Sunday last, March 4th, was a birthday we never wanted to mark, a full year of protest against the extortion by the ECB of tens of billions of euro from the Irish people. Our cause is as just now as it was then.
In February 2011 we elected a new coalition government of Fine Gael/Labour, under the premise and with the promise that they would take courage from the people and bring our cause to the ECB/EU/IMF troika. Instead the new coalition took their example from the cowardice of their predecessors and like Fianna Fáil/The Greens, instead of forcing our just cause on the troika they are forcing the cause of the troika on us.
The coalition cites legal obligations; we reply - when bad law is made we have a right and a duty to resist that law, we have a right and a duty to change it. Thus did we, the people, resist and thus did we end the discrimination against women, against homosexuals; going back further in history, thus did we change the law denying women the vote, thus did we overturn the penal laws in Ireland, the slavery laws worldwide.
They say we have no choice, they warn of the dire consequences if we don’t do as bid. We say, when people are oppressed they have a right - and some of us would say a duty - to resist the oppressor. What the ECB and the EU are doing to us is oppressive; under threat of what will happen if we don’t accept their terms they are combining their financial and political muscle to blackmail and bully the Irish government into paying a debt that is not ours, a debt of tens of billions of euro.
Almost in justification of what’s being done, those of us who protest are asked again and again – what else can we do, what will happen to us all if the ECB pulls its funding of our Central Bank? Wrong questions, to the wrong people – do you ask the oppressed to accept their oppression or do you ask the oppressor to stop, do you ask the oppressor to justify legally or morally what they are doing? When the troika last came to town to pat us on the head for being good people and doing what we’re told, Vincent Browne tried to get answers to those questions – he was ignored by the troika, left on his own by his fellow-journalists.
A few basic questions for ye: €3.8bn austerity budget for 2012, €3.1bn taken from our exchequer and on March 31st, destroyed, a single instalment payment on the bank bondholder bailout for one bank – our austerity is for whose benefit? If your neighbour – no matter how big – came into your house, took all your savings (our Pension Reserve Fund), ordered you to sell all your family valuables (ESB, Coillte etc.) and hand over the cash to him, then further, demanded that you give him a percentage of your income for the next 18 years (bank bonds, Promissory Notes), would you agree? If, after a year or so of this penury, and having looked at your circumstances, he allowed you a couple of percentage points off what you had to pay him every week, would you accept that as any sort of victory?
Our new overseers, Kenny and company, those carrying out the orders of our new masters the ECB, will present it as such; in the Ballyhea and Charleville protest group we don’t see it like that. This Sunday, March 11th, 11.30am, we march again, in Charleville this time. Until this injustice is righted, we will continue to march. If you too have had enough, join us.
Regards, Diarmuid O’Flynn