ONLINE PETITION: http://www.petitiononline.com/isntbb11
FACEBOOK PAGES: Bondwatch; Ballyhea bondholder bailout protest
October 13th 2011
A NIGHT ON THE TILES, SORT OF – OCCUPY DAME STREET
On Wednesday November 2nd, an Anglo Irish Bank bond of €700,000,000 falls due for payment, in full; at a time when there is heavy debate on whether Budget 2012 will look for cuts/taxes of somewhere between €3.6bn and €4.5bn, a time when hospital wards are being closed/reduced, a time when operations are being cancelled due to lack of money, every cent of that €700,000,000 will come from the public purse. A failed bond in a failed bank, a failed private financial deal between two private financial institutions, an unguaranteed bond we have no obligation to pay, yet we dish out almost a billion euro, to go with the €4.3bn already paid out in bank bonds last month alone.
At what stage does all this become so outrageous that even this government, which has shown itself so willing to bow to the unwritten, unspoken threats by the ECB, finally begins to stand up for the people it supposedly represents? Is there no end to our forbearance? Do we HAVE any outrage left in us?
Last Wednesday I spent a night on the tiles near Temple Bar in Dublin, a night on the tiles with a difference – these were the cold stone tiles outside the Central Bank. Having been there for its inception on the previous Saturday, there again on the Sunday morning, I joined the ‘Occupy Dame Street’ protest for the night, threw myself down for a few hours in a tent, trying to get some sleep. For the most part the protesters are young, idealistic, a few old fogies like myself in the mix. There are people from the left, from the right, from the centre, but all politics are left at the door, everyone united in this one aim – end the bank bondholder bailout. There are other grievances, all outlined in their own mission statement, but this is number one – time for the Irish people to stand up for themselves.
In this crisis the banks themselves have suffered, the builders have suffered, the developers have suffered, the Irish people as a whole have suffered, those most vulnerable especially so. The one group in all this who have taken no pain? The bank bondholders, those whose billions fuelled the fire that still engulfs us. Theirs is a game supposedly built on risk/reward, on profit-and-loss; in this instance, flying in the face of the most basic rules of investment, the ECB has removed the risk, has made this exercise for these bondholders a profit-only enterprise.
It’s wrong, pure and simple, and we are the ones wronged. Sign the petition above, check out the two blogs – educate yourself and make your protest. You can join the Occupy Cork group at their temporary camp at the junction of South Mall and the Grand Parade, you can join the Occupy Dame Street group, you can join us in Ballyhea this Sunday in our 34th weekly protest march, 11.30am at the church. But stand up. This wrong continues only because we allow it to continue, we don’t protest. Do it now – with over €60bn in bonds due in the next three years, it’s not yet too late.