They aren't happy with the plan in Ireland...the austerity plan. Up to 20,000 people took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday to say it's time for a new plan.
The demonstrators were led by activists from the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope, including a young woman wearing a white mask and riding a dark horse with a banner reading "No to austerity" draped around it.
The march – organized by the Campaign Against Household and Water Charges, the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and supported by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu), Siptu and other trade unions – was joined by members of People Before Profit alliance, Sinn Féin and the Socialist Party and organisations including the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed. Regional and community grojps and organizations also participated.
The Irish Times quoted a number of march participants:
Karen Doyle from Cobh, Co Cork
“We are largely either being ridiculed or ignored, I feel. Hopefully today we will start to get our message across as we are all joined together, all the various groups are joined together. Austerity is not working. It’s not working for couples, it’s not working for families and the most vulnerable in our society are suffering and we all know this. It’s about time now everybody stood up.”
Frances McDaid from Ramelton in Donegal
“I have a family of seven and they built houses, now they’re going to ask them to pay taxes on those houses that they built. They never got anything in their lives, they worked all their lives to build houses . . . and they’re losing their jobs, they have no money. That’s why I’m here, for the young people of Ireland to try and make the Government realise we should be keeping them here instead of taxing them out of it. It’s a disgrace . . .”
Wesley Fitzgibbons from Dublin who attended the march with his son Liam (4)
“I’m a fitter by trade and I just can’t take any more cuts. We just feel that the Government just keeps hitting the middle working class all the time. Theres nothing else there to take. People are working a lot more hours trying to make ends meet and at the end of the month were just barely scraping by.”
Kay Wilson, a member of the National Association of Widows in Ireland, from Dublin
“We’re out at every march here and I don’t think Ministers are listening . . . If you’re depending on your pension alone which a lot of people are. It doesn’t go very far. If they were to give me the €100,000 that some of them are earning and I’ll give them my €200 and see how they’ll manage on that a week.”
Paul Murphy from Ballinrobe, Co Mayo
“I’m constantly active in various campaigns because basically what’s going on is a massive representation of systemic injustice. Our socioeconomic system is completely in favour of those who are most wealthy . . . for example we have a situation, which is actually unbelievable, where this year we are paying out almost €20 billion of public money unsolicited to unsecured bondholders . . . I see it as a theft.
Richard Barrett of People Before Profit and the United Left alliance, said the protest should be the start of a national campaign. Quoted in the Belfast Telegraph, he said,
It is abundantly clear, that half of the population if not more, simply cannot take it anymore.
The fabric of our society and our economy is being ripped apart. This madness has to stop. We must cease immediately the insane policy of prioritising the interests of banks and markets over the needs of ordinary citizens.
There were also calls for a general strike from the crowd. Something that is oft easier said then done...as it were. And not everyone was thrilled with the trade union leadership...and they were denounced in return by those leaders.
The following is from the Workers Solidarity Movement.