IF you’re against the system of Direct Provision currently in place in this country, then it’s entirely likely that you’re looking to make your voice heard at a protest of some sort, to let those at the top know that their involvement in the scheme is immoral and you’re not going to stand for it any more.
But when it comes to boycotting Aramark, the company who received some €6 million in taxpayer’s money every year to run DP centres around Ireland, the case becomes a little trickier. Aramark runs Avoca; that lovely coffee shop/boutique that you go to on Sundays for coffee and scones and a reminder of how life was in 2007. If protesting Aramark means boycotting Avoca, where will that leave you?
1) You can buy overpriced scones elsewhere
Luckily, you don’t have to go to Avoca to get overcharged for scones and tea. You can go to any number of small, independent coffee shops in your local town, and they’ll be more than happy to overcharge you. Plus, you won’t be supporting a company who runs what some commentators are calling ‘Ireland’s Next Great Scandal’.
2) You could make yourself a scone and burn a fiver
Again, it’s a bit of a tricky one to just walk into a place of business and hand them money these days; as the asylum industry heats up, more and more local landlords, hoteliers and business people are looking to get some of that sweet government money. So if the thoughts of checking the backgrounds of businesses before you hand them your money seems a bit too much, simply stay at home on Sunday mornings, make a batch of scones yourself, and throw a few quid in the bin. Your belly gets full, your pockets get light, what’s the difference?
3) Buy your Mum a Christmas present from Boots
Look, other than really dear scones, what else do you go to Avoca for? Your Mum’s Christmas and birthday gifts, right? A nice soap or a lovely scarf. Well, if you love your mum and you hate the idea of asylum seekers being traded around hotels and DP centres like cattle, then simply buy your Mum a gift in Boots instead (checking first to make sure Boots aren’t up to any sneaky shit, of course). What difference will it make to a company like Aramark? Well, bottom line figures seem to be all that matter to companies these days. What difference will it make to your mum? Fuck all! She never likes anything you get her anyways.
4) Chat to your friends at home
Avoca is a great place to head with friends, where you can all carry off an air of having more money than you really do, and pretending that the recession didn’t leave you in negative equity to this day. But wouldn’t you rather have chats with your mates in a place that doesn’t also have a side hustle in human misery, a company who ran a DP centre that refused food to a sick child? Stay at home instead! You can still do all your usual bitching and grousing there!
5) Go to Avoca and just don’t buy anything
You can still go to Avoca on a Sunday afternoon if you feel the need to kill a half-hour… while also not contributing to their profits. Simply take the family out, wander around, complain about how dear everything is, try a free sample of a scone cut up into 20 bits, and fuck off home without spending a penny. It works! We’ve been doing it for years!