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Gardaí arrest Thomas Cook staff

category dublin | workers issues | feature author Wednesday August 05, 2009 07:58author by K.Nikolaisen - SWP Report this post to the editors

Over 150 Garda smashed their way into Thomas Cook travel agency at 5am this morning

featured image
Some of the 150 Strong Force used to End the Occupation

At 5 AM this morning, over 150 Garda took part in an opperation to remove Thomas Cook workers who had occupied the building.They sealed off the street, dragged peaceful demonstrators away from the front door,and smashed their way in with a battering ram.

At 5 AM this morning, over 150 Garda took part in an operation to remove Thomas Cook workers who had occupied the building. They sealed off the street, dragged peaceful demonstrators away from the front door, and smashed their way in with a battering ram.

First, around 25 Gardaí marched up to the front door of the building. Over 150 Gardaí followed them on foot and in riot vans. The latter placed metal barriers across the street, from Trinity College to the bottom of Grafton Street and more across the top of the street affectively sealing off the area. It's estimated 50 to 60 Gardaí manned each line of barriers.

About a dozen protesters huddled together at the front of the building. When the Gardaí arrived they immediately used force to remove the protesters even though all of them repeated the words '…this is a peaceful protest…' Women were dragged along the ground by their feet, and put into arm and wrist locks by Gardaí twice their size. One man was punched as he sat on the ground by the front door.

Once the Gardaí had managed to force the handful of demonstrators back, they immediately produced a battering ram and proceeded to break the door down by breaking the glass and also the doorframe.

Before they arrived there were a number of people inside, sleeping on the floor. It’s believed at least one pregnant lady was inside, and she was taken to the Coombe Hospital as she went into labour early.

Many witnesses who saw the events unfold before their eyes were horrified at the amount of force and manpower that was used to gain entry to the building. The workers inside, and the supporters outside, had said from the start that it was a peaceful demonstration.

There will be a protest at 1 o'clock at the Bridewell Garda station. Those arrested will be appearing at the Dublin District Court no 45/46 at 2 pm today

tc2.jpg

author by Gary Mulcahy - Socialist Partypublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 09:50author email socialistpartyni at btconnect dot comReport this post to the editors

Belfast workers support jailed Thomas Cook workers

Picket outside Thomas Cook, Donegall Sq West, Belfast 1pm Tuesday 4 August

A picket will be placed on Thomas Cook this lunchtime to protest against the arrest of 28 Thomas Cook workers who have been occupying their offices in Dublin.

This morning at 5am a unit of Gardai physically removed and arrested 28 workers from Thomas Cook Grafton St store in Dublin and are due to appear in the High Court later today.

Socialist Party spokesperson Gary Mulcahy stated “We have called this picket today to protest in the strongest terms against the disgraceful physical eviction and arrest of workers from peacefully occupying their place of work.

It is a scandal that workers are being jailed when the rich bankers and speculators who caused the recession get bailed-out and continue to make big profits and receive huge bonuses.

We are calling on people in Belfast to show solidarity with their fellow workers and come down to Thomas Cook on Donegall Square West today at lunchtime to express their solidarity with these workers”

author by Daffydpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:03Report this post to the editors

I thought the protest was arranged for 1pm outside the Four Courts?!?!

Is this still the case? Could somebody help?

Thanks

author by Mark Ppublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:10Report this post to the editors

Daffyd, the protest mentioned in this thread is in Belfast. The Dublin protest is at 1 PM at the Four Courts.

author by Daffydpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:24Report this post to the editors

The OP refers to a protest outside the Brideswell at 1pm.

It's a bit of a distance from one to the other, so I'm assuming there's been some crossed wires or there are two unconnected protests being planned for Dublin

author by Mark Ppublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:29Report this post to the editors

The Four Courts are right beside the Bridewell, seperated only by the Luas tracks. I don't think you'll have a problem finding the protest.

author by Peterpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:30Report this post to the editors

Wires have been crossed and the meeting point has been confused. The posters gone up say the bridewell and there are a few activists and family members outside there now. It may be best to start there and move towards to four courts.

However, it's no harm if people assemble at both points.

author by thomaspublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:30Report this post to the editors

its a disgrace yet again the gaurds are acting like thugs snakes in the grass the rights of all citizans are zero when they can get away with their actions THE BIGGEST gang in ireland and now the most feared

author by fifth horsemanpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:40Report this post to the editors

It is quite clear that two protests have been called. Lack of co-ordination. Best as others have suggested to start at the bridewell and move towards the four courts.

author by w.publication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:11Report this post to the editors

The bridewell is just behind the four courts. It has holding cells underneath where the TC staff will be taken to - their case is not important enough to be held in the four courts.

I think someone is deliberately spreading confusion here.

author by Mark Ppublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:16Report this post to the editors

Actually W, my understanding is that their case will indeed be heard in the Four Courts. It's a contempt of court matter stemming from a High Court injunction, which means that they will be brought before the relevant High Court judge. The Bridewell is a District Court. You are correct though that the workers are being held in the Bridewell.

As people have pointed out repeatedly, the Bridewell and the Four Courts are right beside each other. You won't have difficulty finding the protest, just go along.

author by krossie - aging anarchistpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:18Report this post to the editors

Some good news lifted off the Newstalk site:

One of the women, who was involved in at sit in at Thomas Cook on Dublin's Grafton Street has given birth to baby girl.

Avril Boyne, who was than eight months pregnant, spent the weekend with over 30 colleagues protesting at the closure of the travel agency and the redundancy package offered to staff.


Free the workers good luck with the protest!

kp

Related Link: http://newstalk.ie/newstalk/news/22014/woman-involved-i....html
author by Seanpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:30Report this post to the editors

the gardaí would do well to remember that they too are workers. The next time they decide to have a blue flu day they might find some of their own officers or even the army being called in to shift them. What goes around comes around.

author by cathiepublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:59Report this post to the editors

Even a cursory glance at history would illustrate that the police in any nation have always been the foot soldiers of capital, protecting the status quo as dictated by the powerful elite.

In protecting the interests of the corporations, banks and political agenda they are performing their duties as minions of their employers. They are the only group in society to be given carte blanc to use violence and the threat of violence to protect the interests of the rich. They may beat people with impunity and send those citizens protecting everyone's interests to prison for merely disobeying their commands. In their capacity as foot soldiers of capital, in this instance, they did indeed do a good job.

Anyone continuing to perpetuate the illusion that the gards are here to serve the community does themselves, as well as everyone else, a great disservice.

just look at Rossport...

Shannon...

author by Tpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 13:16Report this post to the editors

And just to add also, isn't it amazing the relentless talk about crime in the media and the need for extra Garda and when they do arrive it is just 1 or 2 extra here and there into the worst crime ridden areas, but when it comes to protecting capital, theres no problem deploying 150 at a moments notice. Rossport at any given moment even in the quite periods has at least 100 Garda present and double and trible that at certain times.

It should be quite clear that the role of the Garda to fight crime is merely a cover. The State and Capitalism are quite happy to see communities smashed and torn apart and this is to ensure that these communities do not come together to fight the theft and abuse of people and resources by the tiny few at the top.

It is also interesting that the RTE website report neglected to mention that 150 Garda were used in this raid. I wonder why..... because people would be disgusted if they knew.

author by Eugene Mc Cartan - Communist Party of Irelandpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 13:24author email cpoi at eircom dot netauthor address James Connolly House, 43 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2:author phone 01 - 6708707 or 0879733414Report this post to the editors

The Communist Party of Ireland condemns the arrest and detention of about twenty former employees of Thomas Cook Ltd, along with a number of officials of their union, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, in a dawn raid raid on the premises that the workers had been occupying since Friday 31 July.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF IRELAND
James Connolly House, 43 East Essex St, temple Bar, Dublin 2:

4th August 09

Statement:

Condemnation of arrest and detention of Thomas Cook workers:

The Communist Party of Ireland condemns the arrest and detention of about twenty former employees of Thomas Cook Ltd, along with a number of officials of their union, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, in a dawn raid raid on the premises that the workers had been occupying since Friday 31 July.

These detentions mark a new low in the Irish legal and court system and expose once again the true nature of those institutions. There is clearly one law for the rich, for employers and corporate interests and one for workers, their trade unions, their families, and their communities.

We are living in a society in which people at the very top have been engaged in various dubious and illegal activities. We have bankers and property speculators, who in the eyes of many workers should be in jail, walking the streets, appearing in the mass media, lecturing workers about having to take cuts in wages and terms of conditions, telling us that we have “priced ourselves” out of jobs. Yet nothing is done to bring these people before the courts.

The Communist Party calls on the whole of the trade union movement to stand up and defend the rights of these workers and the TSSA. It is symptomatic of how far out of touch elements of the ICTU and the leadership of the Labour Party are with working people that they have yet to speak out on this outrageous attack on a group of workers.

Statement ends.

Eugene Mc Cartan

Gen Secretary

01 6708707 or 087 9733414

Related Link: http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie
author by Active Citizenpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 14:00Report this post to the editors

No doubt they shipped those garda thugs over from Rossport. Anyone willing to do the dirty work here in Mayo would certainly be willing to crush legitimate workers' protests.

PLEASE anyone with identification numbers of any of the gards involved, make them public! As much information as can be gathered is worthwhile.

author by John Jefferies - WPpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 14:14Report this post to the editors

Got a report by phone just now from Cllr. Ted Tynan (Cork) who is outside the Four Courts. Large crowd there now - about 20 people got inside before the rest were stopped by the gardaí. Chanting can be heard from inside the court, workers seem very determined to stand up for their rights.

author by Redundant Republicanpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 14:25Report this post to the editors

I am listening to the Joe Duffy show. Listened to reports of Jim Larkin, the 1916 takeover of GPO, Countess Marcivith. This is about workers in a travel agency, or is it something else?

author by dunkpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 14:50Report this post to the editors

Fighting for a decent living, scared, taken from occupation by police and sent to the Coombe to give birth early...
I really hope that baby girl is fine, and does grow up in a healthier, fairer world, which her mother has bravely fought for, and still might be sent to jail for...

The words of Christy Dignam come to mind..

"How can I protect you in this crazy world?"

Good luck to one and all, in and out of the courts, all struggling for an UN-crazy world, here and now!

mainstream coverage;

RTE:
Rally held in support of Thomas Cook staff
http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0804/thomascook.html

An estimated 200 people are taking part in a demonstration outside the Four Courts in Dublin in support of Thomas Cook workers who are facing possible imprisonment for contempt of court.

The demonstration is being supported by SIPTU, UNITE, The Socialist Party, Sinn Féin, the Independent Workers' Union, the Socialist Worker's Party, Dublin Council of Trade Unions and the CPSU.

The workers have been taken from the Bridewell to the High Court, where they were due to appear at 2pm.


Audio & Video
http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0804/thomascook_av.html?258...l,209

Irish Times: Thomas Cook workers in court
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0804/...1.htm

Former staff of Thomas Cook who have been occupying the company's shop in Grafton Street were arrested by gardai this morning in a dawn raid.

More than 15 officers from Pearse Street Garda station broke down the door of the premises and arrested all those inside just after 5am.

About 20 former Thomas Cook employees, along with a number of officials from their union, the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, and the People Before Profit Alliance councillor Richard Boyd-Barrett were taken to the Bridewell Garda station for questioning.

Each of the protesters was removed one-by-one from the shop. The occupiers clapped and cheered as they were taken out.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that a woman who is eight months pregnant was the first person to be removed from the branch. She was admitted to the Coombe hospital on the advice of a doctor, where she later gave birth to a girl.

Thomas Cook - Grafton Street branch closed
Thomas Cook - Grafton Street branch closed

author by krossie - aging anarchistpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 14:51Report this post to the editors

Q: how many gardai does it take to change a light bulb?

A Move along there - our job is to keep you in the dark!

Hi Jaysus - itrs hard to know what you're doing wasting your valuable time on indy media for if those are your views - surely you should be worrying the text machine down at newstalk or somewhere where the concensus is to bend over double and kiss teh ground in the praising of your betters and passive acceptance of what ever crap is shovelled on yer head.

As to Garda numbers I suggest people study the OP which appears to be a considered report from an eye witness.
This appears to be an estimate of the total number of Gardai involved in the entire operation - it states that 25 were involved in actually removing the workers - the rest were in vans - cutting of right of way to public streets and other "useful tasks" :-)).

Finally it appears that this naked and very public "un-gloving" of state power was certainly well over and above what was needed and designed purely to cow the rest of us!

kp

author by krossie - aging anarchistpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 15:06Report this post to the editors


Nobody hauling Carroll away in a van. No Gardai "just doing their job here"

"The Supreme Court has given property developer Liam Carroll temporary protection pending a full hearing next Tuesday. "

http://www.rte.ie/business/2009/0804/carroll.html

Mr Justice Kelly is familiar with Carroll and Zoe Developments. In 1997 he famously told the developer he was "not entitled to make profits on the blood and lives of" workers for his company. The comments came after a construction worker died on one of Zoe's sites.

He said Carroll was "a disgrace to the construction industry" and told the developer that Zoe Developments was "a criminal and a recidivist criminal at that, and is so thanks to you", adding that "the workers on whose sweat you make your money are treated with contempt and so are the laws".

Related Link: http://www.tribune.ie/business/article/2009/aug/02/zoe-...gone/
author by iosafpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 15:45author address barcelona - catalunyaReport this post to the editors


I offer all my solidarity from my home of near 10 years in a tourist destination whose quality of life has been indelible altered by tourism to the workers of Thomas Cook in Ireland. I offer my congratulations to baby Chelsea whose mammy I saw a photo of at her heavy eight months in a newspaper last night. I note the Gardai who broke down a door to take out our mammy and daddy were compassionate enough to see she was brought into this world before her full nine months gestation and then to put sincerity and humanity into the package arranged a short guided tour for the daddy to see his little girl before being brought back to the salubrious accomodation which is the pride of Dublin, the Bridewell.

I hate tourism.

Thomas Cook began with a Victorian gentleman of the same name organising trips for christians of his preferred non-drinking temperance type to visit a few destinations, the most exotic of which in the beginning didn't require a phrase book or his novel traveller's cheque concept were Wales, Scotland & Dublin. For some reason and to the eternal benefit of the traveller's cheque and chagrain of the scallywag, his tours of Paris, Switzerland and Baaden Baaden baaden proved more popular with the mid to late 19th century English holidaymaker. Maybe it was something to do with the food on offer in the closer to home destinations - or the lack of topless bathing on the Med - who knows?

Going on holidays is cheaper now & the hymn sheet has undoubtedly changed. If you can afford a complete set of Michael Jackson records, you can afford the purchase of a package holiday. Though many destinations now having embraced democracy and the common market no longer offer an escape from VAT. The fleet of boats at the disposal of the Irish holiday-maker have undoubtedly improved, and represent a continuing investment in capital, which was made possible through reduced expenditure on staffing. Filipinos and polish workers are glad of a job, and in the case of one looking forward to the one tier europe of opportunities & worker security "lisbon" and the other hoping their papers come through and the homeland gets "debt relief".

In addition, world class budget airlines now abound, some pushing the meaning of outsourcing and precarity to the limit happily shuttling in hundreds of poorer people from formerly poorer countries to formerly poorer countries with yet still poorer people. "ireland is proud".

We are all it seems "going on our summer holidays". And the dermotological statistics confirm it, Irish people are proving yet more and more succesful at growing melanomas.

But!

--------Is all this stuff sustainable?

Of course it is, not only is it based on infinite resources such as blue flags and our deep peakless reserves of suntan oil, it creates jobs.

Let's go on holidays, there's a world to conquer.

Even though they're not directly relevant to the Thomas Cook workers of Dublin, here are two back articles I wrote expressing my hatred of Tourism.

** "Blue Flag beaches and Marginalised Slums" http://www.indymedia.ie/article/70220 told the story of how a horde of juvenile delinquents in Lisbon, Portugal descended on the tourist beach and ended up getting police shotguns to their heads. This event in 2005 has unsurprisingly enough become a regular occurence & is thus no longer newsworthy but yet has to get a mention in the Lonely Planet, Rough Guide or Package brochure.

** "Spoiling your Holidays" http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77779 was written the following year and reflected on how increased tourism has meant the Mediterranean's dominant lifeform is now the jellyfish which without evolving eyes, brain or even sense of direction in 400 odd million years can still give you a nasty rash. I also hoped to brig attention to photos taken almost decades apart of tourists sunbathing within spitting distance of drowned beached illegal migrants. Sure that could turn a decent soul of their hymns and picnic. But our modern tourists have stronger stomachs.

Free Chelsea's Parents!

Chelsea the Gardai who are trained to give birth compassionately let you be prematurely born in a hospital.
Chelsea the Gardai who are trained to give birth compassionately let you be prematurely born in a hospital.

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 16:08Report this post to the editors

A good turn out at the protest today in Dublin. Flags and banners from UNITE, SIPTU, CPSU, Socialist Party, Eirigi, SWP, Sinn Fein and more.

I understand that all of the workers have now purged their contempt and have been released.

Meanwhile, the former Thomas Cook premises has been turned into a fortress. Even the old sign is gone, just a wooden wall and a few Gardaí remain.

author by John Jefferiespublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 16:30Report this post to the editors

I have just heard from a reliable source that a picket was put on a Thomas Cook outlet in Sydney, Australia this morning in solidarity with the workers in Dublin. Workers of all countries unite!

author by Pete the Painterpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 17:51Report this post to the editors

I saw the hoarding in front of the Thomas Cook. My instant thought was "that looks like a great place for a political slogan". Jail the Greedy Bosses not the Workers! Any other suggestions?

I note Thomas Cook sign came down quick. As if they didn't have enought bad publicity they felt need to take sign down! scum

author by Ken Leepublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 18:29Report this post to the editors

The Gardaí are workers? Working for who!!!!!!!!!!?????????

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 19:20Report this post to the editors

The arrest of the Thomas Cook workers stands in marked contrast to the banks rallying behind Liam O'Carroll, whose companies have been given the temporary protection of the courts.

author by feduppublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 19:36Report this post to the editors

The Gardai are simply an apparatus, used by the state according to its wishes, which should represent justice and fairness.

I think many people feel the same way about this action and notice how the same apparatus has not been used against equally, if not worse, criminal actions.

There is always a massive attack on bankers without any direct action. Today's scenes show that if we can secure a high court ruling to arrest accountants and bankers based on existing legislation it should be supported by as much garda resources as needed.

author by Seanpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 20:10Report this post to the editors

Fairness - Fedup? What's fairness if you can have a heavily pregnant woman shoved into the back of a paddy wagon by gardai for defending her job?

author by Ken leepublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 20:54Report this post to the editors

...will not be forgotten. My mama told me, there'll be more days like this. Don't forget the dockers next Monday. See events page.

author by feduppublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 22:21Report this post to the editors

"Fairness - Fedup? What's fairness if you can have a heavily pregnant woman shoved into the back of a paddy wagon by gardai for defending her job?"

I was perhaps sounding slightly neutral. The way the Gardai are being used, if you look at them at as tool of the state, is unfair both to the workers, and to a significantly lesser extent, the Gardai. I would have preferred the high court to refer the situation to the labour courts and force thomas cook to negotiate with the citizens of whose rights it is enshrined to protect.

Why are the courts being lenient with developers, maybe even protecting them, and at the same time instructing the Gardai to forcibly remove workers who have been denied a fair dialogue with their employers?

A general strike is of the order.

author by margaretpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 22:50Report this post to the editors

Yes, you too have seen a little of the brutal and heavy hand of the thugs in uniform,
How dare you try to protect your livelihoods,your civil rights!
( Look what happened to Willie Corduff in Mayo or Pat ODonnell on his boat protecting
their rights)
You are meant to lie down!
You are the "little people",You dont count.
How dare you vote NO to Lisbon .YOU will get it right ,or else!!!
You will not behave like this again ,next time you will be baton charged ,doesn't matter if
you are young,old, male , female,pregnant or disabled.
You have been warned!!
This is IRELAND 2009 .

Solidarity with you all.

author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 22:54author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors

Pics © Michael Gallagher 2009
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author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 22:59Report this post to the editors

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author by MG.publication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 23:04Report this post to the editors

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author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 23:09Report this post to the editors

To see these on slideshow, go to: http:// www.myspace.com/libertypix

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tc4_img_4382.jpg

An obedient city is a fair city
An obedient city is a fair city

author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 23:20author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors

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author by Spimpublication date Tue Aug 04, 2009 23:35Report this post to the editors

Any photos/video of the gardai arrests? The woman on the Joe Duffy show who had the child after the raid claimed that there was no force used by the gardai and that she was well treated....maybe she did not see everything that was going on in the confusion but please publish pics/videos so that we may see what exactly happened..otherwise get the workers to record an account of what exactly happened. If ANY of them were mistreated by the guards get a complaint in immediately, make a lot of noise!! If nothing actually happened, as this lady suggests then the flute who put up the initial post should not be let near a PC again...

author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Wed Aug 05, 2009 00:03Report this post to the editors

Richard Boyd Barrett said "anyone inside the travel agents was very well treated by the gardaí". That's if you discount the ramming/smashing of the glass door while people were asleep including two pregnant woman.
I did hear that a note was sent out to the gardaí from the mother explaining her condition, and that the female garda said it wouldn't be acceptable by the courts. I have no idea if this is true or what the note was supposed to have said.

There was only one press photographer on the scene as events unfolded from 4am, any of his pics are in the Evening Herald.

Picture essay uploaded of most of todays events from 8.10am. http://myspace.com/libertypix
There is more than one videos available apparently one from inside the shop as events unfolded this morning.
Try Utube.

Thanks for looking.

author by Spimpublication date Wed Aug 05, 2009 00:23Report this post to the editors

Thanks Michael...have tried U tube without success (could be me !)
Your photos look good..any chance you could put captions on them? I notice one appears to be a man showing a bruised arm...how did that happen I wonder? Any additional info would be great as those of us not in Dublin need all the info we can get.

Keep up the good work

Spim Bolligan

author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Wed Aug 05, 2009 09:13author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors

..you must have thought hard to come up with that name?
Anyway, the injured man was part of the sit-down section of supporters outside the travel agents as gardai bulldozed their way through. The only long term injuries they suffered is damage to their pride, (I think). The activists that is, not the gardaí
The photos after that one are at the four courts and the Bridewell garda station (next to each other) as the hearing inside the court was going on. There were over two hundred supporters outside from all shades of left -no Greens there- surprise surprise! It was a great turnout considering it was short notice during working hours and in the middle of the holidays.
The atmosphere was great as usual and the passing motorists played there part with loud and long honks from their cars and juggernauts, even an elderly man passing by on a bicycle managed to get his bell heard over the noise.

Overall, the support from the general public was phenomenal and local business's like Burdocks fish and chips and a few others (even Mc.......s) sent food to the shop workers and supporters over the lenght of the dispute, but I don't think that was a decision made in America.

The best news of all was that Avril had her baby safely in the right environment and they are both doing very well. Chelsea weighed 5lb.13oz. and Joe Duffy will be doing a live interview later today RTE 1 radio 1.45pm with Avril and it will be interesting to hear how events unfolded from her point of view.

Thanks again for looking at the photos and your comps.

author by Jimpublication date Wed Aug 05, 2009 09:37Report this post to the editors

"Yes, friends, governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class. " - James Connolly

author by Seanpublication date Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:14Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the video links - it's just a pity that you had to spoil it by writing all over it with that goddam awful text font.

author by Spimpublication date Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:20Report this post to the editors

Michael,

The nom de plume Spim Bolligan comes from how my name was pronounced in Switzerland once, very hard to deal with fadas...no thinking involved I'm afraid!

Thanks for the update and good luck.

SB

author by francis hughespublication date Wed Aug 05, 2009 20:07Report this post to the editors

Fair play to all involved in every aspect. This has really garnished support and caught the publics attention. If only they had stayed in for another few days ,the general public were only startin to get filled in when it was over. I think we need a disciplined hard core , skilled group to help to barracade at these type of things, and to keep watch and not make it easy for Gardai to cowardly sneak in in the night when the eyes of the media, and world are away from them. No offence to the studenty flaky types but we need every angle covered in this struggle p.s can someone give us an update of the latest news

author by Damienpublication date Thu Aug 06, 2009 00:11Report this post to the editors

The common theme of these protests is that they all fade away after a few days/weeks, such as Irish Ferries, Thomas Crook, Atlantic 252 Long Wave Radio Mast, and people just forget about it and movce on. But we must show more support and solidarity to these workers and if needs be join them in struggle

author by fredpublication date Thu Aug 06, 2009 00:56Report this post to the editors

the strength of this campaign is that it was ordinary workers. they voted unanimiously stuck together each step of the way. while i understand the sentiment of the poster two posts up, a professional cadre of protesters can be seen as manipulation. vanguard of the people isn't a smart as some people think it is. better to nurture, offer support when necessecary.

author by Wiseacre - nonepublication date Thu Aug 06, 2009 06:40Report this post to the editors

It was the Judge who ordered the operation in Court who is to blame not the garda who then had to carry out the operation under pain of Disciplinary Action and probable dismissal from the force.

Comrades, if we can't identify our targets precisely, if we simply wish to indulge ourselves in Garda scapegoating, we have no hope of victory !

author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Thu Aug 06, 2009 06:43author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors

Most people Damien? You are probably half right, but the fact of the matter is that these things happened and enough people are about to remind us of the common thread of all these events. But the real problem is that the workers have lost their unions many many years ago to the hypocritcal 'leadership', some shop stewards and the lackeys who benefit from the trickle down of crummy perks from the top table.
When we get and win our unions back, then we have a fighting chance. I'm not saying politicians like Joe Higgins etc aren't doing great work and putting in valient efforts on our behalf, but if Joe etc where to make union leadership as their goal and have that as a platform, then we are talking about a major shift in the education, inspiration, motivation, mobilisation and backbone needed to win disputes like the Thomas Cook affair.
Some people on the left have made valient efforts in the past running for union office, the likes of Des Derwin to name but one, but these efforts need to be consistant and there are some great people doing great work in mobilising their members, but it's to stop start stop for my liking.

The unions, the Dáil and the workplace can be a three pronged attack on the right wing (including the right wing union officials), they are their for the winning
We need the right people in the right places, with the will and wherewithall to do that.
That done, we won't have to pass the Dáil gates on marching days.

Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/libertypix
author by Diarmuid - personal capacitypublication date Fri Aug 07, 2009 15:59Report this post to the editors

What is needed, comrades, is a non-sectarian and non-elitist broad front movement at the grassroots (you can call it something else if "grassroots" is too much associated with a certain party). This does not exist and neither of the two main non-Republican left groups/ parties in Ireland seem prepared (or able?) to take on the task.

More than spokespersons in Parliament and in union bureaucracies, workers in struggle (or contemplating struggle) need organisation that can give mutual support and solidarity, build confidence and learn from experience. Ultimately, because of the forces of capitalist law & order ranged against them, militant workers will be sent to prison and they will need a good support network for them and for their families. I believe the heavy-handedness of the court and the police in this case was partly to prevent escalation in support for the protest but also to test the response of the movement. There will be future incidents.

The slogans eventually shouted outside the courts: "Whose Law? Bosses' Law! Whose Courts? Bosses' Courts! Whose cops? Bosses' cops!" were started by a couple of individuals and originally shunned by many of the Left groups, although taken up by the crowd. They give the answer to part of the debate in the earlier comments, I believe. Cops, Courts and The Law are all arms and machinery of the state employed on behalf of the capitalists and it is correct to attack them ideologically. This case was an excellent demonstration of how they work together for the rich. There will be future demonstrations of that relationship.

author by dell boypublication date Fri Aug 07, 2009 17:32Report this post to the editors

whats needed is for every group the ones you don't like the ones i don't like but always turn up on the same pickets i.e republicans, all shades, trots socialists communists anarchist's unions community groups etc a broad forum to sit down today and draw up a practical blue print for theese types of campaigns e.g shifts, food, tea, speakers, agreed leaflet so your not walking away with 20. everything so a picket can be sustainted over a long period of time. also practical shit like agreed fundraisers to raise legal fund for people who take the actions etc. i don't have to agree with the trots the trots and vise versa but if we consontrate on simularites then united we stand, divided we fall. we know sooner or later theres going to be another thomas cook. if we want to we the next one and the next one then we'll work together and recognise or strength if we want to stay on our own ok thats grand but we will all loose.

author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Fri Aug 07, 2009 18:20Report this post to the editors

...before, but read the Socialist Party paper this week, center pages. It touchs on left unity and reasons why the Socialist Party won't be part of a broad allience with the SWP, for instance. But small parties, as organsed as they are with small numbers, need to show that they are willing to cooperate more on struggles we are in now and the future. Like sharing information quickly when it becomes known that other workers are having problems with their bosses.
If ever unity was needed across the board, now is the time to start seriously making those moves neccessary. Hundreds more jobs today threatened, dockers out for a month in Dublin, bin workers also out for weeks and barely a whisper from the press...others that we may not have heard of. As well as the suggestions made in above posts, more pressure from the rank and file needs to be brought to bear on the weak 'leadership', in ALL unions.

This is the battle royal we are facing, it's them and us, the workers against the bosses and all their machinery, trickery, laws and mechanisms.

It's long past time to stand up and be counted, united.

author by Yeagerpublication date Fri Aug 07, 2009 19:45Report this post to the editors

Listen, we are far from powerless when dealing with Garda/Police thuggery.. Police forces depend more on our co-operation than we might think. We all are familiar with cops going on the telly or the radio appealing for information on or eye-witnesses for this or that crime or accident to contact them. In fact, without public support many of their cases could not be solved. And if the Gardai, or indeed any police force in the world, don't play fair with us, keep brutalizing and terrorizing peaceful demonstrators at the Thomas Cooke store or Rossport, then don't co-operate with them. If the Gardai don't stop biting the hands that feed them, then don't react to their appeals for information from the public. Boycott and isolate the bastards.

author by Jasonpublication date Sat Aug 08, 2009 20:47Report this post to the editors

I am amazed to hear that the gardai shoved the pregant woman in the back of a paddy wagon, she had nothing but the height of praise for them on the joe duffy show after having her baby (by the way congrats) The rest of the Tomas Cook staff also seemed to be complimentary of the gardai, I cannot understand the conflict in this post and what is being said, I really think that if people are going to accuse the gardai of heavy handitness they should do when when it really has happened. Its a little like the boy calling wolf - when it really happens no one will believe them

author by Ken Leepublication date Sat Aug 08, 2009 22:33Report this post to the editors

...away? Don't you watch the news? Have you ever heard of Terence Wheelock http://www.indymedia.ie/article/82934 or Anthony McDonagh? How about Frank McBrearty? http://www.indymedia.ie/article/73090? Shell to Sea? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h12RZtxqbo&feature=related To name but a few of others who have suffered at the hands of the gardai.

The gardaí in this country are a law unto themselves and will be used many more times as enforcers of the bosses and the states onslaught on workers.

But let's not stray from the main subjects, workers, their jobs and their livlihoods

author by Jasonpublication date Sun Aug 09, 2009 15:17Report this post to the editors

You didnt answer the question about the conflict in the story, what has any of those cases got to do with what happened to the tomas cook staff, did the gardai abuse them or not? if they did this story is accurate if they didnt as the staff seem to say then the story has an agenda, as I said when a real incident occurs people are not taken seriously cause their credibility is gone. From what I hear their were alot of people jumping on the bandwagon that the staff did not want and this seems to be what is going on here with this thread.

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