Thursday, July 04, 2013

Dublin Pride Stopped: Labour Bus 'Hijacked' by Jail the Bankers Crowd

The use of the word "hijack" in a headline that appeared in a story this week in Ireland's Independent newspaper, to describe an apparently unplanned and improvised protest against a political party and economic troubles affecting many people regardless of sexual orientation, during a Gay Pride event last weekend, caught my eye. It is an extremist choice of wording for a mild zap:

An open-top Labour Party bus ferrying Education Minister Ruairi Quinn and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton at Dublin's Gay Pride parade was momentarily "hijacked" by anti-bank protesters. The red Labour Gay Pride bus came to a halt in front of the GPO on O'Connell Street, Dublin, on Saturday evening after a small number of "Jail the Bankers" protesters sat down in front of the bus.

What a wonderful and radical concept. Economic disparities injected into the partying of a Pride event!

One Irish blogger, Phil O'Kane of the Iced Coffee site, was quite upset with the zap and the protesters:

At Dublin Pride [last weekend], those from the Jail the Bankers/anti-austerity/anti-property tax/Anglo tapes protest which took place before and during the parade, decided to throw missiles, chant “shame on you” and generally shout abuse at the Labour LGBT bus and ministers on board and hold up the bus and rest of the parade. The parade was held up for about 15mins when the protesters decided to sit in front of the bus refusing to allow it to pass. The odd thing is their protest had nothing to do with Pride/LGBT rights or issues, but instead was related to issues they had with Labour’s involvement in the Anglo tapes, tax and corruption malarkey. 

Sounds to me like the protesters are hurting economically because of Big Banking scandals over there, and the LGBT folks upset with Labour weren't divorcing their sexual identity from their economic woes due to austerity measures. This is something to applaud, not bemoan. O'Kane goes on to say:

It was truly disappointing that they chose to hold up the parade in this way, rather than confront the politicians at the proper time and place, they hi-jacked a Pride parade, a parade which at its core is about happiness, love and equality. I don’t know a lot about Irish politics, nor the parties to be blamed for Ireland’s general economic downfall, however, Labour were supporting equality and LGBT rights, other issues should be taken up at at another time. Above all, the behaviour displayed by these protesters was not peaceful, in fact it was disgusting and should never be tolerated no matter what the causes.

Pearl-clutching time! Good thing this queen wasn't at the Stonewall Riots or she would have lodged similar complaints with the loud, rude and unhappy drag queens and queers too poor to rent houses on Fire Island or otherwise escape the oppressive heat, humidity and homophobia in June 1969 in New York City.

Let's look at some images from Dublin Gay Pride that took place Saturday, June 29:

From the left, Labour's Ruairi Quinn and Emer Costello, standing, and Joan Burton, sittingh, take part this years LGBT Pride parade in Dublin. Credit: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland.

Snapped from the top of the bus, these images show the angry protesters blocking the vehicle and stopping Dublin Gay Pride March. Credit: Iced Coffee blog.

One protester's sign not only demanded that bankers be jailed, but it also named a few of them! Credit: Paolo Calore, DemoTix.

A sign speaks much genuine truth to power. Not sure if that's the Labour bus in the background. Credit: Laura Hutton, Photocall Ireland.

Finally, check out the video of part of the protest and listen to the demonstrators shout at Labor officials and LGBT members. Credit: DiariLiffey.

No comments: