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29 October 2009 Edition

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Time to mobilise

ON Friday 6 November the Irish Congress of Trade Unions is organising a National Day of Protest against the Fianna Fáil/Green Government’s disastrous approach to the economic crisis and for a better and fairer way. These demonstrations come just a month before what is expected to be one of the most savage Budgets ever.
Sinn Féin will be mobilising as part of the National Day of Protest which is scheduled to take place in eight centres across the country – Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Sligo, Tullamore and Dundalk. It is vital that all Sinn Féin members come out in large and visible numbers for these demonstrations, joining in solidarity with fellow trade unionists, workers in the public, private and community sector and the general public.
Sinn Féin will also be mobilising in the coming days and weeks with a campaign for the restoration of the Christmas Social Welfare Bonus which was so cruelly cut in the emergency budget introduced last April by the Fianna Fáil/Green Government.
It is a measure of the contempt held by the political and media establishment for the most marginalised in our society that this cut has received little attention. Most recipients are probably still unaware that there will be no bonus this year. It is cruellest to the most vulnerable social welfare recipients because they depend on it most to meet some of the seasonal expenses they face. It is especially anti-children.
And this is just the most glaring of the cuts introduced so far, with worse to come in the Budget. Not only are these cuts socially damaging, they also make no economic sense. Money spent on social welfare goes straight back into the economy because recipients spend it on their daily and weekly needs; they cannot afford to hoard it like the wealthy. Cutting social welfare will further depress the economy; it will further marginalise not only whole families but whole communities.
This disastrous approach to the economy must be resisted. And this requires sustained resistance, not simply one day of protest or one campaign. People are justifiably outraged but that outrage, over time, can be turned to disillusionment and despondency by the Government. Before that happens, it is time to mobilise, agitate, educate and politicise for real change.

An Phoblacht Magazine


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