For the third time in eight days, éirígí activists in Baile Átha Cliath were again on the streets last night [Tuesday] in opposition to the right-wing economic policies of the Twenty-Six County government. On this occasion it was as part of a multi-organisational anti-capitalist block which formed part of the Right to Work demonstration outside Leinster House. As in excess of 350 protesters gathered at the Wolfe Tone monument on Stephen’s Green the Garda helicopter rattled noisily overhead and dozens of Gardaí watched on.
Following a number of short speeches the march attempted to set off, only to find the road blocked by a line of Gardaí and four Garda horses. With typical arrogance the Garda could provide no adequate explanation for blocking the free passage of a political demonstration.
Undeterred by the Garda tactics the crowd surged forward to chants of ‘Whose Streets? Our Streets!’, before making its way to Anglo Irish Bank Headquarters, just two hundred metres away. Outside the bank a number of speakers addressed the crowd including Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson. The protest then continued onto Dawson Street before joining the Right to Work rally on Molesworth Street.
Even the constant rain could not dampen the spirits of the estimated 1200 people in attendance. So much so that even after the Right to Work rally has finished up to 150 people made their way closer to Leinster House to chants of ‘Regulation Doesn’t Work, Let the Banks Burn!’.
Once at the Garda lines the protesters were addressed by Brian Leeson, who encouraged people to show that they were not intimidated by the Garda tactics of recent days. With chants of ‘Whose Cops? NAMA’s Cops!’ the crowd did just that. Despite provocation from the Garda the protesters remained disciplined and dignified before returning to the other end of Molesworth Street and dispersing.
Speaking after the demonstration éirígí spokesperson and Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan said, “Tonight was another important step in building resistance to the NAMA republic. With each passing week the numbers of people turning out to these protests are growing. Nobody should think that we are going to win this battle in the next week or two. It is going to take months and years of hard work to reclaim this country from the golden circle, but it must be done.
“Each and every one of us need to make it our business to get our friends, families and workmates onto the streets. It’s a simple fact that 90% of the people of this state have everything to gain and very little to lose by a radical change in the way that wealth and power are distributed.”