First they came to Wall Street in their masses to express their outrage at corporate greed and social inequality. Then they filtered from the US to reach the North West corner of Europe. They are the self-styled 99 per cent.
The Irish outpost of the Occupy Movement, however, fails to live up to this epithet. From the outset, Trinity’s new neighbours on Dame Street were bound to
represent a minority of the population.
Admittedly, the diversity among the protestors outside Central Bank is striking: young professionals, students, the unemployed and city workers have formed an alliance overnight as part of the movement.
However, the anti-capitalist banner of the protest is one that will inevitably alienate the moderate majority of Irish people. While most are quick to berate the greed of the banking sector – such as the perverted logic that a €20m pension constitutes ‘belt-tightening’ – to dismiss the banking sector as a whole is a step too far for many.
The movement needs to address the banking crisis in a way which avoids extremities. Calls to withdraw from the European Central Bank, or even the European Union, are hyperbolic and prevent the Government from taking public discontent seriously.
If this protest plans on remaining put until its demands are met, this newspaper can only hope the snow holds off this winter.