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    Protest from below: Activists experience of the student protest Dublin, 2010

    Vaughan, Liath (2015) Protest from below: Activists experience of the student protest Dublin, 2010. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis was written as a way of advancing our knowledge of how activists experience a protest event and protest policing. The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) protest in 2010, against the raising of registration fees and the cutting of the maintenance grant ended in violence, and clashes between students and an Garda Siochana. This study analyzes activists’ accounts, in an attempt to understand how they experienced and conceptualize the protest and policing that day. This was achieved by interviewing five students from the radical group Free Education for Everyone (FEE), who were heavily involved in the event. The analysis of these interviews shows that these activists represented the protest and subsequent breakaway and occupation, as an opportunity to do something significant and of merit, and they were motivated to act due to the ‘failure’ of the USI to take significant action in the fight against the raising of fees. FEE activists contextualised the protest and brutal policing as a ‘show of strength by the state’ and a deliberate attempt to scare and deter people from taking to the streets to protest austerity. Activists describe the policing that day as brutal, focused and excessive, and talk angrily of the police behavior on the day. From my research of this protest, the event affected FEE as a group significantly, and it is apparent from my interviews, that the group was not capable of ‘dealing and responding’ to what had happened after protest. The failure to put in place a mutual care plan, and talk openly about what had happened was also cited. Although some of my participants spoke of the ‘fear’ and ‘trauma’ caused by the event on an individual level in the months after, all participants stayed politically active. In researching activists’ accounts of this protest event, this thesis hopes to counter some of the dominant narratives which have been put forward through the mainstream media, by the police.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: Submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements for the MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism
    Keywords: Protest; Activists experience; student protest; Dublin; 2010; MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 12235
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2020 17:00
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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