Day two of protest outside Central Bank
DOZENS OF protesters continued the second “day of occupation” at the Central Bank plaza in Dublin yesterday, having slept there in tents overnight.
“Occupy Dame Street” is a sister protest of the mass “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations against financial greed taking place in New York since last month. As with the US movement, it is described as a “non-violent, leaderless resistance movement” with no political affiliations.
Dublin protesters have listed demands including that the International Monetary Fund and EU “stay out” of Irish affairs, that ordinary people do not repay bank debt, that there be reform of the political system for “real participatory democracy” and that oil and gas reserves off the coast “be returned to the people”.
About 80 people gathered for the start of the protests on Saturday and half a dozen tents were erected by evening. There was a small Garda presence at the protest which organisers had stressed would be peaceful.
Organisers asked for no political party or trade union banners to avoid “hijacking” of the event.
Individual protesters told The Irish Times they were not associated with any organisations and were there as individuals. Protester Lee Page (35) from Dublin said. “I’ve always voted, I had my own business. I’ve a master’s degree. I played along with all the rules. I’ve done what they say to do, go to college, get a job. I don’t want to be branded some foolish hippy.” He wants to “begin a conversation” politicians should have had in 2008.
The US embassy in Dublin issued an emergency warning to its citizens on Friday about the “anti-financial sector protest in the vicinity of the Central Bank”.
Tours planned as part of the Open House Dublin festival were cancelled for “security reasons”, declared a sign outside the bank.