Friends Forever: a Look at the Film ” Jules and Jim” 55 Years after its Release

François Truffaut’s “Jules and Jim” starts with an excited narration that tells the story of a friendship between two men – one French, one Austrian-. They meet in Paris and become best friends. “Each taught the other his language and culture. They shared an indifference for money.”

The Austrian Jules is unsuccessful at dating. Each of his dates turns out to have a particular flaw that makes him uninterested. He tries to be with a professional, but that won’t work for him either. The whole sequence of Jules trying his luck with different girls gives you this strange feeling that is not what this movie is about and we are in the early stages of getting into a much more complicated story.

Watching “ Jules and Jim” is a nostalgic trip to the times when filmmaking giants like Godard, Resnais and other New Wave cinema directors revolutionized French cinema. The film is François Truffaut’s third (He made “The 400 Blows in 1959 and “Shoot the Piano Player” in 1960). Even though Godard’s films are considered to be very influential in the development of New Wave cinema, “ Jules and Jim” remains to be one of the best examples of a form of filmmaking that refuses to play by the rules. There is something in the movie that appears fresh to the 2017 audience and unthinkable for the audience of 1962. The energy and, life that comes from the screen rekindles the relationship of the audience of today with the silver screen. It is no wonder that Americans copied Truffaut’s style in “ Bonnie and Clyde” (1967) just a few years after the release of “ Jules and Jim”. “ Jules and Jim” and “ Bonnie and Clyde” defined the sixties just to live stealthily in the corner of our minds like a hippie who dressed up in a suit and became a bank clerk in the seventies.

Truffaut’s masterpiece is an adaptation of a novel by Henri-Pierre Roche (1879-1959) who had lived through the events of the story. He was one side of the love triangle between Jules, Jim, and Catherine in real life. Roche wrote “ Jules and Jim” towards the end of his life, but the autobiographical nature of the story makes you feel like it was drafted by a young man, as Roche had to delve into his youth and recollect the moments described in the book. Roche’s Catherine was still alive when the film was released in 1962. She attended the film premiere anonymously and confessed later:” Yes, I am the girl who leaped into the Seine out of spite, who married her dear, generous Jules, and who, yes, shot Jules.”

However, Jim’s (Henri Serre) character does not perish with a shotgun in the movie (although Catherine (Jeanne Moreau) waves a gun to his face once). Truffaut wanted a more tragic ending than a lover wounding her love, taking the audience by surprise after hearing the four vague words of “ Jules, watch us, carefully!” the director leaves his audience shocked.

Jules and Jim are what one might call soul mates. They were made to be best friends. Once when Jules thinks he has found a perfect girl in Therese – just because she considers herself an anarchist and spray paints on the walls- after realizing he cannot find the love of his life in her, he confides to Jim that “ She was both mother and daughter to me.” Jules and Jim go from café to café and tell each other the stories of women who are not exactly what their mad souls desire.

One day they are invited to watch a slideshow of various sculptures, and they both become infatuated with a statue of a beautiful woman with a calming smile. The smiling woman captures their hearts so much that they decide upon a spontaneous trip to the Adriatic to see the statue. After they come back to Paris, they meet Catherine who looks exactly like their beloved icon. Jules becomes close to her and warns Jim that he is not willing to share this girl with him. Jim graciously agrees. They became inseparable. One of the film’s famous shots shows the trio in a rented cottage talking to each other while leaning out of separate windows. One night they go to watch a play, Jules doesn’t like the heroine’s free-spirited persona, Catherine loves it and jumps into the Seine just to show her admirations for her boldness and freedom. It is here that the narrator lets us know that it was her jump that made Jim’s heart weak for her. “ Jules and Jim” is a good example of best use of narration in a film.

Now they are both in love with one woman. World War I breaks out, Jules and Jim fight for different sides – they always fear that they might shoot each other- and Jules takes Catherine to Austria with the intention of marrying her. After the war, Jim goes to visit Jules and Catherine who are now married with a child (Sabine) and live in a cottage near Rheine River. Catherine is not happy. Jules tells Jim that Catherine cheats on him with different lovers. Jules is willing to do whatever it takes to make his Catherine happy. Even if that means sharing her with his best friend. “ If you love her, don’t think of me as an obstacle,” says Jules to Jim generously. Catherine asks Jim to move in with them. Jules contemplates divorcing her so that they could get married. Through all this he still considers Jim to be his best friend. He thinks what they have shared in their youth is so strong that they will survive this. But Catherine does not agree.

“ Jules and Jim,” unlike its name is Catherine’s film. It is an hour and a half of Jeanne Moreau captivating the audience with her stunning performance as Catherine. Her way of showing Catherine’s discontent is brilliant; it is in every inch of her body, it is in her face, it is even in her laughter. Perhaps it is her magic that we aren’t convinced that Catherine’s unpredictability indeed comes from her madness.

Historical aspects of World War I also being showed in this love story – Nazi book burning scenes. Truffaut also uses original newsreels of the war to make the story more believable. The film’s cinematography is as unconventional as it can be even by today’s standards. It is as if camera floats throughout the story. It breaks all the rules of how to shoot a movie set by the Hollywood directors and cinematographers.

The fact that the film goes through the time so quickly is actually one of its strong points. It is precisely as if an old man [Roche] is sitting at a café and goes through his memories to tell this story. It is exactly a trip in Roche’s mind, with happy days of youth floating by and days of sadness fading away in a dark passage.

Roche’s Catherine doesn’t need a psychiatrist to diagnose her of some form of hysteria – like Hitchcock drags a professional into the story to explain Norman Bates’s behavior in Pyscho (1960).Jules and Jim is a story of three friends whom unable to recreate the happy days of youth fall into the claws of sadness. It is one of those rare films that shows the inconsistency of human emotions in the best way possible.

Village Hall Plays Host to the Second Cork Loves Music Event

The second edition of Cork Loves Music event will kick-start on 27th of April in Patrick’s Quay’s Village Hall Vintage Shop.

Cork Loves Music , Mike McGrath-Bryan
The second Cork Loves Music will Take Place on 27th of April at Village Hall Vintage Shop

The evening of talks and live performances will feature writer and Editor Jamie Coughlan former radio programming director Colm O’Sullivian, and music bloggers Gary Meyler and Siobhán “Shiv” Brosnan.

Lowli, Spekulativ Fiktion & JusMe and Circuits of Heaven are going to perform live music at the event.

The changing faces of music journalism, the place of Irish artists in foreign and domestic media and media relations policies for artists and producers are among the topics that will be discussed at Thursday night’s event, according to the announcement published on the event’s social media page.

Mike McGrath-Bryan Music journalist and one of the main organizers of the event said that he is hoping to expand the knowledge of art and music in the community with these series of events.

“Local, interesting acts are the ones that we choose,” said McGrath –Bryan about the organizers’ preference in selecting the event’s acts.

McGrath-Bryan also described the first Cork Loves Music event as an introduction to these series of events that would hopefully “lead to larger ones.”

Music journalist Jamie Coughlan who is also a guest speaker at the event described his concern for addressing the issues in the music industry and starting a dialogue between “people from different sides of the industry” as the primary motivations behind his participation in the event.

Coughlan believes that the exchange of insights between people from the sector is the most significant opportunity that the event is providing for the individuals involved in the music industry. The journalist is hopeful that such talks would take place all over the country.

The last Cork Loves Music event was held back in February at Coughlan’s Live. Young, budding musicians performed in the February’s event. Journalists such as Irish Examiner’s Ellie O’Byrne and also First Music Contact’s (FMC) CEO Angela Dorgan were the event’s guest speakers of the previous gathering.

The event first started in September last year as part of TEDx talks and got expanded following its success.

 

 

Art : Ever-present or a Missing Link in Cork Architecture

Nicola Brandonisio’s apartment window opens to a large-scale concrete building in Cork’s city center called Sample Studios. Being a researcher at Tyndall National Institute his mind is always preoccupied with data and research progress. “I like to start the day feeling calm and happy considering the amount of work I have to do during the day, but I look out the window every morning and I see this giant ugly building. It really depresses me,” says the young researcher.

Sample Studios , Sullivan's Quay Ugly Building in Cork
Sullivan’s Quay’s Sample Studios is not a Popular Building in Cork

On the busy desk of Marcus Mulvihill at the glass building of Cork City Hall erasers, pencils and numerous pencil-drawn sketches make the visitor mistaken it for an artist’s desk. Asked why not completely switch to a computerized design, Mulvihill smiles and says that he finds drawing on paper “more pleasurable.”

 That is the story of Cork. A city that has its fair share of unsightly buildings but also has architects who draw her pretty structures on paper in hope of passing them by in real life one day, looking just as they envisioned them to be. But right now the old Sample Studios unknowingly ruins a beautiful morning for a young researcher, every day.

Ironically, Sample Studios is now a semi-operational art studio that is going to be completely closed in the unknown future. The artist residents of the former tax office have tried to give it a better look by drawing graffiti on the building’s old entry and parking walls. The building has or used to have a white coat of paint as dark patches have emerged upon its concrete surface.

Sample Studios is not the only building in Cork that has aged badly and Cork residents find it a “depressing site” to look at. If you go to St. Patrick Street on a Sunday afternoon and ask everyday people to name the least aesthetically pleasing buildings in the city you’ll get a long list of answers: Gardner House on South Mall, the Fire Station, Garda Station, the library- this last one might surprise you since Cork Library has competed in the category of People Choice Awards for Architecture at Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland’s (RIAI) annual Architecture Competition in 2016.

City architect Marcus Mulvihill blames fear of change for the functional, simple designs of some of Cork’s buildings. “I think the reason why there are so many white, bland designs in Cork is that we’ve become a developer-driven society and most people are in fear of doing anything that isn’t standard and normal. So we stick to the most neutral designs as much as possible.” Mulvihill thinks that regrets and what ifs after every project are an inseparable part of a city architect’s job. “You’re strongly encouraged to stick with the average and mundane for the sake of a quick and easy fix,” says Mr. Mulvihill.

Looking at the history of Cork architecture one can find stories of hope, ruined beauties, and risings from the ashes. Cork Opera House has such story in its long history. Originally called “The Athenaeum”, the building was built in 1855. Irish architect Sir John Benson along with his British colleague C.J Phipps were the designers of “The Athenaeum”. Their design follows a style that is close to Neo-Classical architecture. Renamed to “The Munster Hall” in 1875, it became known as the “Cork Opera House” we all know today in 1877.

Burnt down in 1955, the beloved building stood there burnt, ugly and looking disheveled for almost a decade, only to regain its beauty in 1965 thanks to one of the most famous – arguably the most creative as well – Irish architects Michael Scott. The building got a modern makeover in the 20th century when it was renovated in 2003. Cork-based architecture firm Murray O’Laoire Architects designed a huge shiny facade for it that has connected all three floors of the place together from a visual standpoint. The exterior changes were fundamental: stone entrance, tower-like components, and wooden doors. The building is currently going under development again.

The English Market is another old building that is going to get a new look. Mulvihill and his colleagues at Cork City Hall envision a glass ceiling for the tourist-favorite spot. The Victorian style designed market has been around since 1610. However, the “covered market” we all know today was built in 1786. Just like the Opera House, English Market is a survivor of fire (1980 and 1986 fires) and has been restored twice. Both restoration processes remained loyal to the original Victorian architecture of the market.

The market is also getting a new neighbor as construction work on the site of the former Cinema Capitol is almost finished and a new modern building with a chocolate brown clock on its top has emerged in its place. Wilson Architecture is the firm behind the design of the soon-to-be five-storey retail and office complex. The sharp contrast of modernism and tradition between the two neighbors is an interesting sight to look at. It is like watching tradition gasping for air while Capitalism swiftly inhales oxygen into its massive lungs.

the capitol , English market , cork architecture
The Architecture of English English Market’s New Neighbor is in Sharp Contrast with the Victorian Style Architecture of the Market

 

Irish architecture has gone through many styles and movements. From towers and castles in the medieval Ireland to the reasonable forms of Palladian architecture in the early 18th century, architecture in Ireland has come a long way. Cork is a city that has at least one structure from most architecture movements. Cork City Hall that has been designed by Jones and Kelly in the early 1930’s keeps the light of Georgian architecture bright, while English Market originally designed by Sir John Benson is a constant reminder of Victorian architecture. Traces of 1950 to 1970’s modernist movement such as the controversial Brutalist architecture can still be seen in the old houses at Douglas and Mayfield.

It is true that Ireland has lost some of her most talented architects such as Michael Scott and Andrew Devine (who had studied under Frank Lloyd Wright).  However, there’s still place for creativity and art in Cork’s buildings while there are architects like globally- recognized John Tuomey and Sheila O’Donnell who are still alive and working today. They do not like the idea of specifying their style, in their own words they like to design buildings that are “strangely familiar”, (novel but free of intimidation).

University College Cork’s Lewis Glucksman gallery was one of their projects. Finished in 2005, the building stands on the edge of the college. It is raised among the trees in a series of twists and turns and has a calming view of both up and down the river. O’Donnell and Tuomey decided not to worry about measuring the space between the trees and let the building stand free among them as to create an illusion of turning. It is as if the Glucksman plays a mediatory role between two places: the campus and the city. It turns to keep an eye on Cork but turns to the college again. The gallery’s café has also a unique feature, in that it appears interconnected with the surroundings outside the building. As in most O’Donnell and Tuomey Avant-garde projects the concept behind Glucksman is also open to interpretation.

There is no doubt that bringing art into architecture requires a great amount of funding from the government. Dublin-based architects Marcus Donaghy and Will Dimond of Donaghy + Dimond Architects, learned this fact the hard way as their artistic vision for West Cork Art Center (Uillinn) won the favor of jurors at a 2009 international competition but encountered many difficulties to come to life as the country hit the recession and the promised funds could not be delivered on time. Even today, the digital illustration of their design for the Uillinn appears slightly different from the actual building.

As the aftermath of the recession, the homeless crisis started to worsen in the country and is still ongoing today. Does that mean designing artistic, beautiful buildings would be wrong when there are so many people that don’t have a simple roof over their heads? Marcus Mulvihill does not believe that there’s any correlation between the two issues. Calling them two separate issues this architect thinks that building beautiful buildings does not have to be more expensive than building ugly ones, “if you do everything in a proper way.”

But it might not be as simple as that. Some architects strongly believe that the government contracting system (GCC contracts) is limiting the control of architects over the final outcome of projects. Mulvihill confirms this argument and believes that after the architects are done designing the buildings; contractors take over and might sacrifice the artistic aspects of the building for delivering a low-cost project in order to increase profit margins.

The reflection of buildings in Cork’s River Lee fools the daydreamers as a watercolor painting. Construction workers talk and laugh together after a long working day. The shadow of art dances on some buildings and dies little by little on others. That is the story of Cork City and her buildings.

TD Mick Barry Explains Party’s Recent Name Change and Shares his Concerns about Water Charges Ahead of Jobstown Trials

Solidarity party TD Mick Barry spoke to party members and supporters at the Imperial Hotel last night, ahead of Jobstown trials.

Mick Barry Solidarity Jobstown Imperial Hotel
TD Mick Barry Poses with the Poster Supporting Jobstown Protesters at Imperial Hotel in Cork

Re-branding Anti Austerity Alliance

The public meeting in which Cllr. Kieran Mahon was a speaker as well was focused on the party’s reactions to Jobstown trials and the controversial issue of water charges.

Mick Barry, Water Charges , Imperial Hotel, Jobstown
Solidarity TD Mick Barry Shares his Concerns about Water Charges at Imperial Hotel

TD Mick Barry started the meeting by explaining the reason behind his party’s recent name change from Anti Austerity Alliance to Solidarity. “We changed our name to Solidarity. The reason for that is that we want a name which doesn’t just refer to economic issues but refers to a broad range of the campaigns that we are engaged in. In other words, not just the water charges and the campaign for pay- justice but the campaign for the repeal of the 8th amendment and abortion rights for women in Ireland,” said the Solidarity TD.

Fine Fail and Fine Gael to Blame for Water Charges Abolition Postponement

As it was expected the water charges was the focal point of the meeting. TD Barry informed the audience about the actions that has been taken in the Dail regarding the issue. “The water committee that’s been established in the Dail has postponed its decision until April the 14th. Blaming Ireland’s two major parties Fine Fail and Fine Gael TD for the postponement TD Barry went on to say:” They have joined forces and have engineered a majority for the postponement. Our representative on the Committee (TD Paul Murphy) has opposed their decision.”  The TD refers to a decision that can abolish water charges once and for all.

 More Positions than the Kamasutra!

TD Barry praised people’s protests against water charges and counted that as the main reason behind the potential abolition of the proposed law. He described the movement against water charges something more than that the raised issue. “ Enda Kenny was right when he said it was not just about water. It was about drawing a line in the sand and saying : no more austerity for working people,” said the solidarity TD.

TD Barry was quick to speak of his party’s distrust in Fine Fail and Fine Gael. “ They are trying to pose as the champion of working people and campaign for the abolishing of water charges. But we remember full well that very first party to raise the idea of charging households for water in 2010 was the Fine Fail party. They deny it but the facts refute their denial. “According to TD Barry the Irish Examiner has gained accesses to cabinet papers which prove that Fine Fail ministers proposed a law that would charge households at a rate of 500 Euros for water, but they’ve changed their positions many times on the issue as the protests broke out in the country.

TD Barry quoted one of his colleagues in the Dail that has jokingly said to Fine Fail members that “they had more positions on the issue than the kamasutra!” He described the main danger of the issue the so-called “ Excessive use charge” . He said that his party believes that “ there must be no charge whatsoever for water.”

After TD Barry’s speech Cllr. Kieran Mahon spoke to people and invited them to participate in the “ Jobstown is not Guilty” rally that takes place in  Dublin’s Liberty Hall on the first day of April.

Cllr. Kieran Mahon , Jobstown's not Guilty, Imperial Hotel, Cork, Water Charges
Cllr. Kieran Mahon Invited the Audience to Participate in a Jobstown’s not Guilty rally in Dublin

In October 2016,  a 17-year-old boy was found guilty of falsely imprisoning Joan Burton and her adviser back in November 2014 while protesting against water charges in Jobstown. The then 15- year-old boy blocked them from leaving a graduation ceremony in Jobstown in Dublin by standing in the way of two Garda cars.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and six others are set to stand trial on April 24, with further trials to take place in June and April 2018.

#CorkLovesMusic: an Event Dedicated to Budding Musical Talents

The first night of #CorkLovesMusic  event took place at  Coughlan’s Live on Cork City’s Douglas Street on Wednesday night this week. Silk, The Sunshine Factory and Ghostking were the performs of the event , while music journalists and producers  such as Ellie O’Byrne (The Irish Examiner) , Ian Ring (Young Wonder/aboveDat), Joe Kelly (Live at St. Luke’s)and Angela Dorgan (First Music Contact, Breaking Tunes, Hard Working Class Heroes, Music from Ireland) spoke at this event.

Coughlan's Live , Coughlan's Bar, Cork Loves Music
The Stage at Coughlan’s Live

Cork Truly Loves Music!

The jam-packed room at Coughlan’s Live proved that Cork truly loves music. The organizers were thrilled about this fact and kept telling each other what a “good sign” it was.

Coughlan's Live, Coughlan's Bar, Audience , #CorkLovesMusic
The Room was Jam-Packed

After a brief introduction by famous music reviewer Mike McGrath , Ghostking , started the show. Matt Corrigan the singer and song-writer of this solo act refers to his genre as “post-mortem” . Corrigan who appeared nervous at first delivered a good performance at the end of the day. More importantly the audience seemed to like him very much as he received a warm applause from them.

Matt Corrigan of Ghostking is Dead at Coughlan's Live, chamber Rock
Matt Corrigan of Ghostking is Dead Performs at Coughlan’s Live , #CorkLovesMusicEvent

However, Silk was by far the best act of the night as their song “Switchblades don’t Sleep” was so catchy and different that compelled some audience members to shout “one more time”!

Silk performing at Coughlan's Live , "Switchblades don't Sleep, #CorkLovesMusic
Music Trio Silk , Stole the Show with their Song “Switchblades don’t Sleep”

 No Place for the Ordinary Music Consumer

Ellie O’Byrne, one of the speakers of the event asked the audience members how many of them were music reviewer, fans of certain genre of music, producers or even aspiring musicians themselves.

Ellie O'Byrne at Coughlan's Live, #CorkLovesMusic
Ellie O’Byrne speaking at the Coughlan’s Live Cork Loves Music Event

At the end, it was proved that all the audience members or at least most of them did belong to one of those categories. O’Byrne then explained that she was asking these questions to make a point that these events are not supposed for ordinary music consumers such as taxi drivers. Trying to get everybody involved was the main point that this journalist tried to make.

History of the Event

#CorkLovesMusic was first presented by TEDx CorkSalon last year as a two night performance and talks in Coughlan’s Live. The first night of which took place last night.

Even though Coughlan’s live is a humble place with limited  space and equipment but the audience had a very good time on the whole, this Wednesday. Mike McGrath music reviewer who also hosted the night , followed the talks and performances sitting on the floor, since there was not enough space for putting more chairs in the small room at Coughlan’s live.

Mike McGrath at Coughlan's Live , Cork Loves Music
Mike McGrath Followed the Acts and Speeches Sitting on the Floor

All in all, the up- and- coming performers found a place to showcase their talent (and probably attract a music producer) at the event and this is never a bad thing.

 

 

Red Clad Corkonians Show their Love to the Lee as Government Unveils Flood Defense plan

Red clad men and women of Cork gathered together on North Mall to highlight the importance of preserving the site today. People were also holding red balloons as a symbol of their love for the river. This outing/protest has been set up by the “Save our City” campaign.

Save our city, save the Lee
Crowd gathered at North Mall along the River Lee in Cork

What do the Protesters say?

Friederike Foley is concerned about the government’s flood defense:  “I think they did not give any information to the neighborhood (people who live along the river). We would like to be consulted for any kind of changes. We are in favor of having flood defense, but it should be visually attractive.”

dsc_0984
Friederike Foley (Middle) Lives along the River and was Upset about Government’s Plan of Building Flood Walls around it

A concerned gentleman who has been involved in most protests against flood walls said:” I’ve only heard about this in January (around the time they unveiled the plan) and as soon as I saw it I said what’s going on? It’s a bit extreme. There was another meeting last week in which the architects were saying “these are brutal solutions.” I look at it and I say to myself what are we doing? Are we using concrete to solve this problem? Is it Soviet era Russia or something, using concrete to solve all the problems?”

What do Architects say?

Adam Darcy and Gareth O’Callaghan were two preservation architects who had come to this outing/protest, with their family.

Like her husband, Mrs.O’Calaghan was very concerned about the issue:” It was very important for me to come here today, because I live in the city and I enjoy the river. It’s a resource for all of us to share and I’m concerned that present proposals haven’t fully considered the visual and recreational impact on all users of the city,” said Mrs. O’Callaghan.

Mr. O’Callaghan himself believes that there are another ways of protecting the city against flooding. “I think they could stabilize the existing walls.” Listening carefully, Adam Darcy adds to his colleague’s words:” I think maintaining these walls and droughting them would really help.”

These gentlemen accompanied other protesters on a walk along the river, as the old Lee awaited her fate.

save the lee, cork , red balloons
A Young Man Showing his love to the River

What does the Plan Consist of?

On the Office of Public Work (OPW) website that has been set up ‘to inform and update the public’ on the progress of the work, it says the plan will consist of:

  • Flood defenses along the River Lee downstream of Inniscarra dam and through Cork city
  • Changes to the operating procedures for the Carrigadrohid and Inniscarra reservoirs for the purposes of flood risk management, as may be facilitated by the above flood defenses
  • A flood forecasting system to help guide decision-making on dam discharges and, if necessary, the erection of temporary/demountable defenses downstream and in Cork city.

The “Save our City” campaign organizers have also listed their concerns  about the above plan on their website.

save our city , save the lee cork, dog, red balloons
Some Dog Love for the River

The City Council had started this plan in 2013, after many calamitous floods, created problems in Cork City.

 

Cork Stands in Solidarity with Refugees as Enda Prepares to Meet Trump

Rain did not stop Cork residents from standing in solidarity with refugees and immigrants who have been denied entry into the United States. Last evening, dozens of Cork residents gathered around on Cork City’s Daunts Square to support immigrants and refugees and urge Enda Kenny to cancel his upcoming trip to Washington.

Cork Residents Protesting Trump's Muslim/Travel Ban
Dozens of Cork Residents Protesting Trump’s Muslim/Travel Ban

“One Race, Human Race”

The above phrase was uttered many times at this rally, as many immigrants and refugees stood in front of the crowd and expressed their anger and pain by the recent travel ban put in place by Trumps administration.

No ban No wall Anti Trump Rally at Cork
Cork Residents Expressing their Frustrations with Trump’s Anti Immigration Policies

Representing UCC’s Islamic Society Somali refugee Noora Haji, thanked the crowd for their support of the Muslim community. “My children are asking me why Trump hates us? Why does he hate Somalia? What did we do?” Ms. Haji spoke of the far reaching impact of new US policies that is killing the spirit of her children.

Somali Refugee Noora and April Park
Somali Refugee Noora Haji Represents UCC Islamic Society at Cork’s Anti Trump Rally

“I’m a woman and I’m a Muslim, I’m an Irish citizen, and I am very proud of who I am. My children who are Irish are also very proud of who they are. There are many Muslim-Americans who are very proud of who they are. Being Muslim is not a shame, it is something we have to be proud of,” added the former Somali refugee.

Pointing to a woman next to her Ms.Haji said:” My best friend and sister in UCC is from New York,” before ending her speech.

American Citizens in Cork

As the organizers of the protest (Anti Austerity Alliance – People before Profit party) pointed out many American citizens helped to organize the protest. Garry was one of those citizens. Enthusiastically smoking his cigarette and shouting “Right on” from time to time. He also condemned new US travel ban policy in his speech.

American-Irish Citizen Cork Anti Trump Rally
Garry an American-Irish Citizen Addresses the Protesters in the Rain

“ My name is Garry, I’m from Baltimore, Unites States,” said the young American before going on to say :” I think we can all agree that Trump’s travel ban on the people of Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria is not protecting America from terrorist threat. They recently handcuffed a 5-year-old US citizen from Maryland at Dallas Airport. These actions encourage racism against Muslim communities. At times like these we should ask ourselves: what does racism achieve? It is the easiest way to distract people from failing economic systems and shift the blame towards minorities and immigrants. It is the oldest trick in the history book.”

Enda Kenny Donald Trump Anti Trump Protest
Ireland’s Prime Minister has been put under Huge Pressure to Cancel his Trip to Washington

He also condemned the use of Shannon Airport in Ireland by the US military, and urged people to sign the petition to ask Enda Kenny to cancel his trip to Washington. “Organize, resist these are the only non-violent tools that we have,” said the American-Irish man.

A March from Daunts Square to St. Patrick Street

Members of the PBP party asked the protestors to march from Daunts Square to St. Patrick Street and back.  Shouting “No fear , no hate, immigrants are welcome here” people walked the streets of Cork city.

Cork Millennials against Trump
Young People Showed up in Large Numbers

Reunited at Daunts Square again some protestors volunteered to speak a few words. A Muslim Irish woman married to a Libyan national, a Turkish-Kurdish gentleman and a few others addressed the crowd emphasizing on the importance of solidarity between people at such times. The protest ended after the protestors were urged again to sign the petition asking Enda Kenny to cancel his upcoming trip to Washington.

Young Protesters at Cork's Anti Trump Rally
Protesters at Cork’s Anti Trump Rally

The controversial UCC Israel-Palestine conference was repeatedly mentioned by the speakers at this protest. UCC’s decision to cancel the conference due to “security fears” has received backlash from the academic society and ordinary people. Many believe Trump’s presidency and his new pro-Israel policies play a role in UCC’s decision to cancel the conference.