The group of protesters camped outside Ireland’s Central Bank on Dame Street, Dublin have vowed that they will remain in place for “as long as it takes”.
The Occupy Dame Street protest, inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” protest which started last month, now includes about 20 tents, tied together in the plaza outside the bank. The participants describe their protest as “non-violent, leaderless resistance" which hopes to end corporate corruption.
Placards around the tents are filled with messages like, “Is this a crime scene?" in reference to the Central Bank - "Troika = Junta" and "Fermoy says 'No' to Bondholder Bailouts".
Blogger and protester with Occupy Dame Street, Unkie Dave explained why he had joined the protest. He wrote “I am there because I am tired of decisions being taken by those with political and economic authority on behalf of the richest 1% in this country (and the world). Politicians are elected by the people, and should represent The People, the 99%, and not the economic elite and certainly not the Corporations. The recent election changed nothing except who sits where in the Dail.”
Speaking to the Irish Times, one of the protesters, Lee Page (35) from Baldoyle, north Dublin, said the group is still formulating the precise aims, or manifesto, of the protest. He said he was “with the majority of people in Ireland who are just pissed off with the way things are being run.
"We need to get a fresh conversation going. The wheels have come off capitalism and we have just gone back to the old ways, point scoring in the Dáil. Members of the IMF are in Ireland today setting up their offices to tell the Irish people what to do. It's poisonous what's happening."
He explained that the small community has become organized with one tent set aside for food, one for valuables, and one for tea and coffee during the day. As winter sets in the tents are acting as wind barriers as well as housing.
Page said “It is pretty cold but we are keeping warm and morale is good. I am feeling better than I have done in a month, really energized…I have done everything society has asked of me. I have played by all the rules, got a degree, had my own business and it has wound up, and I am just pissed off at this stage.
"We're taking this day by day and working out our demands, We have an assembly every day at 1 pm and 6 pm and invite anyone, except politicians, to come down and speak with us. We also want anyone who wants to to come and join our protest. We will be here as long as it takes."
The group is inviting people to join them. Members said they have had a very positive response from everyone so far.
The Irish Times speaks to the Occupy Dame Street protesters:
Slideshow of the protests:
Footage of the protest: