SUs unite for Repeal the Eighth demo
Student unions including DITSU, TCDSU, NCDSU and UCDSU take part in Dublin protest
Many who joined the demonstration carried placards and wore black clothing, signifying their support for the campaign. Photograph: Conor Shields
DIT’s Students Union was one of a number of SUs that took to O’Connell Bridge on Wednesday afternoon for the ‘Strike 4 Repeal’ demonstration, calling on the Government to hold a referendum on the issue of the eighth amendment.
Student unions including TCDSU, NCDSU and UCDSU had organised for students to take part in the demonstration which sought for the repeal of the eighth amendment.
DITSU has been promoting the strike for the last couple of weeks on social media, advising students to not attend lectures and to also take part in the march which took place at 5:30pm at the Garden of Remembrance.
Leading students from her own campus of DIT Cathal Brugha Street, DITSU College Officer Jessica Morris said she was “more than happy” with the level of engagement from DIT students.
When asked how the decision was reached to support the Repeal demonstration, Ms Morris explained that it was both an informed, democratic one and is one that fairly represents DIT students.
“A policy was passed by DITSU and our student councillors to support the Repeal the 8th movement. This was heavily debated on at Student Council by our councillors who were elected by students to represent them at student council. Our stance to support the movement was decided by student council and we represent the voice of students”, explained Morris.
Spokesperson for the ‘Strike 4 Repeal’ campaign Stephanie Taft explained that she felt “overwhelmed by the solidarity and support that could be felt on O'Connell Bridge”.
When asked about the large volume of students who attended the strike, Ms Taft felt that their involvement was justified.
“I think SUs and every university group who took a pro-choice and pro-strike stance were absolutely justified in their response; not only because SUs hold democratic decisions on these stances, but because the student body is so obviously in need of the fundamental changes in our constitution that we demand. It's incredibly important to mobilise students to fight for their futures and SUs should enable and facilitate in that mobilisation”, explained Ms Taft.
She also added that “the point was absolutely made”. “We are here, we will take risks to get what we need and we will fight for what we deserve. Given an estimation of 5,000 people turned out on O'Connell Bridge and many more around the country and internationally in solidarity marches and protests, we think the government can no longer ignore our demands”, said Ms Taft.
Many who joined the demonstration on Wednesday were dressed in black clothing, signifying their support for the campaign.
Chants including “Not the church, not the State, women must decide their fate” and “Enda! Enda! Where’s our referendum?” could be heard echoing throughout the crowd.
Traffic was diverted due to the demonstration but drivers beeped their horns as they passed the demonstration.