Occupy Anglo

This is on everyone’s lips. We are just the ones saying it out loud. It’s time for all of us who are interested in justice and democracy to stand up. We must directly challenge how the Irish State, in order to appease and protect the interests of financial capital, is attacking the rights and the livelihoods of the people who live here. There is no democratic mandate for this.

The unsecured ‘debt’ of €1.25 billion due to the Anglo Irish Bank bondholders, which IBRC is scheduled to pay on 25 January 2012, is an odious debt and we need to repudiate it, clearly and forcefully.

We need to do the same with the rest of the payments to Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide creditors scheduled for this year, which amount to €6.3 billion. If we do not, we risk paying out tens of billions more in odious debts in the coming years. The consequences of inaction on this issue will be ruinous for our society.

Many people are already preparing initiatives to protest against this payment and we are greatly heartened by this. We are also inspired by the recent statement from #occupydamestreet resolving to take action against this obscene example of the interests of the few taking priority over the interests of the many. We wish to support these initiatives, and call on others to join us in building towards three days of continuous resistance to what amounts to nothing but cynical robbery on a massive scale.

We want to use these upcoming days of resistance to map out new possibilities for what can be done to get rid of these odious debts, and all are welcome to take part in the discussion. If there are people who believe that the payment is justified, we invite them to come along too, and tell us why.

IBRC is a creature of the State. But it doesn’t serve the interests of the people living in this State. Even the name is designed for widespread deception, as a way of laundering two names the people detest: Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish Nationwide Building Society.

But that is only where the deception begins. If this vast payment and those that follow are made, the people of this State will be robbed of essential resources to maintain basic staffing levels in hospitals, to develop infrastructure, to fund our education system and to create employment. The effect on the economy will be disastrous for ordinary people, with even more businesses shut down and ever increasing numbers condemned to endure unemployment, insecurity and poverty. But the Government does not admit to any of this.

Instead, the Government is committed to making these payments, in spite of the fact that its politicians voiced clear opposition to these payments before they took power. These politicians are using their mandate to serve bankers and speculators, not the people. To this end they use threats and warnings designed to sow fear and uncertainty, and to hide their own subservience to financial capital. This is not democracy.

We have had enough. For them, the game is up. Acts of non-violent civil disobedience in the defence of democracy are just, urgent and necessary. We call on all of those opposed to this payment to join us to close IBRC - Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide - down from Monday 23 January through Wednesday 25 January - the day on which this robbery is scheduled.

We understand that there are many ordinary people like us working in the Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide building. We call on them to refuse to pass any blockades or pickets in place outside the building on these dates.

We understand many people will not want to risk any kind of confrontation with the Gardaí, or with Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide management. We ask people who may be uncomfortable with taking part in non-violent civil disobedience to attend, witness, and support attempts to disrupt the activities of Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide and, through education, music, poetry and theatre, help to create a carnival of resistance to this obscene transfer of our wealth.

Let us be clear: we want this to be a peaceful event. There will be no tolerance for provocateurs. We would ask those intending to participate not to consume alcohol or drugs, and any actions taken to disrupt the operation of Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide should be entirely peaceful.

We call on the Gardaí to respect the rights of those who may commit acts of civil disobedience to be treated as citizens engaged in legitimate political activity. If they decide that someone is committing unlawful acts they should arrest them - not beat them.

We call on the management of Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide, which is part of the State and for which each person in this State will have paid many thousands of euro, to refrain from seeking the removal of concerned members of the public, who seek democratic accountability and justice, from its doorstep.

Those who consider taking part in acts of non-violent civil disobedience should also consider the consequences in advance. Any participants who are arrested while doing so will be supported by the wider community, who oppose the payment of these odious debts.

It is time to ask of ourselves: ‘If not now, when?’ If we fail to resist now, we risk accelerating a downward spiral of implosion and hopelessness already taking hold in our communities and families. Resistance, and a celebration of resistance, will raise people’s spirits. We are confident that if we step forward we will be supported by the many.

We are the people we have been waiting for. {jathumbnailoff}


Inform yourself and take action.
Remain a network.
Spread the idea of Occupy.


facebook: OccupyDameStreet / OccupyCork / OccupyBelfast

Contact some of us at: irish99network@gmail.com