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FEE activist 'manhandled' by minister at NUI Galway protest

category national | education | news report author Wednesday December 10, 2008 14:01author by Emma Beckett - Free Education for everyone Report this post to the editors

The student who was manhandled last night by Minister Eamon O Cuiv has called for an apology from the minister.

fee_galway_1.jpg

The incident took place during an anti-fees student protest at the visit of Ministers O Cuiv and Batt O’Keefe. The students attempted to block the ministers’ entrance to the university, adopting the slogan: ‘They are trying to block our access to college, so we’ll block theirs’.

One student was grabbed by the Minister who tried to push him from a railing. “I was on the other side of a railing!” the student said. “O Cuiv’s claims that we were squashing him into a corner are completely bogus. He was the aggressor; he came over and grabbed me. I call on the Minister to formally apologise to myself and the FEE campaign for his actions.”

Pictures of the protest clearly show that the Minister and his secretary were not being squashed and that O Cuiv assaulted the protestor.

The protest was called by the NUI Galway Students’ Union and was assisted by Free Education for Everyone (FEE). Free Education for Everyone is a campaigning group of students set up to fight the re-introduction of fees and for genuinely free education for all. FEE groups exist in UCD, Trinity, Maynooth, UCC, UL and NUIG. FEE activists have organised protests, occupations and blockades across the country over the past number of months.

FEE believes that university campuses should be a no-go-area for ministers like O Cuiv and O’Keefe. FEE is open to everyone that stands for truly free education and can be contacted at stopfees@gmail.com or on 0861986955.

http://free-education.info/2008/12/10/fee-activist-manhandled-by-minister-at-nui-galway-protest/
http://free-education.info/2008/12/04/fee-occupations-on-national-day-of-action/
http://free-education.info/2008/11/20/fee-cork-picket-education-department/
http://free-education.info/2008/11/24/150-tcd-students-protest-against-batt-o%E2%80%99keeffe-su-president-welcomes-him/
http://free-education.info/2008/11/26/trinity-news-a-significant-minority-are-seizing-the-initiative/

Related Link: http://free-education.info

minister arrives in his merc
minister arrives in his merc

fee_galway_4.jpg

meeting after the protest
meeting after the protest

attachment they block our access, we'll block theirs 0 Mb

author by Emma Bpublication date Wed Dec 10, 2008 16:05Report this post to the editors

The photos were taken by Kevin O'Connor. O' Cuiv arrived in a taxi rather than his merc. The recession seems to be hitting everyone.

“The secretary was squashed up against the wall with students kicking her and one of them waving a big stick at her,” http://breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhidsnsnkfmh/

Related Link: http://free-education.info
author by Godot - FEEpublication date Wed Dec 10, 2008 22:15Report this post to the editors

from Sin (NUI Galways student paper)

Related Link: http://sin.starlight.ie/site/view/288/
author by Joseph - FEEpublication date Thu Dec 11, 2008 04:16Report this post to the editors

I was there,hats important to note is that Batt O'Keefe was there too and he got a worse reception. When he was tring to get in 20 FEE members stood in his way, peacefully, until he started to push into us with the Gardai behind him. This lasted for about 5 minutes, until a gap formed in our blockade and he squeezed through only to trip up on reaching the door! Concerning Eamon O'Cuiv, not one person threatened him or even noticed his secretary, he turned to violence, he turned to lies, it is he ho is lookin pathetic out of this. My only regret - WE DIDN'T STOP BATT TALKING. To be fair we only found out he was coming on Monday evening, but we organised fast, even though many of FEE's members were sitting exams. This is just the start, from now on, NUIG IS A NO- FIANNA FAIL TD ZONE.

author by bedpanpublication date Thu Dec 11, 2008 05:13Report this post to the editors

If you crowd up towards somebody it is quite reasonable for the person to interpret the body language as a threat. Did they expect O'Cuiv to smile at them and say Howdy? In China the police and bodyguards might have opened fire. Or in Greece maybe. Don't bother thinking about North Korea, where there's a nuclear option.

author by Was therepublication date Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:13Report this post to the editors

bedpan, it wasn't aggressive. O'Cuiv stated 50 students crowded around him. The pictures prove that not even half that amount stood in front of the doors, at the last one there was an even fewer number (mostly due to the difficulties of getting to it) and that was when he grabbed hold of a student and shook him.

Fine, maybe in China we'd all be lined up and shot but I heard we lived in a country where peaceful demonstrators were not pushed around the place.

author by Educated Opinionpublication date Fri Dec 12, 2008 23:28Report this post to the editors

Firstly on the Matter of the protest in NUIG, what sort of total no brainers would protest at the announcement of a €50 million investment in the college?? Its not the action that anyone who is actually educated would summon. I dont like the prospect of introducing fees but I can see that is a good way of eliminating the presence of idiots in colleges. It is done in other countries and works perfectly, so why not do it here? We are officially in a recession, the government should put the money they will receive in fees into the economy to stabilise it and voila there will be jobs for people when they graduate!! What good is a degree if the economy cannot sustain jobs for people. And of course people who dont seem to benefit from an education (protestors) can take their rightful place in society.

author by Educated Opinionpublication date Fri Dec 12, 2008 23:33Report this post to the editors

Firstly on the Matter of the protest in NUIG, what sort of total no brainers would protest at the announcement of a €50 million investment in the college?? Its not the action that anyone who is actually educated would summon. I dont like the prospect of introducing fees but I can see that is a good way of eliminating the presence of idiots in colleges. It is done in other countries and works perfectly, so why not do it here? We are officially in a recession, the government should put the money they will receive in fees into the economy to stabilise it and voila there will be jobs for people when they graduate!! What good is a degree if the economy cannot sustain jobs for people. And of course people who dont seem to benefit from an education (protestors) can take their rightful place in society.

author by Stevepublication date Sun Dec 14, 2008 00:57Report this post to the editors

Yes, idiots, i.e. people who can't afford to spend thousands a year on education. Don't ya love tabloid logic?

author by tbnuigpublication date Thu Feb 05, 2009 22:54Report this post to the editors

I was not at this event but was at the event in the University on Monday. I just want to say that the way certain members of FEE behaved last Monday upon the arrival of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was absolutely appalling and brought shame on the University and in particular on the individuals that behaved in such a way. I have my issues with Bertie Ahern and the re-introduction of fees but he should not have been stopped from speaking. If those that prevented him from addressing the people that waited in line to hear him had serious grievances with him then they should have behaved like grown adults in a democratic society and let him speak and take their issues up with him. Every individual has the right to freedom of expression, including Bertie Ahern! Every individual also has the right to receive and impart information....we respected the rights of FEE to what should have been a peaceful protest and they should have respected others right to hear Mr. Ahern speak!

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