Connolly Barracks to Summerhill: The Future of Housing Occupations

OCCUPATIONS are now, finally becoming a tool of direct action and civil disobedience. This was the objective the Connolly Youth Movement set out over a year ago when we liberated Connolly Barracks. We encourage all others to take inspiration, to learn lessons from us, from Summerhill and from others and to take the destiny of the housing emergency into their own hands. An occupation is a unique and distinct form of protest:

1. You engage against capitalism in certain circumstances (landlord-vulture fund) by taking away their capacity for economic activity. You withdraw their capital from the market, you are a worker on the offensive.
2. You raise your consciousness and that of others involved by demonstrating the limitations of capitalist legislation, the reluctance of the ruling class to fix the housing crisis, the side that the state takes and the level of comfort activists are able to build on in civil disobedience.
3. An occupation, especially one with people living in requires discipline. You cannot hold a political project of this calibre together with a “we can do what we want” crusty approach. The ruling class, the landlords, the state, the blueshirt filth that murder people through austerity are highly organised. We have to be organised as well.
4. An occupation is a political project, it’s occupants, therefore, have to place the priorities of the political work above their individualistic sense of self, i.e the decisions are taken regards the occupation stand above the individual interests of the people living there.
5. An occupation is not the conclusive goal, the conclusive goal must remain in sight, it is public housing for the people of Ireland, universally accessible and based off of your income.

Occupations are the means with which we highlight the crisis. These are but some points that should be kept in mind when we look at organising occupations, a knowledge of private property relations is necessary as well as the development of a support network in the locality-vicinity to rely upon. In circumstances where you cannot get a group of people to support you, you will be bluffed by the Gardai or even forcefully evicted by private security. Consider these thoughts and offer any questions that you might have. The Connolly Youth Movement stands firm in its resolve to continue its campaign of occupation and provide support to other occupiers. AH

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