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People’s Party March 6, 2014

Posted by doctorfive in European Politics.
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1. WorldbyStorm - March 6, 2014

Just the police presence alone across the city and the consequent traffic snarl-up was quite enough for me to think of other less loving messages.

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2. Liberius - March 6, 2014

I was on the bus earlier today passing by the convention centre and I was struck by how serious they seemed to be about keeping a lid on things, while the bus was stopped I saw the garda being pretty forceful with what looked like fairly mild-mannered people; I wonder what their orders are like? I would also imagine that for some EPP members(Partido Popular) old habits die hard…

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3. Mark P - March 6, 2014

I see from Helena Sheehan’s Facebook update that the Dublin Says No clowns were their usual charming selves at the conference protest, turning much of their incoherent ire on the larger left protest.

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WorldbyStorm - March 7, 2014

Hmmm… not good.

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RosencrantzisDead - March 7, 2014

Who are Dublin says No? Are they connected to any party or grouping?

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Mark P - March 7, 2014

Very much not. They hate the left parties and organisations. Some of them (not all) were part of the more eccentric wing of Occupy Dame Street. “This isn’t a political protest it’s the people’s protest” types, with a side order of fluoride.

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RosencrantzisDead - March 7, 2014

Ahh…cheers for that. A crowd that might be inclined towards Ben Gilroy, maybe?

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Mark P - March 7, 2014

My impression is that they are more leftish/radical than DDI types, but the milieus have overlapped a bit in the past. You’d need somebody closer to either of those groups to give you a more useful answer, really.

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4. EWI - March 7, 2014

So, among others, the Hungarian fascists and the Ukrainian oligarchs are in town (the Italian Mafia-connected media mogul contingent sadly couldn’t make it). Lovely.

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5. Mark P - March 7, 2014

Apparently, the Gardai used baton charges tonight, which is a deeply unwelcome development. Also, again from Facebook, it seems that three people are still being held.

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BB - March 7, 2014

This ubiquitous reference to “clowns”, most recently mentioned above, is an unwelcome development too. I wasn’t at the protest, don’t know, can’t say. For this reason, I hesitate to make a judgment call. But this much I know: be specific — say it like you imply it — that they were being provocative, acting foolishly or idiotic?

Wasn’t it Dublin Says No who objected to the treatment of their members when they issued a statement which says that they organised another protest “because of, but not exclusively, as a result of Bryan Dobson’s remark on the Six One News on the 27th November 2013, when he called two peaceful protesters ‘idiots’ live on air”?

As you rightly noted, baton charges were apparently used yesterday and something “deeply unwelcome” happened. That much I can agree with you on. And it doesn’t auger well for people who seek to demonstrate on the streets in the future.

Any attack on this basic civil right to demonstrate should be resisted full on.

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6. LeftAtTheCross - March 7, 2014

Wasn’t there myself but there was some discussion on FB from people who were who noted that the Dublin Says No people physically attacked Paul Murphy. I think it was the SPs Michael O’Brien who noted that perhaps stewarding of protests by the Left needs to be taken more seriously. I’d add that some people have been critical of the KKE for their approach to stewarding their protests in what is an even more extreme situation vis a vis black bloc disruption. Perhaps a little more understanding and sympathy is in order in future.

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BB - March 7, 2014

That seems very appropriate to me.

I’ve noticed that many people brought into activity in recent years have a dislike of the far left. They believe it to be authoritarian organisations, governed by self perpetuating cliques — who lead them to piggyback on many campaigns. Maybe these activists wish to dissociate themselves from it, up to and including hostile exchanges at demos. This is not to excuse any attack against Paul Murphy, if it happened, it should be damned.

Yet, these activists internationally, have organised major mobilisations against capitalism. And so far, it has proved virtually impossible to bring them into our ranks.

The best way to overcome distrust in a united Anti Austerity scenario would most likely require an overhauling of organisational methods by all concerned. Yes, “stewarding of protests by the Left needs to be taken more seriously.” I can only hope that somebody will have the gumption to take the initiative here.

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EWI - March 7, 2014

Well, then an agreed stewarding arrangement needs to be put in place. Thankfully, Ireland is such a small country that agents provocateur aren’t as much of a worry as in say the US or UK, but still.

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CMK - March 7, 2014

‘I’ve noticed that many people brought into activity in recent years have a dislike of the far left. They believe it to be authoritarian organisations, governed by self perpetuating cliques — who lead them to piggyback on many campaigns. Maybe these activists wish to dissociate themselves from it, up to and including hostile exchanges at demos.’

Sorry, BB, you’ve got that precisely backwards. It is the Far Left groups who, over the past few years, have initiated, sustained, financed and built the campaigns against austerity in this state. Aside from noble efforts like the Ballyhea protests, the campaigns against the household tax, property taxes and water taxes which were started by existing Left groups in long standing non-affiliated Left groups and individuals. It is the headbangers who have piggybacked on that effort, not the other way around, as you are suggesting.

Your last paragraph is almost touchingly naive. These groups with their extreme hostility towards the Left are not going to be bound by stewarding arrangements or anything that resembles a structure. Any organisational method that sees existing Left groups playing a role will be automatically deprecated by these groups. They can’t be worked with. Full stop. The question is how the Left sidelines them and works around them. That will be difficult.

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ivorthorne - March 7, 2014

“They believe it to be authoritarian organisations, governed by self perpetuating cliques”.

If they are wrong, how does one demonstrate it?

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Bob Smiles - March 7, 2014

Sinn Fein could steward them pretty well

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que - March 7, 2014

Ah god Bob your killing me.

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BB - March 8, 2014

CMK: “Your last paragraph is almost touchingly naive. These groups with their extreme hostility towards the Left are not going to be bound by stewarding arrangements or anything that resembles a structure. Any organisational method that sees existing Left groups playing a role will be automatically deprecated by these groups. They can’t be worked with. Full stop. The question is how the Left sidelines them and works around them. That will be difficult.”

Well, there you have it. No wonder these groups feel alienated by some elements of the Left. Their members are collectively known as “headbangers” who have to be sidelined “Full stop”. This smacks of “It’s our way or no way!”

Unless ways can be found to enable us to have democratic and fraternal relations in action together, the outlook is very bleak. Stop tilting at windmills — there are many people in these groups who are more than fit for purpose. Yes, engagement with them in the way I suggested will be difficult. Such initiatives can fail — where differences amongst us are extreme — but you have to take this risk, or suffer the prospects of ever more diminishing active left-leaning numbers.

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Mark P - March 8, 2014

BB, I don’t think you really know who/what is being talked about here and have decided to argue about imaginary people instead.

This grouping, as it exists in this world rather than in your head, is a couple of dozen people, not some significant movement. There is no chance of them having “fraternal relations” with the wider left, and it would make no significant positive difference if they did.

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7. Noddy - March 7, 2014

When faced with a similar situation in late 70s early 80s the then Left managed to mobilise 10,000s into protests. Across Europe the Left has similarly mobilised vast numbers in recent times but in Ireland it is the people who have failed the mirco groups. What will it take for the sects to begin to question if the problem is not with them and their moronic ideology.

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Mark P - March 7, 2014

If the “problem” was irrelevant “micro groups” and their “moronic ideology”, those groups would already have been swept aside by new forces and movements on a much larger scale. Unless of course, you think that these “micro groups” are not only entirely ineffectual but at the same time so ruthlessly competent and powerful that they can prevent anyone else from doing anything. Quite an impressive trick that, I suppose.

(I know, I know, I should know better than to respond at all to this kind of idiotic drive by trolling, but sometimes it’s worth using this kind of stupidity to illustrate a point)

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