Posts Tagged ‘Protest’
As you probably know by now, a woman named Savita Halappanavar died in an Irish hospital recently. She was pregnant and miscarrying. She asked doctors for a medical termination repeatedly over three days and was denied.
Her tragic death makes me ashamed to live in this country. You can check some of the international reaction here.
Six successive governments have sat on their hands when it came to abortion legislation in this country. This seventh government HAS to implement legislation before more lives are lost.
Two thousand people gathered last Wednesday in an impromptu vigil for Savita. On Saturday last, 20,000 gathered outside government buildings. See the photos below.
Today, Wednesday November 21, at 6pm, let’s gather once again at government buildings to keep the pressure on those who say they represent us. They say they won’t be rushed into making a decision, but some of them cowards have sat in Dáil Éireann for over 20 years and never stood up for the rights of women.
Get out on the streets tonight!
It’s arrived. Enclosure is the theme. Topics include inner city housing, the privitisation of homeless services, government strategies to deny us a free internet (yeah, thats right, the same pack of clowns who talk about ‘digital economy’ when they blatantly don’t have a clue, bless ‘em) and attempt to impose a household tax for services that they can’t even define. Servicing the debt anyone? Here’s one of my contributions on that very subject:
This is what 5,000 copies look like (and no, that picture isn’t out of focus, it was the heat haze, fresh of the presses knowhumsayinnnn?):
Our distro crew have been hard at it since, you can pick up a copy in all the usual spots, plus a few new ones as we strive to widen our reach. Cork, Galway and Belfast crews hold tight: give us the weekend and we’ll have em to ye. Need a copy? Hit us up and we’ll look after ye. Wanna get involved? Drop us a line here, we’d love to hear from ye, plus our cups of tea represent.
Great documentary showing how people who are passionate about the few tunes and having a good time can actually have a massive political effect. It focuses on events from the late 70s, with the National Front threat being combatted by the Rock Against Racism and Anti-Nazi League, up to the early 80s and the rise of Thatcherism. Worth a watch, and quite inspirational. Remember, the 10-year anniversary of Reclaim the Streets approaches…
Right, so this was meant to be an amazing piece about the powers of protest but despite spending two hours on it, it somehow magicked itself away at the publishing stage and now I’m pretty annoyed to say the least!
So here’s the edited, streamlined, fat-free version then. Our version of protest.
We put out issue two of rabble before Christmas, getting great feedback from everyone, and our DIY-distro system is getting out into more and more homes, clubs, pubs, cafes, shops, whatevers around the country.
You can still pick up a copy in one of these locations, failing that, check our site where we’re adding the content from this issue bit by bit. I had a nice input to this one, contributed several illustrations and wrote an article on anti-social behaviour entitled ‘Too Old for the Playground, Too Young for the Pub”. Discusses the options young people have in this country, some of whom I interviewed. Here’s an extract:
We had some further discussion about whether or not it’s fair for young people to be labelled this way, and in turn influence how young people think of themselves. The gas thing about this is that despite conjuring up images of hooded young fellas causing strife in the estate, none of the people interviewed really think this is the case. I couldn’t help but get the feeling that they were reluctantly putting up with having the phrase hurled at them repeatedly, as well as putting up with harassment on a regular basis from the Gardaí. Seventeen-year-old Dean pointed out that the phrase ‘is stereotypically used in Ireland, cos if people see a group of youths they think the worst of us.’
Tomorrow Saturday 3rd, 1pm, reach if you can. People standing firm in the path of the oncoming budget. Clowns of the regular type are welcome to participate. The gombeen type of clown that you find on Kildare St are best advised to pay attention.
Ayo, will be playing at the Party Against the Pipe the weekend of 4-6 June. For those who aren’t aware of the Corrib Gas Pipeline, a quick synopsis is as follows: When gas was found off the County Mayo coast, the rights to its exploitation were sold off by the then ruling party, Fianna Fáil, in order to generate some much needed cash. Shell now controls the €500 billion of gas out there, and is building an ‘experimental’ piping system, that results in pumping raw, unodourised gas past local people’s homes, to a processing plant further inland. Why can’t they process the gas at the well head out at sea and not put people at risk? Makin a buck innit.
Please check out the Shell to Sea campaign for more info on the ten years of protest over the Corrib Gas Pipeline.
A-Force, Antrophe, myself, and heaps of other will be DJing over the weekend. Haven’t been down before, but from what I’ve been told it’s a great weekend, and despite the context, a lot of fun is to be had!
The protest Saturday week (the 27th November) was great. Huge turnout, despite the snow and the chilly toes; the general consensus was somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000. Fintan O’ Toole was an excellent MC, and there were some deadly banners on display. Thankfully, there was no violence, bar the skirmish outside the Dáil, where the Gardaí seemed to be hiding in wait (they didn’t really make their presence felt at the actual protest, I guess after the embarrassment of leaving the gates of the Dáil open they didn’t want anyone sneaking in again). It finally felt like the country is prepared to mobilize itself against the shower in power, who reckon they can get away with making us pay for the gambling debts of a small number of ignorant, treacherous scumbags.
Yet, many people did not feel the need to attend the protest, with excuses ranging from “I don’t want to be aligned with ICTU” (the trade union who organised the protest) or “Sure isn’t it too late, the IMF are already here, aren’t they?”
First, the fear of being aligned with ICTU, or indeed any trade union, political party, interest group, etc. Although the ICTU organised the protest, they did not have the run of it. This was evident from the frosty reception both Jack O’ Connor and David Begg of ICTU received from those gathered in front of the podium (to be honest, why we need to hear people tell us why we’re protesting is slightly beyond me, I suppose a focal point is needed, but could it not be a samba band or a soundsystem or something that doesn’t have wrinkles/want my vote…maybe I’m just a bit skeptical is all). People would have been on general strike already if these very unions had not received a slice of the pie (for more details on this, and indeed an excellent overview of Irish political and economic developments from the 80s to the present day, check Aidan O’ Regan’s blog on Irish Public Policy).
Anyway, one cannot avoid standing near or under a banner or flag of some sort at such a protest, it’s inevitable. Plus, I have never heard of someone not wanting to got to Croke Park for a big game for fear of being caught on the Sunday Game standing under the flag of a county they weren’t born in (eh, loose enough metaphor there but you get my drift, yeah?). Fookin right you wouldn’t, the point is they’re making so much noise for their county the flag above them is irrelevant! Perhaps there’s something buried away in the Irish psyche that leads to the fear of allegiance, the worry of being seen as a leftie, or a republican, or even a trade unionist (prior to the deals brokered in the 80s, trade unions were seen as obstacles to progress, what with their constant protesting when good, dishonest money could be made). And maybe this mindset leads people to quickly denounce such unions or parties at the drop of a hat… BUT! How about instead of being opposed to those who aren’t in government, why don’t we just get out there and protest against those who are calling the shots??? Sure, we could be on general strike if it weren’t for the unions, but would you even bother if we could? “Can’t go out and strike lads, gotta catch up on my Google Reader.” The point is, we should quit this attitude of moaning about everyone who isn’t in government and get out there and make some noise! Let the government know how angry we are that we’ve got to foot the bill for their gambling debt.
Regarding whether or not it’s too late to protest – BOLLOCKS. Wouldn’t we love that. Then we could all just sit around and give out about how no-one did anything. Handy. But we, or whatever shape of government will be replacing the crumbling cabinet, don’t have to be bound by the terms of the bailout deal. Default, a la Argentina. Do an Iceland on it, they were in the shit like us two years ago, check out how they’re getting their country rejigged now. OK, so neither country was in anything like the Eurozone, maybe we can’t just superimpose other countries experiences onto ours in the hope that they fit, but at least there are options. Ireland, as a republic, has been incredibly isolated before, and managed to survive it (The Emergency?). Again, looking to Argentina, they had a bad buzz for a year or two after they defaulted, but picked themselves up and got going again.
It’s all well and good to talk of defaulting and so on but how do we bring it about? How do we get our voices heard? To take a leaf from both Argentina and Iceland, their popular protest involved banging pots and pans outside government buildings. This is perfect for Irish people, who seem to feel a bit silly chanting sometimes (was it just me or was there very little noise for all the tens of thousands out on the 27th?). Just hit a pot with a stick instead. Or bang a drum. Grand, sure. It’s what happened last Saturday and it was great fun; felt like a two-hour percussion jam and was a savage way to keep warm.
Please do try and bring the noise today (Tuesday 7th December – Budget Day). Drums, pots, whistles, whatever you have. We need NOISE and SPECTACLE. Let’s try and step it up from the march on the 27th – make a mad racket! There’s lots of assembly points for today’s march, it’s up to you where you start off, but I strongly recommend being accompanied by a hip flask to survive the bitter weather!
Also, on Friday is Spectacle of Defiance. You creative types out there should get on this. Marching from City Hall to O’ Connell Street, via Central Bank, stopping for brief performances on the way. Gist is a protest against the hearts being ripped out of Irish communities by present government. Wear red and bring heart-shaped placards. Rehearsal on Wednesday for those interested in taking part.
Right, into town with me pot.
Check it. This is gonna be a fundraiser gig for ‘Rabble’, a new counter cultural magazine for Dublin. It’s still gotta get up off the ground (hence the fundraiser), but I’ll no doubt be pointing to it in the near future…
As you can see from the flyer above, the man like Munchi is gonna be laying it down. Like half the bass-web-universe, I’ve been keeping a close ear to this young man’s productions since April this year, when I heard the likes of tracks like ‘La Brasilena ta Montao’. For me, his style of music, one of his styles of music, known as Moombahton, was one of the more refreshing things I heard all year. Dembow plus ravey-up bits equates to DELICIOUS. Plus, this is the perfect antidote to the gash climes (meteorologically and ec**omically) we’re experiencing on this island at the moment… more on that in a bit.
Whopper lineup with support from !Kaboogie selectahs Richie !K,PCP and myself, as well as Antrophe (who lashed out a top notch bashment mix at Rathlin this year), Shatterfreak, Welfare, Psymonok, Carax, Sexface and NY’s Liondub. In fairness, like. Bend that lineup into ye.
Hopefully we’ll be able to have a good session after making our voices heard earlier that day. Yes, Saturday sees the masses take to the streets of Dublin in protest at the arrogance of our government. For those who mightn’t know, our glorious leaders have placed us in the position where the IMF have had to enter the country. A banking system that was allowed to run wild whilst our fat cat head honchos in Fianna Fáil turned a blind eye has led to the need to bail out the banks, I mean Ireland, oh no, hang on, bail out Europe is it?
EU Financial Commissionar Olli Rehn was talking about the need to quench the Irish ‘bushfire’ before it becomes a Europe-wide ‘forestfire’. Shit analogy, Mr Rehn, but you get the point. European banks couldn’t stop themselves throwing money at us during the boom years, yet just didn’t seem to be aware of the many cracks in our banking system, cracks which have made themselves obvious in the last while, yet we don’t know how deep they are yet. They’re pretty quick to over help out no? If Irish banks aren’t bailed out, this is going to feedback into the German, French and British banks that loaned so carelessly in the first place.
So what happens now is we let the IMF and ECB into the country (even though our barely elected government representatives denied this ever happening mere days before their arrival). The fucking IMF. If these guys were a private company who gave financial advice, they would have gone belly up years ago. Instead, the World Bank cheers them on while EVERYTHING THE IMF TOUCHES TURNS TO SHIT. There’s plenty of evidence to back that up. Have a read of this for a nice, terrifying overview of who this pack of loons are (cheers to Eadaoin for the link).
Sadly, our government has failed to realise this (honestly, words fail me trying to describe these disgusting individuals. Individuals that have to be ferried to and from government buildings in limos, with garda escort, at a massive cost to the taxpayer. The average expenses claimed by these incompetent apes, no offence to apes, is more than what the average person earns in Ireland. Their expenses. Not their take-home pay.). Instead, Cowen welcomes the solidarity displayed by his European neighbours. Thanks Europe! Thanks for offering to help out! Really appreciate it you guys, honestly it’s great that you guys are offering these great loans to us that we’ll be paying back FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES so you can protect your banks. Nice one.
The government is hanging in by a thread. If they collapse, this next budget doesn’t happen. And nothing’s been 100% set in stone with the IMF and ECB vultures yet. Defaulting on our loans sounds like a scary prospect. Yet, Argentina did it and survived, despite the IMF trying to tell the world otherwise. Sure, they weren’t part of a single currency like the Euro, but still, even these guys and this guy think we’d be better off defaulting.
What we can do now at least is get out on the streets Saturday and make some noise. The people must act! We cannot take this lying down.
PS I’m not a very politicised person, but this current situation is driving me to become one. The above is a summary of the situation and possible alternatives, I’m not clued up enough to suggest them myself, thus am pointing to articles. Everyone in my generation has been lumped with huge debt thanks to the greed of a small few. These bankers, and the government that protected them are guilty of treason, why they have not been locked up is beyond me. They sold our country out and will get away with it unless we get off our collective arses.