It’s been pissing down rain in Dublin today. There’s a bus strike on. And tons of people are out on the street protesting for abortion rights for Irish women.
I’m not there in person because 1) I have a phobia of crowds,2) I’m sick and didn’t even have the energy to get out of bed before noon (so far I’ve managed the energy to shower, go downstairs, eat some toast, make a cup of tea, and curl up in an oversized beanbag. It’s 6pm.), and 3) there’s a bus strike on so transportation into the city centre for those of us without cars is . . . difficult. So, I’ve been doing a bit of retweeting and signal boosting. So, I figured I’d share here. Twitter hashtags to watch are #repealthe8th #MarchForChoice #March4Choice #notacriminal.
The UN Human Rights Committee has ruled Irish law regarding abortion to be cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. However, the government keeps kicking the can down the road trying to ignore overwhelming demand for change for fear of losing the ultraconservative Catholic vote. The law does not reflect the values of the majority people, or frankly, the values of the majority of those in government.. As the designer of hard to get “Repeal” sweatshirts stated, “a large part of the reason this law is even still in place in 2016 is through a failure to address it, whether by exiling women abroad for their abortions, or by – further back in our dismal past – locking them away in mother and baby homes and Magdalene laundries. In this context, all visibility is good.”
Here’s the crowd gathered outside the government building where the houses of the Oireachtas sit. (My TD is out there with the crowd.)
The Irish Times is estimating about 20,000 people gathered in Dublin. People are protesting in solidarity with Irish women globally. 25 cities in 13 different countries are holding events in solidarity (a lot of these are organized by Irish emigrants).
Some good background coverage from Vice here:
Ireland isn’t really big on the protest marches usually. Public protest happens, but as mr. lurker says, most Irish people are more likely to sit in the pub and complain. So, there may be a dedicated crowd of protesters, but it often takes a breaking point like the Irish Water protests as last straw focus, really representing a lot of other indignities such as corruption, cronyism, and austerity measures that hurt everyone except those who caused the problems in the first place. Having this kind of number of people out there when it’s not only pouring, there’s a frigging bus strike on that’s affecting travel badly enough that shops are closing early for lack of footfall is noteworthy.