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Dublin Council of Trade Unions and The Occupy movement

category dublin | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis author Sunday November 20, 2011 17:49author by socialist Report this post to the editors

We the 99% Not we the camp!

The Dublin Occupy movement decided not to join the anti-austerity march on Sat 26th November.

It’s disapointing the occupy camp decided to not  show solidarity in some way with DCTU on the march on the 26th. I thought Occupy Dame st.  were supposed to be defending us, the 99% from the impending austerity budget not just defending their own camp from the swpheads. It seems the camp proposes a doctrine, ideology or creed of pure individualism. In that case then each individual camper can individually go and buy their own individual food, no? The food/security needs of the 99% should be a bit more important than the food/security needs of the camp!

The DCTU changed from having the podium/assembly at Dame st to having it at GPO because 1.they wanted to save face and avoid the possibility of OCCUPY telling them to take the march elsewhere or 2.they actually have respect for the fact that Dame st is occupied and they didn’t have permission to have the assembly there so they had to avoid a territorial fight and change location.

There was a window of opportunity when OCCUPY could have negotiated with the DCTU, for example they could have pushed terms such as no TDs on the podium, at least that would have saved us having to listen to Richard Boyd-Barret talking the talk for 20 hours in a row. If the campers don’t want to share a stage with politicians or union leaders they could have used their bargaining power and insisted on inclusion in decision making about who would speak. They could have promised not to mention the Croke agreement then gone on stage and called for the masses to sack the union leaders!

It was the responsibility of OCCUPY to actually explain to DCTU just how important the doing of bottom up, fair democratic decision making is to the movement. The minutes for the DCTU meeting which two OCCUPY delegates went to were handed out to everyone at an OCCUPY general assembly meeting.It gave the impression that Michael O’Reilly, the chair could have been more open to agreeing terms with OCCUPY because he stated that basically as the unions are paying for the march they get to decide what’s what.  The PBP reps at the meeting seemed to think they were actually making decisions at that meeting which was a bit presumtious when it hadn’t been even brought back to the other OCCUPY residents. Its easy to see how OCCUPY may have felt they were being disempowered but it’s up them to empower themselves and learn how to negotiate.

It seems like hypocrisy as Occupy went on the student anti-cuts march on the 16th and that had political flags on it so that can’t be used an excuse for failing to show solidarity with the workers ie. the 99%. There is still time, they could still get their speakers up on the podium, there is no way they should just believe that the speakers are already set in stone and they’re having their own march that day anyway-so what are they gonna do? March past the DCTU assembly? That would be like actually boycotting the march and if they are going to do that then they should make a clear statement as to why for example against the corruption of the union leaders. Some of the Occupy residents say they are angry at the unions because they felt left out of the decision making process so why didn’t they send more delegates in the first place or send more demanding delegates. They can’t complain about being pushed around unless they take a stand for what they believe in if they can figure out what that is.

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