25,000 protest against fees increase in Ireland
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In the largest student protest for a generation, at least 25,000 voiced their opposition to increased student fees outside the Dáil yesterday.
As he surveyed the vast crowd on Merrion Street, the president of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Gary Redmond declared: "The sleeping giant that is the student movement has been awoken.''
For too long, he said, students had been a sitting target for the Government, but the movement had been reinvigorated and they would no longer roll over.
Pointing their fingers accusingly towards Leinster House, the students chanted "I am a Vote, I am a Vote" for several minutes. It was a powerful moment during a protest which seemed at times like a throwback to student resistance in the 1960s.
The scale of the protest, organized hurriedly after weekend reports of a threatened €3,000 student charge, appeared to take even the USI by surprise. It estimated that over 40,000 attended the event. Protesters wore yellow T-shirts bearing the slogan Education Not Emigration.
Sources: Irish Times
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