Dublin: Eviction Resistance and the Fight for Our City

Last week An Garda “Síochána” facilitated a violent and illegal eviction of a community space in Stoneybatter, serving as an apt reminder (if anyone had forgotten) that Dublin today is a city for property speculators and vulture funds, not a city for the people. Socialist-republicans were on the scene to defend the site and support those evicted, joining the local community and progressives in resisting the onslaught of speculative capital against the people of Dublin.

The site on Prussia Street, formerly derelict, was recently renewed by a community collective who ran events there such as bike workshops and gigs. However the capitalist system (and the Free State establishment as its loyal defender) favours the use of property for financial speculation rather than for use by the community. As a fitting demonstration of the destructive, unproductive nature of financial profiteering the thugs savagely wrecked the building and space in order to undermine its use, acting like a spoilt child suddenly interested in a toy once someone else starts to play with it. The McGrath Group, tied up with German property speculators through their joint venture Randalswood, are the owners of the site and, with the loyal support of the capitalist state, are believed to have carried out the eviction. They will either sell on the site after leaving it derelict for any number of years more or rent out ridiculously overpriced apartments there as they already do across the city.

The struggle against the concentration of Dublin city in the claws of financial speculators and vulture funds has been intensifying in recent times, an inevitable outcome of the Free State’s policy of opening wide its property market for finance capital. Occupations, anti-eviction organising and campaigns against the schemes of property speculators are becoming increasingly necessary and, thankfully, increasingly widespread. The Save Moore Street campaign is out every Saturday building support for the struggle against the destruction of one of Ireland’s most important historic sites at the behest of a British speculator. The proposed development of hotels over the Cobblestone pub and Merchant’s Arch have prompted large protests in Dublin city centre and sparked widespread outrage.

A mass movement against the financialisation of Ireland’s property market is developing and the necessity of organised working class leadership of the struggle is becoming increasingly apparent. The fight for a city that puts its people first and foremost, which fosters and encourages community spaces, and provides security of livelihood to all is the fight against capitalism and imperialism and for socialism and the people’s republic.

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