A Night in the Pool – Day 4 YES Summer Camp 2016

This morning I woke up but did not have breakfast, something about the heat is suppressing my appetite. I got dressed and headed down to the Filippo Turati & Anna Kuliscioff room where I was speaking on a panel “After Austerity – which way is forward?”

I went to the room around 9.30am to settle myself and I a met by a wonderful cooling wall of air conditioning. By 9.45 no one was in the room and I worried had the panel been moved. But all was well and by 10am one of the other speakers Mauro Striani from FEANSTA and the moderator Joao Albuquerque had arrived, unfortunately the other speaker Zita Gurmai could not make it as her flight had been delayed. There were maybe 10 people in attendance so we decided instead of having a panel discussion we would have a workshop and this would involve all in the room.

It was an interesting discussion I, of course, had the Irish perspective speaking about homelessness, the 2 tier health system and other issues in Ireland. Mauro spoke also of homelessness in Europe. Joao spoke about everything that has been happening in Portugal and also chaired the session. We had others from France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands speaking about the issues each respective country has been facing.

Once we spoke about the problems we then started talking about the solutions, while the same solution won’t work in every country and the same rates of taxation also won’t work we said there needs to be a model that can be used so that, for example, big companies won’t leave Europe or just be based in Ireland, The Netherlands or Luxemburg because of these countries low cooperation tax. We said that we all are in agreement that a higher taxation system must be introduced so the highest earners are the ones who taxed, but that we must also find a way to ensure this does not lead to the high earners taking their accounts overseas to avoid taxes.

It was a great discussion and once over I headed upstairs to the YES room where I wrote the previous days Blog. The day passed by slowly as I ate a mini pizza and a gelato in the hotel bar before heading to my room for a siesta… I must say siestas are the best invention ever!

Around 4pm myself and Declan headed down to the pizzeria to meet with some of our French and UK comrades. It was 30o so I got a drink from the bar, even the cold drink from the fridge couldn’t cool me down! With our comrades we had a wonderful discussion about Brexit and the upcoming leadership battle in the UK Labour Party, we spoke of how Ireland is being effected by Brexit and our relationship to Northern Ireland. We the discussion lasted around 1.5 hours and once finished I was fit for bed but not before making some new friends with some MJS members.

I headed back to my room to shower and relax before dinner. I read some of a book “Henry Shefflin – The Autobiography” a wonderful bio of an Irish Sports star who was the best in his sport of Hurling and who broke all the records in his time playing the game. I tore myself away from the book and headed to dinner at 7.45pm.

After dinner Declan and I went to the terrace where we met Rob and Carmelo who were waiting for our ceremony to remember the 69 comrades who were killed 5 years previous in Utoya, Norway and while waiting we heard news reports of an attack on a shopping centre in Munich.

The remembrance ceremony for Utoya was beautiful as we heard from one person who had been there and still cannot believe he made it out alive. We heard a message from our AUF comrades and then sent a message back of love. The ceremony ended with 69 roses being laid on the water of a small pool. It was heartbreakingly beautiful.

We kept sharing the love as we headed over to the other pool which was turned into Pride Park for the night as we celebrated our LGBTQIA community. Members of our LBTQIA community had made banners earlier in the day and hung them around the pool and some of them spoke about their experiences and about how we must continue to ensure the rights of the LGBTQIA community are met.

As a supporter of the LGBTQIA community I was moved by the evening, sometimes it is easy to take for granted being born a heterosexual ciswoman. I never had to lie about who I am or search for myself because I felt a certain way. I am so proud of all the members of the LGBTQIA community for their strength and will always be there to support in any way I can.

But of course that was not the end of the night as we had the pool party! DJ Otto from Finland played a great set getting us up dancing from the first song and when it became too much I jumped in the pool, I should add I had a swimsuit on under my dress which I removed and dove in. It was warm in the water as we swam, danced and splashed late into the night until it became too cold and we finally had to get out.

It was a great night and one of the best so far I had one drink and partied all night long which makes me think I have figured out a way to solve the binge drinking issue in Ireland we just need to build swimming pools. If people are in the pools having fun they don’t want to drink as much, although outdoor swimming pools and Irish winters or even Irish summers probably won’t be a good mix.

And so I sign off on what was a wonderful penultimate day of YES Summer Camp 2016. I cannot believe tomorrow is the last day!

See everyone tomorrow!

Sarah

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