1% Network urges support for Budget Night Protests - Press Release

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Ordinary people are being sacrificed on the altar of international capitalism.  We absolutely must step up the protests against what’s being done to us.” – Gregor Kerr, 1% Network spokesperson

The 1% Network has called on “workers, the unemployed and all who care about any form of democracy or equality” to protest outside the Dáil on Budget night, Tuesday 7th December.

Members and supporters of the 1% Network will meet at the Wolfe Tone statue, St. Stephen’s Green at 5:30p.m.on Tuesday night 7th December to march around to the Dail to join the protest organised by left groups and trade union and community activists

Events of the last couple of weeks have proven for all to see that economic and political decisions are being made to protect the interests of the wealthy elite,” said Brian Leeson, 1% Network spokesperson.  “The IMF-ECB deal is a straight case of larceny from our pockets to cover the losses made by wealthy gamblers on the international financial markets.  Foreign banks and private investors – both Irish and foreign - decided to take the risk of investing money into private banks in Ireland in an attempt to profit from the property boom from 2000 until 2006. That money was lost when the bubble burst. Those investors took a gamble.  They got their risk assessment wrong and they should lose their money.”

Instead, their losses are being transferred onto the shoulders of ordinary workers and we are being made to pay through cuts in our wages, cuts in social welfare and the wholesale dismantling of our public services,” Mr. Leeson continued.  “Meanwhile the bankers and property developers and the rest of the wealthy elite remain relatively unaffected.”

The government and the IMF-ECB are doing this to us because we are letting them,” said Gregor Kerr spokesperson for 1% Network. “Last Saturday up to 100,000 people marched through the streets of Dublinto demonstrate their opposition to the government’s austerity programme.  But the organisers of that march failed completely to outline any strategy to oppose what’s happening.”

Workers and the unemployed need to get together to organise a campaign of opposition which will force a change of direction,” Kerr continued.  “Whether economic decisions are being made by this or the next government, by the IMF or the European Central Bank, we know that those who have political power – the wealthy elite who control the purse strings of our society – will not give it up easily.  If we are to bring about a situation whereby there is a re-balancing of wealth and the huge wealth divide is gotten rid of we have to organise ourselves in every community and in every workplace.  We have to discuss and debate with our work colleagues, fellow trade unionists, friends, family and neighbours what way in which we want to re-balance society.”

“Right now ordinary people are being sacrificed on the altar of international capitalism.  We absolutely must step up the protests against what’s being done to us.” Mr. Kerr concluded.

Statement Ends

Note to Editor: The 1% network is a coalition of socialist groups which has come together to oppose the cutback agenda of the government and to promote a socialist alternative to the current socio-economic system.  Organisations within the coalition include éirígí, Irish Socialist Network, Seomra Spraoi and the Workers Solidarity Movement.  The name of the coalition was chosen to highlight the fact that just 1% of the population control in excess of 34% of the wealth of the state.

For more information, contact Gregor Kerr 086 1501151 or Brian Leeson 086 8071010 or log onto www.onepercentnetwork.org