Stand 4 Truth - demanding accountability from catholic church during Papal visit


As many as 10,000 people took part in the Stand for Truth rally yesterday, and marched in complete silence to the site of the last Magdalene Laundry to close on Sean MacDermott street [video].  In effect this was a counter protest to the Papal Rally taking place uptake road in the Phoenix park in the aftermath of Pope Francis pretending not to know about the institutions while talking to selected survivors.  In fact he met Philomena Lee in the Vatican in 2014, the Irish Times reporting at the time that afterwards, Ms Lee said: “I hope and believe that his Holiness Pope Francis joins me in the fight to help the thousands of mothers and children who need closure on their own stories.”

Some 30,000 were confined in these institutions, most often for the ‘crime’ of having child without being married.  Another 100,000 people were sent to other institutions run by the church like the industrial schools, yesterdays event also stood with them in demanding real accountability for the crimes that the church committed, and for the cover up that goes right to the top of the Catholic Church, including the current forgetful pope.

If the Papal visit was meant to help the recovery of a totally discredited catholic church it can be described as a disaster that only revealed how few practising catholics remain in Ireland.  During the previous Palpal visit in 1979 one million people attended the Papal rally in Dublin alone, yesterday saw barely 10% of that number attend and many of those were international tourists.  In ’79 Papal bunting was everywhere, yesterday the council built estates bordering the park has almost no houses displaying any, our writer counted only two in an estate of 250 houses (and twice as many that still had Dublin GAA bunting up from the match a couple of weeks back).  On Saturday Dublin was brought to a halt so that the Pope could parade through the city, they said 100,000 were expected to view him.  In the event only about 15,000 lined the route and how many of them were in town anyway and finding themselves trapped by barriers decided they might as well watch the spectacle and post a selfie.

The Catholic Church which on the weekends evidence can now only claim to represent, at best,  10%  of the population still owns many of the schools, hospitals and community spaces in the country.  They have failed to pay significant compensation for the decades of abuse they subjected the 130,000 to.  It’s high time the schools, hospitals and community spaces were taken into public ownership, without further compensation.

Sarah Clancy - Cherising for Beginners at #Stand4Truth [video]

Near the start of the Stand for Truth rally in Dublin, timed to coincide with the Papal rally 2km away Sarah Clancy performed her poem Cherishing for Beginners.  It's an important contribution as it looks beyond the issues of the theocratic authoritarianism behind the institutions of abuse to the bigger questions of the role of capital and the state. 

It also makes clear that today the equivalent of such abuses continue, this time in the Direct Provision centers, the treatment of Irish Travellers and the housing crisis.

Few turn out for popes parade through Dublin

Saturday live video shot on the parade route showed very small crowds out for the pope, a tiny fraction of the 100,000 the organisers hoped for. A Facebook poll from the Journal had 70% opposing the visit around 10am.

The previous day the Irish Times interviewed street traders who said no one is buying papal tat "We haven’t sold very much at all, we’re overrun with stuff as we were expecting thousands of visitors, but no-one is buying anything.
“I was here for the last pope’s visit in 1979, we were selling six or seven flags at a time, now I’m barely selling one or two."

In some respects the visit felt much like the visit of the English queen a few years back, massive disruption resented by most people living and working in Dublin in the service of a weird archaic authoritarian figure said to have supernatural powers. Those who did line the streets seemed to include very large numbers of tourists,. The number who'd come to Ireland for the right wing Families rally pumped up the numbers at the Croke Park gig but its pretty clear the population of Dublin are mostly indifferent if not against this visit.