|Dismantled this morning.|
Business men and shelf-stackers trudging to work down the Dame Street thoroughfare would be correct this morning in thinking there was something different about the place. Occupy Dame Street was no more. In its place was Coppupy.
Build it and they will come. The Gardai, that is. Actually, it’s more a case of build it, refuse to move for Paddy’s Day, and they will come. In their droves.
At that time in the wee hours where hundreds of students stagger bleary eyed into the chill outside Coppers, a large contingent of Gardai emerged from the darkness and began dismantling the Occupy Dame Street camp.
What was a colourful scene yesterday, a kaleidoscope of colourful tents and characters, is no more. By 7am this morning the only colour to be seen was fluorescent yellow, as a multitude of Guards stood around in their standard issue jackets observing Dublin City Corporation workers powerhosing the plaza where the camp once stood.
Ten protestors were on site last night when the operation began. This morning, some of them remained huddled where the camp had stood, illuminated by the glow of street-lights reflecting off the globe-like monument above them. Until last October, that globe was the stand-out feature on the plaza. Since then, it has been demoted, its sole purpose being to provide a pretty backdrop for those taking snaps of the Occupy movement.
Those present this morning were, as you might expect, a little cheesed off with what had just happened them. “It’s sad really that this has happened. They wanted to sweep under the carpet any vestige of resistance to what’s going on in Ireland for Paddy’s day so the cameras would not see that there is any form of sign to say that there is something terribly wrong in this country,” said one.
Though the camp is physically no more, don’t go writing the obituary of the Occupy Dame Street movement just yet. “We will still use the area of Dame Street as an area to organise from. We still have that right to free assembly,” was the defiant cry of one dislodged protestor.
A bike, a cardboard box, a backpack and a handful of dismayed protestors. That’s what Occupy Dame Street amounted to once Dublin Corporation’s army of workers had ceased sweeping and hosing. The tents weren’t the be all and end all however, this wasn’t Oxegen or Electric Picnic. “The Occupy Movement was never about camping,” one protestor said. He pointed out that Occupy Wall Street’s numbers swelled once that camp was dismantled.
It could be that we will see more than one big march this St Patrick’s Day…