Thursday 22 February 2018

Very low turnout surprises officers

Police were surprised at how few people had actually turned up for the protest.

Earlier, buses ferrying protesters into the area were stopped and searched before being directed to a car park near the old hospital.

Only 15 people had stayed at a makeshift anti-G8 camp site in the grounds of town's leisure centre, with hundreds more arriving by bus from the Republic and the North in the afternoon. So few people were present during the day that police liaison officers knew all of them by their first names, and were chatting and joking most of the morning. At one stage, PSNI Inspector Roy Robinson helped one new arrival put up his tent.

The Unite Union's regional general secretary Jimmy Kelly said last night's march was still "important" despite the low turnout.

"The G8 has failed to take action on the greatest challenges facing the world today: war, hunger, climate change and austerity," he said.

"Instead, their priority has been to look after a range of vested interests – such as financial institutions – at the expense of the society and economy where people produce goods and services."

"They have shown little interest in the nearly 30 million unemployed in the EU or the over 100 million living at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

"The G8 has been complicit in a worldwide attempt to turn public services into private market goods – through privatisation, out-sourcing and the like.

"The victims of these policies are working people in both the Global South and the Global North. That is why the trade union movement is joining with human rights, environmental and aid campaigners to urge the G8 to put the interests of humanity – of the seven billion – above vested interests," said Mr Kelly.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News