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People's Movement No2Lisbon Meeting in Newbridge
Friday September 04, 2009 11:05 by Bazra B
The People's Movement No2Lisbon Meeting in Newbridge, Co. Kildare on Wednesday, September 2nd.
A large crowd of people braved to horrendous weather to attend the People’s Movement public meeting on the impending Lisbon2 referendum in The Liffey Studios, Newbridge on Wednesday, September 2nd. The People's Movement was formed a few years ago with the aim to campaign against any measures that further develop the EU into a federal super-state and works to defend and enhance popular sovereignty, democracy and social justice in Ireland. The people attending were from across the political spectrum which made for an interesting debate over the course of the night. The speakers were introduced by Micheal O Concubhair of Sinn Féin who apologised for Cllr. Kathleen Funchion who couldn’t attend due to a family bereavement for which all passed on their sincere condolences.
First to speak was Eugene McCartan who thanked Sinn Féin in Newbridge for facilitating the meeting before getting to down to discussing the bones of the treaty, something it was pointed out from a member of the crowd that the yes side has shied away from. Mr. McCartan began by saying “the hostile reaction from both European and Irish elites to the no vote first time out poses serious questions about Europe’s view of small nations and whether there is a willingness from our government to defend Irish interests”. The theme of declining democracy within the EU continued before moving on to the issue of worker’s rights explaining that the treaty put the rights of the market before everything else, even in cases in the European courts which will now be obligated to make decisions based on the commercial interests of the EU, a frightening scenario for workers across the EU.
Michael Quinn spoke next, stating “the yes side is attempting to scare the pants of the electorate with promises of jobs etc yet they refuse to engage in meaningful debate or discussion about what is in the treaty and most importantly what effect this will have on Ireland and Europe” adding “the most obvious and drastic change is that small nations will have less say if Lisbon is passed, it’s moving towards a federal EU with population and GDP being the basis for how much say countries have, this of course leaves us at the mercy of bigger nations which will quiet obviously act of self-interest”.
Mr. Quinn moved on to deal with the issue of economics arguing that the economic policies of the open and free market which are enshrined in Lisbon are actually the reason we are in deep recession adding “Bord Snip is actually a direct response of the Irish government to European Central Bank rules which are strengthened under Lisbon. Our deficit is running at 12% and they only allow 3% so the government have been given till 2013 to get it sorted and this is why we see our public services, welfare and childcare being slashed “.
There was still time for Mr. Quinn to reiterate his stinging attack on the boss of Intel saying it was an intrusion on democracy for a boss of a multinational corporation to do so as it leaves the 4,000 employees, surrounding local communities and spin off businesses in a precarious position likened to that of a 19th century British landlord who did much the same and those who didn’t obey, ended up thrown off the land. He reiterated his challenge to Intel Chief, Jim O’ Hara to a public debate on the Lisbon Treaty at the People’s Movement next public meeting in Leixlip on Tuesday, September 15th.
Speaking after the meeting Sean Downey of Sinn Féin said he was delighted that the party could facilitate such a meeting in Newbridge and went on to congratulate everyone who attended making it a lively and informative night adding that Sinn Féin in Kildare would be launching its own ‘No to Lisbon 2’ campaign very soon.