Occupy Cork

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Not to be confused with Vita Cortex sit-in.
Occupy Cork
Part of the Occupy movement and anti-austerity protests in Ireland
Date From 15 October 2011 to 13 March 2012
Location Cork
Causes Economic inequality, corporate influence over government, Populism, inter alia.
Methods
Status Ended

Occupy Cork was a peaceful protest and demonstration against alleged economic inequality, social injustice and corporate greed taking place on the junction of the Grand Parade and South Mall and at the NAMA-listed Stapleton House on Oliver Plunkett Street in the Irish city of Cork.[1] The group have established their own website and have occupied Stapleton House since receiving the keys to the building on 25 December.[2] Occupy Cork does not have affiliations to any political parties or organisations.[3]

Timeline[edit]

The protest at its original location has been going on for months.[4] There has been a camp on the junction of the Grand Parade and South Mall in the city centre since summer 2011.[5]

On 15 October 2011, simultaneous protests took place in Cork and Galway regarded by local media as having mimicked Occupy Wall Street (New York) and Occupy Dame Street (Dublin).[3] The protest was also referenced in the national media.[6]

The protestors have organised a number of both traditional demonstrations and non-traditional demonstrations since they've started. One of the most famous of these was a 'teach-in' in AIB's branch on the South Mall; where a local schoolteacher and a group of young primary school children and their parents held a maths class in the front lobby of the bank for around an hour, before the subsequent arrival of the police necessitated a recess(Irish Examiner). Other protests included a reverse bank robbery, a number of marches and silent protests.

In November, the group began publishing a newsletter with the subtitle 'Rebel News in the Rebel Capital' to publicise its ideas and that of the Occupy Movement.

On the evening of 3 January 2012, it was announced that a vacant six-storey[1] NAMA-listed building on Oliver Plunkett Street had been taken over after it was gifted to the people of Cork.[7] They said an anonymous donor had left the keys to the building under the Christmas tree on Grand Parade on 25 December.[5][8] The Garda Síochána (police) visited the occupied building soon after then left again.[2]

The building, unused since a part-demolition and refurbishment undertaken in 2008, has been cleaned by its occupiers.[5] The occupiers released an online video chronicling their takeover of the building.[9]

On 8 January 2012, there was a céilí mór (a "big" céilí) in the afternoon to raise funds.[2]

The Cork City Community Resource Centre is intended to open in the occupied building on Monday 23 January 2012, after an open day. The facility is expected to include classrooms, a music school, health facilities, a library, a bookshop, a café, a crèche, and a number of free inititatives for the public, including internet access, financial and legal advice, and counselling and suicide prevention services.[2][7][10]

The camp was dismantled on 13 March 2012.[11]

Responses[edit]

Fine Gael politician Des Cahill has described the protest as "attention seeking".[12] Former Green Party senator and party chairman Dan Boyle described the manoeuver of 3 January as an "interesting development" and suggested that it was perfectly legal.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b O'Connell, Brian (3 January 2012). "Protesters take empty offices for community use". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Hayes Curtin, Brian (5 January 2012). "Occupy squatters plan to be 'an example to the country'". Cork Independent. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Hayes Curtin, Brian (13 October 2011). "Occupy Cork protests to begin this Saturday". Cork Independent. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  4. ^ O'Carroll, Daniel (4 January 2012). "Occupy Cork moves camp, as local councillor calls them attention seekers - VIDEO". Irish Central. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Riegel, Ralph; McQuinn, Cormac (4 January 2012). "Protesters say Secret Santa gave them keys of empty €1m offices". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Protests held in Dublin, Cork". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Occupy movement takes over Cork building". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Group 'liberate' Nama building to become community centre". TheJournal.ie. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Video: Cork protesters 'liberate Nama building'". TheJournal.ie. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Allen, Christine (3 January 2012). "Group occupies 'NAMA' building". Cork Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Occupy Cork protesters dismantle camp". Irish Times. 
  12. ^ a b "Councillor: Occupy Cork group are 'attention seeking'". Irish Examiner. Thomas Crosbie Holdings. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 

Additional sources[edit]

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