Despite the appalling weather upwards of 100 people joined éirígí’s No Royal Visit protest outside of City Hall in Baile Átha Cliath last evening [September 6]. The City Councillors meeting inside the building were left in no doubt as to the mood and determination of those gathered outside, as chants of ‘Can you hear us loud and clear – British royals not welcome here’ reverberated around the precincts of City Hall and the adjoining Dublin Castle.
The protest followed on from a similar one at the last meeting of Dublin City Council on July 5. Click here for more on that protest. Both protests were called to coincide with a scheduled debate by the City Councillors on a motion opposing a state visit by Elizabeth Windsor. Last night the council again failed to debate the motion due to an overrun of other items on the agenda, including the Poolbeg Incinerator debate.
The wording of the motion which has been submitted by éirígí’s Councillor Louise Minihan reads “That this council notes with deep concern the proposal for a state visit to the Twenty Six Counties by the British head of state. Such a visit would be entirely inappropriate whilst the British state continues to implement imperialist policies and commit human rights abuses across the world, most notably in Afghanistan, Iraq and here in Ireland. This council calls on the Dublin government to abandon its plans to invite the British head of state to Ireland and on behalf of the proud citizens of this city we declare that Elizabeth Windsor is not welcome in Dublin.”
The motion will now be debated at a specially convened ‘motions’ meeting on Monday September 20th which deal with all the motions which were not heard at last night’s meeting. Speaking following the protest Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson confirmed that éirígí will again be organising a protest outside of City Hall to coincide with the meeting.
“On behalf of éirígí I would like to thank everyone that turned out to the protest. Tonight’s event was larger than the one in July, despite the appalling weather. Indeed, so bad was the weather we actually ended the protest earlier than planned. That scores of people were willing to come out to stand in such heavy rain shows the level of public opposition that there is to a Windsor state visit.
“On Saturday the people of Dublin and Ireland gave Tony Blair the welcome he rightly deserved, leading to the subsequent cancellation of his book signings in London. For those that doubt the value of such protests, Saturday proved that street politics can work and that protesters can achieve their objectives.
“We will be holding another public protest outside of City Hall when the anti-royal visit motion finally gets debated. I would ask everyone that has turned up to the last two occasions to make it their business to get to City Hall for that protest. And I would ask them to try and bring at least one other person with them. It is hugely important that these protests gather momentum.
“I have no doubt that a British royal visit can be stopped, but it will require people to get organised and get onto the streets. If you are opposed to the prospect of the head of Britain’s armed forces being paraded through the streets of Dublin and elsewhere, mark 6pm on September 20th in your diary and get to City Hall and make your voice heard.’
The next protest will take place at 6pm, Monday, September 20th at City Hall on Dublin’s Dame Street. All are welcome. Bígí linn.
If you are interested in joining or helping éirígí in Dublin, or anywhere in Ireland, please: Phone: 00353 (0) 86 236 72 98