the money until it had commitments from all four main candidates that they would stick to the new [IMF] rules if they won. With the country effectively held at ransom, the IMF was triumphant: each candidate pledged his support in writing… [Y]ou can vote, South Koreans were told, but your vote can have no bearing on the managing and organisation of the economy’.

The similarity with the situation in Ireland is evident, with figures such as EU Commissioner Olli Rehn and European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet insisting that whatever new government the Irish people elected would still have to implement the previously agreed economic plan.

But the current crisis is also an opportunity – especially with respect to innovative strategies of resistance to economic austerity. For example, the process whereby democratically organised projects of popular power forced the Argentinian government to default on part of its debt in the early 2000s is one that could prove highly instructive for Irish people.

Another such parallel concerns debt audits, which have been used across the Global South to allow civil society to hold to account those responsible for the damage caused by their countries’ indebtedness. The example of Ecuador is perhaps most striking here. In 2007, Ecuador’s President Correa established a debt audit commission, which reported in 2008 that a portion of the country’s debt was ‘illegitimate’ and had done ‘incalculable damage’ to Ecuador’s people and environment. Ecuador then defaulted on the ‘toxic’ (illegitimate) portion of its debt. Despite predictions of economic disaster, the country registered 3.7 per cent economic growth in 2010 and the forecast is for growth in excess of 5.1 per cent growth in 2011. Indeed, there is now strong demand for Ecuadorean bonds again i.e., the country can access the international financial markets despite a repudiation of its past debt. The salience of this example for current public debates in Ireland is obvious.

The ususpation of democracy that we satirise in the ‘proclamation’ overleaf can be resisted if we learn from those who have already successfully done so.

IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.

We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.

The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.

Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.

We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God. Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, in humanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:59Report this post to the editors

To free yourselves from the lenders you need to come to grip with the source of their power over you.

You are slaves to the foreign lenders because of your unwillingness/inability to do without borrowing from them. It isn't EXISTING debt that is the problem. As a sovereign people you could just repudiate that or using the threat to do so obtain much better terms. It is the need for FUTURE borrowing from outside that keeps you enthrall.

If you can finance your society from what you can raise among yourselves just tell those foreign bankers to whistle for their money. If you can't, you are stuck and that's not the fault of those bankers. They are simply looking out for THEIR best interests. No reason why they should care about yours.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue Apr 26, 2011 17:42Report this post to the editors

You'll be telling us next we live in a democracy. Rather than an oligarchic plutocracy that owns the media, the parties, the parameters of debate and the educational establishment. Why do I suspect that you too adhere to that '..simply looking out for their best interests ..' credo?i.e. every man for itself and there is no such thing as society and greed is great and the devil take the hindmost I'm all right jack, fuck you.

This debt trap scam is a white-collar international con-job that has been run over and over, some of us stayed out of debt and forecast the projection(the regressives didn't just emerge last week, I called the shot back in '87/8).
I was not alone in seeing the Reagan/Thatcher express bearing down.But I WAS blacked out, all round, as were others who tried to flag it. You are either very ignorant of the gameplan, or else complicit in it. I'll keep an open mind a little longer. maybe its a combination.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Tue Apr 26, 2011 21:59Report this post to the editors

You are confusing practical politics with what is possible if only we will it.

Sorry, but the choice (the societal choice) to be borrowers isn't a shennanigan imposed upon us by the "uppers" except to the extent that advertising/marketing creates irresistable urges to have things NOW that we haven't saved up for.

I was NOT meaning to imply that you Irish WOULD choose the austerity of living within current means (allowing you to tell the bankers to shove it). Just that in theory you COULD if that was your collective will.

Sorry again, but we of the alternative are NOT trying to sell folks on being poor but free. We are telling them that they can have their cake and eat it too, and not being fools, they don't believe we would be any better masters than the current lot.

I'm not in debt; not even a morgtage any more. But this is UNUSUAL. Most of the people around us can't seem to be willing to buy no more than they can afford at the moment without debt. Given this attitude of "gotta have it now" on an individual level no surprise that our socieities exhibit the same at the group level.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Apr 27, 2011 13:46Report this post to the editors

'..irresistable urges to have things NOW that we haven't saved up for'

Like food, shelter and heat when the means to achieve them have been cartel-ed by hereditary oligopolies, who through their accummulation of centuries of wealth and firepower, and ideological education/programming through complicit religious heirarchies and economic/financial mass hypnotism have created a recieved wisdom that dog-eat-dog competition is the most productive means to a healthy society.i.e. social Darwinian reduction of the human to his fundamental animal instincts, and a definition of the self centered on a robust and aggressive egoism; a philosophy that serves a coalition of the bullying 'willing'(your own 'collective will', dictated by chosen pundits and opposed to any intelligent analysis of the evidence on objective criteria that challenge that collective recieved wisdom).
Its the same wisdom of the possessing groups that encourages the venting of surplus labour through war and emigration(or convenient famine and disease)in order to preserve its accumulated privelege rather than cater for its population. It is based on theft and collective murder(the current escalating oil wars illustrate the 'democratic' nature of the operation)and is maintained by corporate media and artificial terrors, from the disemployment threat to the immigrant 'after our jobs', which keeps the slave system feeding the obese as more wealth levitates offshore into cyber-accounts by the minute.
These parasites are insatiable, and when they have impoverished the general populace will turn on each other for a finale. The logic of the current trends is the emerging global dominance of an Anglo/American racist society that will make uncle Adolf cheer from his bunker.
For current example of the contradictory psychology of the gig look no further than the assault on Libya, where among other things britain and France are at war in the name of human rights and protection of 'civilians'(actually an armed insurrection nursed by the oil hunters)even as they shred the Schengen Agreement and turn back refugees from the wars they generate. Meantime Egypt, Tunisia, and other sources of demand for change where the plums are either not so ripe, or already in the corporate basket, draw a 'wait and see' approach, even as unarmed civilians are vaporised.

It hardly seems necessary to ask that you compare the inaction over the racist assaults in expanding Panzionia.

author by aunty rtepublication date Wed Apr 27, 2011 15:56Report this post to the editors

MN raises an intriguing prospect that the Irish people could choose the austerity of living within their current means which would allow us to tell the bankers to get lost. Unfortunately this wont happen while they are addicted to the media which tells them to do the very opposite. They believe whatever propaganda they hear on rte even if it is contradictory or incorrect or a totally one sided version of economics etc. Opus tries hard but until RTE stops beaming out the propaganda or maybe the fluoride is taken out of the water Ireland will never be (mentally) free

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Apr 29, 2011 13:29Report this post to the editors

..there are other sources than RTE. And personally I dont define the issue as about Ireland. Its a global and human set of problems, and wont be solved(if ever) through national analysis. In fact nationalism is a large part of the problem, the new tribalisms by which the trans-national elites divide and manage us. If its to be recified we'll have to think globally. The technology is evolving to make it possible, but it can be used to democratise, or to reinforce the current oligarchies' grip. Time will tell. I'm with them pessimists, trying not to sink too deep in the cynicism swamp.

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