March 8th 2017 and International Womens Day sees an enormous mobilisation in Dublin to demand repeal of the eight amendment to the Irish Constitution. Thousands of people blocked O’Connell street bridge as part of #Strike4Repeal and then in the evening 11,000 marched on the Dail.
The 8th amendment makes abortion illegal in almost all circumstances in Ireland. It was introduced in 1983 which means that although people voted on it then nobody under the age of 50 now in fact has had a vote on this
There has been a huge head of steam building up since the X case in 1992 to get rid of the eight amendment, its quite hated at this stage but government after government has stalled and avoided calling a referendum to repeal it.
Earlier in the day we saw a Strike for Repeal taking place where thousands of people blocked off the main bridge in the city centre, O'Connell bridge, for the space of about two and a half hours
This was also a measure of the sheer level of anger and frustration now growing at the government failure to act not just a failure in fact but a complete refusal
Almost certainly another major motivation in terms of the numbers that came out was the previous weekend it had been confirmed that there was indeed a mass grave in what had been a sceptic tank at the back of the Tuam mothers and babies home. These homes ran by the catholic church were funded by the Irish state and were basically where mothers and their babies were dumped and it turned out quite literally to die.
It's estimated that across the nine homes there may well have been between six and seven thousand deaths between 1930s and the 1950s
The running of these homes involved the complicity and co-operation of all aspects of establishment Ireland from a government that was funding them to a police force that often arrested and brought women back who had escaped the home and they (police) had no legal right to do that. To an Irish media establishment that never really covered these, it was covered in the left press if you go back to the 1930s and 1950s but almost no mainstream coverage happened until well into the 1990s and 2000s
Chanting “Our bodies, our lives
What do we want, a referenda”
Indeed in 2014 when a British tabloid published the specific claim that there were 796 such deaths at the Tuam home the Irish media took a full week to catch-up and actually cover this. Even this week when it was confirmed that the sceptic tank had indeed been used as a mass grave you had establishment media outlets like Irish Times giving opinion piece space to people who were minimising what this actually meant. The same people had actually denied the existence of the grave back in 2014.
In the build-up to protest on international women's day there was a lot of coverage by international media and indeed social media particularly Twitter and Facebook were full of stories about the protests that were coming. Strike4 Repeal for instance was trending at the number five position for Ireland on Twitter the day before but there was absolutely no coverage whatsoever in national media, on the Irish Times the Irish Independent or on the national broadcaster RTE. They completely ignored the build-up to these protests
This video is a small part of our overall coverage with much more to come, here is a 109 photo Facebook album from the day.
When the march reached the Dail they found a tiny counter protest, we posted a video to Facebook with the description Anti-choicers pathetically outnumbered by pro-choice demonstrators at the gates of Dáil Éireann. Comparing numbers overall today it's 999:1.
You can see a banner blocking the disgraceful attempts to guilt us with the usual horrible images. When you don't have the truth on your side the only resort is shameless and bald guilt-tripping.
That a banner from Non-Binary Ireland is blocking anti-choice propaganda here is surely a sign that the theocracy is in its death throes. Non-binary refers to people who don't fit into the 2 conventional genders of male and female (the gender 'binary'). Something else which the Vatican rails against as sinful and corrupting society.
You have to almost feel sorry for these bigots as they see the totalitarian world they so vehemently support dissolve before their eyes.