TU Dublin SU to support USI Walkout protesting cost-of-living
The Union for Students in Ireland, USI, has planned a walkout on October 13th to protest the ongoing cost-of-living and housing crises. On Thursday 13th, at exactly 11:11am in the morning, students across the country will be walking out of classrooms and gathering on campus to demand the government take action.
The walkout has support from students’ unions across the country, including our own. This week I caught up with TU Dublin Students’ Union President Brian Jordan, as well as Deputy President for the City Campus, Adam Clarke.
“I think it’s about time that students in TU Dublin, and all over the island should take a stand and be heard, because at the moment nobody’s listening”, says Adam, talking me through the plan for the morning.
“We will be asking students from Grangegorman and Bolton Street to gather outside Central Quad. Aungier Street students will be gathering in their courtyard, and Blanchardstown and Tallaght students will also be gathering on their own campuses at 11:11am.” The Grangegorman campus alone accommodates 10,000 students, a gathering of just a fraction of these will make a bold statement and is not an event to miss.
In a statement to TUDSU.tv, SU President Brian Jordan has pledged his support for the walkout and encourages others to do the same “The cost-of-living crisis isn’t just a buzz-phrase that we throw around when we hear about the price of our favourite takeaway. It refers to the fact that Ireland is unlivable. It refers to a system where our most vulnerable populations – students for example – cannot pay for accommodation. They cannot pay for food. They cannot pay for travel, medicines, college, or electricity. They cannot afford to live.”
“That’s why TU Dublin’s Students’ Union is supporting USI’s walkout on the 13th of October. It’s why students from Blanchardstown, City and Tallaght campus are going to leave their classrooms at 11:11am and act in solidarity with students across Ireland. We are sick of simply surviving. We want to be able to live in the country that so many of us used to love”
USI outlines six main demands which they hope to achieve with this walkout, including protections for renters, abolishment of the student contribution charge, and a minimum wage that matches the current living wage of €13.10 an hour. These demands are echoed by Adam and Brian, “[The Government] need to do so, so much more. Otherwise, those at the top of the economic hierarchy will continue to benefit from the poverty of the masses. Governments are meant to represent us. Not make our lives intolerable” says Brian.
If you could not afford accommodation this year and commute for hours into college; if you are living out of a hotel or car; if you cannot pay for medication or electricity; or if you simply have never been to a protest before and would like to experience thousands of students coming together for change, the SU welcomes you to join the walkout on October 13th.
TU Dublin Students’ Union statement on the USI Walkout Protest