After the relatively large turn-out to the Anti-Water charges protests over a week ago on Saturday the 31st, the government is worried that their propaganda hasn't worked as well as it should so in response they have launched a new dirty tricks campaign to discredit the Anti-Water charges campaign. They are using the same strategy as that used in the Corrib Gas issue in Mayo over the past decade where the strategy was to criminalise the protests in the eyes of the public.
The central principle is quite easy to understand. No-one likes to be associated with criminals. It's a social no-no. Therefore the government simply imply that the protesters are criminals. They do this by arresting people on false and trumped up charges. Then they give saturation coverage of the arrests in the media and in that way the mud sticks and hopefully regular people then run a mile. Unfortunately it usually works. A more recent example of this was when Clare Daly TD was "arrested" for drink driving. Not coincidently she had been one of the few politicians who brought the issue to the attention of the public. And then over one year later, we finally get the admission from government that in fact she was NOT over the limit and there would be no charges. The point is though that the damage was done.
In today's political policing operation, three others were arrested with Paul Murphy on the ridiculous charge of false imprisonment relating to Joan Burton being trapped in her car a few months ago at a protest in Tallaght. This of course is utter nonsense. What we are likely to see is that of the other three people at least one or two will have some kind of other charge levelled at them like disturbing the peace. It may be too political dangerous to actually charge Paul Murphy because fear of some kind of backlash in the people see through this farce, but by charging the others the government and their lackeys in the media can then associate and tarnish Murphy with their "criminal" record. And thereby anyone who opens their mouth in polite company against the water charges will be immediately accused of associating and supporting criminal elements.