All that the students of Ireland were doing was defending some basic democratic rights, rights that have been stripped away from them by the crisis.
The dreamworld of the “Celtic Tiger” is gone and these youth have not even stepped on the ladder and face unemployment and a very uncertain, probably impoverished, future.
They have a right to demonstrate and must be defended in every way and at all costs against the state.
But as the following report from Indymedia makes clear the leaders of the unions, including unbelievably the student unions, are not giving this unconditional backing:
More than 600 people marched in Dublin city centre tonight against Garda violence at last weeks student demonstration.
Speaking ahead of the protest, well known trade unionist Des Bonass told indymedia ;”I believe last weeks actions from the Guards are coming down from a higher authority to keep people off the streets.”
The demonstrators marched from Stephens Green to Pearse Street Garda station, chanting “No cutbacks, no fees, no Fianna Fail TDs.”
Student speakers were joined by representatives of Dublin Shell to Sea and the Dublin Congress of Trade Unionists.
A Free Education for Everyone (FEE) spokesperson thanked all those who showed solidarity with the student movement and said “Who knows when we will be needed to support them? There is a long fightback that needs to be staged in this country.”
However, some comments from the speakers provoked an angry response from demonstrators. The Vice President of NCAD students union was heckled loudly when he appeared to question the motives of some protesters at last weeks demo. “We have the power to make a protest peaceful”, he told the crowd.
Similarly, Des Bonass of the Dublin Congress of Trade Unions was interrupted when he called for support for the Gardai with their industrial relations issues.
“I was just trying to get the Guards to come over to our side”, he later told Indymedia.
Despite repeated requests, an invitation to the Guards to speak to the protesters was not taken up.
Among the demonstrators present were representatives of the Workers Solidarity Movement, the Socialist Party, Labour Youth, the Socialist Workers Party and various Republican groups.
Speaking after the demo, a FEE spokesperson told Indymedia that hundreds of students around Ireland were contacting the Free Education for Everyone (FEE) .
“The Guards have radicalised a generation of young people in a way that no Connolly pamphlet of left wing poster has managed to do.”