A motion mandating Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) to support the Strike 4 Repeal movement has passed at tonight’s meeting of the union’s council.
Strike 4 Repeal is a group activists calling on the government call a referendum to repeal the eighth amendment by March 8th, International Women’s Day.
Should the government not call a referendum by this date, the group have said that nationwide strikes will happen. To facilitate this they have been advertising several different ways in which people can show solidarity, such as wearing black, not completing domestic work, not attending college or stopping work for an hour on March 8th.
The Trinity group has received over 800 signatures from Trinity students and staff on a petition in support of the movement. Áine Palmer, an organiser with Trinity Strike 4 Repeal, stated that it was “really important” for Trinity to take part in this.
Speaking at tonight’s meeting of council, Rachel Skelly, TCDSU’s Gender Equality Officer, described it as a “student issue” that is “important to a lot of students”.
In response to questions about what supporting the movement would mean, Skelly gave examples such as sending a Trinity delegation to a march or students wearing black in solidarity if they are unable to skip lectures or classes.
The Strike 4 Repeal group consists of activists, academics, artists and trade unionists from around the country that have come together to organise March’s strike. Other groups that have signed their support to Strike for Repeal include the feminist societies of NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth and groups such as Sex Workers Alliance Ireland.
The eighth amendment of the Irish constitution gives recognition to the right of the unborn child, which in effect bans abortion in Ireland. The amendment was made after a referendum in 1983 was passed, with 67 per cent of voters voting in favour.
Speaking to The University Times at the launch of Strike 4 Repeal, Avril Corroon, spokesperson for Strike 4 Repeal, said that they were “inspired by the Polish strikes that happened last year, and overall the absence of general care from the state”.
Corroon believes that The Citizen’s Assembly established in 2016 to consider several political questions including abortion, “is a huge delay tactic”.
“Why ask 99 people when you can put on a referendum and ask everybody”, added Corroon, continuing to say that “people are ready” and “that the there is a huge hunger for this”.