20 November 2011

#OccupyDameStreet - If you can't stand the heat...

What big and yellow and sits on Dame Street?
#OccupyDameStreet, Dublin, Sunday 20th November
Dropped by Dame Street this afternoon for a quick chat and was very impressed with the transformation brought about by the addition of the wooden kitchen.

On Thursday a slightly more hardy structure was constructed to house the kitchen that should stand up a bit better to the wind, rain and possible snow, with a timber frame and plywood walls it certainly makes a bold statement about the long-term intentions of the Camp. #OccupyCork have had a similar structure for ages now, and it was one of the things that really impressed me when I visited two weeks ago, though their's is open on one side and is more of a focal point, a place for people to sit around, chat and interact, whereas ours has been designed as more of a protection from the elements.

A Kitchen!
#OccupyDameStreet, Dublin, Sunday 20th November
The construction of the kitchen caused some concern within the Central Bank and a representative or two dropped down to the Camp on Thursday, but to date no action has been taken. I think their response has moved from "ah, now lads..." to "ah, here now..." and we're veering close to "now that's right out" territory as Dara O'Briain would say, but so far things still seem reasonably relaxed.

Given the sheer amount of physical labour the construction entailed, not to mention the flurry of activity it has spawned in the Camp in general (it seems to have instigated a massive tidy up that was well needed), I am left feeling certain that even were I to go on a crash diet and achieve Posh Spice-like levels of thinfullness I would still not be pulling my weight. I try not to berate myself too much as I have been under the weather for the last few days, but there's a guy in there fixing fences who had laser surgery on his eyes yesterday.

These folks are seriously hard core.

A Kitchen with a view!
#OccupyDameStreet, Dublin, Sunday 20th November
Update - 20:00, Sunday 20th November

Looks like I spoke too soon, and The Central Bank has moved straight into "now, that's right out!" mode. According to an update from the Camp just posted on Facebook, the Bank is going to court tomorrow to try and have the Camp moved on:
Occupy Dame Street has today learned from media organisations and An Garda Síochána that the Central Bank of Ireland plans to seek a Court Order tomorrow morning in an attempt to stop the legal, legitimate and law abiding protest taking place. We have at all times sought to engage the banks in constructive dialogue about our concerns about the plight of the Irish people and society and remain ready to do so. It is our understanding that Order 56A , S.I. No. 502 of 2010, Rules of the Superior Courts (Mediation and Conciliation) 2010, came into effect on 16th November 2010 whereby a High Court judge may now adjourn legal proceedings to allow the parties engage in an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. We believe that this means mediation is not only approved by the High Court, but consistent with the EU Mandate on Mediation, it is the preferable and binding means of resolving disputes prior to legal proceedings being taken, with the Courts having the ability to impose a costs sanction for those who fail or refuse without good reason to participate in an ADR process. Therefore, Occupy Dame Street reached out to dozens of mediators and will propose Micheal O'Hurley of Munster Mediation Services (www.munstermediationservices) to work with Occupy Dame Street, the Central Bank of Ireland and, if appropriate, An Garda Síochána to resolve this matter forthwith.
Looks like tomorrow will be a very interesting day indeed.

Photos of the new kitchen and much, much more from the last forty-three days of #OccupyDameStreet are now online on my Flickr stream here.

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