The Banks Have Burst

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From Eoghan O’Neill, co-ordinator of Repudiate the Debt campaign.

On Monday the 24th of October 2011, the river Liffey burst its banks. What the people of Dublin witnessed was a month’s worth of rain fall, come down upon them within 24 hours. We had scenes of cars being submersed in water, households destroyed and businesses flooded. Public services were cut and our infrastructure was weakened. Damages will likely run to the tens of millions. However, the worst casualties of it all where the 2 lives that were lost. This sadly will be a day that the people of Dublin will never forget.

Another day looms large over the coming week that is set to have a huge impact on the lives of all the people of Ireland, or at least the 99% of Irish people. On Tuesday the 2nd of November $1,ooo,ooo,ooo of unguaranteed, unsecured private debt, come Anglo’s debt, come IRBC’s debt, come Central bank’s ELA’s debt, come the Irish Taxpayer’s debt, will be paid out by the Irish sovereign to meet the demands of Mr Trichet and his troika team with the passive consent of our elected Government. Countless more billions have flown and will continue to flow out of these banks, which the Irish public are paying for. Just like the true force of nature was demonstrated this past Monday, how our European peer’s deal with the Irish state reveals the true nature of their power.

What then for our shrinking public services, or our fractured infrastructure? How will businesses and households stay afloat? Will our young and old, sick and disabled, poor and impoverished be destined to be swept away and forgotten about? How will Irish society recover from such man made, systematic devastation? Yes, the banks have certainly burst, and this rain of debt will continue to weigh down on top of us until we begin to build defences. The most effective mechanism in tackling this problem is to, number one, Repudiate this odious debt.

Debt repudiation is a viable political tool that the Irish people can demand from their government. The repudiate the debt campaign will continue to garner wide support as the reality of such travesties, like the one that will take place next Tuesday, begins to hit home. There is an alternative to austerity and crippling budget cuts. But if we don’t start making progressive steps towards demanding such action now, our society will begin to break down. Unlike the ruthless power of nature, the ruthless power of man can be controlled.