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Protest has a vital place in a healthy democracy

Ciaran Tierney
When I was 16, the President of the United States visited my home town. It was a massive event for Galway and, fuelled by the passion which often drives people at that age, I attended a mass protest against the decision by University College Galway (now NUIG) to award an honorary degree to Ronald Reagan.
By that stage, people knew that his Government had been involved in war crimes in the Middle East and Latin America. His funding of people like Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan and sale of chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein in Iraq was widely known, but that did not stop the city fathers from closing down the city centre and rolling out the red carpet in his honour.
Posted Date: 
23 February 2015

Kenny says claims of political policing ‘outrageous’ and completely untrue

Marie O'Halloran - Irish Times

[Shell to Sea] Do you want a laugh.  This is what Taoiseach Enda Kenny said on Tuesday in the Dáil “To say the Garda operated in a political fashion is completely without basis, false and untrue”.

Ruth Coppinger quotes letter from garda saying they are ‘losing credibility with ordinary men and women’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has rejected as outrageous and completely untrue allegations that the Garda Síochána is operating in a political fashion in dealing with water charges protests.

Mr Kenny found it “quite sinister” that some workers who were legitimately installing water meters were being told by Anti-Austerity Alliance people “who they are, where they live and that they should be very careful”.

He was responding during leaders’ questions from Ruth Coppinger (Socialist Party) who claimed the “Garda Síochána is operating in a political fashion that benefits the Government”, in the arrests over seven days of Tallaght residents.

She said she received a letter from a garda and quoted: “What is really bringing the gardaí into disrepute is not the water charge protesters, but the Government that is using us against them.”

She also quoted: “An Garda Síochána is paying a heavy prices for their role in the introduction of the water tax. We are losing credibility with the ordinary man and woman.”

Posted Date: 
18 February 2015

Garda brutality - All of This Has Happened Before

Workers Solidarity Movement

All of This Has Happened Before - Garda brutality, from Rossport to anti-water charges protests

Garda assaulting community protesters and the media not reporting? Dawn raids and heavy handed arrests? Politicians spinning greater and greater lies about 'sinister fringes' and dissidents? What's happening now to Water Charge resistors happened to the people of Rossport a few years back and we can learn from their determined resistance.

Posted Date: 
10 February 2015

Dissent and Democracy.

Tom Hanahoe, Terence Conway and John Monaghan - Village
Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 16.36.38

On September 17 2011, hundreds of Americans gathered in New York’s Wall Street district, the very hub of American and global capitalism.  Calling themselves the Occupy Wall Street movement, they set up a protest encampment, which soon spawned similarly themed protests in over 100 US cities around the world.

Within months, most Occupy camps around the world – including camps in Ireland – had been forcibly closed by police.  In the US, over 6,000 protestors were arrested.  Some were batoned or pepper-sprayed.

A movement that encompassed around fifty countries was being suppressed. State power – using police power – was crushing People Power.

A few weeks ago, on the day the Dáil reconvened after its lengthy summer recess, a few protest groups gathered outside the gates.  The following day’s Irish Times carried a front-page photograph of a woman being carried from the scene by five members of the Garda Public Order Unit (POU) – its riot squad. Why? Did she pose a physical threat to gardaí, to members of the public or to members of the Dáil?

Posted Date: 
30 January 2015

No Consent Ever

local residents

Shell has started testing their outdated refinery in Ballinaboy. Gas for flaring is being supplied by Bord Gáis.


Posted Date: 
27 January 2015
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