Below is a short video about an interesting group of young campaigners in Ireland called Unlock NAMA. They are campaigning for more transparency around the workings of NAMA and for a more democratic use of the buildings under the control of NAMA. Currently NAMA buildings are held on the basis of asset price speculation so NAMA is trying to get the highest market price for the buildings which is in line with current orthodox thinking on the issue. What Unlock NAMA are suggesting is that the local communities in which these buildings are situated should have a say in how they are used. And this is not just about the asset price of the building but about local community need such as for space for community and youth groups, primary health care centres etc. To highlight these issues Unlock NAMA identify buildings controlled by NAMA and occupy them for a day holding a series of talks in the building on these issues in the course of the day.

 

Most of those who have taken the decisions to both dump onto the shoulders of the Irish public the odious private banking debt but also who have imposed harsh austerity measures onto vulnerable sections of Irish society have been men. But the majority of those who have to suffer the consequences of these decisions are women. In the video below women give voice to their opposition to these decisions, particularly the Anglo banking debt.

 

The sculpture on the right is by Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt entitled 'Survival of the Fattest". The sculpture strikes a chord in Ireland where an enormous private banking debt has been loaded onto the shoulders of the Irish public. The addition of this private debt onto Irish sovereign debt is unsustainable and has opened the door to the IMF, ECB and EU troika to take control of our finances.

 

The Debt Justice Action network of organisations, of which Partners in Faith is one, are campaigning to have any further repayments on these banking debts suspended. These repayments will cost the Irish exchequer over €48bn by 2031 and could go as high as €85bn. And those who are being hit hardest by these repayments are those least able to bear the resulting cuts in services in disadvantaged communities across the country.

 

A payment of €3.1bn is due on 31st March every year. If you believe these payments should be suspended then now is the time to act! If you are an organisation you could think about joining the Debt Justice Action network or if you are an individual you could write to your local TD and let him know how you feel. For more ideas see the Debt Justice Action website. You can also download a briefing document with more detailed information on the debt crisis from the website.

Occupy Dame Street

Sat 8 October could turn out to be an historic day in Ireland. That was the day when when about fifty people gathered in front of the Central Bank in Dame Street and started the Occupy Dame Street movement. It follows from Occupy Wall Street which began a month earlier in the US. I have popped down most days since it started. Below are videos of the first day, when a gentleman stepped forward and expressed what many were feeling at the start, and of Day Six when many more had become involved. And it's continuing to grow.

 

 

If you would like an interesting perspective on the 'Occupy' movement that seems to be gaining momentum here's an interview with the author Chris Hodges at Occupy Wall Street.

One of Ireland's most successful singer/songwriters Christy Moore paid an impromptu visit to Occupy Dame Street last night. The singer sang some of his more popular numbers and sent out greetings and support to all the Occupy's around the country. The video below contains a sample of the music.

 

   

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