In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for People Before Profit/United Left Alliance has called on the Irish public to follow the lead of Spanish strikers and protesters by taking to the streets in large numbers this Saturday March 31st to join the demonstration taking place against household charges and austerity policies at the Fine Gael annual Ard Fheis.

The demonstration will assemble at 1pm this Saturday at the Garden of Remembrance from where protesters will march to the National Convention Centre where the Fine Gael Ard Fheis is due to take place.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that from Greece, to Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, and across the wider European economy it was clear that austerity policies were deepening the economic crisis, fuelling mass unemployment and inflicting severe suffering on the majority of ordinary citizens.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that a mass popular revolt against austerity was needed across Europe to demand that job creation and social justice were prioritised ahead of bailing out the private financial and banking system that had caused the economic crisis in the first place.

Richard Boyd Barrett said:“I want to salute the people of Spain who are today taking strike action and joining mass protests to resist the disastrous policies of austerity – policies that are crushing the ordinary people of Spain and have resulted in an unemployment catastrophe.

In Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, and increasingly across the wider European economy, it is patently obvious that the policies of austerity are proving a disastrous failure. Everywhere, austerity is making the economic crisis worse and is leading to mass unemployment and poverty. Unless this austerity madness is stopped, Europe will be plunged into a 1930’s style economic depression with terrible consequences for the ordinary people of Europe.

The people of this country should follow the example of our fellow European citizens in Spain and take to the streets to resist the disastrous and utterly stupid policies of austerity. This Saturday the march to the Fine Gael Ard Fheis is vital opportunity to commence that campaign of mass popular resistance against the brutal and economically disastrous policies being pursued by the government on behalf of the “Troika,” and the financial markets that caused the economic crisis in the first place.

It is clearly apparent that everywhere that austerity is being imposed, in order to ensure the repayment of odious debts to bankers and bond-holders, the result is a catastrophic rise in unemployment and poverty.

Figure released this week also show that all the austerity being imposed to protect the banks in Europe is not even working in its own terms. The banks we are bailing out are not refusing to lend and invest into the European economy to boost growth – rather they are simply hoarding the money in the vaults of the ECB. So all the suffering being imposed on people is for nought. It is not just cruelly unfair, it just is not working.

Incredibly, with the so called Fiscal treaty, European leaders now want lock this failed policy of austerity into the legal structures of member states and make it permanent. Does the madness know no end?

 With the political of masters so obviously demonstrating that they have no idea whatsoever how to get us out of this crisis, and pursuing a policy that is likely to lead us into a 1930’s style depression, it is time for the people to act.

I urge all those who are the victims of this austerity madness and who recognise it for the disaster that it is to take to the streets this Saturday and march on the Fine Gael Ard Fheis. This Saturday’s protest is not just a protest against the unjust household charge – it is the opportunity to commence a major popular revolt against the stupidity and injustice of the policy of austerity and bank bail-outs.”

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