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'Gardaí armed for May Day' - Business Post

category dublin | summit mobilisations | news report author Sunday April 18, 2004 14:17author by HACK SOUND Report this post to the editors

The Sunday Business Post
Front Page, April 18th 2004

By: Barry O’Kelly, Crime Correspondent

Armed gardai will patrol the streets of every Dublin city garda district from tomorrow week as part of an unprecedented security operation to combat violent protests during the EU May Day celebrations.

The Sunday Business Post has learned that gardai will have six water cannons on standby, that surveillance will be mounted on ports, hotels, and guest houses, and that a record 7,800 officers – more that half the force – will be on duty on May 1.

The armed street patrols will begin six days before the celebrations on May 1.

A special Garda unit in Harcourt Square in Dublin is gathering intelligence from internet sites run by anarchist and anti-globalisation groups, detectives have revealed.

Garda sources said up to 15,000 demonstrators from across Europe are expected to take part in the protests against the May Day events.

The details of known activists will be circulated this week to gardai, who will mount checks on all entry points into the state.

Water Cannons have been borrowed from police in the North. Gardai have been trained in the use of the cannons, which have never been used in the Republic, by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) over the past four weeks. One anti-globalisation website, run by Indymedia, last week urged protestors to come equipped with “foam padding, helmets, shields, shin guards, inflatable rubber rings, gas masks and eye goggles”.

It advised against violence, but also offered tips on how groups could “de-arrest” people arrested by the gardai. “A hooded top will cover most of your face and a baseball cap on its own provides good protection from most static cameras, which are usually mounted high up,” the website advises.

author by chilled speechpublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As The gardai now ensconsed in an office with the duty gathering intelligence by among other things reading everything published here about Mayday04 (and everything else in all likelyhood) well know - the padded bloc thing was published by an anonymous user of the open publishing system that is indymedia and cannot accurately be construed as 'Indymedia' urging this course of action. One anonymous person urged the action. If you ever see 'Indymedia' urging anything as a group it will be signed 'Indymedia Collective'. Anything else is the viewpoint of the poster - anonymous or not.

Truth I suppose, and any attempt at accuracy in newsreporting, goes out the window when the Government's FF Grassroots are turning against it.

As for the details of 'known activists' being circulated. Is it now a crime to be a political activist who does not support either labour, FG, FF, PDs, Greenies? Starting to look like it - isn't it?

author by Angry Loaner with an irrational grudge against back-packers - The Working Worker Worker's Partypublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 16:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wonder if the people who inhabit this MI5 run statelet will accept this latest move on the part of our government? This is a totalitarian action. This is the gradual introduction of McDowells fantasy of an armed police force, a police force that managed to negotiate the whole of the Troubles without arms. This is governace via fear. The implication is that if you protest you may be shot. The gardai may soon be one of the world's most poorly trained paramilitary forces. I wouldn't like to be a immigrant awaiting a dawn raid. This paramiltary force will be employed to protect a government intent on selling off our assets and dumping any notion of McDowell's hated 'rights based society'.
The gardai are being armed on May 1st to 'combat violent protest'. I've never heard of an armed anti-EU or globalisation protester have you?
Someday after McDowell's resignation he will make a comment in a Sunday paper about the esteem in which he always held Pinochet or some nut. We'll hear the comment and shudder that he was once minister for Justice, ...and 'Equality'. Maybe he'll bring back the heavy gang too while he's at it. Anyway, it seems that cooperation and consultation are out, if indeed they ever were in. They are going to arm the gardai and we can either like it or... well we better not protest we might get shot. The media and the unions will be as quite as the timid little mice we know they are of course. END OF TIRADE.

author by Starstruck - UCD Leftpublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 17:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How nice of them.no need to shower until the big day so!
Seriously though dont forget the shampoo and bodywash lads that goes for you too immensely tall Guard who shall remain nameless.
Gravity reckons we should have a charity "wash the hippie" type event in aid of Save the Donuts!

author by Illegal Eaglepublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 18:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Since they are "borrowing" the water cannons from the RUC - oops, Freudian slip on my part, I really meant "PSNI", I wonder will they also be using other tactics used by the RUC ("PSNI"). I will leave the implications of that to your imaginations.

But the most sinister part of the whole thing is the arming of uniformed gardai (there are already a lot of armed plain-clothes gardai). As someone else pointed out, we got through thirty years of conflict without the uniform gardai being armed (with the exception of a short period when they posted armed uniformed gardai outside banks).

It may be the long-term intention of McDowell to arm all the gardai. This is one that should be resisted vigourously, not only by defenders of civil rights but by the gardai themselves. This is not the USA, where anyone and everyone can get a firearm. There is no threat to overthrow the state by force of arms, and that is certainly not the intention of the Mayday protests. These protests are intended to be peaceful.
Peaceful protest includes the right to participate in acts of civil disobedience. Does McDowell want people to be shot for minor acts of non-cooperation? The gardai themselves should weigh up the long term consequences of this before going down that road.

author by Naomi Kleinpublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 20:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors


'One anti-globalisation website, run by Indymedia, last week urged protestors to come equipped with “foam padding, helmets, shields, shin guards, inflatable rubber rings, gas masks and eye goggles”.'

'In Washington, I met several 19-year-old activists who carried swimming goggles and bandannas soaked in vinegar -- protective gear against pepper spray and tear gas. It's not that they were planning to attack a Starbucks, just that they thought that getting gassed is what happens when you express your political views.

In Canada, when we saw university students being doused with pepper spray outside the 1997 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Vancouver, there was a wave of public outrage. Now, 2½ years later, we have seen so much brutality directed against protesters that we appear to have gotten used to it. And this is the truly insidious effect of police violence: If protesters are publicly treated like criminals regularly enough, they start to look like criminals, and we begin, albeit unconsciously, to equate activism with sinister wrongdoing, even terrorism.'

Related Link: http://www.commondreams.org/views/053100-101.htm
author by tonypublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 21:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The water cannons have a dual role obviously the first is to protect the public from lazy, tree huggers who want to act like spoilt children and who claim social welfare all their lives (and dont see the irony in being given handouts from the state AND taking them - talk about biting off the hand that feeds you) and the second is the cannons will give some of the protesters the chance of a good wash which is needed by most of them, I just hope the gaurds mix shampoo with it. I hope tear gas will substitute for deodrant

author by IMOpublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 21:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

go back to your friends at irish military online

author by Fred P.publication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 21:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

for deploying uniformed armed Gardai on the streets of Dublin one week before Mayday – To put fear into and intimidate the general public/protestors who maybe attending the weekend of events and protests. As for the water cannons, my guess is that anyone with a video / photography camera will be a target! No camera = no exposure of injustice.

author by Badmanpublication date Sun Apr 18, 2004 21:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Support the grassroots. Don't stand by while the police state is built around you. You could be the next target.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Mon Apr 19, 2004 00:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First they came for the unwashed, dreadlocked crusties,
And I did nothing except sneer,
Then they came for the people that showered only once a day,
And I stood by and held my nose,
Then they came for the people that showered twice a day and squirted perfume and the male perfume called "aftershave",
And I knew they hadn't washed enough,
Then they came for the people that also put talcum powder in the shoes,
And I laughed because I wore Prada slingback sandals,
Then they came for me.

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