In my recent blog post, entitled “No Person Left Behind – Ending the Kenny/Gilmore Regime“, I set out the current situation as it stands around Ireland’s political situation – I also made it clear that the only acceptable result should be the end of the current government.
Irish people are brilliant at organising. We can put together groups for all sorts of concerns, but often what seems to be lacking is something larger – something more broad and wide-reaching to bring people of varying views together. Often, movements of protest against the government fall in t0 in-fighting. To often, we focus on our differences instead of focussing on what unites us as a people.
Often, many will say that there is no plan. Well, as per my previous posts and tweets, I do have a plan – and here it is:
After time spent observing the Irish political environment, I have developed a plan along the guidelines of Dr Gene Sharp’s “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action“. These guidelines have been put to use around the world, and I fully believe that the right combination of them can lead to the change we need here in Ireland. You’ll find many of the methods suggested below in the above list.
I must make it abundantly clear at this point that what begins here cannot belong to any party. The suggestions made, and the plan that I will suggest we all follow, do not belong to any organisation or any party. It belongs simply to the people of this island.
How much or little you take part is entirely up to you. I provide the framework and trust in the people of this island to make use of it as they see fit.
I define at this point our goal:
“To bring about enough coordinated protest across the entirety of the country to cause the Fine Gael/Labour government to lose the support of its TDs, to the point at which a General Election must be called“
If you wish to work beyond this goal, that is your prerogative. To this point, I urge you to work together with other like-minded people.
I present this framework to you.
Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
The basic building block of a broad people’s movement against this regime must be the slogans, caricatures and symbols around which it can base itself. These provide rallying points, something which we can see and know that, despite our geographic or political differences, we all share these common symbols. I suggest the following:
- The Harp – the harp has been a symbol of Ireland and its people for longer than any of us have been alive. It is a well-known symbol of our people and also of our state. Enda Kenny and his regime left the harp out of the theme of Ireland’s presidency of the EU this year. I believe that this symbol can be ours again, and represent unity.
- #EndTheRegime – in the age of social media, its important for any broad movement of people to have a hashtag around which it can rally. My suggestion for this is #EndTheRegime, representing our public wish to see an end to the regime of Enda Kenny & Eamon Gilmore. The power of this hashtag, if it is put into every single tweet against this government, could be immense. We could have it trending within a very short space of time. This hashtag may seem long, but I feel that is necessary.
- Resistance. This simple word represents the very basis of what we are doing as a people in wishing to bring about the end of this regime. Though it may be associated with groups in the political spectrum, it is far more than that – resistance is a frame of mind, not simply a word to be written on a placard.
- No Person Left Behind – these words represent the belief that no person should be left behind in Ireland. No person should be left to fend for themselves, no person should be forgotten by change.
Banners, posters, and displayed communications
Any broad movement hoping to bring together groups from across society must be visual – it must be seen, and felt wherever possible – and that means outside of social media, too. We can bring the campaign off social media and physically into the streets of every village, town and city. How we can do it is as follows:
- Stickers - made en masse and displayed around every village, town and city, displaying the Harp symbol and the words “Resistance”, as well as #EndTheRegime and “No Person Left Behind”. Stickers are versatile, able to be put in place quickly. Overnight, or over a period of days, they can appear on lampposts and other places where people will see them. No major work needed to put them up.
- Posters – the hallmark of any movement against any government, posters of varying size and scope could be set up at public intersections, providing it is safe and legal to do so. Like the stickers, these would incorporate the Harp symbol, as well as #EndTheRegime and/or “Resitance”/”No Person Left Behind”. The making of these posters could become a co-operative effort by any community across the country.
They could also be carried on protest marches, along with the posters already held by all the various protest groups around the country.
Records, radio, and television
It can be very difficult for any protest movement to make it onto the national airwaves or TV. This would apply even more so to a broad banner of opposition, which is why we would have to provide our own alternative – instead of media from the top down, we could create media from the ground up using varying methods of streaming and internet broadcasting, many of which are used in other places around the world already – such as in Spain – each person can become a source of news. Though we already have a common source of public news – Twitter – this source can be better used. We would have end the public reliance on networks like RTE and TV3, and provide our own alternatives.
- Streaming Networks - Accounts could be set up on streaming websites like ustream.com which could allow people to bring their local protest to a wider audience. Anyone with a camera and an internet connection could do this. As more and more people take up the streaming cause, each one could be networked together through twitter and the use of our hashtag, #EndTheRegime – before we know it, we could have a connected group of people all over the country, live-streaming events in their own locality as they happen. With this, people on one side of the country could actually see and hear what is happening on the other side.
- Public Information Meetings – The internet is not a universal thing. There are many people around the country who do not have access to it. Where many movements fall down is trying to keep a campaign up while not communicating their message offline. Our broad protest movement, encompassing all people, would be bigger than that.
If one active person in every village, town and city, held a meeting once a week – in a public hall or even in a pub, in which they simply update people without internet connections on what is happening in their locality and beyond, it would give the true feeling that everyone matters. News of a march in Cork might be reported in a small village in north Louth, for example. Everyone would know what is happening. All it takes is a few like-minded people to spread the word.
In thinking of unique protest ideas, many different ways to register displeasure came to mind. There is one, though, which really caught my eye and I really believe it could work.
- The Torch Protest – in the world of non-violent protest, new ideas must constantly be brought forward in order to ensure that the regime cannot become closed off from the rallies that happen before them. My suggestion of a new method of protest is the electric torch protest.
Shining light on darkness has always been a metaphor for opening up a world that is away from the public eye. I suggest a protest using electric torches, shined as a group on government and Fine Gael/Labour Party offices for a short period of time at night, only done under safe conditions. Picture any protest at night, and imagine a torch in the hand of every person, or even just the light from a phone or a lighter if necessary – pointed at the building in question. A concentrated mass of light, from which Kenny, Gilmore and the regime would be unable to hide. It might seem far-fetched, but so have many protests in Irish history.
In many villages, towns and cities across this island, there have been protest groups set up for varying reasons. Many of them are vastly different in origin and numbers of people involved. You’ll often find groups of similar outlook working together. Some groups already have a national structure, but remain separate from any others.
- Neighbourhood/Village/Town/City Coordination Committees - committees could be set up, from the most basic neighbourhood level to others encompassing towns. The goal of these committees would be to bring the various protest groups within their locality together for the purposes of protesting to bring about the end of the Kenny/Gilmore regime. With this one end goal in mind, the common points of every group in every locality could be brought to the fore.
Opposition to this government is the one thing which many groups share. If their differences could be put aside for this task, the power would be unbelievable – and it would be power in the hands of not one person, but all people, organised fairly together for this goal.
The Sovereign People
As per my previous post, many people may find all of the above to be unrealistic. Many may read these ideas and think that there is no point – that the situation will right itself. I am here, committed to the belief that we can only fix the situation ourselves. We, the people of this island.
We have to remember that no party, individual or organisation “owns” this country. No party, individual or organisation can lay claim to its heritage or the right to rule it or choose its destiny.
The right to rule this land belongs exclusively to the people. Its destiny is ours to choose.
A Dynamic Plan
I provide this plan to you all as a basis – a spark to begin something. Whether you choose to implement any of its ideas is entirely your choice, as a person. I simply ask for your help, because this is not something which I or any person could do alone.
If you wish to take part in this plan and work towards the end of the Kenny/Gilmore regime, I am always here willing to assist in whatever way I can. My contact details are as follows, and I would be honoured to help any of you towards the goal of ending the Kenny/Gilmore regime.
- Twitter: @MarcasPadraig
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marcaspadraig
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to message me at any time.
If you agree with what you have read here, please use the buttons below the post to help spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, etc – every Re-Tweet, Like, Share and Post helps the movement to spread.
Thank you for reading.
Mark Meehan, 19/01/2013
- (UPDATE: The #EndTheRegime Information Group has been set up on Facebook) http://www.facebook.com/groups/195203287285557/