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Civil liberties were suspended for "security operation"

category dublin | summit mobilisations | press release author Monday May 10, 2004 13:13author by Dublin Grassroots Network Report this post to the editors

May Day organisers challenge criminalisation of dissent
Dublin Grassroots Network, the organisers of many of the May Day protest events, today condemned the effective suspension of civil liberties for the weekend.

Spokesperson Dr Laurence Cox commented: "Basic democratic rights such as the freedom of assembly and opinion were seriously curtailed in order to protect an unpopular Government from being embarrassed in front of mass killers such as Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi. It seems that the threat of 10 minutes of noise on Saturday evening was so serious that it justified baton-charging a crowd of 5,000 people."

DGN observed that the responsibility for this heavy-handed approach belonged with the Dept. of Justice and ultimately with the Cabinet. "No doubt some broken heads and arrests were needed to justify the Government's multi-million euro security operation, a month of disinformation and scare stories, and the militarisation of Dublin city," Dr Cox commented.

Spokesperson Dr Aileen O'Carroll said, "The violence, intimidation and denial of basic rights we have been experiencing is part of a global trend in policing protest. Our friends opposing the WEF in Poland have been experiencing very similar repression. Water cannon on the streets of Dublin and torture of prisoners in Iraq show the reality of the 'new world order' the Government is so keen to buy into.

"The reality is that neo-liberalism and privatisation are massively unpopular and can only be imposed by brute force," O'Carroll stated. "The EU's participation in the 'war on terror' contributes to the criminalisation of protest. At the end of the day, within Fortress Europe all serious dissent is becoming a criminal act. When faced with the terrible danger of ten minutes of whistle-blowing, the Government was prepared to militarise Dublin, seal off the Phoenix Park and turn citizens into prisoners in their own homes."

Dublin Grassroots Network today released a dossier of "Fortress Dublin" (see email sent several minutes before this one) highlighting a number of issues in relation to the policing of protest during the May Day events and in the run-up to the weekend. These include:

- the attempt to ban Saturday night's march with the deployment of the riot squad at the meeting point; - police violence on Saturday night and a number of serious injuries to protestors;
- the contrast between protestors' attempts to lower tensions and the riot squad's attempts to start a panic in a crowd of 5,000; - effective denial of the right to phone calls and the right to bail to many of those arrested;
- plus issues preceding the weekend such as harassment of leafletters, attempts to spread panic among business owners and a general militarisation of policing.

"Despite massive intimidation, the weekend's events clearly touched a nerve in many people's hearts," Dr Cox commented. "This was a weekend of large-scale, colourful and cheerful protest. The only sour notes were struck by police truncheons. We believe that the courage, creativity and solidarity we have learnt this weekend will bear fruit in initiatives over the next few months and years that go far beyond any single group. People have learned that it is possible and necessary to stand up to bullying, to make their voice heard and to use their rights if they want to keep them."

Dublin Grassroots Network today launched an appeal for funds to support those facing court cases arising out of the weekend's protests. Monies can be sent c/o Chekov Feeney, 46 Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin 1. Cheques etc. should be payable to "DU Anarchist Society" and marked "May Day prisoner support".

Related Link: http://struggle.ws/eufortress.html
author by Johnpublication date Mon May 10, 2004 15:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hah! So, you think privatisation is massively unpopular? I suggest an immediate referendum at which the following questions are asked: (a) do you want the Telecoms industry re-nationalised and run by the Dept of Posts and Telegraphs as it was up to the 1980s? (b) do you want Ryanair to be nationalised and absorbed into state-owned Aer Lingus? If the yes vote for either of these is more than 1%, I'll join the DGN myself. The
only reason all these left-wing anti-globalisation protestors can afford to go galavanting all over the world to one demo after another is because of the privatisation of the airline industry. Be honest! When you go abroad to join some protest against privatisation, do you travel by Ryanair or Aer Lingus? If the former, you are hypocrites. If the latter, you are probably well-heeled members of the middle class. What Ireland needs is far more privatisation. In the UK the electricity supply and postal service industries are both privatised and charge their customers far less than in Ireland.

author by StickToTheTopicpublication date Mon May 10, 2004 17:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey 'John' Mr. Special Branch or whoever you are:

- After years of state investment, ownership, and improvement by 1997 Ireland had the 3rd best telecommunications infrastructure in the OECD. Now, after years of privatisation, we have the 29th, i.e. the worst telecommunications infrastructure in the OECD.

This is because (among other things) the Tony O'Reilly and George Soros private investment club which bought Eircom asset-stripped €400 million out of the company last year, repair-time is getting worse, lines are getting crackly and we have lost out on thousands of jobs because the private company will not invest in the future by laying-on broadband for everyone in the country.

- To be ideologically in favour of all privatisation under every circumstance detracts from the argument that perhaps certain industries should operate in the private sector. But quite obviously telecommunications, transport, health, waste, education and the military should not.

- Furthermore unlike so called 'John's' heroes such as Milton Friedman (US economist who reckoned that there should be no government regulations for airline safety), or vonHayek (US economist who believed in suspending democratic elections until an economy had achieved ‘efficiency’) I believe in democracy. Unlike the Draft EU Constitution which will not allow future democratically elected governments to adopt any economic system other than 'progressive liberalisation' i.e. the Constitutionally demanded ongoing withdrawal of the state from the economy and the privatisation of everything.

- Now bugger-off ‘John’ and catch someone committing planning irregularities or illegal dumping instead of wasting tax-payers money harassing the people on this Newswire.

author by Joe Publicpublication date Mon May 10, 2004 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't forget to bring a teabag for the poor cabin crew, who have just had their canteen facilites taken away.
All in the name of progress!!

author by Johnpublication date Mon May 10, 2004 18:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well 'Stick to the Topic', privatisation IS the topic. It was the DGN who introduced it in their statement opening this thread. Why don't you read it?

Good news for Irish workers, bad news for
your argument - its just been announced on the Irish Times web site today:

"Up to 800 jobs will be created in west Dublin
by online auctioneer Ebay and its subsidiary
electronic payment company PayPal. "

Doesn't look as if Ebay share your opinion of the Irish Telecoms network - neither does the IDA, this is what they say on their website:

"Ireland has one of the most advanced and
competitive telecommunications
infrastructures in Europe"

They also give prices for internet links to the USA from Europe. Ireland is the second cheapest, 20% less than in the UK. They also give prices for electricity in Europe. Ireland is the second dearest, 40% more than in UK. The price of leaving the ESB in public ownership. In the UK electricity hasn't been increased in price for 12 years. Irish consumers are being screwed by the state monopoly that is the ESB. Let's have some competition as in telecoms and the airline industry. Privatise it now!

Its paranoia to think that anyone who disagrees with you must be in the Special Branch. If a simple statement of opinion on a subject allready introduced is what you mean by 'harassment', then you are very easily harassed.

As for Ryanair, its consumer's choice, Ryanair started from nothing and now fly 25million annually against 5million for Aer Lingus. And they've never had to be bailed out by Irish taxpayers once, unlike Aer Lingus who come begging for handouts every 5 minutes.

author by Aidan McKeownpublication date Mon May 10, 2004 18:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have we got competition in the telecoms sector? Depends on your definition. Eircom still has a monopoly on line rental...

author by Joe Publicpublication date Mon May 10, 2004 18:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

His art tax break. I wonder how many people visit his house to see his paintings.
The money the OPW pay him for using his premises. Most interesting that one.

Didn't have Harney at his wedding for nothing.

author by anarchopublication date Mon May 10, 2004 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anarchists are against privatisation. We are also against nationalisation as well.
We want socialisation -- genuine common ownership with workers' self-management
of industry.

if you are going to attack our ideas, at least get them right first!

I would suggest reading "An Anarchist FAQ" at:


Related Link: http://www.anarchistfaq.org
author by Johnpublication date Mon May 10, 2004 20:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No problem with workers' self-management at all. If a group of workers wish to set up an airline and run it under the principle of workers' self-management and in competition with Ryanair, good luck to them.
I'll even fly on it. Just so long as they don't ask the taxpayer to subsidise them and so long as they allow Mr. O' Leary to run HIS airline the way HE wants. Its called competition, and I think you'll find that under the present economic system its perfectly legal, indeed encouraged.

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