Report of Anti-war March in Dublin to mark 3rd anniversary of Iraq war

Date:

As part of the international day of protest which saw dozens of anti-war marches around the world anarchists in Ireland took part in the Dublin march.A crowd of less than 800 people gathered at Parnell square for the annual IAWM (Irish Anti War Movement - controlled by leninist SWP) march to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the Iraq invasion on Saturday. All the usual suspects turned out including the Labour Party, Socialist Party (Leninist), SWP(Socialist Workers Party - Leninist) and CPI (Communist Party of Ireland - Leninist) as well as the Cosaintori (Direct action orientated network), PANA (Peace and Neutrality Network - NGO's) and “code pink” a womens anti-war organisation.

Anarchist youth had issued a call for a red and black bloc to meet at Parnell square and roughly 80 anarchists turned up. This contingent was easily the most vibrant and colourful part of the march with over twenty red and black flags flying and several large banners carried by the bloc including the WSM, Anarchist Youth and “Anarchists against the War” banners. The bloc slotted itself in at the front of the march for a change with about 50 people ahead of us. The trolley-based sound system blasted out Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” as Gardai took up flank either side of us. The Garda presence seemed to be entirely concentrated around the red and black bloc with a CCTV camera mounted on a Garda van leading the march.

Red and Black Block
The march passed through the building site on O Connell street, the site of http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=2499, without incident and stopped for two minutes silence on O Connell bridge. As the marchers reached the bottom of Grafton st. they turned up Suffolk st. to double back to the GPO, it was at this point that the anarchist bloc pulled away up Nassau street leaving the Gardai and IAWM stewards confused and almost taking the rest of the march with it. The crowd passed the PD’s (Progressive Democrats - right wing neoliberal party) office stopping to give three cheers to the “heroes” who sacked them during the riots. “Michael McDowell (Minister of Justice) We hate you and your poxy party too!” was chanted all the way to the bottom of Kildare street.

On Kildare street the bloc stopped at the Department of Transport where a speaker addressed the crowd about the ongoing use of Shannon and Baldonnel and young anarchists used chalk to write anti-war slogans around the building. The next stop was the Department of justice where another spoke about how the state has been criminalising anti-war activists. A final speaker then rounded up events by calling on anarchists to consider their role in the fight against the US military in Shannon and calling on everyone to attend the open anti-war discussion to be held in St. Stephens Green across the road.
There was some hassle trying to get into St. Stephen’s Green with the sound-system and gardai backed up the park-keepers who refused to let any of the protesters in, the crowd then simply went to the side entrance and rushed in. The open meeting was held in the strange stone ampitheatre part of the Green with gardai and wardens gathered either side. People discussed the need to visit Baldonnel and http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/shannon.html (Irish airfields where US planes en route to Iraq land) and the possibilities of Resisting the state’s 1916 commemoration. As the crowd dispersed four gardai took it upon themselves to follow Anarchist Youth around the city centre for the afternoon.

(photos by sovietpop, additional explanations in brackets by Joe Black)


Article first published on indymedia.ie, for another article and discussion on the march and the state of the anti war movement in Ireland see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74913
There is also a http://obin.org/video/wawa/18-03-06-antywar.mpg [58,9 MB, 5:54m, MPEG2]

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