Austerity programme must be met with civil disobedience

By eirigi

For close to four years now the population of the Twenty Six Counties have been drip-fed a seemingly endless stream of ever-worsening news stories about the state of the economy. And with each new revelation has come the bleating of a Dublin government minister attempting to portray disaster as normality.

Back in 2006 as the property bubble began to burst the Dublin government and the self-promoted economic experts confidently predicted a ‘soft landing’ for property prices. In 2008 when the Dublin government decided to issue a blank cheque to the entire private banking sector they assured people that the ‘fundamentals’ of the banks were sound; that it was merely an issue of ‘liquidity’ that would soon pass.

And now in 2010, with the IMF and the EU effectively in control of the state the same halfwits are telling the population that they are working with their ‘partners’ in the IMF and Europe. Pinocchio himself would have been embarrassed by the scale of the lies emanating from the Dublin government in recent weeks. Those with even the most basic knowledge of the IMF know that they are much a ‘partner’ of the Irish people as the wolf is the ‘partner’ of the sheep.

It is now time for straight talking and truth. The facts may be unpalatable, but they are facts nevertheless. The Twenty Six County economy has failed. The Twenty Six County state is bankrupt. All of the political parties in Leinster House failed to spot the economic crisis coming and failed to provide leadership or solutions once it had arrived. And now the sovereignty of that state, as limited as it was, has been surrendered to the arch vultures of capitalism in the IMF and the EU. In the Six Counties the Stormont Assembly has failed miserably to protect public services from Tory cutbacks. And across Ireland the leadership of the trade union movement has failed to protect workers jobs, wages and terms of employment.

In the face of these many failures the people have but one choice - to stand up and fight back and to replace the failures of the past with the successes of the future. All is far from lost. The people of Ireland are sovereign, something that the political establishment, the IMF and the EU would do well to remember.

Many commentators in Ireland and beyond have asked why the Irish people have not taken to the streets. They have surmised that the Irish are not like the French or the Greeks; that the Irish will just accept whatever is thrown at them. But those commentators would do well to study the history of Ireland a little more closely. For eight centuries the history of Ireland has been defined by resistance and rebellion. And for more than two centuries that resistance has been intertwined with the cause of revolutionary Irish republicanism. The people of Ireland have proven themselves to be well capable of organising effective resistance when they are left no other choice. And this generation will be no different.

Brian Cowen, Olli Rehn, Ajai Chopra and company would do well to remember the history of Ireland as they conspire to destroy its future. They may think that the people of Ireland are beaten but the resistance to their neo-liberal agenda is growing. All across Ireland the people are beginning to stir. Ever greater numbers of people are coming to realise that what is needed is not a change of government but a change of system. Over the coming weeks there will be many opportunities for people to publicly demonstrate their opposition to the austerity measures of the Dublin government and the IMF/EU. Below are the details of just two such protests.

On Tuesday November 30th, exactly one week before the 2011 Blood Budget is due to be announced, eirigi is organising a protest outside of the Department of Finance on Upper Merrion Street in Dublin. The protest will give people an opportunity to publicly register their opposition to the cutback agenda of the Dublin government, the IMF and the EU in advance of the budget. The protest will begin at 6.30pm and last till 8pm. All are welcome. Bigi linn.

On Tuesday December 7th, on the night of the 2011 Blood Budget, eirigi will be joining with its partner organisations in the 1% Network to protest at the gates of Leinster House. The assembly point for this protest is the Wolfe Tone Monument on Stephen’s Green where people will gather at 5.30pm before marching to Leinster House. All are welcome. Bigi linn.

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