Chasing Enda Kenny into the shadows at the ICTU budget protest

Unfair placard at ICTU protestI went along to the ICTU protest against the budget (called almost a full week after the budget!) last night.  While we were there we spotted opposition leader Enda Kenny and some of the Dublin Shell to Sea crew chased him up the street in order to ask him a a few questions.  I followed with the iPhone and shot some very dark video of him trying to evade the discussion.  The rally itself was crap, not much more than a thousand people and only two quick speeches from David Begg the general secretary of ICTU and Sheila Nunan the president of the INTO.  Neither said very much. Jack O'Coonor from SIPTU lurked in the corner of the platform looking at his feet but apparently he had lost his voice.

During the protest I sent the list of tweets at the end of this blog to the WSM twitter account , many of them are pictures and there are a couple of bits of audio.  I also videoed two minutes of Begg's speech which I've embedded below.  It really says nothing, which was the point.  Despite the government 'tricking' ICTU into calling off the strike last week and then bringing in the pay cut anyway there is no real talk of action coming from ICTU and nothing at all was said from the platform last night about what will actually be done as opposed to how mean the government is being.


I ran into a friend who is visiting from Galicia.  She was amazed by the passivity of the whole event but then strikes in Galicia frequently involve catapults and ball bearings.  I said I reckoned it had not been built for because a small turn out suited the ICTU leadership who seemed eager to avoid a strike at all costs. No doubt last nights miserable attendence will be used to 'prove' the members don't want to fight despite the opposite message emerging from branch meetings. 

After Beggs had wound up the rally I recorded a quick audio rant with myself and Dermot discussing what we had just heard. This is one way of generating some instant live audio for the twitter feed that I'll probably use again, its much easier than trying to do a monologue.

Just after we finished this we noticed that somewhere over 100 people had gone down to the Dail and were standing across the gates.  We headed down to this 'blockade' and then as it dispersed after a few minutes someone spotted Enda Kenny the leader of Fine Gael slipping by and heading up Kildare street.  Two of the Dublin Shell to Sea women took off after him and I followed them pulling out the iPhone as I went and putting it into video mode.  That is where the pretty strange bit of video below comes from.  I had to pull up the contrast all the way to get any sort of image at all but the audio is what makes it amusing.  Kenny pulls all sorts of weird stunts to avoid answering the questions being asked of him.  Best of all when a firefighter from the Dail 'blockade' joins in he tried to divert the discussion to one about where about's in Achill his granny came from!


Then it was off to Brogan's for the Dublin Shell to Sea Christmas drinks and a surprize appearance by Brian Mullen and Paki Bonner.  Well they just happened to wander into the pub but they also got a briefing on the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway. Strangely enough I got in a long conversation about activists using Facebook that pretty much covered the identical ground of my blog post earlier this week.  I stayed too long in the pub (and went on to the Turk's Head) and my bicycle exploded on the way home, so I walked the last bit in the poring rain and tonight have to look forward to trying to fix the damn thing while tired and hungover.

The Tweets from yesterday re-arranged into chronological order

at the ICTU demonstration against #budget10 at the Dail
Crowd of few hundred at ICTU #budget10 protest wonder why there was so little promotion maybe failure was sought
MANDATE banner at #budget10 protest
Slogan that is well past it's sell by date at ICTU #budget10 protest
Guess crowd is now around 1000 at #budget10 protest
SIPTU state agencies banner at #budget10 protest
Now playing 'you don't get me I'm part of the union' but can hear chanting away from stage at #budget10 protest
Jack OConnor at #budget10 protest some heckling audible from back
#budget10 audio INTO president
David Begg at ICTU #budget10 protest one of only two brief speakers they are not being serious
Begg is saying nothing meaningful at #budget10 protest all rhetoric no suggestion of doing anything crowd us maybe 2500
I think Begg just compared the #budget10 to the Nazis but apparently 'we put forward a credible alternative' (to the Nazis?)
Rain provides an excuse to end #budget10 protest without mentioning action / that's it ladies and gentlemen
#budget10 audio reactions to the ICTU speeches
#budget10 audio spontaneous post ICTU blockade of Dail involving a couplie of 100
A couple if 100 went to gates of Dail to protest #budget10
Firefighters in front if Dail gates protesting #budget10 chant is for a national strike
Crowd at #budget10 protest at gates of dail starting to disperse, it's lashing rain


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