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Motion on Poster Ban passed at DCC

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Wednesday May 24, 2006 15:45author by Joan Collins, Sean Ryan, RobbieS, Seedot Report this post to the editors

Illegal posters
Illegal posters

Based on the 1997 litter act, the policy of the Dublin City Council to ban all posters of public meetings has met much resistance over the last two years. The ban, which affected many campaigns was the reason the IAWM changed Stop Bush Posters to election posters in 2005 and spurred a Protest at Dublin City Council over the ban on advertising a Rossport 5 march in sept 2005. In November, Joan Collins first proposed a motion at Dublin City Council to change this policy.

At each subsequent City Council meeting attempts were made to get this motion on the agenda with protests starting back in December. The announcement of the January protest also pointed out DCC was breaking its own ban while the labour youth notice outlined the legal position of the 1997 litter act and queried its use to ban notices of public meetings. Fears over the anti-democratic nature of the ban seemed to be realised in February when DCC attempted to prevent a Finglas Bin Tax meeting by threatening the venue for the meeting on the basis of the ban. In February the Campaign for Free Speech in Dublin was founded to oppose the ban while an article in Phoenix magazine made the same points as the January posts to Indymedia. As resistance stepped up, activists started using stencils instead of posters and more protests were held at each city council meeting and at the mansion house. Finally, seven months after the motion proposed by Joan Collins and seconded by Dessie Ellis was initially tabled and more than two years after the Assistant County Manager, Owen Keegan decided that posters were to be banned, the Dublin City Council seems to have reversed this undemocratic ban


Motion proposed by Cllr Joan Collins, seconded by Cllr Dessie Ellis

"This Council meeting instructs the relevent bodies in DCC to follow these procedures in relation to postering and section 19 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997 as amended by section 56 of the protection of the Enviroment Act 2003.

That future requests from Campaigns/Groups/Political partys/residents associations etc to exhibit posters to advertise for public meetings/events in the City, be granted under section 19(1) ie by request in writing. permission be granted by written reply from DCC accompanied with a letter of conditions in accordance to section 19(1) and 19 (7) ie must have a name and contact no/address, and posters must be removed within 7 days of the event. This letter of condition should clearly spell out what DCC powers are under the Litter Act if the conditions under section 19(1) and 19(7) are not complied with.

If any Campaign/Group/Political party/Residence association do not comply with DCC conditions under the Act, the issue will be put on the agenda of the Environment and Engineering strategic policy committee,"

This motion was passed unanimously tonight at DCC meeting, the only dissenting voice been that of Cllr Stafford FF

The blanket ban was being implemented by the DCC using the bylaws and then refusing permission to any one who applied and in the meantime removing posters with immediate effect when put up as they were branded as "litter" by DCC because permission was not given. Disgracefully the Anti Bin tax, Shell to Sea, Anti War, political meetings, missing persons posters, public meetings ie the McBrearity meeting in the mansion house on corruption in the Guards, circus advertisement etc , residents meetings were all effected by this "policy of DCC". The ICCL, the campaign for free speech in dublin, political groups, the homeless campaign "the homeless are revolting" and individuals who pressurised cllrs to vote with the motion should be congratulated. We have now to see how DCC will respond to the vote on DCC tonight. In effect all requests to poster should be automatically given permission to poster. Obviously I do not believe that we should have to ask for permission but the bylaws were been used by DCC to ban the right to free speech and assembly which is in breach of article 10 of the European convention and the Irish constitution, and the bylaws themselves. This will be tested I am sure by many groups in Dublin City.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 00:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done folks!!!

Things'll get interesting now.

author by Seán Ryan + John Kellypublication date Tue May 23, 2006 01:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Following months of intensive lobbying by the Campaign for Free Speech in Dublin (CFSD) and other concerned individuals, councillors at a special committee meeting of Dublin City Council, DCC voted to overturn DCC's blanket ban on notices of public meetings in the capital.

A motion tabled by Councillors Joan Collins and Dessie Ellis in December 2005, was debated and voted upon last night. Councillor Collins condemned the ban which was a patent violation of the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights Act, 2003. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in a detailed submission to DCC had condemned the ban on the same basis.

John Kelly spokesman for CFSD said the "vote was a ringing victory for democracy, but that it was an outrageous abuse of basic civil liberties that the ban was introduced in the first place, and that the situation would have to be closely monitored by all concerned with justice and basic civil liberties, nothing can be taken for granted, eternal vigilance remains the price of liberty now more than ever."

The motion instructs the relevant bodies in DCC to grant permission to campaigns/ groups and
political parties to advertise public meetings/ events in the city. There are conditions to be met by citizens advertising such events, but the central principle has been conceded by DCC.

Many thanks to all activists who contributed to this.

author by guydebordisdeadpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 01:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"That future requests from Campaigns/Groups/Political partys/residents associations etc to exhibit posters to advertise for public meetings/events in the City, be granted under section 19(1) ie by request in writing. permission be granted by written reply from DCC accompanied with a letter of conditions in accordance to section 19(1) and 19 (7) ie must have a name and contact no/address, and posters must be removed within 7 days of the event."

So we have to write to DCC asking for permission, do we know if there are any grounds upon which permission can be refused or if there will be an appeals system?

Can Reclaim The streets remain anonymous under such conditions? Will offensive posters or posters that are critical of DCC be allowed?

It's good news but I'm sceptical.

author by Graham Ó Maonaigh - Labour Youthpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 02:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its about bloody time already. GOod to see it finally voted on :)
Back to normality at last(well as close as)

Related Link: http://www.labouryouth.ie
author by Cathy Swift - People before Profitpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 10:50author address author phone 086-0679708Report this post to the editors

Congratulations Joan! As one of the many groups who have been affected, this is great news. I'll propose at our next meeting that as a matter of policy People before Profit should start sending in requests on a regular basis.
Thanks a million,

Cathy Swift

author by Mick Butlerpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 17:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Congrats to all concerned , but how the hell did DCC get away with it for so long ??and it is noteworthy that mainstream corporate media ,electronic and print ,are not carrying this story and some story it is. Think about it , No state of emergency, No armed uprising, No plebiscite to stand down the Constitution and yet a ban on Notices of Public Meetings or Assembly was in place in Dublin.

And the "left "were not exactly screaming about it, perhaps it was seen as a "bourgeois" freedom, not worth getting too hot under the collar about, or was it because the Constitution is a "Free State" constitution ? Whatever the reason this story should be getting into mainstream media and I would urge all activists do your level best to ensure that it gets in.

Take note of this headline from the Irish Times April, 21, 2006 "INSTEAD OF NAKED REPRESSION ..the.. GOVERNMENT INHIBITS THE ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE IDEAS" Lara Marlowe. Q: Where ? In Dublin ?? A : No in IRAN.

author by Cormac - Grassroots Dissentpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The last poster iscorrect,the left were in no way screaming about it-but for the stallwart work of John Kelly and a few others this progress would not have occurred,the actions of the [politicians concerned deserve a similar but smaller amount of commendation I feel.
Although,I would be slightly wary about the connotations of having to ask "permission" before postering,particularly for narchist organisations,the developments must be welcomed.
Congrats to the Campaign!
Solidarity

author by know152publication date Wed May 24, 2006 16:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was no fan of the ban on postering that DCC offificals introduced but it should be remembered that the surfaces used are public spaces and some level of respect for them should be in the minds of those use them. Many were abused by groups who never bothered to remove their material after the event was over, nor did they provide any contact information or means to establish who they are. So that is why they were viewed as litter. It was visual, phyiscal spam.

Hopefully groups will be able to put up posters in future but equally I would hope that anyone putting up posters has some respect for the facility they are using.

author by Postering Boycotterpublication date Wed May 24, 2006 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It will still be illegal for posters to be up after the event. No group protesting against DCC's dragonian ban on all postering to the best of my knowledge has a problem with that.
Hey, go have a coke and a smile.

author by Terencepublication date Wed May 24, 2006 18:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think some of the concerns raised here about littering are spurious, but anyhow ideally all councils in addition to allowing posters to go up and come down after the said event, should make available public noticeboards and billboards. And I don't mean one or two noticeboards for the whole county behind some building, I mean there should be noticeboards available for public use in every major shopping outlet area / centre, at the entrance of every housing estate etc and so on.

I would NOT see these though as an alternative to general postering as that should still be allowed, because the council could easily just put up a few public noticeboards & billboards and claim it enables democracy when of course it would be extremely limited and have the net effect of blocking out the ability of the public to get their message across.

Perhaps all commerical displays should be required to allow either 20% of the display area or time to display public notices.

author by Dave - SWPpublication date Wed May 24, 2006 22:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

congrats to all involved. The postering ban has had a big effect on the left's ability to mobilise and inform people of public meetings, demonstarions and other events, as it was intended to do. Its a great boost to see it overturned.

author by Richie O'Reillypublication date Wed May 24, 2006 23:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Real good and crucial work done by a few good men and women. Take a bow my friends. How indeed did they (DCC)get away with it ? I suspect some officials in City Hall are not going to like this one bit ,but that is just tough because like it or not guys (mainly guys I understand) we do not live in a dictatorship.

As much as you might think your "litter argument "could justify banning notices of Public Meetings or Assembly on public property, it really holds no water when held up to the light. James Connolly said in 1915 that a "cause that seeks to flourish by stifling criticism is a hateful cause". That remains as true today as in 1915 and a lot of people gave their lives for such basic civil liberties. So lets not forget that if unelected but well paid servants of the public try to pull a similar stunt again.

Beir Bua

author by Dave Cpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 00:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That is brilliant. At first when i saw this article i was fuming cos i thought it said a ban on posters had been passed, but then i realised what it actually said.

This is a very important thing, well done.

author by hedgehogpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 11:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They can still make it very frustrating for people within the law. Sometimes meetings are at short notice. a big delay makes such applications impractical.

The application in writing for each individual event should be unnecessary. Its mostly the same information each time. common sense says you should have to register as a group just once and should then be free to poster whenever you need to but are liable for a small fine if you dont clean up your posters within a week or two afterwards. This fine should apply equally to political parties, not just activist groups.

Clearly applying for each instance is just to make life hard and wastes taxpayers money processing all those unnecessary applications and holding up groups wanting to get on with their activities.

Its good they finally dealt with it but it says a lot about our so called democracy when our basic rights are held to ransom by unelected bureaucrats for well over a year and we all cheer and call it a victory when they stop doing it.

author by Mick Stuartpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well I see hedgehog's point ,but the principle has been conceded and we can perhaps tweak the process as things develop. It is important to remember that DCC officials ie public servants, have been instructed by the peoples representatives to grant "all future requests to advertise for public meetings / events in the city..".

Solid work, well done.

author by Terencepublication date Thu May 25, 2006 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Very good points raised. The fact that you have to write to them and presumably await replies show that this is perhaps a hollow victory.

As in justice delay is justice denied, I think it's a case of freedom of expression delayed is freedom of expression denied.

author by Mick Stuartpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 17:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well indeed Terence they might try and do those sort of things but as I said above the principle has been conceded. If they go for "dragging things out" I hope you don't seriously think we are going to let them away with that, rest assured it will not be a hollow victory.

author by Mikepublication date Thu May 25, 2006 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good article, looks promising. just another little anecdote, i put ONE poster up a evening herald news kiosk (out of 100 posted in venues cos we cant do it anywhere else) for our 5 dates for indie/electro band, and DCC had the generosity to send 125e fines to each and every venue on the poster - thats a grand total of 625e for (although obviuously NOT as worthy or beneficial to the public as a free public meeting) a poster notifying the public of cheap(ie-we only ever manage to break even), independent , innovative and creative music events for anyone who can ever muster the 5e we charge in. DCC, supporting the arts.

author by number 6 - legalize freedom campaignpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 21:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The success of the removal of the ban on informing the Public on what is really going on was not as a result of 'the left'. Indeed the hidden hand that runs 'both sides' with the illusion of, 'the People having a choice',left or right ,is he biggest con of all time. A ban of any discription or a violation of any right is a violation to all our rights. If a Person's rights have been violated anywhere, so have my rights ,your rights. But, I do have to say this. There are a number of well financed 'left' groups in this Country who have produced very expensive 'glossy' disposable handouts,that are very vocal,that are constantly having meetings,who constantly talk ,ABOUT....doing something about something and regularly march and wave banners and may even get into scuffles. All a very nice Circus act to convince their nieve members that something is being done and that 'they' are really going to change things ,when ,a few who know the real con , Do actually change things. These ' few ', and I mean few , not funded People have succeeded in a number of weeks in toppling the same regime that has closed down information distribution in London and even New York to name a few. The fight is not over.The New World Order will again regroup to railroad over all our Rights if we let them. It is interesting that in the sixties in America,Lee Harvey Oswald was a Plant.His job was to get all the 'lefties' names ,addresses etc.etc. in America to join his so called Commy outfit only to hand this info.to the C.I.A. What a simply clever plan. Here is no different. The real power one has is not by joining a 'left' group or a 'right' group,but by exercising YOURSELF as a Person who demands their rights at every opportunity. All we really want to do is get the balance. It aint what you do -it's the way that you do it, is the key. So, all you activists out their.Think!
Think of Tactics,methods and stratagy.
More info.on this at a later stage. b.c.n.u.

Related Link: http://www.infowars.com
author by JohnKelly - CFSDpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 17:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One of the reasons DCC officials got away with this was because of lack of exposure in the mainstream media. No searching questions were asked about this dirty little sideshow run by DCC by the same media who become white with rage over atacks on Freedom of Expression in other countries. -Abroad- therein hangs the tale. RTE, following Kenny' s rant against attacks on freedom of expression elsewhere were contacted re the unconstitutional ban on notices of Public Assembly here in the capital. Response : ZERO.

MORE LATER ON IRISH TIMES SUPRESSION AND ALTERATION OF INFORMATION RE THIS ISSUE.

author by Hey Yapublication date Fri May 26, 2006 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But the sad thing is, is that the people who are in favour of this type of free speech, tend to be completly against the idea of letting people with differening opinions to theirs get any free speech at all. If Aine Ni Chonaill was putting up posters advertising meetings for the Immigration Control Platform (who as far as im concerned, are racist scumbags), people would call on the law as a reason to take down their literature. At least, by having this law, all parties are not allowed put up any bills on walls, everybody has to abide by the law. Furthermore, it pervents widespread litter. In this day and age, the internet, and sites such as this ones are good enough to publicise marches, rallies and protests.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 18:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And even if it had been a law it would have been an irrelevant one as it is unconstitutional.

As for posters with racist material on them: they're illegal and legislation and the constitution itself cover this issue.

The idea that this illegal ban was a law was first put about by DCC and advertised by some mainstream media including the independant. This was later clarified to have been a mistake by DCC and that it was a 'policy' and not a 'law.' This didn't really get into the mainstream media however.

I wonder why?

author by Brianpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 19:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Full credit to all involved in this campaign but from the comments raised does it not mean that it isn't a victory at all? I mean presumably the council could have given permission if they wanted to to anybody putting up posters under the previous system anyway. Now you have to ask them for permission which I would guess will be refused on some technicality or other for groups they don't like, once they still insist on any kind of licensing system? Say on the grounds of whether a meeting is commercial or not , after all it could be a grey area with most groups trying to raise money to pay for the hall etc. The Council defied its elected represenatives throughout this so why not continue to do so? Sorry for the scepticism but the way I see it a democratic campaign like this might bear fruit quickly in Iran or somewhere but Ireland no!lol The powers that be are bound to get around it somehow !l Twenty years of solid campaigning and maybe something will happen.............:-)

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 20:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Brian.

The motion before the council according to Cllr Joan Collins suggests that all 'requests' to put up public notices be automatically given permission.

I see why you are dubious though, I'm waiting for the catch myself.

This having to 'request your constitutional rights' issue will be much easier to defeat that the ban on the publication of public notices. I might just write an article on how to write such a 'request' for the observation and obedience to the constitution to be adhered to. ;O)

author by number 6 - legalize freedom campaignpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 20:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The sooner the better irish people flush the mindset ,'bhfuil cead agum dul amach' from their Adult fluoridated mind controlled brains,the better. Please Sir,can I have some more? or, can I do that? You can't ,that sign says no. Or whatever other imbedded mind restriction method that has been used to control the subjugated population, the issue is a simple one. YOU ,yes You have things called ...rights!
One is required to uphold the Law of the Land,yes. But albeit many Laws are obviously Legal. More often then not many are not Lawful. There is a large difference as of recent Supreme Court Rulings have proven. A law which is repugnant to Our Constitution is simply ...unlawful, unconstitutional.
It has taken many years for this simple fact to emerge and be brought into vogue. It is refreshing and heartening that this has come to pass. So, do not fear, your Constitution is here. Do not fear any of the Totalitarian methods that are being used to stop People from gathering and taking control of their Lives and Country and protecting their Childred and Family. Don't kid yourself,No Government ever obtained the true power to properly run any Country on behalf of the People. The Bankers and hidden hands tell the Civil Servants what to do an when.The Judiciary are the biggest gangsters in this Treasonable act that is perpetually loaded on the People of the State. This is done by passing unconstitutional Laws behind the People's backs,even income Tax on the 'Person' is an unconstitutional act. There are many more ,you don't have to think too hard to know what they are. Question everything.That is your right and what is whispered in your ear - shout from the highest Mountain tops.
And please, don't ask to go to the Toilet again.

Related Link: http://www.prisonplanet.com
author by Mick Butlerpublication date Sun May 28, 2006 14:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Do check Google under "Dublin Poster Ban." Good to see the Greens first out of the box as it was the "enviornment" argument that DCC always invoked as the reason for the byelaw ,oops the policy -there never was a byelaw-that was all a lie, a fabrication put out by DCC and swallowed and regurgiated by a pliant and pathethic mainstream media as "fact".

Here's to speaking "Truth to Power"

author by Liam Donohoe - nonepublication date Sun May 28, 2006 15:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Congratulations to the activists in this issue.

Personally I have a vested interest in this as I like to put up posters for bands and music events etc that I am occasionally involved but am restricted legally to very expensive approved "poster sites" which are in the hands of a crooked few (of course), and which currently provide an incomplete service in any case.

While the idea that one could be allowed to legally put up posters featuring the offensively ugly and mostly shit mainstream politicians at election time but not be allowed to promote more relevant events and awareness raising political gatherings at other times is a palpable nonsense.

With all due respect to some of the posters here though, concerns about littering are not spurious, in my opinion.

author by know152publication date Mon May 29, 2006 19:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"know152 - A little knowledge and all of that.
author by Postering Boycotterpublication date Wed May 24, 2006 15:43Report this post to the editors

It will still be illegal for posters to be up after the event. No group protesting against DCC's dragonian ban on all postering to the best of my knowledge has a problem with that.
Hey, go have a coke and a smile."

Yes, PB, I was aware of that. And I'm so impressed that you were so mature as to 'engage with' the issue rather than tackling the man.

Look around you and how many of the posters that people put up at present are removed after the event is done?

author by PBpublication date Tue May 30, 2006 10:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Look around you and how many of the posters that people put up at present are removed after the event is done?"

There wasn't that many up before an event had even begun. A bit early to tell but it wasn't a surprise to see which side you leaned to.

author by know152publication date Tue May 30, 2006 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was opposed to the ban and welcome its removal. I'm just asking that people have some respect for what is a public resource and take their stuff down after the appropriate time period.

Far too many people act is if because something is public that it means it is without cost and that they can do as they wish without thinking of any other groups that may wish to use the resource.

What do you disagree with in that?

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