04 October 2011

All the freshness of Ireland

Now that the summer holidays are over and college has started up again, the thoughts of young people turn once more to doing whatever they can to avoid going to class.

Since everything the Americans do is obviously cool, we now have #OccupyDameStreet, scheduled for October 8th, seeking to build a protest village and movement on the steps of the Central Bank à la Tahrir Square, Pearl Roundabout and most recently Wall Street, not to mention numerous other international locales of our turbulent (Insert Patronizing Adjective Here) Spring and Summer. Billed as a "leaderless resistance movement" and relying on Facebook and Twitter to get the word out, their press release has the following call to arms:
"Our demand in Ireland is that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB) stay out of our affairs. We do not want their influence or control. Our demand is that the private bank debt that has been socialised and burdened upon the population of the country who had nothing to do with it be lifted. We will not pay and let our children and grandchildren pay for this mess that private banks and bondholders have caused. It is their problem, not ours. Our demand is that the oil and gas reserves off our coast that were criminally handed away to private corporations be returned to the people. Our demand is for real, participatory democracy - where the people’s interests come first, where the people decide what happens."
This must really piss off Richard Boyd Barrett TD, who had his own day of action planned for the following weekend with a march from Parnell Square on October 15th. Organised by The Enough Campaign (which seems to be yet another SWP front), the march aims to bring about a referendum on the EU/IMF bailout, and no doubt there will be plenty of spare placards and a newspaper or two for sale to anyone who wants to go along. Good to see that finally making it to the big leagues hasn't changed Mr Boyd Barrett one iota.

Truly it has been said that protests are like buses, you wait for ages then two come along at once. In an ever changing world isn't it nice to know that the disunity of the Left remains a solid constant?

Anyway, I think that this is probably the right time for folks to take to the streets again, the Budget isn't that far away now and the Government needs to be sent a message that just because they're not Fianna Fail and they're not the folks who destroyed our nation, that they won't be held as accountable to the people by the people as their predecessors were. I'm drawn more to the concept of #OccupyDameStreet because it is apolitical, organic and leaderless (much like the pots and pans protests of last year), but given the nature of shiftless students who knows if anyone will actually show up - the one thing you have to give the SWP credit for is they do always manage to deliver a respectable sized rabble to any march.

I'll probably wander down to one or both of these, I haven't been to a decent protest in ages, but I'm not holding out any hope of either attracting anything like a critical mass, sure now it'll be cold, and probably raining, and isn't there a match on? What a country, we'll all get up at 6am to watch the rugby in New Zealand but we won't take to the streets on a weekend to safeguard our future.

Also, please let no-one suggest calling this the "Irish Spring", that is a soap, and a pretty offensive one at that.

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