Wednesday, November 05, 2003

UCD Students Protest At Fianna Fail AGM

Last thursday night in UCD a number of CFE activists picketed the annual Kevin Barry Cummann (Fianna Fail UCD) AGM against the reintroduction of fees. About 10 activists disrupted the meeting which was meant to be addressed by The Minister for Transport Seamus Brennan, who was replaced at the last minute by Senator Geraldine Feeney.

As the senator gave her address to the assembled throng of KCB hacks, CFE activists burst into the lecture theatre and held up placards. Slogans such as 'Education is Not For Sale! Lecturers Are Not Tools and Students Are Not Products', 'Education Is A Right Not A Privilege' and 'Education For The Masses Not the Upper Classes' were held up in a silent protest against the recent and continuing attacks on the Irish Education System. After listening to her bloody rambling speech, I regretted not making a placard with the slogan 'Not Only Do You Fuck Us Over-But You Bore Us To Death.'

Interestingly enough from what I could gather one of the main discussion points of their AGM was the obvious adverse reaction of students towards their governments attacks on education.

The protest was an ad hoc affair and organised at the last minute, the pressures of exams and the lethargy of a year of hyper activism within and outside UCD obviously having an impact. Last night was also a day for the discerning protester, what with the choice of Haider and Brennans possibile appearance, which was cancelled. It must say something about the evolution of UCD politics this year when UCD activists could make a choice of protest without any major worry about a UCD based one having insufficent numbers.

In response to the criticisms raised on Indymedia about holding this protest, when bigger fish like Hiader were in town that needed frying. Well, the simple reality was that because of UCD's upcoming exams, most of those at the KBC protest were not actually going to be going into the Haider Protest, so no harm was done to that mobilisation.

While the protest was small, and no way comparable to the level of resistance which has sprung up at various points in UCD this year, it is significant to note that there has been a CFE protest anytime public representatives from the governing parties have been on campus, ranging from 300 strong blockades to last nights smaller affair.

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