Strike 4 Repeal are organising a large gathering outside Leinster House during the Dáil’s debate on the report of the Oireachtas Committee on the eighth amendment tomorrow.
The pro-choice assembly will live stream the first day of the debate for those gathered outside the gates. The description of the Facebook event emphasised that the gathering is not a strike but “a way to watch the debate as a group and to decide collectively, if the government propose to replace or restrict access to abortion, what our next move should be”.
The assembly will take place outside Leinster House from 5pm tomorrow to “let those inside the gates know that we are watching, we are organised and we won’t wait any longer for our rights”.
The Oireachtas Committee report recommended unrestricted terminations for up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. In response to the recommendation, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated that many politicians felt that “perhaps for the majority of the public that proposal might go one step too far, but perhaps not”.
Strike 4 Repeal has said: “We think [Varadkar] needs to be told loud and clear that we want a straight repeal and full abortion rights in the referendum question or he has a serious fight on his hands.” Varadkar has not yet disclosed his stance on access to abortion, explaining that he would wait until the government had decided what question on abortion would be put to the public before making his views on the issue known.
The group, which Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) is mandated to support, organised a strike in the city centre last March, which saw thousands of people, including a 600-strong cohort of Trinity students, call for access to free, safe and legal abortion.
The group also want the government to commit to a straightforward “yes” or “no” question on the repeal of the eighth amendment and a referendum during a more convenient period for students. Strike 4 Repeal and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) are calling for a May referendum rather than a June one, which are the two options proposed by the government, as more students will be in the country to vote.