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100,000 plus march through Dublin… Good. February 21, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.
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Very briefly, good to see that the numbers today are acknowledged to have broken the 100,000 mark. I’m told that earlier in the day the Irish Times was saying about 50,000. That would have been disastrous. But a six figure number has both a psychological and political impetus.

Not so much because I think that the rally in and of itself will change things, although it might give the politicians some pause for thought (and note the government making nice with the Unions saying ‘there was a considerable amount in Ictu’s Plan for National Recovery that was “entirely consistent” with its own agenda. ‘but because if – as we are constantly told – the situation is going to worsen and the ‘pain’ inflicted increase then this is just the start and 100,000 plus is a very creditable figure.

Now that’s something for them to think about.

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1. Garibaldy - February 21, 2009

Top of BBC’s news front page if you are in the UK at the minute. That has to be a reflection of something. Great stuff.

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2. Leveller on the Liffey - February 21, 2009

Also good given RTÉ’s attempts on Joe Duffy, etc, to rubbish the march.

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3. Leveller on the Liffey - February 21, 2009

Ahead of it happening, I mean.

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4. WorldbyStorm - February 21, 2009

I missed them Leveller, what did he do this time?

That’s really good to hear Garibaldy. I just caught the Six One news and the report made it clear that this was something the govt. couldn’t ignore…

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5. Leveller on the Liffey - February 21, 2009

Liveline had public servants on opposing the march pitted against public servants going on the march – bear baiting for the entertainment of FF, Tom Parlon and CII types.

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6. WorldbyStorm - February 21, 2009

My God – pathetic stuff… I remember Duffy on the back of a flatbed truck outside the GPO spouting out of him when he was in USI back in the early to mid 1980s… so… he hasn’t changed.

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7. Garibaldy - February 21, 2009

He;s just worried his pay might be cut with his next contract I imagine.

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8. Dunne and Crescendo - February 21, 2009

Great crowd, (including protesting cops, first time I’ve seen that!), and good thinking to have Waterford Glass and SER Technics up front, to show how private and public sector workers should be united. But a co-conspirator noted the lack of driving anger of the Irish Ferries demo in 2005. The ICTU played it safe by having it in a Saturday and it will be hard to bring out these numbers again. its leverage for Beggs and co, but I’m not sure they want the mood that does exist to transfer to militancy. Heard today that SIPTU have ‘advised’ some members to cross CPSU picket lines next week.
I was bemoaning how marginal the far left are on these occasions when we bumped into two women (of shall we say mature years) who were very impressed with a street corner speech by Richard Boyd Barret calling for a national demo/strike on a working day.
After the demo a lot of people getting their pictures taken outside Anglo-Irish on Stephen’s Green with placards attacking the bankers. A mood for change certainly exists…not sure where it will end up. Just my impressions.
(and for all those interested Sean Garland was on the march with the WP contingent).

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9. Miley von Mises - February 21, 2009

50,000… 100,000… 120,000… 200,000? It’s irrelevant. These people don’t understand “sovereign default”: the State of Ireland will go bust before the end of 2010. The pension levy won’t matter much then.

Smash social dictatorship! All power to the democratically elected Oireachtas!

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10. NollaigO - February 21, 2009

From London, where the Brits are wallowing in schaudenfreude:

Were Eamon Dunphy, Eoghan Harris or John Waters on the march?

If I were a betting man, I’d go yes for Eamon; No for Harris; Waters no bet.

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11. WorldbyStorm - February 21, 2009

Of course Miley, if you think that the pension levy makes any significant dent in our finances fair dues. If you think further that the money taken in it is of any efficacy in terms of where it goes, again fair dues. But I’d differ on both those issues, and indeed would point the finger directly at the titans of finance who have – and I mentioned it during the week – entirely screwed the perception of Ireland as a location for investment which is something that is actually damaging to us as a state and an economy.

Sounds about right Nollaig0. Meant to say how much I liked the pen portrait you did of EH the other day.

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12. Montevideo - February 21, 2009

The Joe Duffy show sure pointed up where Mr. D’s sympathies lie. RTE appearing to do their utmost to try to turn today’s march into a ‘no levy’ protest, and to split the private sector workers form the public sector workers, despite many contributions from public sector workers talking about how their partners had lost jobs in the private sector. As evidenced by today’s turnout, they didn’t succeed.

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13. Robert - February 21, 2009

Regrettably, on the BBC website’s coverage of the march, no mention was made of the public anger with the government and its banker cronies.

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14. Leveller on the Liffey - February 21, 2009

I’m all for old radicals earning a good living (everyone should) but these radio antics do contrast with the days when Joe occupied the dole office in Thomas Street or harangued the Government outside the Dáil when Reagan visited.

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15. EWI - February 22, 2009

Great crowd, (including protesting cops, first time I’ve seen that!)

And not only one, but two Garda associations there (the GRA and the AGSI both). And not only them, but – and this is big news – PDFORRA (the useful bit of he Defence Forces, as opposed to the connected offspring of RACO) as well:

http://pdforra.ie/News/index.php/2009/02/20/pdforra-confirms-attendance-of-executive-members-at-ictu-demonstration/

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0220/1224241488606.html

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16. WorldbyStorm - February 22, 2009

That was very very heartening as well EWI, I thought. What did other people think who were on it?

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17. Leveller on the Liffey - February 22, 2009

The PDFORRA appearance is very interesting, given the Army brass’s assertion reported by Mark Hennessy in The Irish Times on Friday as follows:

“THE CHIEF of Staff of the Defence Forces has told the soldiers’ representative body, the Permanent Defence Forces Other Ranks Representative Association (Pdforra), that the military will “do its duty” if asked by the Government to fill essential services if public servants go on strike.”

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18. EWI - February 22, 2009

Saw that, Leveller. The current COS is notable for coming out with helpfully-timed noises for the FF government (see the softening-up of the public for the Chad adventure a year ago). Interesting to see which way RACO (officers up to Colonel) jumps.

But it seems that PDFORRA are certainly disinclined to be used as strike-breakers…

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19. ec - February 22, 2009

John Waters was not on the march: Filming Celebrity Bainestoir with other Tiger dead enders (and some great Footballers) yesterday. His Team lost

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20. Damian O'Broin - February 22, 2009

Thought it was a fantastic turnout and depressing the read the Sundays’ attempt to paint it as either a) public sector only or b) immature and irresponsible. We really are seeing the lines of battle clearly drawn these days.

The scale of the march pointed up one serious flaw with the architecture of the city – if we’re to continue having massive demonstrations of this nature, we need a much much bigger public square – Merrion was too tiny for the hordes of protesters yesterday. Something like Wenceslas Sqaure in Prague would do the job. We could build it somewhere like… in place of BOI’s headquarters. Create employment in the construction sector AND give us a decent venue for an aul protest.

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21. Damian O'Broin - February 22, 2009

… oh, and congrats on winning best political blog at the bloggies – about time too.

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22. Leveller on the Liffey - February 22, 2009

Damian – We do have O’Connell Street (if they stopped the bloody traffic and although I wish we had Wenceslas Square) but may I say ‘hear, hear’ to both your last posts.

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23. EWI - February 22, 2009

Yes, the same here (and no, this doesn’t mean that I regard Mulley as any less of a shameless self-promoting twerp than before).

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24. Niall - February 22, 2009

Apparently, at one stage the RTE website reported that the turnout was 10,000. How the hell did they manage to get it that badly wrong? Personally, I’ve been irked by the tendency of commentators to describe it as a march against the pension levy, but the unions’ seem to have countered that perception as much as is possible.

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25. Montevideo - February 23, 2009

They’re bad at sums, they missed a nought!

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26. EWI - February 23, 2009

Not just the website – the Radio 1 news at 2pm was claiming the same thing. Dirty tricks?

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