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Gardai Heavy Handed At Kinsale Protest
national | miscellaneous | news report Sunday May 18, 2003 17:59 by Kevin Doyle - Workers Solidarity Movement, Cork cork_wsm at yahoo dot com 3 Sydney Villas, Cork 021-4503262
Sit Down Protest Disrupts 'Business As Usual' at exclusive golf course.
A large force of Gardai defended the exclusive Old Head of Kinsale Golf club from a gathering of walkers and protestors. Although this was the first time that protesters failed to gain access to the walk, a spirited sit-down protest at the gates to the golf links ensured that ‘business at usual’ did not happen. The next protest date has been set for Sunday, June 29th.
Gardaí Heavy Handed At Kinsale Protest
A big Garda and Special Branch present today at the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course, outside Kinsale, Co. Cork, prevented protesters and walkers from gaining access to the tradition walk to the lighthouse at the Old Head of Kinsale. Although this was the first time that protesters have failed to gain access to the walk, a spirited sit-down protest at the gates to the golf links ensured that ‘business at usual’ did not happen. The next protest date has been set for Sunday, June 29th.
From the outset it was clear that the Gardaí’s approach to the protests at the golf course had changed. On foot of the Supreme Court decision supporting the exclusive Golf Course's right to bar the general public from having any access to the scenic area, Superintendent Richard Duggan of Bandon announced that any attempt to gain entry to the golf course would be seen as ‘trespass on private property’. In a further departure from previous years, over thirty uniformed Gardaí, Emergency Response Unit and Special Branch took up position inside the gates of the Old Head Golf Course, to secure both the gate and fences from any attempt by protesters and walkers to gain access. These Garda forces were backed up by a huge civilian force of ‘private security’ hired by the golf course owners, the millionaire O’Connor Brothers.
Torrential rain played a major part in reducing the numbers that made it to the remote Old Head for the Sunday afternoon protest and as a result it was clear from 2 pm onwards that the protesters were badly out-numbered. After a number of requests to gain entry into the course, protesters blocked the main gate leading into the golf course. When a number of vehicles attempted to leave, the Special Branch and Gardaí manhandled protesters to the side. As usual excessive force was used and a number of plain clothes Special Branch refused to identify themselves to protesters who had been manhandled. After a stand-off the vehicles made their way through the blocade and left the course. However in a clear sign that the Gardaí were unhappy with how events were developing, no further vehicles were allowed to leave the golf course until the protest formally ended at 4 pm. Despite their failure to gain entry to the walk, a meeting of protesters resolved to return at the end of June.
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So, what happened to the 'mass trespass' that the WSM were organising? Oh wait...phew...not enough people turned up so we can blame it on everybody else. Thank the stars for that! The WSM supplied one protester. Thanks lads. And, by the by, it turned out that it was in fact the Free the Old Head group that continues to organise this protest. Nice one - see you in June me mateys!
wot no wsm direct action???
"After a number of requests to gain entry into the course...":
Please let us in! Please! Please! Ok, we'll feck off home so. Well, after an auld quick squat on the ground. Need to tell the grandkids something.
instead of attacking those that are enacting an enclosure of public land. So, maybe that's how they got away with it in the 1600's?
Anyway, well done to all that continue to fight for our traditional access to land.
emergency response unit????????? you wish! dont exaggerate, were with u without the hyperbole
...what's good for the goose is good for gander! The WSM was full of it when it came to the IAWM in recent months. So, what's up? They promised a mass trespass and i sure as fuck see nothing especially rrrradical about what's reported here. A "spirited" sit-down i'll have you know. And then off home before he catches a cold.
Yes, it is now obvious that the tactics adopted during the campaign to free the Old Head of Kinsale have completely failed. This is down to the unwillingness of those present to rally to the call to engage in a mass trespass. This is a disaster. Two failures (including the anti-war movement that is) in such a short length of time. The WSM must now ensure that it highlights and stresses the depth of this failure at the next meeting of the Free the Old Head Campaign, lest anybody be under any illusions. And, My God, no strategy! Just a repeat of the same failed tactics at the end of June! Trudge to the gate and trudge away. This will not do. We must go forth and shatter people's morale!
This is obviously the fault of the WSM in the same way that Shannon is the fault of GNAW. After all the call was for a mass direct action at both and it didn't happen. So, it's obviously their fault then.
And if some of you are going to say that I'm a virtual warrior sitting here and trying to make it seem as though the WSM are complaining about the FtOHoK campaign then I'll point out the dangers of sectarianism to you. No, I couldn't bother to be there in the rain, I was too comfy up here in Dublin reading a scientific socialist tract and preparing to "slam" capitalism!!!
Criticism, especially if it's wrong must not be ignored except when it's sectarian (that'd be any arguments against me).
The WSM will be back at their office computers later this morning and then you're fucked. Ever notice how stop contributing to indymedia on weekends? Ah, to have free access! Up and at 'em boys!!
Yes the WSM aren't real socialists, otherwise they'd be spending the weekend writing long screeds and railing against other left-wing groups (that is the nature of sectarianism after all isn't it?).
Yes, unlike us trolls who spend all day with our keyboards in our lonely pathetic existence, the WSM would appear to not spend all weekend using the net.
We support mass action, not elitist direct action. What do we mean? That's easy. Take Seattle. Our Party boycotted anti-WTO direct action. Before Seattle we said that the anticapitalist movement was a middle class, infantile disorder. After Seattle we decided that we were the natural born leaders of the movement. It's called scientific socialism, boys. It's the pillar of our Party doctrine. We did the same with the movement against the poll tax. We did the same with Shannon. We attacked, slandered and did our best to isolate Direct Action activists, but when 3 US companies pulled out of Shannon because of direct action we said it was OUR victory. Come on boys, let's chant - "One solution revolution".
Folks, using this to attack the WSM is laughable. You should at least ensure that you have the faintest clue about what's going on before you get the verbal knives out.
The WSM has, in itself, never organised anything at the old head of kinsale and we have never claimed otherwise. However, we have always supported the Free the old head campaign and participated in their protests and helped to promote them. The campaign is very broad and includes people from the WP, SP, WSM, other groups and a large majority of non-aligned people. The campaign has always had a strategy of mass tresspasses and 'peoples picnics' as a way of opposing the enclosure of the old head. The WSM fully supports this. There have been at least 10 of them in the last couple of years and all have been succesful until this one. The article above alludes to the reasons why (the weather, the supreme court ruling and the cops new attitude).
The campaign has reached a new stage. The campaign is now facing the full force of the law and will have a tough challenge over the Summer. The WSM's advocacy of direct action is not the important issue at play here. A popular and succesful local grassroots campaign is on the verge of being repressed by force. Are you happy to sit back and score points against the WSM while the state overwhelms the campaign with court cases and vanloads of police?
Firstly the court case that was heard in the Supreme Court was a planning case and while the issue of Right of Way was central to the case, it was about conditions laid down by the planning authorities, not the Right of Way question per se. This is yet to be exhausted before the courts and may ultimately end up in Europe.
Chekov is correct - there are people from several political and campaign groups, as well as people with no party political affiliations involved in the campaign. Somehow the local press got the idea that it was jointly organised by the Free the Old Head Campaign and Workers' Solidarity Movement. Not so, WSM is only one group involved supporting the people's picnics.
Yes, the Emergency Response Unit were there, with their distinctive red plastic bibs to differentiate them from ordinary Gardai and Special Branch.
As usual O'Connor put his traditional spin on things - we were balaclava clad terrorists out to ruin his business and had no support from the general public. While the numbers were low because of weather, there were people from all walks of life there and from both Cork City and the Kinsale / West Cork region.
the red bibs are worn by detectives and not the eru.mind you all irish detectives are armed.
just wanted to clear that up,the old head campain is very worthwhile,keep it up!
Oh, WSM, you doth protest too much! First of all, the mass trespass myth is just that - a myth. Previous protests, oh this is wearisome!, involved a crowd gathering in front of the gate. One or two would throw shapes around the fence (sometimes climbing over) and then the club would open the side-gate rather than have the hassle of preventing more incursions. Eventually, after a few such events, they just opened the gates automatically when the protest arrived. There was NO mass trespass at every protest! Get wise! This time we arrived to face a load of cops because of the supreme court judgement and the club refused to follow the old routine. We didn't storm the fence because, guess what, we hadn't planned to do so despite the bullshit 'mass trespass' stuff on indymedia etc from 'Cork WSM'. This has always been a PEACEFUL protest.
Secondly, the reason the press thought the WSM were the organisers was because the member in Cork put out a press release and an email that made it sound like they were the organizers. There was no mention of the CPA or the Free the Old Head Campaign whatsoever! When other groups do this it's called hijacking.
anoymous tar what ever yokey sez:
"We didn't storm the fence because, guess what, we hadn't planned to do so despite the bullshit 'mass trespass' stuff on indymedia etc from 'Cork WSM'. This has always been a PEACEFUL protest."
MASS trespass is trespass that involves a lot of people! Your bizarre implication is that it involves "storming" things and is not PEACEFUL is nowhere contained in those 2 words!
So you're setting up your own definitions of what "mass tespass" is and then knocking them down - this doesn't really amount to much of an argument
I've never been down at the old head actions but I always thought they involved large numbers of people trespassing on private lands ergo MASS TRESPASS !!
I'll let james and Kevin answer the other "points" if they're bothered...........
Just to clarify that there is no dispute concerning Kinsale Golf Club as stated by Kevin. (I accept this as a genuine error).
The golf club in question is the Old Head Golflinks which is about ten miles south-west of Kinsale Golf Club (on your left about a mile and a half before you get into the town from the Cork direction - turn off for Oysterhaven).
its worth complaing to garda complaints tribunal about this bizarre wasteful deployment of garda personnel to protect a golf course from trespass.
seeing a the SP are involved maybe joe h could ask a dail question to mcdrool about how he could justify such action?
Everyone knows a magic carpet got us over the fence
I don't think it's fair to talk that way about hamsters! I know for a fact that the WSM don't eat hamsters. Or do they? Any info on this anyone?
And Conor: Kevin was there, James wasn't, and I didn't hear him argue for a mass trespass.
It seems that this argument has got bogged down in semantics. When the WSM called this protest a 'mass trespass', we meant that it involved people having a picnic on private land against the will of the landowners. There was no implication of commando style assaults on gates or anything like that. Maybe our terminology is wrong (I don't think so BTW), but we were not calling for anything beyond what the FtOHC was proposing and we were most certainly not calling for a suicidal assault on the barbed wire. If you want to get your knickers in a twist about the terminology, very well, and if the campaign decides that the peoples' picnics should not be called mass tresspasses, then I'm sure we will desist, but it's hardly that important is it.
This goes back to picnic number one when about 100 people climbed the wall and walked to the Old Head. At the subsequent picnics the Golf Course opened the gates after a few souls crossed the fence. So it is not true to say no mass trespass occurred, proably more correct to say one happened and that the golf course decided to give in until after the Supreme Court case.
The question now is what tactics to adopt with the Golf course owners and State determined to face down the protest and defeat it.
If the campaign is to have a future it must mobilise in numbers. Thekey issues is will all the various anti-capitalist forces co-operate on this or not.
If we cannot pull something off as minor as this locally is there much point in hiring buses to march at summits in various European cities.
It is worth nothing that the papers also said the protest was organised by the Cork Anti-War Campaign and that all 5 Cork defendants from the Shannon fence brach case were present. Both pieces of info lies. The agenda of the media, state and owners is clear. The agenda of the left should be to activily involved themselves in this campaign, which has widespread popular support already.
You have never been down at Kinsale by the sounds of thing. You should get away from your cave in Henrietta street occasionally. The last time I was there the gates were locked and there were privately employed heavies and some state employed heavies throwing shapes and trying to intimidate the protesters.
A good number of people started to get over the fence and the razor wire and the golf course boyoes decided to bow to the inevitable and opened the gates. This was not done out of the goodness of their hearts but cos they had fuck all choice. Once the gates opened the protestors went for a ramble and a good few locals then shored up to have a walk around. The day was both enjoyable and sucessful whatever you wish to call it.
btw running away from criticism and awkward questions on other threads just to slander the efforts of others isn't winning you any new friends.
James description of auld head protest is about right. (Dunno who Dec Macarthy is but he obviously hasn't a clue). The club basically gave in and facilitated what was usually a nice day out with all sorts of PEACEFUL protesters allowed to walk to the lighthouse. There was no 'direct action' or mass trespass at every event.
Problem with James description though has more to do with the way the WSM needs to face up to its own behaviour. Nobody has ever called the Old Head picnic a mass trespass - it has never been organised on that basis. The WSM had no right to go to the press with this garbage, thus hyping the situation and ensuring that loads of Gardai and heavy security would be present. It was all over Saturday's papers! A different attitude was expected from the club because of the supreme court judgement but this was giving them an excuse to act the shithead. The important point is that nobody at any meeting anywhere agreed to call for a mass trespass. The WSM were just talking big with no regard for the possible consequences. They themselves had no intention of leading a mass trespass and only one of their members was present.
Secondly, I doubt if the Cork anti-war campaign issued any statement about the Old Head protest. Why would they? That was obviously a journalistic fuck-up (one of many) but the stuff about the WSM that appeared in a number of papers on Saturday was based on the same WSM press release that appeared on indymedia. This press release made no mention of the real organisers - the Free the Old Head Campaign - and in fact it definitely implied that the WSM were the organisers. A sin of omission, or something more crude? People should go back to it on the newswire, read it slowly, and decide for themselves.
Just to clarify for 'Old Tad'
1) The WSM in Cork did not issue any press release prior to the protest in Kinsale on Sunday.
2) As part of providing notification to contacts and supporters (and others on the left in Cork) we regularly circulate an email informing people of upcoming protests (the where, when etc. of what is happening). This was done prior to the protest on Sunday. I repeat no _media_ emails are included in this circulation email. All such emails have at their end the declaration "[the above] Information and local news provided by Workers Solidarity Movement - Cork"
3) It is patently obvious to anyone involved in the Old Head Campaign that the WSM has been involved since its inception. We have always played our part and have done more than our share...
4) I can understand if individuals or political parties object to the WSM being 'profiled' as 'the organisers' of Sunday's protest...In the past (on the occasion of other protests in Kinsale) the Workers Party have been identified in a similar vein (by the media). I know some people were concerned by this but, at the time, those in the campaign (rightly in my view) saw that the mistake was a journalistic error and not any sinister attempt by the Workers Party members involved in the campaign attempting to get credit.
5) If you read the article in Workers Solidarity (which appear to be the one that some of the media focused on) you will see that it is an article that argues 'for' a mass trespass. We are entiteld to this and to argue for that… I always thought this was what being politically involved was all about... making suggestions about how a campaign can progress...
Just a minute there kev - your earlier posting on indymedia before the protest simply stated that it was planned as a mass trespass! no ambiguity there. check it out if you've forgotten what ya posted. it was stated as a fact not put as an argument.
Aw God! I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. Thanks for the link 'Informant'! Talk about being caught out!!
For a good laugh:
1. Read Kevin Doyle's remarks about how he/they never called a mass trespass, but instead just argued for one.
2. Follow the link provided by Informant which (let's be blunt here) proves Kevin to be ever so hugely misleading in his defence missive.
Reading the thread it seems that apart from the point of whether you call people walking on an area the golf course tries to exclude them from a picnic or a mass tresspass or both the issue here is the meeja coverage.
The link above is too an announcement we sent out to our notification list ainriail which has over 500 subscribers. The idea (obviously) was to encourage people to take part in the event. We do this regularly for most things we take part in and to be honest we are sloppy about distinguishing between things we are organising ourselves, those we are organising with others and those we are taking part in but have no part in organising.
I noticed that there was no announcemnet for the Old Head on indymedia and as I knew many feel indymedia.ie is too Dublin centered I simply copyed the text and pasted it onto the newswire. I left the CorkWSM as the origin tag. Again this was in the hope that more people would attend the event.
Now as Kevin states the announcement was not sent to the meeja - if we had sent out a press release we'd have taken more care with it and have mentioned the organising campaign amongst other things. I presume some lazy journalist is either subbed to our list or read it on indymedia and rather then contacting us or the organisers to check the facts out used this as the basis for a story.
So there you have it. I'd imagine we will be a little more careful in future to avoid this sort of misunderstanding but to be honest if short of time I'd still see it as more important to advertise the event then to cross every i and dot every t in case some lazy journo gets the wrong end of the stick.
Dear Anon and Informant... with the likes of you around, the capitalists are really shaking in their booths. Well Done!! And O'Connor too (by the way, like). Get a life.
Fucks sakes...the WSM acted the bollocks and they don't have the balls to admit it. SWP/WSM/SP/SA/SF/WP etc etc - it's all the same. It's obvious that the WSM are beneath contempt on this particular issue. We don't need these lying organisations. We need honesty and modesty not bullshit.
The bickering is inspired by people intent on scoring points against the WSM even if that damages the broader campaign.
All I was trying to do was to make it clear exactly what post people were talking about!
I actually drew the conclusion from it that the WSM were correct in this argument.
And I think this issue has been clarified.