As the centenary celebration of the 1916 Rising comes to a close, something unique happens. A well organized, clearly well intended and very fitting tribute capture the spirit of 1916. A building, owned by a State body is liberated and it’s liberators have one powerful message.
The way housing is dealt with in Ireland is unacceptable and we shall tolerate it no longer.
This act, by virtue of the publicity surrounding it amplifies the discourse and message tenfold, bringing it as a topic of discussion all over the country and even to Irish diasporas living abroad. This act of defiance captures the injustices and social inequalities in Ireland and concisely allocates the blame to the State. After all, is it not the State, our government which is supposed to cater for us? Is it not the State that is supposed to look after the interest of the people? The occupation in Dublin shines a light on the State and essentially shows how in the current society we live in, the State is not on our side.
In fact, what this political action shows is that the State has for a significant amount of time legislated and acted in the interests of a distinct economic demographic. Hint: It’s not those being evicted. We can see better now that the social inequalities in Ireland do not have their own origin in “poor management” or “incorrect decisions”, but in fact the opposite. A calculated strategy by the establishment parties to look after and consolidate the economic interests of banks, multinationals and the well-off.
This political act has helped define the role of the establishment parties and the role of the State. They are neither with us, nor for us and as a result we must seek our own solutions. As I write this, activists in every part of Ireland are mobilizing and analyzing potential locations for liberation of their own. One act of defiance will turn into many and the dynamic in Irish politics will begin to shift once more.
Solidarity with Home Sweet Home!