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Press Release- Are the gardai and government using May Day hype to bring in an armed police force?

category national | summit mobilisations | press release author Tuesday April 20, 2004 14:36author by anothereuropeispossible - anothereuropeispossibleauthor email anothereuropeispossible at yahoo dot co dot uk Report this post to the editors

Are the gardai and government using May Day hype to bring in an armed police force? The claim that 1

Press Release- Are the gardai and government using May Day hype to bring in an armed police force? The claim that 1000s of G8 Summit Genoa protesters will be in Ireland on May Day is untrue.

Another Europe is Possible the alliance which is organising a march and carnival in Dublin starting at 12 noon at the Central Bank, Dame St on May Day refutes the claim made by the Garda Representative Authority (GRA) that violent protesters responsible for anti-globalisation riots at a G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy 2001 are planning to come to Ireland for May Day. Activists involved in Another Europe is Possible were at those protests in Genoa and are in contact with the Italian movement and the reality is that no one is coming from the Genoa protests to Ireland for May 1st.

Rory Hearne, convenor of the May Day march and Carnival said “the call by Mr P J Stone from the GRA for front line Gardai to be armed on May Day is completely irresponsible and inflammatory. The reality is that all protests planned for May Day are peaceful. This talk of riots and police being injured is unnecessary and is being hyped up out of all context and perspective. We really have to begin to question the motives for all this. Are these the first steps towards an armed police force and a police state?

We have extensive contacts with European anti-capitalists and the claim by the Gardai that up to 15,000 demonstrators are coming from outside Ireland is just not true. We will be marching at 12 noon on May 1st to oppose war and corporate greed and holding a carnival at the Phoenix park entrance to celebrate mulitculturalism. Susan George a renowned activist in the World Social Forums will be speaking. We are asking the question- does this protest sound like the ingredients for a riot?

Another Europe is Possible is organising a CARNIVAL FOR A BETTER WORLD- Speakers (including Susan George and others), street theatre & music starting 12 noon Dame Street May 1st. Carnival of Diversity begins at Phoenix Park- Irish and World Music, Kingsativa, Soukous Allstars, Afrikico, Gospel Choir, Jinx Lennon, Happy City Samba School, Subtitles & many more....plus very special guest!

Another Europe is Possible is a broad alliance that involves Mick O Reilly (ATGWU), Patricia McKenna (Green Party MEP), Pat Cahill (ASTI), Barry Nevin (SIPTU Aviation Branch), Irish Anti-War Movement, Residents against Racism, NGO Peace Alliance, Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaign against the Bin Tax, Community Workers, Sinn Féin, Socialist Workers Party, Workers Party, Socialist Party

Related Link: http://www.freewebs.com/anothereuropeispossible
author by Phuq Heddpublication date Tue Apr 20, 2004 19:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given the public statement by P.J.Stone and the information being fed to the Press by the Gardai the question arises as to whether or not any of these people are actually competent. You see there's no way to take this hyperbole seriously and that leaves open two obvious possibilities:

1. P.J.Stone and others are deliberately spreading misinformation and thus abusing the trust reposed in them, helping to create a climate of fear and effectively egging on anyone interested in violence.

2. P.J.Stone and others are so laughably incompetent and hysterical that they're not the type of people that should be in such a responsible position.

Of course there may be a mix of these two possibilities even within the same person. It is not hard to imagine a vain, uncontrolled and irresponsible person lapping up the attention and enjoying the excitement of macho fantasies.

It is fairly obvious that a large number of people attracted to the Gardai are nearly unfit for any sort of interaction with the public and are dehumanised and brutalised by their exposure to stressful, violent situations. P.J. Stone should be spending his time making sure that Gardai receive better working conditions including adequate psychological counselling, proper rotation from stressful assignments, adequate holidays and increased training.

It would also be useful if he were to oppose the abuse of Gardai by government ministers (they force the poor little things to speed when they're driving the minishthers to important meetings).

Unfortunately I have no hope that this will happen as he's quite obviously more interested in feathering his own comfy little nest.

author by Kinopublication date Tue Apr 20, 2004 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

irish times article
Oh for a real right to reply to the irish times. (i've mailed enough unpublished letters to the editor)
So instead i post it on indymedia, because it has to be said somewhere:
That P.J. Stone is calling for gardai to be armed, to avoid the possibility of further deaths such as that of Carlo Guilani in Genoa on July 20th of 2001. (continued in article.....)
Doesn't Mr. Stone realise that it would have been rather difficult for Carlo to have been shot in the face by an un-armed italian "garda"?

Conor Lally could and should have (at least tried to) represent a more balanced point of view in this article, and not just Mr. Stones fear-mongering. Most protestors are genuinely concerned about the current political situation, not about smashing and "rioting" (it's the police and their infiltrators who cause riots).

Armed police means gunshot wounds, gunshot wounds mean increased likelyhood of fatalities. it has always and will always be that way.
No, we don't need injured gardai, we don't need injured protestors, but the reality is that the outcome of conflict is often injuries, and we are living in a world of conflict, and Dublin, - you can't sit on the fence forever hiding from that.
So let's have a conflictive MayDay, let's have ireland provide a peaceful platform for the voices of the voiceless, without firearms, without water canon, because those tools are, in fact, the best way to ensure you will get smashed up streets and injuries.
May Day use of unarmed gardai criticised
Conor Lally

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has called into question plans to use unarmed gardaí on front-line riot duty on May Day, saying no other police force in the EU would deploy officers in this manner.

The association's general secretary, Mr P.J. Stone, has warned the plans may lead to very significant numbers of gardaí being injured.

Mr Stone added violent protesters responsible for anti-globalisation riots at a G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, in 2001, which left one protester dead and 1,000 police officers injured, are planning to come to Ireland for the forthcoming May Day celebrations. In this context, plans to use unarmed gardaí as the first line of defence may prove unwise, he said.

"After the EU summit in Gothenburg in 2001, 25 per cent of the officers deployed on the ground were injured. Do we need these types of statistics here? Only then would it reinforce the view that we should have taken a more definitive position in policing," Mr Stone said.

In the latest issue of the Garda Review, the official GRA magazine, he said it may be impossible to avoid serious civil disobedience in Dublin despite the significant preparations that have been made by the force. He said 1,000 of the 11,000 police officers on duty in Genoa in 2001 had been injured despite the fact they were all "protected by the very best of equipment and shields.

"We believe that most of those people who were involved in this protest [in Genoa] will soon be arriving in Ireland to create the same fear and aggression. It is now expected that An Garda Síochána, as an unarmed police force, will deal with such violent thuggery if it manifests itself on a massive scale.

"One never wants to presume that any situation will get out of hand. But so much preparation needs to be carried out that it boggles the mind as to how we can prevent it, especially if so many people arrive here fully intent on committing violence to highlight their cause on the streets of our capital."

Gardaí and the Army have for months been preparing for riots in Dublin on May 1st, when a special ceremony of EU heads of state will take place at Farmleigh to mark the entry into the EU of 10 accession states. It is expected that around 4,000 officers will be on duty in Dublin on the day. While 1,000 of these will be equipped with special riot gear, they will only be called on to assist front-line unarmed gardaí if the need arises. Gardaí will use water cannon to disperse crowds if rioting breaks out.

Related Link: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2004/0420/1680601729HM3GRASCARE.html
author by Donal Corcoranpublication date Tue Apr 20, 2004 19:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He did enough damage with the club.

PJ Stone would be better off pushing for the govt to provide re-inforced patrol cars (which they refused even though Gardai have been killed in crashes)

The ERU is armed, and they shot one of their own not so long ago.
Didn't one Garda Rioter at Mayday break another Garda's arm while swinging for someone, can you imagine giving a reckless fool like that a gun?

It's not guns that they need, and I don't think the govt is seriously thinking about giving them more guns than they ALREADY have.
Sure aren't the detectives armed?

It's all just a scare tactic, and also just trying to be on the moral high ground, convincing the odd punter (Sindo/IoS reader) that the FF/PD coalition is all that stands between them and the rabies infested, baby eating, al- qaeda trained anarchist hoardes.

author by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Irelandpublication date Tue Apr 20, 2004 19:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

with a PR from Dublin Grassroots Network and a copy of P.J.Stone's statements.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=64438
author by Illegal Eaglepublication date Wed Apr 21, 2004 04:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See also my comment on Sunday on this same subject:

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=64393&condense_comments=false#comment69748
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