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Protesting Against the Party of Privilege

02/03/08

éirígí activists picketed the Fianna Fáil Ard-Fheis on Saturday (January 28) in protest against that party’s continued attacks on workers’ pay and conditions.

Bail out the workers not the bankers

The protest was carried out in conjunction with members of the construction branch of SIPTU, whose members have borne the full brunt of these attacks.

Fianna Fáil members attending the Ard-Fheis met with a vocal reception as they passed the picket-line where the activists voiced their outrage at the policies being pursued by that party. Banners and placards demanding the ending of the pension levy and a break with the anti-worker policies of the government were unfurled by both SIPTU and éirígí activists.

The Gardaí, playing their determined role as protectors of the privileged, attempted to intimidate, disrupt and prevent the protest from taking place. After unfurling their banners and placards, Gardaí corralled the protestors into a corner using steel barricades. Two éirígí activists then managed to unfurl a banner from an adjacent bridge, only to have Gardaí threaten the pair with arrest and trespass charges.

Gardaí threaten to arrest éirígí activists on the bridge

In fact, the paid protectors of the state were so affronted by the protest they even pulled over and questioned passing motorists who sounded their horns in support of the protestors.

Speaking after the event éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson said, “The leadership of Fianna Fáil and their economic and class allies are responsible for devising and implementing an unprecedented attack on ordinary working people. In the space of six months they have overseen tens of thousands of people losing their livelihoods, and thousands forced from their homes by greedy bankers.

“The introduction of tax and pension levies and the refusal to pay future benchmarking payments has resulted in double-digit pay losses. And as we stand here today outside the Fianna Fáil Ard-Fheis, the elite of that party are proposing a further attack on workers’ pay through the introduction of increased taxes.”

éirígí activists with members of SIPTU construction branch

Continuing, Brian said, “Running in parallel with these attacks, the moneyed class have been provided with assurances that their privileged position in society will not be affected. The use of the people’s money to prop up greedy banks is only the latest manifestation of this support. éirígí will continue to highlight and fight against this system.

“Ultimately our economic system must be re-aligned so that those who produce the wealth, enjoy the benefits of the wealth they create. It is only when the corrupt policies of the political establishment are brought to an end and replaced by a radical socialist republican alternative, that the working people of Ireland will enjoy the benefits they deserve.”

 

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