“This Saturday, January 26th, Charleville Park Hotel 8pm (sharp): Open meeting with Constantin Gurdgiev, Michael Taft, Declan Ganley, Luke Ming Flanagan, comedian Abie Philbin Bowman and others, including one major surprise speaker. Free admission, all welcome.
January 27th, week 100 march, Ballyhea at 11.30am, then Charleville at 12.30pm.” This weekend’s schedule for Week 100
On Monday last, we finally got to experience what a guest speaking uninterrupted for three minutes on the “Tonight with Vincent Browne” show, felt like. And, after Diarmuid O’Flynn, campaigner and an activist behind the Ballyhea/Charleville bank bailout protests, had finished explaining the reason why they protest, the often-grumpy Vincent could only sigh that there wasn’t anything that he could disagree with. [The show can be viewed online here, Diarmuid’s contribution starts from 19:30]
This weekend, the Ballyhea/Charleville protesters will be marking a milestone they never wanted to see – it’s been two years since they started a weekly protest, 15 minutes marching, dignified, a few banners, family friendly. They’re protesting at the colossal transfer of money from banks which we have bailed out to bondholders who had previously provided loans to those same banks.
Since the first march, the protesters – originally from the parish of Ballyhea 10 kms south of Charleville in Cork – have joined with like-minded protestors in Charleville to march week-in, week-out, in rain, hail or shine. But the marches themselves have only been part of the protest. There has been a massive online campaign to inform and educate. They have cycled, ran, walked, crawled from the hills of Ballyhea to Leinster House, and as they marched down O’Connell Street to Government Buildings, even the Gardai who were concerned at first saw who they were and what they were about, and gave them an escort to Leinster House.
They’ve fasted, wrote songs, produced videos, held sit-down protests (pictured below), flew to the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt where they held a protest (pictured above), inveigled their way onto the Vincent Browne show twice, marched across Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster and spent a huge amount of time entertaining, informing and educating the media, domestic and overseas, about the utter scandal of a country in financial distress, in an IMF programme and dependent on borrowing to pay for services as we adjust from the banking crisis, that at this same time, we are remitting tens of billions out of the country to lenders to those failed and utterly bust banks.
This weekend, there will be an evening and morning of events to mark the 100th week of their protests. On Saturday evening, you can meet well-known economists Constantin Gurdgiev and Michael Taft – some might say they represent two ends of an ideological spectrum but not when it comes to the bank bailout – inventor and Libertas chairman, Declan Ganley, Independent Roscommon TD, Luke “Ming” Flanagan, comedian Abie Philbin Bowman and others, including, say the organizers “one major surprise speaker” The event will be held at Charleville Park Hotel and will start at 8pm (sharp).
On Sunday, they’ll be doing what they have been doing for 100 weeks – as Red in the Shawshank Redemption might have said “100 weeks, Jesus, when you say it like that” – and they’ll be holding two marches, one in Ballyhea at 11.30am and then, one in Charleville at 12.30. International media has already confirmed it will be there covering the marches.
They’re not looking for your money, but they would be grateful for your support. They’re just ordinary people – employed, unemployed, employers – making a stand, and perhaps a difference.
I leave you with the words of lead-organiser Diarmuid O’Flynn
“A very simple question for our ‘negotiators’ in Europe; when everything is wrapped up, when they’ve succeeded in extending the debt payments so that the burden is shared with our kids and their kids, how much of the debt burden will have been shared with the banks, with the EU, with the ECB, by how much will the remaining €26bn of Promissory Notes and the €41bn owed to the ECB have been reduced? Answer: €0. If you want it to the nearest cent, 0c.
This is NOT our debt yet our government isn’t asking for a single cent of write-down. If you’re happy to burden-share with your kids, then don’t complain about the consequences we’re all now suffering; if you’re not, come march with us. Know this: if you’re not fighting this injustice you’re facilitating it.
I’m appealing especially to all those who have marched with us at some stage but who, for whatever reason, haven’t been with us every week, to make a special effort for this Saturday and – especially – for this Sunday.
Thank you, Diarmuid O’Flynn”
Details of Week 100 can be found on Facebook here.
You can follow one of the lead-organisers, Diarmuid O’Flynn on Twitter here.
If you’re looking for accommodation in Charleville for the Saturday night, it is hoped to post details here soon.]