Take Back Trinity members part of Custom House occupation

The occupation began at 3pm this afternoon

Take Back Trinity are part of a group that have occupied the Custom House this afternoon. The occupation began at 3pm with demonstrators seeking to present a list of their demands to Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy.

The occupation called for the compulsory purchase of multiple houses in Summerhill, and the conversion of all vacant land and property into public housing. Alongside this, they have called for the banning of evictions, and the reduction and capping of rents at 20% of the renter’s income, or at €300 per room.

The protesters are also requesting a written response from the minister by 12pm tomorrow.

Conor Reddy, a member of the Take Back Trinity campaign spoke to Trinity News about the importance of the event. He pointed out a “disconnect between the student housing crisis and the broader housing crisis”. He pointed out that “the same forces are to blame” for these crises.

According to Reddy, the belief that “property has become something to make money off of, and not something to serve the most basic of human needs”, has taken hold in society, and must be challenged.

The occupation comes one week after Trinity students participated in an occupation protesting housing evictions in Summerhill. Take Back Trinity took part in the occupation alongside a number of activist groups, including the Dublin Renters’ Union (DRU) and Dublin Central Housing Action (DHCA).

The Summerhill occupation saw over 100 students gather on O’Connell Street before marching to Summerhill. A number of activists occupied the house, while many others gathered in solidarity outside. The march was a protest against the eviction of 120 tenants from the row of houses in the area this year.

The action comes one week after the Take Back Education event. Students engaged in various workshops under the theme of “What’s next for campus activism”. Over 40 students from 6 universities attended the event, with artist Joe Caslin attending as a guest speaker.

Take Back Trinity have also taken part in the Festival of Direct Action. Activists marched for public housing at Dublin’s Trans Pride Parade, while also engaging in banner drops and occupations across the capital, to bring attention to the issues of housing.

Peter Kelly

Peter Kelly is the current Assistant Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister Law student, and a former Deputy News Editor.