February 27th 2011
Across all of north Africa for the past few weeks, oppressed peoples have been rising from their knees, putting their lives on the line to fight for their basic rights; in Ireland, we have yet to get off our arses to protest at all the obscenities that have been visited on us over the past several years, we have yet to rise from our comfortable seats in our pubs, clubs, canteens and kitchens, yet to take a single step of protest. Well, it’s about time we did.
There are so many outrages over which we should be exercised, but let’s take them one at a time, and let’s start with the biggest of all. One of the final abominable acts of what was surely the most inept government Ireland has ever had was to sign an agreement late last year with the IMF and the ECB, an agreement on which we were never consulted but an agreement which places an immoral, unpardonable, unconscionable, and most pertinent of all, an unbearable burden on us, the Irish people, and on generations of us for decades to come, i.e. that we, the Irish people, should pay the private debts incurred by the Irish banks to those reckless international financial speculators who took a gamble on the Irish economy and with their massive loans to the Irish banks, fuelled the crazy construction boom of the last decade. It was a gamble that failed, it should be their loss, but no – thanks to our twin Brians we are expected to pick up that particular tab. This is where we start our protest – we say NO to that deal.
I'm just one small voice, one lone pair of legs, but wherever I am this coming Sunday, March 6th, at 12 noon (I'm usually working on Sunday, won’t necessarily be at home in Ballyhea), I will be going to the centre of that parish/village/town/city and for the next 15 minutes or so, I’ll be walking. I won’t have a placard, a slogan, a chant, but I will be walking, a silent walk, an angry walk. Maybe it’s pointless, maybe I’ll be on my own, but it will be a start.
We must let this incoming government know, we must let Europe know – the Irish people are a risen people, and have been for nearly 100 years. The days of being treated like compliant serfs with no say in our own affairs are long gone. We’ll pay the national sovereign debt, yes, but we will not pay the debts of these private speculators.
If you're happy to assume the burden of this yoke that’s been placed across the shoulders of the Irish nation, stay at home; if, however, you feel as I do, then wherever you live, wherever you happen to be this Sunday at 12 noon, go down to the heart of your local community, wherever that may be – church, main street, GAA grounds – and walk this walk.