éirígí spokesperson Daithí Mac An Mhaistír has slammed the misrepresentation of yesterday’s [Wednesday] student-led demonstration in Dublin.
Around 25,000 people took to the streets of the capital yesterday to protest against the possibility of the reintroduction of fees for third level education in December’s Twenty-Six County budget.
Mac An Mhaistír said: “The coverage of yesterday’s demonstration and the comments of many prominent individuals have completely ignored the violent actions of the Garda, of which there is plentiful evidence.
“Blood flowed on the streets of Dublin yesterday as a result of Garda baton charges, yet the corporate media and establishment politicians have chosen to focus solely on the actions and alleged actions of students.
“What we witnessed in Dublin was the complete inability of the Garda, particularly its Public Order Unit, to deal with any form of protest that is not completely submissive. This has been seen before, in Rossport and elsewhere, where acts of peaceful civil disobedience have been met with violence on the part of the Gardaí.”
Mac An Mhaistír also dismissed claims that éirígí was somehow involved in ‘hijacking’ yesterday’s demonstration.
“éirígí activists, among them students and people from the teaching profession, took part in yesterday’s demonstration as an act of solidarity and in support of the demands for a free and fair education system. To suggest otherwise is a ludicrous act of scaremongering and one that is completely without foundation.”
Mac An Mhaistír continued: “Education, including further and third level education, is a right that should be universally available to all citizens free of charge. The reintroduction of fees, even means tested ones, would be a regressive step towards an education system that, at its higher echelons, provides only for the wealthy in society. This cannot be allowed to happen.”