Thursday, July 30, 2009

Opposition to Lisbon 2 Underway

Opposition to the re-running of the Lisbon Treaty got underway in Sligo at the weekend and in Dublin yesterday [Wednesday].

On Saturday éirígí activists in Sligo erected a number of banners calling for a NO vote in the upcoming referendum at various locations around the town. Amongst the locations were Carraroe and Summerhill roundabouts.

And on Wednesday, in a coordinated action, éirígí activists hung banners in several prominent locations across Dublin city and county. Banners reading Same Treaty, Same Answer and Vote No to Lisbon 2 were dropped in Drimnagh, Quarryvale, Palmerston and Tallaght to highlight the undemocratic nature of the Twenty-Six County government’s decision to re-run a treaty that was rejected at the polls last year.

Banner in Quarryvale

In June 2008, the Lisbon Treaty was defeated in the Twenty-Six Counties by a margin of 53.4 to 46.6 per cent. However, within minutes of the announcement of the result, the establishment in Ireland and abroad was calling for a re-run.

In the intervening period, the Dublin government has made a poor attempt to prove that it has listened to the concerns of the population. Brian Cowen and Twenty-Six County foreign minister Micheál Martin scurried off to Brussels to secure supposedly legally-binding changes to the Lisbon Treaty, in a desperate attempt to con the electorate in to believing that the Treaty had somehow been significantly altered. The reality is that not a single word, comma or full stop has been changed in the Treaty and people are being forced to vote again on the same document.

According to Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey the claims of legal guarantees are"untrue and deliberately misleading".

Casey said: “What the political establishment in Dublin and in Brussels are saying is part of a pattern of deliberate misinformation emenating from them in the run up to this referendum. The guarantees they refer to are meaningless political promises from politicians at both European and Irish level who have a record of breaking such election promises on a consistent basis. Their records, both domestically and in Europe, show they cannot be trusted.”

"These guarantees are not included in the treaty, do not over-ride the content of the treaty and are not worth the paper they are written on. They are nothing more than a cynical public relations exercise designed to divert attention away from the negative effect that a yes vote for this treaty will have on sovereignty, democracy and the rights of workers throughout Europe."

Banner on Palmerston bridge

After the banner drop in Dublin, éirígí spokesperson Daithí Mac An Mhaistír said: “Wednesday’s action is the first by éirígí in what will be a vigorous campaign against the mark two Lisbon referendum. éirígí intends to play an active role in the progressive No campaign and is confident that the argument can be won for a second time.

“All of the reasons why éirígí and the Campaign Against the European Union Constitution opposed the Lisbon Treaty during the first campaign remain ensconced within the document. The implementation of the Lisbon Treaty would ensure the further erosion of workers’ rights, sovereignty and democracy.

Banner in Tallaght

“The fact that the exact same Treaty is being placed before the electorate in the Twenty-Six Counties for a second time proves the point that democracy and sovereignty are anathema to the European Union’s empire-building project.”

Daithí concluded: “Last year’s defeat of the Lisbon Treaty in the Twenty-Six Counties sent shock waves through the right-wing establishment across Europe, a second rejection would give them even more food for thought.”

Banner on Drimnagh bridge

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