Republican Sinn Féin was represented on the protest march today which left from outside the Anglo Irish Bank building on St Stephens Green (a corrupt milestone which is now costing the taxpayer in this corrupt State €220 million a week in ‘compensation’ payments) and ended-up facing the entrance gates into Leinster House (on this , its first day back to ‘work’ after a 12 week ‘summer holiday’!) : this actually transpired into two protests at the one gathering. The event was organised by the trade union movement in opposition to the estimated €4 billion in cutbacks which the politicians intend to take in the December 2010 State budget from the Community Sector (JI and CE) , wages , healthcare , pensions and childcare facilities , to name but some of its already-announced ‘victims’.
Trade union leaders stood on the platform across the road from Leinster House and loudly denounced the elite in that institution for their part in breaking this economy , but all of those union leaders were received with mixed re-action, to put it mildly, from the thousands of protestors assembled in front of them – at certain points throughout their speeches , continuous shouts demanding that they organise a State-wide strike almost drowned-out their (empty) words , as did ferocious, angry and repeated calls for them to stand down.
And understandably so – those trade union leaders are paid on a par with the politicians they ‘denounce’ as “fat cats” ie the General Secretary of the ‘Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ , David Begg , is paid €137,400 a year plus another €27,700 for his positions with the State Central Bank and the ‘Irish Times Trust’ , whilst the three ‘National Executive Officers’(sic) of the State’s largest trade union – Jack O’Connor , Brendan Hayes and Joe O’Flynn – are each in receipt of a salary worth €124,895. Meanwhile , workers on the JI payroll who , up to December 2009 were being paid €450 a week , are now being paid €425 a week , with a rumour circulating that they are to be hit again in the December State budget.
Finally , the owners of this blog were proud to march in Dublin today with Republican Sinn Féin and other progressive socialist organisations : it’s not the first time we have temporarily ‘abandoned’ our keyboards to take to the street and , with the continuing onslaught waged against the employed , the low-paid and the unemployed , it certainly won’t be the last!
(PLEASE NOTE : our usual ‘three-in-one’ post can be read on our main site, here , post dated Wednesday 29th September 2010.)