Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Civil Disobedience Justified

éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson has called for people to gather at Anglo-Irish Bank on Saturday [May 15] in response to last night’s [Tuesday] attack on demonstrators at Leinster House by Gardaí.

Despite the heavy rain, over 1,000 people joined last night’s Enough is Enough march, called by the Right to Work campaign. The marchers made their way peacefully, from the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square through the city to Leinster House.

It was at this time, as protesters assembled on Kildare Street, that the atmosphere changed. Unusually for the evening of a protest, the gates to Leinster House were left open, and as the crowd grew on Kildare Street, members of the Gardaí panicked, and a baton charge of the crowd was ordered.

In scenes reminiscent of the Reclaim the Streets march in Dublin a number of years ago, the Gardaí made a frenzied attack on the peaceful protesters, injuring a number of them including a 62-year-old woman.

At the gates of Leinster House

Meanwhile, to mark the 94th anniversary of James Connolly’s execution on Saturday, éirígí has organised a demonstration against the bank bail-out and anti-social cuts outside Anglo-Irish Bank’s headquarters at Stephen’s Green, Dublin. Three weeks ago, a number of éirígí activists occupied the bank in protest at the Dublin government’s bail-out of the business class.

Leeson said: “Last night’s attack on peaceful protestors outside Leinster House highlights, yet again, the attitude of the Twenty-Six County establishment towards those who are not fortunate enough to be a member of the golden circle.

“People have a right to protest and they have a right to engage in acts of civil disobedience given the nature of the crisis we are facing.”

Leeson continued: “The time for polite discussion about the economic crisis Ireland is facing is well and truly over. While bankers, developers and a whole coterie of business people have been protected by Leinster House politicians, working people have paid the price. This is not a sustainable situation.

éirígí on the Right to Work march

“The message needs to go out immediately that working class people will not stand idly by while public services are slashed, jobs are binned, wages are cut and the infrastructure of their communities is decimated. Now is the time for a mass campaign of protest and civil disobedience, now is the time for action.

“It is fitting that éirígí will be marking James Connolly’s execution this year by challenging the bankers who have robbed the Irish people blind. It was Connolly himself who said that ‘we believe in constitutional action in ordinary times and revolutionary action in extraordinary times – these are extraordinary times’. éirígí will be acting upon this maxim and are calling on every trade union, residents’ association, community group and organisation that represents the interests of working class people to join us in this endeavour.

“On Saturday, we can send a message to the business class and their servants in Leinster House that they can no longer get away with their acts of theft without facing the direct action of an angry and united people.”

Saturday’s demonstration will assemble at Anglo-Irish Bank, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin at 2pm.

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