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"Bring a book, send a silent message..." The 'standing people' protest comes to Dublin

Inspired by a campaign that started in Turkey’s Taksim Square and spread via social media, Irish people are being asked to ‘book the bankers’ at a demonstration tomorrow.

Erdem Gunduz, the original 'standing man' in Taksim Square
Erdem Gunduz, the original 'standing man' in Taksim Square
Image: Petr David Josek/AP/Press Association Images

A PROTEST WITH a difference is being planned for outside Leinster House tomorrow afternoon. Those attending are being asked to bring a book to reflect how they feel about what’s happening in the country. They’ll then stand “still and silent” at the gates of the Dáil to send a message to those inside.

The idea is inspired by the ‘standing people’ movement that began in Turkey’s Taksim Square last month. Initiated by a lone protester standing and staring for hours in an act of passive defiance – images of the protest soon began spreading on social media, and sparked similar demonstrations elsewhere.

The method may been inspired by events overseas, but the the decision to stage the Dublin protest was sparked by something much closer to home. Carrie McIntyre, who came up with the idea along with her friend Sarah, says they felt compelled to act after hearing the Anglo Tapes.

(Youtube, via KulturSanatDusunce)

“Citizens tolerate a lot from the Government, but these tapes made the issue very black and white,” McIntyre told TheJournal.ie, saying she hoped to send a message that those responsible for the banking crisis need to be brought to justice:

We don’t want enquiries, we don’t want people to play party politics with this issue. These bankers need to be charged criminally. That’s what people are outraged about.

The issue is – you can be charged for not paying your TV licence, you can be charged for not paying property tax, but these bankers literally stole our nation from us.

McIntyre said she was encouraging people to bring a book to express how they feel about the direction the nation is headed, and was expecting to see plenty of  ”novels, books about the crash or Irish history”.

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Young Turks read as they stand in a silent protest in Ankara last month (Image:AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Anyone unable take part tomorrow is being encouraged to get involved via social media and spread the message of the campaign on  Twitter or Facebook, in the style of the original ‘standing people’ movement.

The ‘Irish Standing Protest’ begins outside Dáil Eireann from 3pm, and is due to continue “until the last bus”.

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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