Galway’s contribution to the national day of action started in the shadow of the cathedral, hemmed in by novena traffic and stalls selling icons and beads.
By the time we set out, though, a very impressive crowd had gathered, and taking one lane it snaked through town, several streets long. The following pics only show a small part of the demo at a time as I wasn’t in a helicopter. At the end, a crowd at least 3,000-strong gathered at the Spanish Arch.
A strong contingent from CAHWT (Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes, the anti-property tax campaign and broad movement against austerity) led chants of “No way – we won’t pay” and “Labour, watch your backs/ We won’t pay your Property Tax”. These were taken up by those marching around the contingent.
The national turnout was a reflection of the mood among trade unionists. The leadership explain their almost total inaction in the face of catastrophe by insulting their own membership, saying there isn’t a mood for struggle.
Of course, they ignore their own culpability i this – despite the odd verbal challenge to austerity and neo-liberalism, in action (or inaction) they accept that “There Is No Alternative”. See my post from last year on David Begg and the Austerity Treaty. At times the trade union leadership looks almost like a puppet occupation government, promising only to mitigate the worst effects of austerity.