When the 700 plus protesters made their way from Enniskillen out to the G8 fence on Monday night they held a number of speeches to voice their opinions to the International audience.
These speeches varied from local activists and satirical comedians to trade union representatives. They all united under the banner of peaceful of protest and expressed their deeply held views in a clear and coherent manner.
The first speaker was James Orr, of Friends of the Earth who said the planet did not belong to the G8”. He asked that money be taken out of the banks and for them to practice low impact agriculture. He also criticised all the political parties who he claimed had a “love affair with G8 economics”.
The second speech was by comedian Dale Maily from BBC “Inside the Story” program gave a brief light hearted speech to the protesters. This was followed by Scottish protester Andrew Carnegie who quoted writer Samuel Clements and the Gospel of Matthew from the Bible. He told the crowds how starving people in Glasgow raided his bins last week and highlighted the need to deal with world hunger.
Veteran socialist Eamon McCann was next to take the stand and he delivered a passionate, vociferous speech, where he pressed the alternative to G8 policies and criticised the mass presence of police.
Local artist Clare Falconer was the fifth to take the stand and asked for support on the anti-fracking campaign and was followed by Alliance TD Richard Boyd Barrett who questioned the “unbelievable deployment” of police and criticised the media for not questioning the ‘black propaganda campaign’ from the establishment to deter people from protesting.
Jimmy Kelly from trade union UNITE was next and he voiced his concerns that the community had been abandoned. He asked for more unity asked the demonstrators to “fight back to change the horrors that the G8 represents.”
Katie McClintock of Fermanagh Young Socialists had a message that was clear: “Frack off!” She also spoke about the “attack on working class students” through the cuts of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
Padraig Mulholland, President of NIPSA said any sectarianism within the protest group would not divide or weaken the group and said they would stand united against the G8. He also asked the assembly to “stop kissing the arse of David Cameron” and Barack Obama and stand up for the people of this country.
Joe Higgins Socialist Party TD said the G8 were only representing the 1% and that the talks would not advance the interests of humanity and called for people to do away with the system of government.
Meg Rybycki was another who spoke out against fracking. “We will not negotiate” was the message as she did not want to leave a “toxic legacy” to her children.
The closing comments were made by Donal O’Cofaigh of ‘Fermanagh G8 Not Welcome’ and he called on the protesters to move forward. He pushed for peace and said: “We have got a legitimate issue and we will advance that issue much more effectively if we do so peacefully.”
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