The protest movement Occupy Wall Street that has spread across the United States in recent days has now spilled across the Atlantic to Ireland.
“Occupy Dame Street,” inspired by OWS, camped out Saturday on the Dublin street where the Central Bank of Ireland is located.
According to The Irish Times online, some 80 people occupied the street on Saturday with banners, posters, and the slogan, “We are the 99 percent.”
Notifications from the Irish Architecture Foundation on the gates of the Central Bank Saturday read: “TOURS OF CENTRAL BANK HAVE BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO SECURITY REASONS WE APOLOGISE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE CALLED.”
In a press release posted on Facebook October 3, the “occupation” defined itself as having taken inspiration from OWS and resistance in the Arab world that became known as the Arab Spring.
#OccupyDameStreet is one of dozens of sister occupations in the current movement initiated by Occupy Wall Street (occupywallst.org). This is a peoples initiative unaffiliated to any political parties. Like OWS, this is a "leaderless resistance movement" with people of many nationalities, backgrounds, genders and political persuasions. We will utilise tactics of non-violence and civil disobedience, akin to scenes of peaceful resistance in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Uprising - part of the wider Arab Spring.
But unlike some OWS-related protests in the United States, Occupy Dame Street outlined several initial demands for the people of Ireland, whose beleaguered economy -- currently under an International Monetary Fund and European Union support program -- has been downgraded several times by ratings agencies, as recently as July. The program is set to end in late 2013.
ODS demanded that the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank “stay out of our affairs.”
An organizing force behind Occupy Dame Street, “Real Democracy Now Ireland,” is advertising an open forum and demonstration October 15. The path is set from the Garden of Remembrance -- dedicated to all those who have lost their lives “in the cause of Irish Freedom” to Jervis Square.
The group, which identifies itself as the “Irish movement for peaceful action to demand Real Democracy Now!”, also holds a weekly open assembly.
The protest in front of the Central Bank continued Monday and will remain –- peacefully –- “as long as it takes,” according to reports, though Real Democracy posted that ODS had requested the donation of rain gear and blankets to withstand Ireland’s typical blustery weather.
“PLEASE SUPPORT,” an associated comment on the group’s Facebook page stated, “THAT MISTY RAIN WITH ADDED WIND IS TOUGH.”
Below, watch speeches from the beginning of Occupy Dame Street: