Renewed campaign of Right to Work protests planned for June

Approximately 500 people attended the fourth Right to Work demonstration where protesters again called on government to hold a general election. UCD sociologist Kieran Allen said in an interview with Politico that the Right to Work campaign would change tactics after tonight’s protest. By Shane Creevy

(Audio: Politico interviews a protestor on Molesworth Street; Politico interviews Kieran Allen, one of the organisers of the Right to Work campaign. Image opposite by Alan Rowlette)

{mp3 width="300"}Right to Work protest June 1 2010{/mp3}

Kieran Allen said that a renewed campaign will begin with a protest outside Brian Cowen’s dinner at the Mansion House with the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) on 23 June. The planned protest is one of many that will be organised across Europe by various socialist parties.

Allen said that IBEC sets the political and economic agenda. “They’re an organisation that in February called for a 10% reduction in wages in Ireland which was duly followed by the budget, in the government’s budget afterwards... They particularly set out to divide public and private sector workers and in my view have orchestrated that campaign. They are also a very powerful lobbying group”.

Des Bonass of the UNITE trade union told the audience at tonight’s protest that instead of protecting the gates of Leinster House, the Garda should arrest Sean Fitzpatrick and Michael Fingleton, the former chief executives of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide respectively. Bonass also name-checked Denis O’Brien, JP McManus, Tony O’Reilly and U2 as tax evaders.

James O’Toole, one of the organisers of the protest said that there must be “an end to this corruption that’s taking place in this country, the corruption inside those gates (pointing to Leinster House)”.

Michael O’Brien from the Socialist Party outlined the motivation for the Europe-wide protests in the week of 21 June. “The EU Commission and the IMF and the various European governments: they do have their disagreements, they do have their little spats, but there’s one issue around which they are united and always speak with one voice and that’s that the working class across Europe have to pay for this crisis, in their view”.

After the speeches the protestors marched to the GPO.

Gallery of images below taken at the third Right to Work demonstration on 26 May 2010 by photographer Alan Rowlette

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