Occupy Dame Street
|Occupy Dame Street|
|Part of the Occupy movement and anti-austerity protests in Ireland|
The entrance to Occupy Dame Street's "Tent Town" on 19 December 2011
|Date||From 8 October 2011 to 8 March 2012|
|Causes||Economic inequality, corporate influence over government, Populism, inter alia.|
Occupy Dame Street or Occupy Dublin was a peaceful protest and demonstration against economic inequality, social injustice and corporate greed taking place outside the Central Bank of Ireland plaza on Dame Street in Dublin, beside the Temple Bar area of the city. Part of the global Occupy movement, it took its name from the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City's Wall Street financial district. Occupy Dame Street had four requests: the withdrawal of the EU/IMF from Ireland, an end to public ownership of private debt, the return to public ownership of Ireland's privatised oil and gas reserves, and the implementation of what the movement describes as "real participatory democracy". The national police force, Garda Síochána, dismantled their camp during a late-night raid on 8 March 2012, though the protesters vowed to fight on.
The movement started with an online Facebook and Twitter campaign. The occupation began on 8 October 2011, a Saturday afternoon, initially with around 60 protesters who set up camp in tents outside the Central Bank's head office on Dame Street. The tents were attached to each other and were not pegged to the concrete as that would not be permitted. A free Wi-Fi connection was established anonymously in the first days of the movement. The original group was then joined by further people during the days that followed. Around 1,000 people passed through the encampment from the afternoon of 8 October and the afternoon of 11 October. On 22 October, a demonstration in Dublin city centre organised by the group was reported to have over 2,000 in attendance, including English left-wing activist and alternative rock musician Billy Bragg.
On 12 November 2011, organisers of the movement marched from the Garden of Remembrance at Parnell Square to their "Tent Town" outside the Central Bank. In mid-November 2011, the Central Bank of Ireland announced it would seek a court order to put an end to the protest taking place outside its headquarters.
Until March 2012, Occupy Dame Street continued to engage in organised meetings, events and actions. Occupy Dame Street's camp was dismantled by Gardaí in the early hours of 8 March during which time some 15 protesters affiliated with the group were present. Protesters announced a demonstration at the Central Bank for later that day and vowed that the destruction of their camp does not mean their quest for justice is over. on the evening of 8 March over 70 people took part in a spontaneous march from Dame Street to a nearby Garda station on Pearse Street in protest of the removal of the camp.
Despite the closure of the camp, Occupy Dame Street have continued to stage Direct actions. 7 Members of Occupy staged a demonstration in a Bank of Ireland branch in Dublin on 23 July, forcing it to temporarily close. Of the 7 Occupy Dame Street members 5 are leading members of the anti Austerity and anti Corruption direct action group 2014-15 including Steve Bennett, Terence Barry, John Rooney, Aisling Butler, Saoirse Bennett. All 5 were later arrested in March 2014 for criminal damage of the Irish Justice Department, an action they claim was to highlight the Corruption and cover-up within the Irish Justice system. Members of the Occupy Movement in Ireland are still directly involved in all protest events throughout the country and are still considered by everyone as the Occupy group.
Aubrey Robinson, the son of former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, is among the people to have participated. The movement held assemblies at 18:00 three days per week. Occupy movement hand signals were encouraged instead of loud cheers.
Dublin City Council received one complaint, but a spokeswoman said: "As it is private property, Dublin City Council has no authority to move these people". This is because the encampment is clear of the public footpath.
- Anti-austerity protests in Ireland
- List of Occupy movement protest locations
- Post-2008 Irish banking crisis
- Post-2008 Irish economic downturn
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|title=(help); External link in
- "'Occupy' supporters hold protest over camp removal". Irish Times (Irish Times). 8 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "O'Connell Street Bank of Ireland branch forced to close after Occupy Dame Street protesters stage demonstration". RTÉ. 23 July 2012.
- O'Connell, Edel (9 November 2011). "Child of Aras answers Ireland's call at Occupy Dame Street protest". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- "Garda lockdown to keep protesters from Dame Street". Evening Herald. 9 March 2012.
- "Video: Occupy Dame Street camp is cleared in early hours". Irish Independent. 8 March 2012.
- "RTÉ Radio 1 Drivetime Interview @OccupyDameStreet Camp". Vimeo. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
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