The Peaceful Pumpkin Protest was organised for today. An ‘ordinary’ father, Richard O’Toole, from Dún Laoghaire, was concerned enough to organise the protest. He spoke to Tom Dunne on Newstalk about a fortnight ago, set up a facebook page and wrote to the Irish Times.
As if that wasn’t enough, the story was taken up by other websites, such as http://www.rollercoaster.ie and even Marian Finucane mentioned it yesterday on her morning radio show. Sure, I even put the word out on Dublin South Radio last Wednesday when I was on Morning View with Bryan Foxe.
We were expecting a few hundred people, and, in our more optimistic moments, thought that maybe even as many as a thousand Irish people might turn up outside the Merrion Gates of Dáil Eireann to register their dissatisfaction with the current government and the hames they are making of running the country.
It was expected that these people would turn up with their children, in fancy dress if they so wished, and with a pumpkin to protest. We have plenty to protest against; the cuts that have been made, the cuts that are about to be made, NAMA, the Mercedes-Benz fleets, Garda drivers for former Taoisigh and plenty more.
So, how many people turned up? Apart from myself and my two children, only about 40. How is that apathy in action?
People of Ireland, My brothers and sisters of Ireland, Mná na hEireann agus Fir na hEireann – where are you? What are you doing now that your country needs you? It’s all very well to moan and whinge, but if you’re not prepared to actually do something, then you don’t really have a right to moan and whinge, do you?