8/10/2014 : Picture at the USI protest in Dublin. Picture Conor McCabe Photography. Up to 6,000 students protested on the streets of Dublin to defend education rights and to stop further cuts. Organised by the Union of Students in Ireland, the students …
Up to 6,000 students protested on the streets of Dublin to defend education rights and to stop further cuts.
Organised by the Union of Students in Ireland, the students braved some appalling weather to stand up for education and to protest against cuts in the education budget. The buoyant and vibrant demonstration asserted the importance of education to society, and the harm that was being done by cuts.
The protesters stressed that education is about more than just churning out future workers for an increasingly stagnant job market, but about developing critical thinking and active citizenship.
A number of trade union activists also joined the demonstration to show their solidarity. Beat combo the Original Rude Boys lifted spirits in an inspired performance at the rally.
The union SIPTU released the following statement in support of the students.
SIPTU President, Jack O’Connor, has endorsed the ‘Education IS’ initiative by the Union of Students in Ireland.
The ‘Education IS’ campaign, which held a march and rally at Leinster House at 12.45 p.m. today is calling for the defence of quality third level public education against the increased trend towards commercialisation in the sector.
Speaking in support of the campaign and the protest, Jack O’Connor, said:
“SIPTU supports the Union of Students in Ireland’s ‘Education Is’ initiative because defending quality public education is a trade union issue.
“As the largest trade union in the third level education sector, we have an interest in protecting the future of education on behalf of our members. Furthermore, defending quality public education is in the interest of our broader membership whose relatives and co-workers are students or who themselves study at institutions of tertiary education.
“Fostering dynamic universities, colleges and institutes that provide a positive environment for students and workers alike is an issue of utmost importance for SIPTU.”
Speaking at the protest today SIPTU Head of Campaigning and Equality said:
“Some things in life are worth fighting for. Public third level education accessible to all is one of those things. SIPTU is proud to be part of a new coalition of third level staff and students fighting for the education as a public good.”
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