The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan
What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith
The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith
Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
Catholic Church: Dark influence still active
Tom Parlon launches new career in comedy Anthony
Presumption of innocence does not universally apply in Ireland Anthony
The poor standard of Irish political journalism Anthony
RTE bias: A failure of objective journalism Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Sergey Lavrov?s interview with the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty Thu Jul 18, 2019 19:00 | Scott
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov?s interview with the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty published on July 17, 2019 Original interview in Russian Question: Can an improvement in the relations with the United
Inside the Yellow Vests: What the Western media will not report (Part 3) Thu Jul 18, 2019 03:21 | The Saker
by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog As we come closer to August, when most of France (and Europe) is in holiday mode, I think that it is an apt
Western intellectuals freak over ?Frankenstein? China Thu Jul 18, 2019 01:53 | amarynth
by Pepe Escobar : Posted with permission Western economists and intellectuals obsessed with demonization of China are never shy of shortcuts glaringly exposing their ignorance. The latest outburst posits that
IMF who? Lagarde shows ECB is the top dollar job in QE age Thu Jul 18, 2019 01:34 | The Saker
by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog (cross-posted with PressTV by permission) (Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009.
Georgian Rugby Players Kicked Out For Their Russophobic Gestures Wed Jul 17, 2019 23:46 | Scott
by Ruslan Ostashko Translated and captioned by Leo. Into an exile from the Moscow club “Glory” turned for two Georgian rugby players a demonstration of “support for the people of
The Saker >>
A Blog About Human Rights
China?s LGBT Community Mon Apr 15, 2019 19:19 | Human Rights
Declaration of Human Rights at Sea Mon Apr 08, 2019 07:31 | Human Rights
NZ Watchdog On Limits Of Free Speech Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:44 | Human Rights
US Abortion Restrictions Violating The Human Rights Of Women Thu Mar 14, 2019 15:33 | Human Rights
Human Rights Watch Urges the Human Rights Council to Renew and Strengthen Mandate of UN Commission Tue Mar 12, 2019 21:51 | Human Rights
Human Rights in Ireland >>
RTÉ Primetime Parrots State Propaganda on Water Charges
On Thursday night RTE Primetime presented what many have described as a 'regime broadcast', an utterly transparent hatchet job of the anti-Water Charges campaign. This featured, supposedly, an anonymous water meter installer describing being accosted by knife, hatchet, baseball bat, and golf club wielding maniacal protesters – the sinister fringe. The core message transmitted in the program was 'you can protest, but don't protest effectively'. If you watched it (link below), what did you think?
It was a 'Greatest Hits' compilation of government talking points. The issue which defined and dominated the program is captured in a framing question the RTE narrator posed at the beginning: 'Will it remain a broad based campaign, or will the hardline elements [the sinister fringe] come to the fore?' This divisive narrative will be familiar to anyone who has even cursorily been following the anti-Water Charges campaign. The mainstream media, in line with the government, has obsessively focused on the question of whether or not any particular protest action is 'peaceful', continuously querying if the campaign has erupted into chaos yet.
Central to this narrative is the division of protesters into good and bad ones, 'legitimate' and 'illegitimate', 'peaceful' and 'non-peaceful'. This serves to turn protesters against each other, to make protesters fixate on appearing 'legitimate' (and hence become more biddable), to draw attention away from the real issues, and to foster anti-protester hostility among non-protesters and the undecided.
Instead of discussing privatisation, the bank debt, Garda brutality, or austerity, we're supposed to endlessly contend that our protest, and our campaign, is 'legitimate'. As the narrator noted about the December 10th rally, 'the vast majority ... were polite and engaged in legitimate protest. But a small concentrated group of people are targeting water meter installations, but they are a very small element, of what is for the most part a group of people genuinely frustrated at the charges, and the way the government and Irish Water have handled things'. Could it be more obvious? As William Hederman wrote in his opinion piece in today's Irish Times: 'the water-charge demonstrations have worked because of civil disobedience. When people break the rules of protest they force governments to act '.
RTE secretly filmed a protest preventing the installation of water meters, but found none of the violence described by the silhouette in the picture. However, they made sure to remind us that it was illegal, in breach of an injunction's 20 metre exclusion zone, and later that Water Meter Fairies were committing 'Criminal Damage'. It's not surprising in the slightest that they are so keen to deter people from taking direct action, as it has been the backbone of this campaign and is the greatest assurance of our rights in general. It's well known that the prevention of water meter installations has been a crucial rallying and organising point for the movement.
As if it weren't parodical enough already, the program aired Kevin McSherry, the Irish Water executive who leads the water installation program, who after recounting an oh-so-rabid pack of youths shouting 'Irish Water scum' and slashing his tyres implored the viewer: 'don't attack the working man who's there to do their daily job'. This regular working class hero added 'I can't understand why anyone would protest against the working man. If someone wants to protest then you're welcome to walk to the Dáil or walk on O'Connell street' (even though, ironically, people were not free to walk to the Dáil on December 10th). Again the subtext here is that we should walk around with placards, but should not take direct action, especially not prevent the installation of meters.
A debate between Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy and Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty concluded the show, with the latter pontificating about legality despite the fact that, as Goldhawk notes, 'Doherty has broken company law by taking out a director’s loan from her company, Enhanced Solutions Ltd' (link below).
This vigorous muddying of the waters reveals a vital point of clarity: the establishment is deeply troubled by the anti-Water Charges campaign, that it is a mighty platform for general opposition to this government and what it represents, its widespread adoption of direct action, and its de-centralised character. In the particular case of RTE, the water charges campaign has been the greatest generator of distrust for Radio Telefis Eireann in recent times.
Obvious attacks like this, and there are plenty (see below for a recent example), should spur us on to be more bold, more persistent, and to demand greater justice.
RTE Primetime 'On the frontlines of the water protests'