US Senator Bernie Sanders' O'Reilly Hall talk to inaugurate 2024 Dalkey Book Festival

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Bernie Sanders to headline event promoting his new book :“It’s OK To Be Angry About Capitalism ” at UCD O'Reilly Hall

Bernie Sanders will visit UCD today as an opening event for the 2024 Edition of the Dalkey Book Festival. The event, entitled “It’s OK To Be Angry About Capitalism ” will take place in O’Reilly Hall tonight at 7 pm.

During the now sold-out event, Sanders will discuss his newest book: “It’s OK To Be Angry About Capitalism” and present his understanding of what would be achievable in modern society if a complete political revolution were to take place. His presentation is also set to address the growing trend of ‘news deserts’ and the knock-on effects they have on misinformation globally. 

The longest-serving independent member of Congress in American history, the senator for the state of Vermont has throughout his political career gained widespread support from both left-wing and predominantly young voters from marginalized communities. Although he opposed favored democratic candidates, Hilary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020, and lost both times, he is still widely regarded as a reference for socially empathetic American politics. 

Although he is no stranger to the Dalkey Book Festival, which he had previously attended as an esteemed guest in 2017, his attendance has elicited various reactions across the college. 

While attendance will be considerable, Palestinian solidarity groups such as UCD BDS have voiced their discontent at what they consider to be an unclear and disappointing positioning on the current IDF military operations in Gaza and Rafah. The group has since announced it plans to picket the event and invited both staff and students to join their peaceful protest set to begin outside of O’Reilly Hall at 6.30 pm. 

The group notably cited an article published in The Nation which claimed that the senator’s stance has since the beginning of the crisis been both “incoherent” and “pernicious”. Specifically, last December, he called for Joe Biden to support the United Nations resolution for a “temporary” ceasefire. In a statement made to The Post, he said: “Long-term, I don’t know how you can have a permanent cease-fire when Hamas made it very clear that that’s not what they want or believe in,”. He continued: “And at the same time you have Netanyahu and his right-wing government wanting to continue the war. So I think it raises false hopes.”

This stance has garnered him criticism as it fails to account for the constantly increasing number of civilian deaths this crisis is caracterised by (Reuters reports 28064 civilian deaths as of February 10th). 

The University Observer will be present at this event and update this story with any relevant information.