Socialist Worker

Spirit of Greece comes to Dublin as 2,000 march on parliament

Issue No. 2201

Two thousand people braved lashing rain to march to the Dail (parliament) in Dublin, southern Ireland, on Tuesday to protest at the Bank Bail-Out.

The protest was called by the newly formed Right to Work Campaign and backed by Unite the union.

Contingents joining the protest march included Unite, St Michael's Estate, the Socialist Workers Party and a large number from the People Before Profit Alliance.

Garda (police), whose ranks ironically face pay cuts, estimated the size of the protest at just 500. This is a deliberate lie designed to downplay the extent of angry opposition to the government and to create the impression that protests are futile. Any reasonable estimate of the numbers participating tonight would place it around 2,000.

Although angry and determined, the march was peaceful, chanting slogans such as 'We Will Rock You' and 'Athens, Rome, Dublin and Berlin: We Will Fight and We Will Win'.

This reflected the enthusiasm for the strikes and protests in Greece that clearly inspired the protesters. Echoing the Greek protests and its slogans, the main banner read 'People of Europe Rise Up!'.

Reflecting too the spirit of Greek resistance, a section of the march attempted to storm the Dail as the politicians were sitting, in a protest against the wholly undemocratic way the Dail parties were ramming through cuts for working class people while pouring billions into paying off the gambling debts of the bankers, speculators and developers.

Gardai immediately drew batons and set about the crowd cracking heads in the most brutal way. The ferocity of their attack demonstrated that they were under orders to give those protesting against their 'betters' short shrift.

Among the speakers addressing the protest was columnist Fintan O'Toole. He said we were now faced with a new aristocracy who were treating the people like serfs. He called on the Irish people to 'rise up an act like citizens'.

The overwhelming feeling of the march was that we could not be satisfied with a single protest, but instead must escalate the action. The call went out to return again next week with double the numbers in a movement of growing protests. This was received enthusiastically by the protestors, many of whom took posters for next Tuesday's march.

For full report go to »

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Thu 13 May 2010, 11:15 BST
Issue No. 2201
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