The Take Back Trinity movement is launching an afternoon of discussions and workshops featuring activists Anna Cosgrave and Joe Caslin, the group announced today. The event is to focus on the topic of “what’s next?” for campus-based activism following the movement’s success in fighting supplemental fees earlier this year.
Today’s announcement outlined the group’s belief that “with the partial victories of Take Back Trinity against penal fee hikes and the progress made by both DCU and Galway students against mismanagement of student accommodations, a venue is needed to collect ourselves and discuss the respective futures of these movements, where they align, and whether a broader movement is needed going forward”.
Trinity graduate and experienced activist Anna Cosgrave is set to speak at the event. Cosgrave launched the Repeal Project in 2016, a pro-choice campaign to repeal the eighth amendment which sold the widely-recognised Repeal jumpers. Cosgrave is an assistant to Trinity Senator Lynn Ruane. Former Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Ruane told Trinity News earlier this year that she “completely” supported the Take Back Trinity campaign.
Joe Caslin is a street-artist who has produced powerful political work. In the lead up to the marriage equality referendum in 2015, Caslin’s painting “The Claddagh Embrace”, which showed two men embracing, was displayed on South Great George’s Street in Dublin.
Take Back Trinity is a grassroots movement which was established following College’s decision to introduce a €450 flat-fee for supplemental exams. College reversed the decision following substantial backlash from students, including protests outside the Book of Kells and a sit-in at the Dining Hall, during which around 50 students were cut off from access to food, water, and toilets by security, attracting national media attention. College responded to claims that students were locked in with a statement that students could “leave at any time they want, and the College is taking all steps to ensure that the students inside are safe”.
The movement elected a summer committee in April. The committee, which comprises 21 people, is managing the Take Back Trinity group over the summer. The summer committee secured Cosgrave and Caslin as guests on the Take Back Trinity summer school.
The workshops are set to take place on August 11. Additional guest speakers and facilitators are expected to be announced ahead of the event.