For an alternative Europe
Irish people have generally seen the European Union as a good thing, for reasons that include investment in infrastructure and farm subsidies.
But increasingly the EU is an excuse for privatisation, for shifting the burden of taxation onto you and for Ireland's increasing involvement in military adventures.
We are struggling with others across Europe for a different type of Europe, one that puts people before profit and does away with top-down decision-making. Join these protests in the struggle for an alternative Europe.
Privatisation and the Lisbon Agenda
The Irish government's official EU website declares that "the Lisbon strategy is a major priority for the Irish Presidency". The Lisbon Agenda specifically targets "gas, electricity, postal, and transport services" for privatisation. Water, health, education and social services will be next.
The first step in privatisation is forcing people to pay for public services to make them profitable and attractive to investors. We can see this here with the bin charges, the back-door reintroduction of third level fees and the threatened privatisation of Dublin Bus and other public services. Privatisation invariably results in worse working conditions, greater inequality of services, lay-offs and wage cuts as bosses seek to cut corners to maintain profits.
So who set the Lisbon Agenda? Who decided that this is how the European economy should be run?
It is estimated that Brussels hosts some 500 industry lobby groups, employing some 10,000 professional lobbyists. Corporations that spend millions 'lobbying' the EU make no secret of the influence this brings.
One of the most powerful is the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), which brings together more than 40 "European industrial leaders." Ireland is represented by Michael Smurfit, while most of the other corporations are household names across Europe, such as BP, Unilever, Carlsberg, Fiat, Vodafone, Volvo, Philips, Nokia, Renault and Shell.
What Sort of Europe do we want?
The groups and individuals involved in this Grassroots Network are united by a vision of a better future, one without bosses or governments, be they in Dublin or Brussels; one in which all local communities are directly run by the people living in them and all workplaces by the people working in them; a future in which everyone has control over their own lives and an equal say in the decisions that affect them.
They are talking not just about receiving an equal share of what is produced, but also transforming the quality of life, doing away with long working hours and increasing free time.
On Fri 9th april 2004 a few people from Dublin Grassroots Network gave up their lunchbreak to busk and handout leaflets.
The press were also there taking pictures and doing interviews with the 'secretive organisation'.
The leaflets clearly explain the reasons WHY the collective are calling for a Mayday-weekend of actions against the EU heads of state. But these reasons have (so far) been ignored by the corporate media.
Grassroots Network operate in an open and democratic way, where everybody has an equal say. If you want to get involved, get in touch.
Phone: 087-2820906 Email: email@example.com
Mayday Menu - what's going on Actions For An Alternative Europe Aperitif
Critical Mass - mass cycle and walk through the city 5.30 pm, Fri. April 30th, Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Sq
No Borders Morning - actions against fortress EU 10 am Saturday May 1st, Civic Offices, Wood Quay
Reclaim The City - anti-privatisation actions 2.30pm Saturday May 1st, Grafton St. (at Stephen’s Green)
Bring The Noise - March to Farmleigh House to let the EU heads of state hear us - bring pots, pans, whistles... 6pm Sat. May 1st, Phoenix Park (Parkgate St./Benburb St.)
No Borders Camp - Act in solidarity with immigrants 11am Sunday May 2nd, Custom House Quay
Reclaim The Streets - Street Party for a better future 3pm Mon. May 3rd, Ambassador Cinema, O’Connell St.