CORK, Ireland – On Tuesday a campaign against social welfare cuts and the attack on the unemployed by the Government got underway in Cork earlier today with an occupation by 100 people of Anglo-Irish Bank. Arising from a march opposing the looming cuts, the Social Welfare Defence Campaign arrived at Anglo-Irish and proceeded to occupy the front reception of the Bank.
The new campaign, Cork Social Welfare Defenders, assembled at the dole office in Cork and then marched down Patrick Street, Patrick’s Quay and onto the City Hall.
Here there was a brief rally and speakers attacked the proposed cuts in social welfare, earmarked for the budget next week. One speaker highlighted the increasingly difficult choices that that unemployed have to make as they struggle to meet their needs on meagre payments. These payments are to be cut further if the Government (following orders from the IMF’s) get their way.
Following the speeches, the march moved onto the Anglo-Irish Bank on Anglesea Street and about half the march entered the bank immediately and occupied the foyer. The peaceful protect soon attracted the attention of the Gardaí who arrived in large numbers from the Garda station just across the road. (via Workers Solidarity Movement)
The Gardaí however were challenged to explain their actions. One protester put it very clearly and simply, as follows:
Millions of euros of our money was robbed by Fingleton (the disgraced boss at Anglo) but what did you do about that? Fxxx all.’
Following discussions and negotiations the protesters agreed to leave the bank shortly after. A follow up meeting to organise the campaign has been arranged. Details later.
Next week, Dec 8th, Cork workers, the unemployed, students and pensioners are set to gather for a mass protest at Patrick’s Bridge. The ‘Smash The Budget’ protest has been called by the Independent Workers Union. Let people know about this protest and get the work out!