Another gem from the British Pathe website showing a Dublin unemployed march from the mid 1950s.
When I first watched the clip, I nearly fell off my chair as the first seconds show something that resembles the Spire in the background. Any idea what it is?
It quickly cuts to a man holding the Starry Plough walking past the GPO who is followed by hundreds of men doing a U – turn at the bottom of O’Connell St. by the bridge and marching back up the other side of the road.
At 18seconds in, the leader of the ‘Dublin Unemployment Association’, Thomas Pearle claps his hand and starts a sit down protest “halting all traffic for half an hour”
One placard reads ‘Get off your knees – March with us’, presumably a reference to the famous labour slogan, “The great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise” which has been accredited to many people including James Connolly, Jim Larkin and Max Stirner.
The scene at 31 seconds is quite amazing with both side of O’Connell St. and the bridge blocked. Though it looks like there’s more people observing the demo than there is sitting down!
Jubilant scenes follow when the news is spread that the march will make its way down to the Dail, “the first time such a protest has been held at its gates”.
Dozens of men were charged and fined for causing obstructions by their sit-down protest.