Thousands of people are expected in Dublin for a large protest against the cost of living.
The march starts tomorrow at 2.30pm at the top of Parnell Square – which will be closed for a period – and leads to Dáil Éireann on Kildare Street.
It was organized by the Cost of Living Coalition, which is made up of organizations such as trade unionists, student and pensioner associations and political opposition parties.
The aim of the march is to urge the government to take radical measures against the cost of living and housing crises.
The group is calling for “price controls, higher wages and benefits, rent controls and cuts, unexpected profit taxes, and free childcare and public transportation.”
The coalition held a demonstration in Cork City last weekend, attended by an estimated 1,000 people.
The number of rallies has increased across the country in recent weeks – but the demonstration planned for next Saturday is expected to be by far the largest.
The Cost of Living Coalition was founded by Eddie Conlon, Lecturer in Sociology at TU Dublin (formerly DIT) and longtime People Before Profit campaigner.
He told that sunday independent, that in his more than 40 years of activism he had never seen “such unity in a campaign like this”.
“It’s supported by so many organizations and by every generation. This is a big issue in society. People are scared. People are concerned about the bills that will come in,” he said.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said in a speech in Dáil Éireann this week that the government should “listen to what the people are asking” before approving the budget.
“[Ireland] “It’s a country for profit-hungry energy companies, big corporations and real estate vultures, for the greedy and the obscenely rich,” he said.
“And I think it’s that sentiment that will lead thousands and thousands of people to the streets this Saturday to gather in Parnell Square and march to this Dáil ahead of the Budget, demanding relief and protection from the costs -Residential and housing disaster that people are suffering from.”
Sinn Fein Chairwoman Mary Lou McDonald, a member of the coalition group, said people were living in a “nightmare” over soaring bills and the daily cost of living.
“You can’t exaggerate the pressure people are under and there’s a real feeling the government hasn’t been listening,” Ms McDonald said on Tuesday.
“(Government) have said a lot. They flew a lot of kites, but ultimately there was a lot of lag and jitter.
“So there will be evidence on Budget Day as to whether or not the real seriousness of this situation has landed with a government that, quite frankly, has been completely out of touch with the realities on the ground.”
Fr. Peter McVerry said the government is losing the state.
“I have asked the government not to let the people of this country down again in this energy crisis,” he added.
“One of the main tasks of government is to ensure that the basic needs of all its citizens are met. That means they include housing, which they have missed, and free education, which they have missed.”
Meanwhile, Union of Students in Ireland President Beth O’Reilly said students are being forced to sleep in tents, cars and on friends’ sofas.
“They can’t find or afford housing and that’s a shame,” she added.
“The burden of this work lies with our student unions, the government has washed its hands with the problem.
“They seem to think digging is a solution to the student housing crisis when we know that students using digging have no tenancy rights and are still paying absolutely extortionate rents.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/thousands-expected-at-cost-of-living-march-in-dublin-on-saturday-with-road-closures-in-place-42012654.html Thousands are expected at the Cost of Living march in Dublin on Saturday as roads are closed