27th November 2010, Dublin, Ireland.
It seems as if the UK has entered an unofficial marching or protest period. There have been many protests in the UK recently, regarding a hike in tuition fees and changes to education. Now Irish people have taken to the streets to protest, despite freezing cold weather and snow.
At least 50,000 people are, as I write, taking part in the protest in Dublin, Ireland. This week it was reported that the Irish government had put forward severe austerity measures in the hope of securing loans from the EU. These measures will hit the poorest people of Ireland the most and will, quite rightly, not be readily accepted.
There has also been gossip lately that Ireland may soon be followed by Portugal and then perhaps Spain, in needing a financial bailout. It seems that the Eurozone is not a good prospect at all. Somewhere along the line the aid money must run out.
Today's Dublin protest was organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu). As yet there have been no civil disturbances or unnecessary problems. Irish police, or the Garda, have a public order plan in place to try to prevent any disturbances.
Protest organisers want the event to be family friendly. They are stewarding the protest and it is hoped that there will be no disturbances. If there are they will be soon settled. Members of the public order unit, or riot squad, will be deployed close by, but out of sight. If the situation worsens they will take charge.
Businesses and traffic in the heart of Dublin will be disrupted by the protest today. Despite attempts to discredit the march and deter people from attending a huge turn-out is expected.