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Re: Day of Action March February 8, 2013

Posted by guestposter in Economy, European Politics, Irish Politics.

Sent to CLR, email from union rep.

Please find attached information about the Day of Action on Saturday 9th February. There will in particular be a march in Dublin starting at Cook Street (behind Merchant’s Quay) assembling at 1 p.m. There is an order of marching listed by union to avoid radical groups taking over the march at the front. Head Office has advised us to meet near the XXXXXXXX banners (a large group) although we will have an XXXXXX banner (and according to the attached a separate ‘pitch’). Obviously I’ll let you know if there is any change of plan or further updates.

Good to know.

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1. smiffy - February 8, 2013

Practical question (leaving aside the issue around the ‘radical groups’) – is it 1pm or 1:30pm to assemble?

Joe - February 8, 2013

1.30pm according to SIPTU.
Next practical question. Assembling near Civic Offices but marching to where (PS Yes I can google this).

smiffy - February 8, 2013

Merrion Square, but not sure of the route, other than what CMK, I think, posted here the other day: Dame Street, College Green, Nassau Street.

CMK - February 8, 2013

That’s the route, alright. I think there will be a bit of aggro tomorrow as the union leaders and their minions try to sideline the CAHWT and others.

2. doctorfive - February 8, 2013

Will booing be heard from the back?

EWI - February 8, 2013

That’ll be the Labour TDs.

But they can reassure themselves that they’re being ‘courageous’ in adopting a right-wing FG-lite agenda; as our early-30s-to-mid-40s, male, privately-educated, TCD graduate, Ayn Rand-worshipping special advisor friend in the SBP, Mr. ‘BackRoom’, would tell us.

EWI - February 8, 2013

I will, of course, be there – along with the pensioner ex-FF parents!

maddurdu - February 8, 2013

We’ll just have to boo louder. Its tough being a fascist.

3. Jack Jameson - February 8, 2013

Is there an order of marching for the ‘radical groups’ or is it just a free-for-all by them? #rhetoricalquestion

Jack Jameson - February 8, 2013

Just thought: in the centenary year of the Lockout of 1913, which the unions will milk, is the reference to others as radical an open admission that that the trade unions in 2013 are not radical? #anotherrhetoricalquestion

4. Tomboktu - February 9, 2013

Congress must be delighted with breakingnews.ie. This morning, they illustrate their story about the protest with a picture of Joe Higgins. (And he won’t necessarily be thrilled either: it shows him in front of a ULA poster.)

Mistake or knowing mischief?

5. Shane - February 9, 2013

Like that Tomboktu- (can’t do a screengrab on this so hopefully link doesn’t change) but far left unity still lives in Kerry

6. ivorthorne - February 9, 2013

Any thoughts on the march? Will it make a difference?

Jack Jameson - February 9, 2013

Was on the march (were there any TDs there apart from SF, ULA, SP?)

Couldn’t stay for speeches but, given ICTU and SIPTU performance so far, thought it was a safe bet I wasn’t missing anything. Was I wrong?

Jack Jameson - February 9, 2013

The march in Dublin, that is (apologies to comrades outside the capital).

CMK - February 9, 2013

No. Wasn’t there as I”m smothered but I think the sheer futility of ICTU marches is beginning too become to obvious to deny. The myth of Sisyphus comes to mind. Life will go on as it always has within the union leaderships and the filled their ‘action’ quota for 2013 with today’s ramble. Meanwhile the assault on workers continues unabated.

Ciaran - February 9, 2013

Full disclosure – I didn’t attend the march myself.

Having said that, +1, CMK.

WorldbyStorm - February 9, 2013

I kind of agree about futility and yet that said If there wasn’t much of a turnout I think that would send a bad message. I was there for most of it and it was pretty impressive. Shame about the leadership, though.

WorldbyStorm - February 9, 2013

Entertaining th spat about numbers. Very well attended I’d have said.

CMK - February 9, 2013

That’s the tricky thing. I’m sort of glad that I’m in bits today with the flu as I could honourably skip this one (although I did make a local protest this morning). Have to say I just couldn’t summon up any motivation for organising for this. I could be bothered getting posters or leaflets to distribute at work. ICTU are purposefully taking the p**s out of workers who are undergoing an attack that may well begin to match that of the Lockout. Speaking of futility: I think, after today’s effort, there is a bit more coherence to the idea of the General Strike. It would require possibly months of dedicated work and would probably be limited to the public sector and the semi-states. But are ICTU going to be able to motivate people to turn out for yet another march that delivers nothing concrete. The law of diminishing returns for ICTU sponsored marches has accelerated. There are only two options open to ICTU. One, just say nothing, lobby behind the scenes and hope that the Trioka and the government take pity on them and throw them a bone. Or, two, realise that confrontation with the state and government is the only way that policy can be shifted, influenced or changed. ICTU are on their last chance after today and I don’t think they quite realise that fact. The ‘deal’, if it doesn’t produce real results for people, in terms of a perceptible lessening of austerity, will be revealed for the accounting trick that it is. If, as they say, a billion a year is going to be saved, i.e. that each budget from now on will contain a billion less in taxes and cuts, then that billion needs to be directed to ordinary people pronto. A savvy government would see that pretty clearly. They’d tell the Trioka to go f**k itself and they’re going to use that billion to shore their position. In concrete terms that would mean: a) cancellation of the property axe (EUR 500 million max), b) no cuts in Croke Park II (EUR 300 million max), c) restoration of a range of services cut in recent budgets (respite care, prescription charges, school book grants) which would gobble up the remaining EUR 200 million. If none of the foregoing come to fruition then I think the government will have talked itself into a corner that they won’t get out of in one piece. If I’d have been in government I would have said nothing about the benefits of deal and wouldn’t have mentioned the ’1 billion savings’. They’ve given a huge hostage to fortune and if ordinary people don’t see evidence of that one billion being directed towards them, then I think, as I said, there’ll be a huge political crisis. Or, more accurately, a massive intensification of the current crisis.

LeftAtTheCross - February 9, 2013

They’ve already said there will be no €1bn saving in the 2014 budget as the senior bondholders in Angle will be paid off with that amount. By the tine the 2015 budget comes around they’ll be hoping we’ve forgotten about the ‘saving’ as the ‘recovery’ will have kicked in by then. My hole. Well done CMK in Drogheda today, looks like the CAHWT had a great turnout there at Nashs’s office protest.

CMK - February 9, 2013

Cheers, LATC. We’re definitely off Ged’s christmas card list! Regarding the ’1 billion euro’ question. I know that that that money is earmarked for the next two years for more deserving cases than the people of Ireland. Which is why this week will come back to haunt the government. They’re so desperate for a ‘good news’ story that they have been crowing over something which will raise expectations among the citizenry. When those expectations are inevitably dashed, which you and I know they will be, there will be enormous political ramifications. If this government were real cute hoors they would have kept their mouths shut about any ‘savings’ but, I suppose, with the drama of Wednesday night they had to come up some plausible excuse and the ’1 billion savings’ is it. They’ll regret that. Deeply.

WorldbyStorm - February 10, 2013

CMK, a really interesting comment. A couple of my own observations in light of it. Yesterday mornign due to other commitments there was discussion abhaile as to attendance at march. In the end the consensus was to go, but without much enthusiasm, glad we did so, but completely understand your thoughts on it (though as I was saying elsewhere to JRG his point about an ITGWU banner raises some interesting thoughts about alternative ways forward!).

The other things is a general strike. A strike mostly by the public sector would have a validity if it was clearly on behalf of all workers and clearly those in the private sector who can’t or won’t or are underunionised.

I know that’s the intention of every action in general terms, but perhaps something more explicit might be no harm.

7. CB - February 9, 2013

Just back from the march. I’m well use to pathetic speeches from the speakers’ platform but today took the biscuit. Most of the household charges and water charges protesters were at the front of the march and when we got to the end of Nassau street we were diverted towards Holles Street while stewards waited until the SIPTU contingent arrived and then they were sent right towards the Dáil so that the the first ten to twenty rows in front of the platform would be free of placards attacking the water charges, household tax and the Labour Party. Begg’s speech was poor even by his standards and then we had a stand up comedian giving us some anti – German routine and then some singers. People began to leave in droves.

8. Starkadder - February 9, 2013

Returned from the March in Cork. Sizeable crowd there-my
guess is there was at least 300 present. We marched from
Connolly Hall to Grand Parade where the march seemed to
split into two- the larger group was listening to Mick Barry,
who gave an good speech that was applauded, followed by
a woman from the Trade Unions who pointed out we had
passed lots of closed businesses (HMV, the cinema, numerous
shops and pubs) caused by the austerity.

Not sure what impact (if any) it will have, but there were
so many diverse people there-children, teenage girls, old
men, students, black guys. The reaction of the bystanders
varied-two women waved to us, a guy gave us a dirty
look, but the general view seemed to be curiosity or

9. Jolly Red Giant - February 9, 2013

Over 10,000 at the march in Limerick – filled the whole of O’Connell St. By far the loudest and most vibrant section was the Campaign Against the Protperty Tax and Austerity. Socialist Party, Sinn Fein and Eirigi had banners (saw one SWP paper seller). Most people drifted off as soon as the speeches started. Socialist Party and anti-Property Tax leaflets were snapped up. One throwback was an ITGWU banner that someone had dug out.

WorldbyStorm - February 9, 2013

Very good to hear JRG. I like the idea an ITGWU banner reappeared!

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 9, 2013

The Limerick number looks huge, compared to Cork or did you mean ’3,000′? 300 for Cork would be pretty poor I’d have thought.

Starkadder - February 9, 2013

Haven’t been to protests for a while, so I’m not
sure what a good turnout would be for Cork. I based the
’300′ number on a very rough headcount while
at the Grand Parade.

cagp - February 10, 2013

There were about 5000-6000 on the protest in Cork. While loads of people left once it stopped in Grand Parade there still many more than 300- unless you arrived at the very end.

revolutionaryprogramme - February 10, 2013

This is correct – the Cork demonstration was made up of about 4-5000 behind trade union banners, a few hundred behind community group banners and 1,000 or so in the CAHWT contingent at the end.

10. Starkadder - February 9, 2013

I saw someone at the Cork march proudly carrying SF leaflets, also eagerly reading a copy of “LookLeft”.

I suppose this is a small victory over political sectarianism…

LeftAtTheCross - February 9, 2013

Good to hear that.

11. LeftAtTheCross - February 9, 2013

Best bit of the day had to be the Garda band playing the Internationale at the end of Cook St as the WP and CP passed by. Slightly surreal.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 9, 2013

I don’t think that was the Garda band, though there was a big ASGI contingent. ICTU stewards tried to come the heavy with CAHWT people on a couple of occasions.

Tomboktu - February 9, 2013

That was the CWU band.

LeftAtTheCross - February 10, 2013

Don’t go ruining an urban legend in the making.

CB - February 10, 2013

The band at the start had Co. Fermanagh on their drum. Can’t remember the name of them, something like Silver City or something. They actually looked a bit like the Salvation Army.

12. Starkadder - February 9, 2013

RTE News: Gardai estimate numbers: (take with pinch of salt):

The largest event took place in Dublin, where gardaí said up to 25,000 people took part.

In Limerick, around 8,000 protesters gathered at Pery Square following a march through the city….

In Cork, gardaí said around 6,000 people took part in the protest, which began on Parnell Place and continued through Merchants Quay, Patrick St before finishing on Grand Parade.

In Galway, gardaí estimate that up to 2,000 people took part in the rally.

In Waterford, local estimates suggest around 2,000 people turned out for the rally, which began from the Glen, to Bridge St, onto The Quay and finished on John Roberts Square.

Gardaí said around 6,500 people took part in the rally in Sligo town.


RosencrantzisDead - February 10, 2013

I would have thought thirty thousand was more the number from what I saw, although that is a very inexpert opinion. Very impressive. The speeches were over by the time I arrived at the terminus in Merrion Square which disappointed me for about a nanosecond.

13. Tomboktu - February 9, 2013

The day got off to a lousy start with Paul Sweeney on George Lee’s programme undermining the Congress line by saying the deal is a good one.

Jack Jameson - February 10, 2013

Unreal. Is it any wonder we can’t convince people of the need to join a trade union?

Eugene - February 10, 2013

Sweeney is saying in public what is the feeling of top elements of the TUM who are unwilling to say so in public. Its the dual strategy to support the government position but not openly.

Its their dual strategy in regards to Croke Part II to appear to playing hard ball publicly, while hoping privately if they support the government strategy quietly in the corridors of government buildings they can get a better deal.

The demonstration I thought was dead, no energy and no life about it.

14. Jack Jameson - February 10, 2013

Miriam Cotton / @mediabite tweeted: The fighting Irish held a sort of procession today – and then went to the pub to dilute their fervour. #Ireland #promnight #feb9demo

Is that a fair summary?

shea - February 11, 2013

thats every march.

15. revolutionaryprogramme - February 10, 2013

The platform speeches in Cork were politically very weak. No criticism of the Irish government combined with a “programme” of begging the European elites to be nicer/fairer to us.

Tomboktu - February 11, 2013

My union is a small one, well behind the front of the marches in Dublin. Like last time, I arrived after the main speeches had been delivered.

16. Tomboktu - February 10, 2013

100,000 is about 10 quotas in a general election.

CMK - February 11, 2013

If only we could be sure that that 100,000 came from 10 constituencies only! But, still, good point. Alas, once you start making these kinds of observations you’ll have carping about ‘electoralism’ and what not. There’s no pleasing some people!

Tomboktu - February 11, 2013

Of course, it also the case that with voting, many — possibly most — are within a few minutes walk of their polling station, whereas the majority had a longer journey to get to one of the marches. Voting is a quick job, but the march in Dublin took over two hours for me from assembly to getting to Merrion Square.

And voting can be done at a time of the day that you choose (over the twelve or thirteen hours the stations are open), whereas if the time of the march clashed with, say, your daughter’s swimming competition or camogie match, you probably had had no choice.

17. CMK - February 11, 2013

Don’t even go there…. Over 700 hundred in our branch and aside from one or two lefties, I doubt if we had a dozen there. That’s a whole other day’s discussion.

18. Jack Jameson - February 11, 2013

Dare say ICTU’s lacklustre leadership (epitomised by Brother Begg) is hardly a Les Misérables inspiration for many to give up a Saturday for a pointless promenade around town.

CMK - February 11, 2013

How much did it cost in advertising this march? I say at least one bus in Dublin and several bus stops emblazoned with the poster? Must have cost a few bob and, still, after all that the turnout wasn’t great.

Jack Jameson - February 11, 2013

Wasn’t there newspaper ads too, for what they’re worth?

Eugene - February 11, 2013

If you read the February Socialist Voice you will see the figure. Individual union may have supplemented with additional spending.

19. Ghandi - February 11, 2013

Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes activists report instances of harassment by a number of ICTU stewards and Gardaí at last Saturday’s demonstrations

In the aftermath of last Saturday’s demonstrations called by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions a clear picture emerged that a number of ICTU stewards and the Gardaí engaged in a policy of harassment, physical intimidation and exclusion of CAHWT activists.

Campaign activist Michael O’Brien commented:

“The CAHWT publicised the demonstrations in advance with its own material and mobilised sizeable contingents on all of the demonstrations. The title of the day of action was ‘lifting the burden’. For many working people the property tax will be a significant burden and therefore it was correct to attempt to make resistance to the property tax a key theme of the day.

“On the day the campaign distributed or attempted to distribute a leaflet to rank and file union members who turned out. The leaflet encouraged them to do what they could to raise the issue of the property tax within their union at branch and conference level and initiative or support motions that would win their union to a position of opposing the property tax and support the objectives of the CAHWT.

“Sensitive to our intentions and the possibility of being challenged for their inaction in the face of austerity the ICTU leadership through a number of their stewards and the Gardaí sought to marginalise the CAHWT and impede the participation of its activists on the demonstrations. The Gardaí in Dublin diverted part of the CAHWT contingent away from the main body of the demonstration and prevented individual activists from rejoining the crowd at the end. We have collected first hand testimonies from participants (see below). ”

“The treatment of our campaign which represents the most significant anti-austerity struggle in the state over the last year shows that the ICTU leadership fear the example of a militant fighting approach being taken up from within the ranks of the movement. They pretend that the booing they have received at previous demonstrations is orchestrated by small minority elements when the reality it has been a spontaneous expression of frustration and anger by ordinary union members.

“Regardless of these bully boy tactics the debate about the need for the whole of the union movement to back our campaign will take place at a range of union conferences in the coming months as ordinary trade union members who are also active in CAHWT have brought motions to their union branches. We will not allow the ICTU leadership to keep a lid on the discontent within it ranks when it comes to their awful position on the property tax as expressed by David Begg yesterday.”

LeftAtTheCross - February 11, 2013

FFS, it was an ICTU march, what did the CAHWT expect? Fair enough, organise a protest on the same day, but don’t expect to be gifted pole position in front of someone else’s march. This is just whinging being promoted by people who are died in the wool entryists. The CAHWT should stand on its own merits and organise its own protests such as the very successful one to the FG Ard Fheis in the conference centre.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 11, 2013

The CAWHT people who the ICTU tried to throw off the march were in the middle of the crowd, not up the front, and the incidents happened well after the march was under way. I’ll ignore the irony of a member of the Workers Party complaining about entryism. (Which has nothing to do with what you do during demonstrations anyway).

Jack Jameson - February 11, 2013

I have no love of the ICTU hierarchy (see posts above) but LATC does have a serious point – it was ICTU’s march.

How would CAHWT heads feel if some other group did the same on a CAHWT initiative?

LeftAtTheCross - February 11, 2013

Precisely JJ.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 11, 2013

I’m a union member and a CAWHT supporter, should I have cut myself in half? The ICTU did not want anyone on the march who wouldn’t behave like good boys and girls and perform their appointed role as a stage army for Croke Park II. The CAWHT did not try to disrupt the march, just tried to join it- luckily they were not easily intimidated by some of ICTU’s stewards (who should really know better).

20. Ghandi - February 11, 2013
21. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 11, 2013

I believe in the dictionary that’s listed under ‘handbags’. Are the Anti-Eviction League affiliated to the ‘Freemen’?
(Always amuses me when people carry the national flag and think their making some sort of rebellious point.)

22. Joekerman - February 11, 2013

A few years back the Immigration Control Platform picketed congress headquarters . A short while later the I.C.P turned up on a Dublin City Centre march, giving out racist leaflets . When this was pointed out to stewards they said they couldn’t be removed because they were union members and had a right to be there . So it’s ok to have fascists and racists join in but not anti austerity campaigners ?

I was at the march on Saturday and saw stewards behave very aggressively and at one point physically engage with CAHWT activists . It was very clear that the issue was not about where the CAHWT banners were on the march , it was that the union elite did not want the campaign visible at all , and were probably still sulking over the small bit of booing they got last time.

The march itself was a grand old duke of York affair anyhow – and it’s message was pretty much “lets all pull together and blame some foreigners” , almost a plea for national unity against the baddies in EUROPE , and supporting our Government who are doing their bit . Oh hang on, now I see why the I.C.P. were welcome !

23. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 11, 2013

Yeah, the anti-German stuff is a nice distraction alright. The enemy is at home!

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