Hundreds of DCU students took part in the Strike4Repeal demonstrations today, marching into Dublin City Centre as well as taking part in a variety of on-campus demonstrations including a teach-in, picketing the college’s entrances, a vigil and a walk-out of lectures.
The national protest also took place in other countries worldwide, including Belgium, The Netherlands as well as in Melbourne and New York. It was organised calling on the Irish government to call a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the constitution.
Article 40.3.3 acknowledges the right to life of the unborn, “with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”
Thousands of people took the streets to repeal the amendment today, International Women’s Day, for the removal of the ban on abortion in Ireland. Protesters firstly gathered outside the Department for Health before marching along the Quays.
DCU students took part in pickets outside the Glasnevin and St. Patrick’s campuses before congregating outside the Henry Grattan building, with organisers encouraging students to leave their lectures at 12.00pm.
— Maria Deiana (@DrDeiana) March 8, 2017
Participants worse black in solidarity for the demonstration, with many lecturers across campus taking part in the day’s activities, with some also leading the teach-in inside the Henry Grattan building.
In an email sent last night, DCU Vice President for Welfare and Equality Cody Byrne encouraged students to take part in the strike, noting that the current systems set up in Ireland were failing its students, some of whom had had abortions during their time in college in the past.
“We understand that many strong perspectives can be taken on this issue”, he wrote.
“For the Students’ Union, we recognise that there are current and past students who have had abortions whilst under our Union.
“Requiring access to abortion will never cease to exist. What we currently have in place are failing our students, failing our citizens and the Eighth needs to be repealed.
Happy #InternationalWomensDay from my DCU clan to yours. . For me, my two favourite people are women. There are so many inequalities facing women but Repealing The Eighth is one of them that can be tackled now. The iiiidea that one of my little cousins or sister could get pregnant, be told that her baby will not survive and then have to go through an unnecessary and painful labour process because there is no alternative is mind blowing. . If the idea of a medical treatment like abortion offends you but Tuam doesn't, you need to reevaluate yourself. There is NO place for religious input in our legal frameworks. . #StrikeForRepeal #StudentsForChoice
The DCU Students’ Union last year maintained its support for the mandate to “Repeal the Eighth Amendment.”
Organiser of the Strike4Repeal demonstrations in DCU, law student Alannah Kearney, highlighted the importance for everyone to take part in the demonstrations, as women travelled from Ireland every day to undergo abortions.
“The campaign highlights how the majority of people are unhappy with the government’s inaction and the solidarity amongst both genders, not just women, who want a referendum announced by the 8th of March,” she said.
Students will meet again outside The Helix this evening before departing on buses arriving at The Garden of Remembrance where the March4Repeal protest takes place at 5.30pm.
By Aaron Gallagher
Image Credit: Stephen Keegan