As part of the European-wide week of protest and solidarity initiated by Joe Higgins MEP, the Socialist Party initiated a national protest in Dublin city centre on Saturday June 26th.
We sought support from trade unions and other groups on the left, many of whom officially endorsed the campaign and helped to build for the protest. The groups supporting and building for the protest included the Civil and Public Service Union, People Before Profit Alliance, Socialist Workers Party, Eirigi, Right to Work, Workers Solidarity Movement, Workers’ Party, Irish Socialist Network and Socialist Democracy. A national campaign was launched which focused mainly around Dublin but also Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny. Socialist Party members and others put in a great effort in the three weeks leading up to the march. Altogether, roughly 3000 posters advertising the protest were erected on poles and 18,000 leaflets were distributed to the public through stalls and other activities.
On the day, around 500 people took part in a lively, colourful and purposeful rally and march from the Central Bank Plaza, to the Anglo Irish Bank (the scene of many of the scandals which led to the financial crisis in Ireland and which has just been bailed out with €22 billion in Irish taxpayers money!) in Dublin. Chants like “Fianna Fáil – out of the Dáil! What about the bankers? – Jail them all!” and “Ireland, Greece – stand up and fight! Workers of the world unite!” led the way. Joe Higgins MEP chaired the proceedings as left wing music was played and speeches were given from representatives of left groups and trade unionists including Socialist Party Councillor Clare Daly, who made calls for workers unity across Europe to fight for an alternative to the dictatorship of the markets.
On the day, we got 10 names of young people and workers who are interested in finding out more about the Socialist Party/ Socialist Youth and sold 50 papers and 10 journals. The event raised the essential political idea of the need for solidarity and united action of workers, the unemployed and youth throughout Europe.