On Saturday January 24th thousands of people marched across Ireland. The marches were organised as a Right2Water day of action and are a stepping stone to a massive national protest the Saturday before the election.
About 10,000 protested in Dublin city centre alone with another 10,000 in Cork and thousands marching in smaller protests taking place at over 40 locations.
From the placards on the protests it was clear- people want an end to the hated water charge and to this government. With the election almost upon us we have an opportunity to hammer the parties of austerity at the ballot box.
For 70 years a cosy consensus of right wing civil war parties have dominated this country sometimes with assistance from a weak and cowardly Labour Party. But polls now show the transformation of the Irish political landscape.
There is an immense polarisation – working class communities are moving to the left while the rich move to the right.
The ‘A team’ of the Irish rich, Fianna Fail, are at a fraction of their former strength. They lost their hold over the working class in a ‘riot at the ballot box’ in 2011- leaving them with no seats in Dublin.
The other main right wing party, Fine Gael, might be able to claw their way back into power but only in a weakened state and with the support of a mish mash of Independents.
The Labour Party, who promised ‘equality’ and a ‘democratic revolution’, will be punished by working class communities and will be lucky to hold onto 10 seats in the Dail. People have woken up to Labour’s false promises.
Whatever the outcome of the next election- it’s clear the incoming government with be immensely unstable- a clear impetus to build the demonstrations and keep up the pressure by voting radical left.
This election is a chance to put the values of the 1916 rebels – a vision of an equal society -at the heart of a growing wave of change sweeping over this country.
Get out on the streets the Saturday before the election, vote for those who will keep this movement going and let’s not squander this chance to change the political landscape.
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