Anglo protests pass off peacefully

Protests outside Anglo Irish Bank and Dail Eireann passed off peacefully tonight. By Shane Creevy.

Outside Anglo Irish Bank on Stephens Green they marched to the calls of ‘NAMA NAMA no way, time to make the wealthy pay!’

And outside Dail Eireann the crowd shouted in unison, ‘When they say cutback, we say fight back!’

(Audio: Politico interviews James O’Toole, one of the organisers of the protest.)



Organisers estimated there were 900 protestors tonight. This number, slightly lower than last week, was attributed to media coverage of last weeks ‘scuffles’ on Kildare Street.

James O’Toole, one of the organisers of the event, told Politico “I think some of the media coverage that focused on small scuffles after the Right To Work protest had left, I think that that might to some extent [have had an effect]. When you overinflate such a minor incident I think it [gives] people... unwarranted worry”.

Asked about the possibility of a left alliance O’Toole said, “The huge anger that’s out there now because of the scale of the crisis is starting to politicise youths, swathes of working class people. And for those people the kind of decisions between the various left-wing parties is alien”.

However the actual shape of the left alliance, whether an entirely new political party or a swelling of splinter groups under a pre-existent banner such as People Before Profit, remains unclear.

Jimmy Kelly of UNITE told the audience gathered outside the Oireachtas that Fianna Fail’s economic policy was “about protecting those who are going to be bailed out in NAMA”. But he countered this by saying that the people are the economy and that it is the people who must be protected.

“The momentum is behind us, we’ve got to keep fighting” he said. “We’ve got to keep fighting to get rid of this government. The lies are coming out from Fianna Fail and the Greens, with a media that is compliant with those lies. And you’ve heard it recently, the green shots of recovery. [...] Well there isn’t a recovery in the economy”.

After the gathering outside the Oireachtas the protest marched to Dublin Castle before dispersing peacefully.

More protests are planned next Tuesday.

Earlier, Brian Gleeson of Eirigi told a crowd gathered outside Anglo Irish Bank that seven arrests were made last week outside the building. All seven appeared before the court this morning and are expected to go to trial in September.

“One of the individuals was actually barred from all of Dublin 2, so we now have apartheid-style exclusion orders in this state in support of Anglo Irish”. He said they were the first to be brought to trial in protest over the bailout of the banks. “I have a suspicion they won’t be the last. What we’ve seen over the last month is the start, and only the start, of a resistance movement”.