Police Harass As Emperor Bush Decides To Pass
anti-war / imperialism |
Wednesday May 11, 2005 01:18 by Niall Harnett
Gardai Dealing With 'More Serious Matters' Than War Crimes - As Usual
Article 40 of the Irish Constitution:
3.1° The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen.
"6.1. The State guarantees liberty for the exercise of the following rights, subject to public order and morality:
i. The right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions.
From the Newswire:
On one of the calmest and fairest days of the year so far in the West of Ireland, with hardly a breeze blowing, a huge security operation involving the army and police was stood down when Air Force 1 was reported to have chosen not to land at the American Military Base at Shannon, due to dangerous headwinds!!?
In the meantime a small group of peace activists arrived outside the Airport today asking for the arrest of the war criminal George Bush, who was due to make a pit-stop there this afternoon. It appears that Mr Bush decided he’d prefer not to be arrested and moved on without stopping at Shannon leaving the police with nothing better to do than to get busy harassing and intimidating those very same citizens who work for the implementation of Irish and International Law with regard to war crimes, which is being ignored and abused by all those who claim to work in the service of those laws and our State.
I arrived at the industrial estate beside the airport to see former Irish Army Commandant Ed Horgan’s car stopped in a public place outside the perimeter of the airport and surrounded by a police car, 2 police vans and an unmarked special branch car. After Ed tried unsuccessfully to hand a written request for the arrest of American President George Bush to a Garda Detective, I watched as the detective and a guard opened and searched the boot of Ed’s car and his personal belongings without Ed’s permission, as more guards stood by watching.
This is an account of the conversation that took place between Detective Andrew Hayes, Ed Horgan, myself and Garda 266 who refused to give his name:
Ed: You don’t have my permission to search those bags, OK?
Detective Andrew Hayes: No answer, starts looking through Ed’s bags, takes out camera and binoculars.
Ed: You don’t have my permission to interfere with my camera and binoculars.
Detective: No answer, ignores Ed, continues searching.
Ed: That’s my personal bag, you don’t have my permission to go into it.
Niall: Excuse me, you don’t have Ed’s permission to search that bag.
Detective: I’m searching it under the Offences Against the State Act. I’m quite entitled to.
(Without a search warrant, unless a guard actually suspects you of committing or being about to commit a crime, he is not entitled to search you. In other words he’s not entitled to search you ‘for being a peace activist’!)
Ed: On what basis, what offence against the State have I committed?
Detective : No answer
Niall : Are you suspicious of Ed carrying out offences against the State?
Detective; No answer
Niall : Are you suspicious of Ed carrying out an offence against the State, officer?
Detective : No answer.
Niall : You’re searching his bag, are you suspicious of Ed carrying out offences against the State?
Detective: No answer
Niall: Why are you elbowing me away there officer??!!
Detective: No answer
Garda 266 starts to help the detective search through all of Ed’s belongings and those of Ed‘s friends in the car, without their permission. They police refuse to clarify or give legal grounds why they think they have a right to do this.
Ed speaks to the garda number 266.
Ed: What’s your name guard?
Ed: What’s your name?
Garda: Why are you asking me my name?
Ed: Because you’re searching my car guard, that’s why I want your name. What’s your name guard?
Garda: What’s your name?
Ed: My name is Edward Horgan, what’s your name? Don’t search my car unless I give you my permission.
Detective: Thank you very much gentlemen.
The detective directs the police man with shakes of the head and some tut-tutting not to answer Ed’s questions and calls him away.
Niall: May I ask you why you’re doing that?
Detective: No answer.
They move away, a group of us have a picnic lunch outside the perimeter fence, we meet a local journalist, tell him about the police abusing their powers etc. ‘Ah, the usual story’, he says
I telephone Shannon Police Station this evening at about 8:15 to try to talk to the sergeant in charge and Detective Andrew Hayes about what happened earlier at Shannon, and I speak with the member in charge Sergeant Mick O’Connell and I tell him I’m writing this article for Indymedia and would like to discuss what happened today at Shannon.
Niall: On what grounds does a guard or a detective have…
He interrupts me
Sgt. Mick O'Connell: Listen, I’m on another line at the moment, I’m dealing with a more serious matter.
Niall: OK, could I speak to …
Sgt: I can’t talk to you at the moment, I’m on another line at the moment trying to deal with another matter at the moment I just picked up the call there …
Niall: Could I ring you back in a while?
Sgt: You can, no problem at all
Niall: What time should I ring you?
Sgt: Whatever time you like, I’m sure you’ve plenty of time.
Niall: Could you give me a time, maybe?
Sgt: 10.30 pm?
Niall: 10.30 pm? Are you saying you’ll be busy on this other call until 10.30 pm?
Sgt: I have an operational job to do and I’m going out and I have to deal with it - nothing to do with Shannon Airport or George Bush or anything like that.
Niall: Could I speak to Detective Hayes, please?
Sgt: He’s finished duty I believe …
Niall: You believe? I wonder could you find out for me, please?
Sgt: Listen, could you come in here in the morning you seem to have more time to do with this thing than I have … ok? Goodnight, take care, bye.
He hangs up, very helpful.
I’m writing all this to highlight again that while hundreds of US troops pass through Shannon every day, carrying weapons and munitions in direct contravention of The Hague Convention on neutrality, instead of arresting them as they are legally obliged to do, the Irish Security Forces, Army and Gardai are putting huge effort into protecting them while harassing and intimidating law abiding citizens, whose personal rights our Constitution provides by it’s laws to respect, defend and vindicate.
To Detective Andrew Hayes, to Sergeant Mick O’Connell, to un-named Garda 266, to Bertie Ahern and ALL involved in this huge and gross miscarriage of justice, I say…
… Shame on you.