Occupy Dame Street continues - Irish protesters angry but well-mannered
Irish protests continue in Dublin
The Occupy Dame Street protesters, camping out for the sixth day outside Central Bank in Dublin, are developing a reputation for being “decidedly polite” and “well mannered”.
The Dublin campaigners who are inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, are described in the Guardian as “angry but decidedly polite”.
There are now 60 full-time protesters at the site, camping in 20 tents. There is also a tent which houses a makeshift kitchen and food station.
So far the Dublin protesters have been highly organized, dividing their group into work parties including media, construction, and even security. They’ve also appointed Sean Creagh, a business studies student from Deansgrange in Dublin, as their liaison with the Irish police.
Wearing a high-vis jacket, Creagh explained that he would be aiding the police in keeping the peace at the camp.
The organizers have also banned alcohol and drugs at the protest. Creagh plans to help the police extract any protesters who break this rule.
He said “I have been talking to one of the local garda [Irish police]inspectors in the city who is in charge of policing the protests…To be fair, the garda have been good because we have kept a clear dialogue with them.
"The idea is we want a peaceful protest and we don't want to cause any direct trouble.
"We have a policy of not hassling anyone going into work and have kept the walkway into the central bank open all the time."
Creagh said that the protest was not specifically targeting the Irish banks, whose head quarters they are camped in front of.
He explained “You have got to remember that inside that [central bank] building there is a full-time official from the IMF who, unelected by anyone in Ireland, is actually running our country's economic policy.
"That person is in there carrying out the IMF's diktats to the Irish people. This is why we are here. It's the symbolism of that."
It seems that the Occupy Dame Street protest has attracted a wide variety of protesters, including David Johnson, a 38-year-old IT consultant who left his job in a US multinational to start his own business. He now spends 16 hours a day with the protesters on Dame Street.
He said “I would not be your traditional student militant or even overtly political – I am in fact a business owner. "But I am here because I am disgusted at the way this country has been run for the benefit of the very, very rich.
"Like everyone else around, I was inspired by the Wall Street occupation movement. Yes, we are angry. Yes, we want radical change – but it is all very polite really."
Writing in the Evening Herald on Wednesday, a Sociology lecturer from Waterford Institute of Technology, Dr Tom Boland, explained why he has joined the protest.
He said, “These are extraordinary times, and it is time for ordinary people to start doing extraordinary things.”
He continued, “Our governments have failed us by neglecting to regulate these businesses. 100pc loans on ponzi-scheme houses is something the state should have intervened against. Yet, rather than protecting the citizens from the fall-out of these bank failures, the government has insisted that we, the taxpayers, should pick up the bill.”
Boland explained that he and his friends had dressed up as burglars and run around the street on Tuesday to remind the Irish people that “the most extraordinary crime is still taking place”.
He ended by writing, “Sometimes I think that all Irish people realize the injustice and the stupidity of what's going on. But we suspect our neighbors are duped. So we don't take a stand, for fear we'd stand alone. We're rightly cynical about our political system, but sometimes we're too cynical about what we can do as citizens.”
Public assembly at Occupy Dame Street:
Trad session at the Occupy Dame Street protests: Gaelsceal news piece on the protests (in Irish):
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