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Thread: Defend the Crumlin 13....... Defend the right to protest.

  1. #1
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    Default Defend the Crumlin 13....... Defend the right to protest.

    13 anti water-tax activists including Joan Collins TD were forced to defend themselves against a judicial attack by the Irish Establishment today. Their supporters protested outside the court buildings on Parkgate St. and did a very nice job of making the entrance to the court more interesting by the application of some nice placards.

    A by , on Flickr

    Some of the supporters (with their permission):

    A by , on Flickr


    Some background from this face book site :Solidarity Times - Free the Media, Be the Media.
    Seems to be an anarchist inspired sort of site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solidarity Times
    The Crumlin 13 Not Guilty and Meter Resistance in Dublin 8
    Tonight saw the launch of the Crumlin 13 Not Guilty campaign to a packed room in the Iveagh Gardens in Crumlin. The campaign relates to the arrest of 13 peaceful protesters on Parnell Road in Crumlin, Dublin 12, during a successful stoppage of meter installation on the road in April of this year. Amongst those arrested on the day included United Left TD Joan Collins and her party colleague Councillor Pat Dunne, along with members of Republican Sinn Féin, the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the Anti-Austerity Alliance. In addition to these, unaffiliated community activists and a local Anarcho-Communist were also arrested and are amongst the 13. Those arrested come from local areas such as Drimnagh, Crumlin, Inchicore, Dublin 8, Walkinstown and as far away as Perrystown and Greenhills.
    Reflected in the diverse range of the political persuasions of those arrested, and in their geographic spread, is the profound unity, both in terms of organisational and community cooperation, but also in terms of the unity of purpose that has seen the campaign of resistance to meter installation in the Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 as one of the strongest in the country.
    Resistance
    Prior to the Crumlin 13 arrests, a prolonged community campaign against meter installation had been waged throughout Dublin 8 for a period of 9 weeks. This involved an early morning day to day cat and mouse game between water activists and Irish Water contractors as the contractors leapt from one part of Dublin 8 to the next in an attempt to evade scouting anti-meter activists. Although rarely successful, if the contractors entered the area undetected they immediately began destroying existing residential stop-**** shores and boundary boxes with diggers and hammers to make their replacement necessary by the time they were discovered by activists. But the mobilisation and vigilance of both the community and local activists ensured the Irish Water contractors were almost always detected. Upon detection by an activist, texts and facebook updates were immediately sent out within the highly networked protest community. Within the space of minutes activists would converge on the would-be installation site and stop or prevent any works.
    Garda Tactics
    However the other element to this repeated and successful protest tactic was the Gardai. Outnumbered on every occasion their behaviour and approach was erratic and unpredictable. Initially no Gardai were present during anti-meter installations for the first couple of weeks. Their initial approach and strategy (or lack there-of) seemed to rely on the feedback given to them from Irish Water supervisors. Irish Water would send anything up to 3 crews into the area at different locations splitting the protesters into groups. However in a sudden change one Friday in Rialto Irish Water concentrated all of their crews and vehicles on one road. It was initially not clear why this was done. However an Irish Water supervisor was spotted doing a 'head count' of protesters, which was numbered at approximately 30 at the time.
    The Battle of Rialto Street
    The following Monday, and after the jailing of 5 protesters Friday from North Dublin, Rialto witnessed a massive operation and an attempt to crush the D8 and D12 water meter resistance. All Irish water vehicles with a crew of about 40 men were sent to Rialto Street along with over 40 Gardai drafted in from as far away as stations in Donegal. Initially the community resistance was overwhelmed and could only look on as an army of Gardai surrounded installation workstations and diggers. If one tried to obstruct the work they were immediately arrested, as two were that day. However as word spread of the scale of the Garda operation activists arrived from all parts of Dublin and swamped Rialto Street. Outnumbered, the Gardai could not get the machinery moved around the street from one stopcock to the next. Eventually all work was stopped. Lines of vehicles were marched out of the area that day with the sinister presence of a Chief Superintendent watching on.
    Operation Mizen
    No Garda operation of that nature was conducted again. Being both expensive and resource intensive it failed to scare the community into submission and resulted in what amounted to about 4 meters installed. A new approach was needed. Following this event small numbers of Gardai numbering about 2 to 3 were placed at all anti meter protests. The purpose of this is not entirely clear as no incidents warranting their presence occurred, and particularly since no Gardai were present during the initial protests.
    However such Garda presence did co-incide with what we now know as Operation Mizen, a secret high level Dublin based surveillance operation of water protesters. Headed by the Garda Commissioners husband, the six man unit monitors social media and conducts other forms of surveillance to identify ring leaders and inform the policing strategy of the anti-water meter protests. It is conceivable that the deployment of these small teams of Gardai at meter protests in D8 were part of this new operation, perhaps to easedrop and visually observe and record recurring activists.
    The Flying Column
    Eventually Irish Water were driven successfully from Dublin 8 after 9 weeks having barely installed any meters. Instead they moved their operation to areas in Dublin 6 such as Harolds Cross where the newly mobilised community of D8, now dubbing themselves the Flying Column due to their newly found cross-community mobility, followed to resist them there and to show and inspire others. However the wealthier class demographic of the area was not conducive to resistance as few residents from the area were mobilised. Large scale resistance did occur however in Harolds Cross due to the convergence of protesters on the area. In particular in Mount Argus a helicopter and 15 Garda vehicles were on the scene at one stage to force the slow march of a crew out of an estate.
    The Crumlin 13
    The exact reason for the change in approach of the Gardai which led to the arrest of the Crumlin 13 are unclear. Speculation from some sources indicate that there was problems within the Gardai in getting the local Inspector on-site during the Parnell Road protest, and that an Inspector from Rathmines was called in instead, resulting in a different approach. In this instance, perhaps the arrests were made out of frustration. Another angle with more currency was that as Irish Water had landed on Parnell Road in Dublin 12 (an area they were not anticipated in), that arrests were in fact pre-planned. Coincidentally, the Garda Commissioner was in a local Garda station that day for a briefing with local Garda commanders. UTV Ireland TV crews were there for the visit and on the day jumped out from a Garda van on Parnell Road to film the events as arrests were made. Additionally we now see that the court date of the Crumlin 13 are for November 2nd, the same day as the Jobstown 23 and with nearly 50 anti meter activists on trumped up charges leading to the view that this is orchestrated political policing with intent to spread and instil mass fear in the Irish population against protesting against water meters.
    The arrests themselves were particularly violent. Thuggery and pepper spray was used and people were arrested it seemed at random including local TD's and Councillors. While other Councillors and protesters doing the exact same thing were left.
    The Crumlin 13 charges are minor, ranging from Section 8 of the Public Order Act (loitering) to resisting arrest (Section 19) under that act. The arrests achieved nothing in terms of allowing the installation of meters on the day. As arrests were being made more protesters arrived to fill their place and the gardai ran out of vans and cell space.
    That same day and following the arrests a march against political policing was called at very short notice outside Sundrive Garda station. About 200 attended and they marched to Crumlin Garda station which was shut down with no vehicles allowed in or out. Sources indicate that this caused friction and ruptures within the Garda ranks as conflict arose over shift changes and overtime between them.
    The Campaign
    The Crumlin 13 Not Guilty campaign has been launched. Along side the Jobstown 23 campaign they will seek to highlight the oppressive methods that have been used by the Irish State against those who resist austerity and water commodification. All progressive activists should get behind these campaigns as if peaceful protest is allowed to be criminalised then it will have far-reaching ramifications for other forms of protest and in the context of other issues.
    On November 2nd in the CCJ the Crumlin 13, and with nearly 50 activists overall, will attend court on a range of trumped up charges. A protest outside is called for 1pm and all are encouraged to attend to show that arrests will not stop the resistance.
    Words: Stephen (anti water charges activist)

    Considering the Garda lack of surveillance on serious criminals and inability to keep innocent people safe "Operation Mizen" seems like something the Monty Python crew would have rejected as too absurd:

    From above:
    " Operation Mizen, a secret high level Dublin based surveillance operation of water protesters. Headed by the Garda Commissioners husband"

    I was going to stick these up on the Lampposts thread but maybe they belong here. These sort of posters can be seen all over Dublin.

    J by , on Flickr
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    D by , on Flickr

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Defend the Crumlin 13....... Defend the right to protest.

    The timing of this trial may well backfire electorally, but more important is a reminder that elections aren't everything.

    Police operations on the water charge campaign appear to have been prioritised heavily over policing the drugs trade.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Defend the Crumlin 13....... Defend the right to protest.

    The charge against Joan Collins was dismissed by the Judge on the basis that there was no evidence of her having broken the law - in terms that robustly defended the right of individuals to peacefully protest.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0217/768691-collins-court/

    Would make you wonder how the DPP came to take the case.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Defend the Crumlin 13....... Defend the right to protest.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post

    Would make you wonder how the DPP came to take the case.
    Indeed it would. I suspect the DPP is more political than the powers that be would like us to think.

    But the good news is that the charges against all protesters that turned up in court have been thrown out.
    Some of them Judges can have a very independent streak. Some of them get really pissed off if they think they are been treated like stooges.
    I hope those who weren't in court get the same result. Or maybe, hopefully, the person summoned does not exist. You know how these things can happen.

    Here is a report from BreakingNews.ie

    http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/j...st-721039.html

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Defend the Crumlin 13....... Defend the right to protest.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    The charge against Joan Collins was dismissed by the Judge on the basis that there was no evidence of her having broken the law - in terms that robustly defended the right of individuals to peacefully protest.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0217/768691-collins-court/

    Would make you wonder how the DPP came to take the case.
    It strikes me that an acquittal on the basis of a judicial finding that there was no evidence of the defendant having broken the law is a lot stronger than an acquittal due to insufficient evidence, or a conflict of evidence.

    I agree - would make one wonder why the DPP came to take the case.
    "If you go far enough to either extreme of the political spectrum, Communist or fascist, you'll find hard-eyed men with guns who believe that anybody who doesn't think as they do should be incarcerated or exterminated. " - Jim Garrison, Former DA, New Orleans.

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