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Dublin - Event Notice
Tuesday May 18 2010
07:00 PM

Anti Capitalist bloc for Dail protest

category dublin | anti-capitalism | event notice author Friday May 14, 2010 09:44author by Andrew - WSM & Seomra Spraoiauthor email wsm_ireland at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

Last Tuesday Gardai used extendable steel batons against the heads of protesters trying to enter the Dail carpark resulting in at least five head injuries. We've seen the state react in a similar fashion to resistance in Rossport, Mayday 2004 and Reclaim the Streets. It's time to say Enough.
frontofmarch_charcoal.jpg

The Workers Solidarity Movement and Seomra Spraoi are calling on an anti-capitalist bloc to meet up at 19.00 sharp to march (perhaps with a short stop at Anglo Irish bank) down to the Right to Work protest called for 19.30 at the Dail. We think its important to show we won't be beaten into passivity and the greater the numbers who assemble at the Dail the clearer this message will be.

We stand with the Greek workers who continue to resist the cuts and reject the demonisation of their resistance and ours that has been waged in the Irish media. Against those who say there is no alternative we declare, "They didn't share the wealth, why should we share the pain? Make the rich pay for the crisis"

We hope you will join with us. Be there at 19.00 sharp as we will have a discussion of how we should best react to the events of last week.

The meet up point is the North East corner of Stephen Green, opposite the Shelbourne Hotel. Be there at 19.00 on Tuesday May 18th.

author by pat cpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It wasn't just the Gardai who attacked those who were batoned. Since then a speaker at the demo, Janet Byrne, of "Patients Together" has felon set them and told them to keep away from future demos. She has said that the attack on the Dail (as she describes it) was pre-planned despite Vincent Browne making it clear that this was not the case.

Incredibly no one from the SWP, PBPA or Right To Work Campaign has countered Byrnes attacks on the protesters. This self-appointed patients representative should not be allowed to speak from campaign platforms again unless she withdraws her lies and apologises to those who were batoned.

author by just asking a questionpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 12:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The WSM and Seomra Sproai"- how does that work? Who is the spokesman for SS?

author by D_D - PBPA - individualpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 13:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If the intention of this initiative is to emphasis the physical confrontation that took place last Tuesday and to get on board, ensuring that 'we' will have bigger forces this time, it is IMHO the opposite to what is needed now.

What is needed is to assure the unhappy Janette Byrnes (not deserving of pc's remarks) and UNITEs (yes unhappy) that there will be a popular, peaceful and widely-supported protest and that there will NOT be a repeat next Tuseday of the gate crashing. Will that foray double or halve the turn out the next time?

author by non-voterpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 13:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The above comment by Pat C is unsubstantiated . Would he or any other poster please give a link to where the SWP PB4P can find Ms Byrne's statement so that they can respond to it . Byrne was on the platform after the march and might have had as much an idea as Vincent Browne about what went on . Perhaps the half-hearted attempt at storming the Dail had a measure of pre-planning to it .There wouldn't neccessarily be anything wrong with that I would have thought . But perhaps Byrne took a diferent point of view and thought that the militancy was wrong because it would put people off attending marches in the future. If she had called for people to be arrested that would be a different matter ,but did she? Calling her statement “felon-setting” without quoting it is unhelpful at best .At worst it comes across as shit-stirring.

The bit about Browne “making it clear” that the incident was not pre-planned should be substantiated as well .Browne was neither an organizer of the march nor the attemp to gain entry to the Dail. If he had made such a clear statement people would have a right to ask him how he could be so sure.

author by Protester - nonepublication date Fri May 14, 2010 13:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just listened to Janette Byrne- she gave out about the scuffles- in fact she actually, did say in spite of being annoyed about the 'violence' that she encouraged people to still come out on protests.

I also want to know what the intention of 'bloc' is??

And who is Andrew speaking on behalf of? WSM or Seomra Spraoi?

author by Andrewpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 16:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The event is called by both WSM and Seomra Spraoi, my name is up there because I did the copy paste publish dance here last night.

Beyond that people are reading a little too much into it. There is no secret plan here, just what it says on the tin.

----

On a personal note: I think RtW people have been pushed far too much into a defensive denial position by the media hysteria around the attempt by a few people with flags to get into an empty car park. The only serious violence was the Gardai use of extendable batons against unprotected skulls, something that could have caused fatal injury. Given the assault on them the response of the people at the gate was very restrained, it is the Gardai action and not the stunt that is the problem here and this needs to be said.

author by non-voterpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 18:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Andrew’s comment about a few people with flags trying to get into an empty carpark reminds me of what certain people say about soccer : twenty-two grown men chasing a piece of leather around a field. There was more to it than that Andrew . The SWP site has this to say:
“As the march approached the Dail, a contingent including Socialist Worker Party members, rushed forward with the aim of staging a sit in.”

That suggests to me that there was an element of planning ,but so what if there was ? My main objection would be that the plan didn’t work out and that the big guard had the chance to play Horatius on the television .

I agree with Andrew though when he says that people shouldn’t take a defensive denial position about this . The people trying to get in to make their protest were probably acting illegally in the strictest sense of the word , but that’s nothing to compare to the crimes committed by bankers and government complicity in the bankers’ crimes . It’s the government’s insistence that workers should have to pay for a crisis they didn’t create that deserves to be condemned and not the people who took the whacks . People working on the frontline of the health service tell us that many deaths have already taken place as a direct result of cutbacks .That’s what we should focus on.

author by pat cpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 18:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bryne made these comments on the Pat Kenny shpw on Wednesday. Vincent Browene was directly next to those involved. Byrne claimed that the incident was pre-planned. Vincent Browne was also on the PK show and pointed out that people were asked by the organisers to go around the back of the truck so that the platform would be surrounded. VB said that a small number of marchers saw the DAil gate was open and ran at it.

Byrne showed no sympathy for those who had been batoned when she was on the PK show. She said they should stay away from future demos. Byrne shouted down Mary Smith when she tried to tell the true story of what happened.

Not unsubstantiated. Going on PKs listerner figures over 200,000 people heard it.

Byrne, the sef appointed patients representative, is the one who should stay away.

author by Seomra Spraoi - One ofpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 18:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No mystery about this at all. We happily support a combined call out after chatting amongst our working collective. We dont have a spokeperson, and havent really thought about it to tell ya the truth.

@ at Protestor "I also want to know what the intention of 'bloc' is??"

From my own perpsective ( ie not a seomra spokeperson) one intention about trying to counteract the dullardness of most demos whilst showing a greater visibility of people who feel comfortable being in a clearly anti capitalist grouping. As it probably obvious, weeks of planning have not gone into it.

A few leftys here seem to be getting worried that this bloc is a "smashy smashy" affair, and no doubt our branch friends online here will be wondering now too, but thats not what we have called for at all.
But as was said by Andrew above, lets remember where the violence come from

(and on PERSONAL point of view, Ive no desire to be fightin cops, its pretty tiring, sore and you arent gonna win. But self protection is a different thing. I feel i have every right to defend myself against anyone hitting me with a stick or lenght of metal. but i would argue that people always have the right ot defend themselves against attack, just because the person battering you is wearing a blue shirt doesnt matter

But lets also remembering the games that the state and the politic police play. It suits them to big up a scare in advance and play out the game of repression. We need to be smart and creative in actions and demos, it more important that we build trust and experiences working togetther than it skirmishes for the sake of it.)

Having not been at the demo last thurs, but watched the video and VB's show, its clear many folks are hyping this up. Its hardly suprising that liberal conservatives within the professionalised advocacy are first and foremost fearful of having a tarnished reputation. Much more perferable and respectable than critising the batonin actions of the cops against a small number of over zealous folks trying to get into the car park.

Such is the nature of deference i guess,

author by non-voterpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 19:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The fact that Pat C may have heard somebody saying something in an interview on the Pat Kenny show isn’t substantiation .Quotes please.

While Byrne’s comment about over-zealous protesters may ,if she said them , have been wrong as I suggested in my last post , it is a legitimate position to hold if you think that “stunts” like this one put people off coming to demonstations. That issue should be debated with people like Byrne , who from what I can see on the Patients Together website is not a “self-appointed patients’ representative” , as PatC maintains , but a recovering cancer patient who has become an advocate of patients’ rights after seeing conditions in the health service for herself at first hand. Her telling over-zealous marchers to stay away from future marches is not the same thing as felon-setting . In my opinion we shouldn’t be telling anybody to stay away from future marches , but that includes Janette Byrne.

author by pat cpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 20:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The fact that Pat C may have heard somebody saying something in an interview on the Pat Kenny show isn’t substantiation .Quotes please."

It is substantiation. If you choose to disbelieve me so be it.

"While Byrne’s comment about over-zealous protesters may ,if she said them , have been wrong as I suggested in my last post , it is a legitimate position to hold if you think that “stunts” like this one put people off coming to demonstations. "

Saying that the gardai did nothing wrong and congratulating them is not a legitimate position imho. Mary Smith was on the radio show with Byrne and her injuries would have been obvious.

"That issue should be debated with people like Byrne "

There should be no debate with someone who congratulates the gardai for batoning a 61 year old retired midwife.

," who from what I can see on the Patients Together website is not a “self-appointed patients’ representative” , as PatC maintains , but a recovering cancer patient who has become an advocate of patients’ rights after seeing conditions in the health service for herself at first hand. "

How many patients actually elected her? I suffer from a serrious medical condition. I've spent 24 hours on a drip on a chair in the Mater. I don't think that gives me the right to claim to speak for hundreds of thousands of patients.

"Her telling over-zealous marchers to stay away from future marches is not the same thing as felon-setting . In my opinion we shouldn’t be telling anybody to stay away from future marches , but that includes Janette Byrne."

Praising the gardai for batoning protesters and calling the protesters violent. is felon setting imho.

author by non-voterpublication date Fri May 14, 2010 21:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If Byrne congratulated and praised the gardai for batoning a 61 year old woman as Pat says that’s a different matter of course. Quotes please .Felon-setting is the conscious and deliberate setting-up of people up for arrest and imprisonment. Quotes please .

It isn’t a matter of me believing or not believing Pat , and I do empathize with his various ailments , but we can’t believe everything we read on the net surely ? Sometimes people just hear things or read things wrongly or get things mixed up .Pat did that in his last post where he once again insinuated that Byrne was unelected while claiming to represent hundreds of thousands of patients He wrote,

“How many patients actuallyelected her? ........ I've spent 24 hours on a drip on a chair in the Mater on occasion. I don't think that gives me the right to claim to speak for hundreds of thousands of patients.”

As I wrote before, from what I can see from the Patients Together site , Janette Byrne sees herself as an advocate of patients’ rights ,she doesn’t claim to be an elected patients’ representative .

author by Terencepublication date Sat May 15, 2010 00:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The recent 1 trillion Euro bailout signals the onslaught that has already started with now both Spain and Portugal announcing massive cutbacks to pensions, health and increasing the retirement age. Next up is the attack on the German welfare system which is the shining example that many aspired to.

What this means for Ireland is that this is only the beginning. More cuts are on the way. The amounts of money now being lent by the banks to the governments to bailout the banks is now so huge that no country has any chance of ever paying this office and that exactly is the intention.

Because there is a "crisis" this is be used as an excuse as we speak to destroy every social gain made since the era of the Industrial Revolution. It is time for people to wake up and see the bigger picture at play. I think the focus on these demos with very narrow titles like Right to Work is utterly useless and serves to indirectly imply this situation can or will be fixed by the present power structures.

I think what people have to really understand here is that Capitalist system is in crisis and its mandate of perpetual growth can no longer function, but for those in power it is irrelevant because a new system that keeps them in power is already in the making and the first step is to strip again all the gains and cede control of the important functions of government through the mechanism of massive debt.

This is exactly what the IMF has done to Third World countries over the past 25 years. Huge amounts of money was lent, usually to dicators, then the IMF imposed austerity measures and the famous IMF conditions and this brought in the era of financial colonialism. This is also the same period in which the shanty towns of the world grew massively to the point today where almost 2 billion people live in them.

What we see now is the Third World has arrived on our own doorsteps. The government of whatever strip is in power will do absolutely zero for the people. We have already seen that they have simply handed over tens of billions (not millions) and yet when asked for a few hundred thousand say they have nothing left. They have completely ceded all power directly to the bankers or other power brokers.

Nothing less than total revolution in all countries has any hope of reversing this. And yet we see people refuse to see this everywhere. In the case of Janet Byrne it is quite clear in her actions she is trying to keep the movement broad and is terrified of the "bad" coverage but it is quite clear that she has no real understanding of the depth and scale of the problem or of the functioning of the continuous life long propaganda system we all live in and how it conditions our thinking especially based on our class, and that she is a product of that and has yet to even perceive or begin to fully understand how it inherently manipulates people to oppose and attack others in the same system.

All force will be used by the system to do what it has to do and at all points it will attempt to gloss over it especially to the wider public but bare its knuckles directly to those few who venture to the street.

author by pat cpublication date Sat May 15, 2010 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"If Byrne congratulated and praised the gardai for batoning a 61 year old woman as Pat says that’s a different matter of course. Quotes please .Felon-setting is the conscious and deliberate setting-up of people up for arrest and imprisonment. Quotes please ."

Quotes are given from papers and online text I can't give that from the PK show. Byrne accused the protesters of violence. Byrne congratulated the gardai on their action despite the fact that a 61 year old person who had beenb atoned on the head was with her in the studio.

"It isn’t a matter of me believing or not believing Pat , and I do empathize with his various ailments , but we can’t believe everything we read on the net surely ? Sometimes people just hear things or read things wrongly or get things mixed up ."

Actrually you are choosing to disbelieve me. Over 200,000 listeners to the PK show woild have heard it. I mentioned my ailments because you mentioned Byrnes.

"Pat did that in his last post where he once again insinuated that Byrne was unelected while claiming to represent hundreds of thousands of patients He wrote,
“How many patients actuallyelected her? ........ I've spent 24 hours on a drip on a chair in the Mater on occasion. I don't think that gives me the right to claim to speak for hundreds of thousands of patients.”
As I wrote before, from what I can see from the Patients Together site , Janette Byrne sees herself as an advocate of patients’ rights ,she doesn’t claim to be an elected patients’ representative ."

But she names HER organisation Patients Together. How many patients are members of this group? I see little difference in someone claiming to be an advocate for patients rights and someone claiming to be a patients representative.

This is going in circles and I wonder what your agenda is. In any case I really don't care if you believe me or not. I have a track record of posting here for the last 8 years.

Who knows who you are?

author by Mark C - Contact.iepublication date Sat May 15, 2010 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For quotes (in context) from the Pat Kenny show, you can listen to the show.


Pat Kenny Dáil Protests segment

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_patkenny.xml
author by non-voterpublication date Sat May 15, 2010 14:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This shouldn’t be a matter of trusting somebody’s word even if they have been writing on this site for eight years .

Pat wrote :

“There should be no debate with someone who congratulates the gardai for batoning a 61 year old retired midwife”

I found it very difficult to believe that Byrne- or anybody else for that matter - would have done such a thing on the Pat Kenny Show , but said yesterday that I could be wrong and asked for substantiation. Thanks Mark , I'll listen to that recording .

Pat sees , “little difference in someone claiming to be an advocate for patients rights and someone claiming to be a patients representative”. There is a difference between an advocate and a representative ,Pat – especially an elected representative . You insinuated that Byrne is claiming to be an elected patients' representative; that is the point I picked you up on . When writers mix important things like that up - for whatever reason - surely readers have the right to ask them to substantiate what they say .

Terence is probably nearer the mark when he says that Byrne is terrified of bad publicity and wants to keep the movement broad. She probably regards the gardai as an impartial force . That's the way a lot of people see things though ,including seasoned commentators like Fintan O'Toole and Vincent Browne both of whom had nice things to say about the gardai on the VOB show . Why single out this woman ,Janette Byrne ? It seems unfair to me.

author by non-voterpublication date Sat May 15, 2010 19:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At no stage in the PK interview does Byrne “congratulate the gardai for batoning a 61 year old retired midwife” as Pat C claimed she did .

Pat was also mistaken when he wrote :
“Byrne showed no sympathy for those who had been batoned when she was on the PK show.”

Pat obviously didn’t hear Byrne say that she was…. “ very sorry that Mary got injured.”

Byrne didn’t say that "people who had been batoned" should stay away from future marches as Pat wrote . She was talking about what she described as a “boyish” element who were frightening away the mums with buggies.

Vincent Browne clearly said , “ In my view it was reasonable enough for the gardai in those circumstances to use their batons." Later in the interview he praised the gardai again saying , “in my opinion the gardai acted entirely proportionately and entirely reasonably” Should Vincent Browne be banned from future marches, Pat ? What about firerfighter John Kydd who referred respectfully to the gardai as "our colleagues" who were also involved in their own fight with the government. Should he be banned too?

I didn't hear Janette Byrne " shouting down " Mary Smith as Pat alleged . If anything Mary was the one who was interrupting Byrne ,but no more than you’d expect from somebody who wanted to get her political message across .Overall neither of the two women were at one another’s throats .I don’t think that we should be trying to play one of them off against the other on indymedia ireland.

author by Brendan Meehanpublication date Sat May 15, 2010 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Andrew,
Given your quote below, can I ask what did you expect the Garda to do when the jokers attempted to get into the Dail? This is a serious question. I am no supporter of the Garda and do understand their function in society but be real.

“The only serious violence was the Gardai use of extendable batons against unprotected skulls, something that could have caused fatal injury. Given the assault on them the response of the people at the gate was very restrained, it is the Gardai action and not the stunt that is the problem here and this needs to be said”.

Pat,
Surely you don’t deny the fact that the attempt to get into the Dail was pre-planned? If so, please watch the opening section of the Vincent Browne video. A small group of swp leave the main demo and attempt to get pass the Garda. This obviously isn’t a serious attempt to get in because one of the jokers even gets through the Garda line only to run back out!! It was only when others in the crowd seen what was happening and joined in that things got heavy for a couple of minutes. All this is fairly irrelevant except that today a peaceful Eirigí demo was violently attacked by riot police. The jokers on Tuesday gave them a perfect excuse.

author by pat cpublication date Sat May 15, 2010 19:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you are misrepresenting what happened on the show. I'm really curious as to what your agenda is.

Browne was wrong in what he said but he did not enthusiastically support the cops. He also told the truth about how the incident at the gate occurred.

The fireman did not defend the cops batoning the protesters. He spoke of how he gave first aid to some of those had been assaulted by the cops.

Who are you? Why are you so intent on supporting Byrne?

Your agenda seems to be to stir up division and damage those who are not interested in middle class respectability.

author by Union Memberpublication date Sat May 15, 2010 21:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with Brendan Meehan.

The events of last Tuesday are being used now by the state to surpress protest. The protest at Anglo today was a small affair and rather peaceful. Yet, they over reacted and sent in too many coppers. They should ahve only had one or two coppers, if even that. The Éirigí lads would have had to get down after an hour of two anyway.

It's unfortunate that the mass of the working class are getting ignored. The WSM seem to be worried they were outflanked by SWP and now want to reclaim the crown of being the most "radical" group. Reality is that throwing yourself on batons and doing indidual acts will not change the situation. Only mass mobilisation will work. Mass occupations of Dáil, Anglo, etc. That is what is needed.

There is a real danger of the nucleus of a anti-unemployment campaign or anti-bailout campaign getting bogged down in deadend tactics of confrontations with the state. The State are very happy to go along this road. Senior Gardaí would love to cut across the development of protests by deliberately portraying it as "a bunch of Citizen Smiths getting violent". The senior Gardaí are also happy to have the rank-and-file Gardaí get attacked and then somewhat counter the divide in that force that has been developing.

In so many ways a few blokes rushing the Dáil gate plays into the hands of the state. It distracts from the work of building a mass movement against capitalism. But I suspect some on the left have wrongly given up on mass movements and have given up on a working class orientation.

author by Union memberpublication date Sat May 15, 2010 22:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Last Tuesday Gardai used extendable steel batons against the heads of protesters trying to enter the Dail carpark resulting in at least five head injuries. We've seen the state react in a similar fashion to resistance in Rossport, Mayday 2004 and Reclaim the Streets."

I think it's not correct to put last Tuesdays incident on the same level as Rossport, May Day 2004, and RTS. Those incidents, as well as many of the anti-Iraq war protests that cops attacked, were serious over-reactions by the state. Rossport involved throwing people into ditches, bussing in cops from other areas, and a general harrassement and terrorisation of a community by the Gardaí. May Day 04 and RTs were over-reactions and use of heavyhanded methods on completely peaceful protesters. Even the state itself looked into RTS and disciplined some of the cops!

Last Tuesday was very different. It was about 20 people running at an open gate of Leinster House and the Gardaí there were totally unprepared for that. The cops could not close the electronic gate so tried to push the crowd back. They then used batons. Yes, they should not have hit people on the head. They did appear to lash out. But it was about 2 cops thinking on their feet after spending all day standing at the Dáil giving tourists directions to the national museum. Hardly Rossport or RTS!

Last Tuesday was more of a scuffle and it's unfortunate that it looks that Gardaí will now over-police protests in the future.

author by éirígí supporterpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 00:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

éirígí website now advertising that they will be joining the anti-capitalist contingent on Tuesday night. I believe a number of other republican groups are going to weigh in with éirígí as well.

www.eirigi.org

author by pat cpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 13:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I still say it wasn't pre-planned. Same as Vincent Browne says. A section of the march followed instructions to go around the back of the lorry. A small section of the group, 6 - 7 at first made a run for the Dail gate when they saw it was open. If it had been pre-planned the entire group would have charged the gate and would have gotten in. I think that one guy got through and then diodnt know what to do is more proof that the incident was spontaneous.

author by non-voterpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Siptu president, Jack O’Connor, addressed a Mayday commemoration in Athy two weeks ago where he warned his audience of a serious threat to Irish national sovereignty inherent in the present economic situation. If reports about the fall-out between Germany and France over last week’s Greek “rescue “ package are accurate , all the economic rivalries that informed issues of national sovereignty and led to two world wars in the past century are rapidly welling-up again threatening the Euro currency and even the EU itself . Ireland can never go back to the punt without its currency being swallowed up immediately by either the pound sterling or by a revanched deutschmark. The fact that O’Connor is using these threats to justify his aquiescence to the institutions of the Irish free state should not blind people to the threats' reality: the state is most certainly aware of these realities and is preparing .

I’m extremely concerned about provocateurs playing into the hands of the state tomorrow night in an attempt to “ bring Athens to Dublin”. It’s true that people haven’t been rioting in this part of Ireland up until now ,but that has nothing to do with the Irish national character as a commentator from Greece suggested on this site last week . It’s because of the relatively high standard of living we still enjoy in this country and because people here know that once things do go off in Ireland they will go off big- time.

The Sunday Independent reported yesterday how , on the day after the Dail episode , “plumes of smoke from petrol bombs could be seen above north Dublin as the Garda's Public Order Unit underwent specialist training”. The fact that by last Saturday some of that boot and baton training had already been put into practice - outside Anglo-Irish Bank significantly - should serve as indication of how fearful the institutions of the state are.
See: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/gardai-train-in....html

In such a volatile political situation indymedia Ireland contributors should use words with care . Anybody who wants to see a real example of felon-setting for instance should read the Sunday Independent front page article linked to above .

author by Richardpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Non-voter, I do not share Jack O'Connor's craven attitudes to the EU or to the Croke Park deal. It is attitudes like his that have exposed us to understandable contempt from workers elsewhere in Europe, and if our living standards make us so fearful and conservative as that, then I say it is worth the risk of damaging them.

author by non-voterpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't share what you correctly call O'Connor's "craven attitude" either. But O'Connor does understand the realities facing the Irish economy and the threat that those realities hold for what he referred to as Irish national sovereignty. His answer is to buckle down to the institutions of the state . People who want to fight as you do , have to realize that this is not going to be a matter of a few set-match punch-ups between the gardai and demonstrators . The whole force of the state is going to be unleashed shortly because the state's very existence is at stake . In my view the forces of the Irish free state are not going to be adequate to ram through the cuts that will be demanded by the IMF .

You say that it is worth us risking living standards Richard ,but the economy itself which underpins living standards isn't ours to risk . Living standards of workers in Ireland are going to fall drastically whether they like it or not until they take ownership and control of the economy .

author by Richardpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 19:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So non-voter, you also think we should buckle down to the institutions of the state? If so, how does your attitude differ from O'Connor's?

author by non-voterpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 19:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat C thought that it wouldn’t be possible to confirm his impression of what had been said on the Pat Kenny radio program with direct quotations . Mark C’s linking to the show’s archives proved otherwise .Clearly unable to back up the nasty hyperbole he had directed against patients’ advocate ,Janette Byrne , by quoting from the radio program ,the fiery Pat went ad hominem against me . We'll have to get Firefighter Kydd to douse Pat down a bit I think .

At no point in my post did I say -as Pat implied in his reply to my post - that the SIPTU firefighter defended the batoning of protesters . Kydd was trying to be conciliatory and bring the subject of the discussion to cuts in services jobs etc. As part of that conciliatory approach , Firefighter Kydd did however speak favourably towards the gardai calling them “our colleagues” and saying that they faced the same problems as other workers . He also said that he agreed with Browne’s assessment of what had happened on the evening : Browne, had a couple of minutes previously told Pat Kenny that the gardai had acted reasonably enough under the circumstances – even though he ,like Byrne and Kydd knew the gardai had “used their batons on a sixty-one year old former midwife”.

Janette Byrne ,egged on by Pat Kenny , was unquestionably supportive of the gardai in the interview, but she did not felon-set the protesters as Pat C claimed she did . She said that the “boyish element” who were putting off the families with buggies should be “visited by people who knew them” and told to stay away from future demonstrations and that in her opinion there had been a degree of planning to what had taken place . The person speaking on the platform had wrongly been calling on people to join the ruckus at the gates , she said , and would have been better off telling them to keep away and let the guards handle the situation . The views of a “middle-class respectable woman” with illusions in the gardai, not a felon-setter .

Ms Byrne was “peeved “by the attempt of a “small group” to hijack the protest, but she didn’t call for anybody to be arrested ,she didn’t use words like “criminal” ,call for exemplary punishment , the introduction of internment or anything like that . And contrary to what Pat said , she did indeed offer sympathy to Mary Smith saying that she was “very sorry” for what had happened to her. Pat C had the chance to correct that slur at least in his two comments to this thread since the link to the PK show was put up, but he chose not to do so .He hasn’t quoted at all from the show to back up his arguments, only reiterated his belief that Vincent Browne was right .

Vincent Browne “told the truth about how the incident at the gate occurred, ” Pat says. According to Browne , there was a small skirmish at the gate that didn’t really amount to a lot . It began when “six or seven” people who had taken a different route to the main march to surround the platform saw the open Dail gate and made a spontaneous rush for it. To his credit, Browne qualified his remarks by saying “from what I saw.”

The SWP’s version given on the group’s website was very different to Browne’s and closer ,in my opinion , to what Byrne said . Closer as well to the gardai account as given the following day on RTE which stated that“a hundred” people had broken away from the main march and tried to force their way into the Dail .”

The SWP reported that a “contingent” from the main march rushed forward with the “aim” of staging a sit-in . A few paragraphs later the report - linked to below - says that those involved were under no illusions about storming the building “ with only a hundred people.” Further on in the report the SWP gave the figure of a hundred again saying , “Instead of a hundred people engaging in civil disobedience, we need tens of thousands to come onto the streets.”

The SWP would appear to be saying that a contingent consisting of a hundred people left the main march with the intention of gaining entry to the Dail to stage a sit-in. Which would suggest a degree of pre-planning surely.

See: http://www.swp.ie/index.php?page=888&dept=News&title=En...to+go

The SWP were " felon-setting" themselves by attempting to claim their imput on the night was greater than it was , possibly ! As I said in my last comment , people should chose their words with care.
There have been other accounts of the what took place last week as well , but Pat C says that Browne’s one was “the truth” But why should we should take Vincent Browne’s word for it ?
By the way, I hope Mary and the others are doing ok .

author by non-voterpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 20:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So Richard ,you also think that we should buckle down and accept whatever it is the government throws at us without raising so much of a wimper do you. Pensioners can go to hell ,is that what you think . And the nurses should take a a huge pay cut . You think the dole should be scrapped too obviously and that school building programs should be scrapped. And that we should moreover allow troops to go through Shannon while being blessed by the Christian Brothers . Well that makes very clear the bad type you are .

I know that you didn't say any of those things of course Richard ,but I didn't say that we should buckle down to anything ,did I? Why are you trying to pretend that I did .

author by linkerpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 20:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gardai train in secret for riots
Fears of Greek-style violence stirred in wake of Dail attack by protesters
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/gardai-train-in....html

The training included running a gauntlet of petrol bombs while in full riot gear, as well as baton charges and defensive manoeuvres.

author by Barrypublication date Mon May 17, 2010 20:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was not planning on going to this protest but I have changed my mind considering how the Guards and media are trying to scare people off the street.

It is getting to the stage where making a stand against corruption in this country means you are for ordinary bankers workers getting slaughtered in a bank (Greece). Power and the media are using that Greek tragedy for there own agenda.

Scary when a peaceful protest like Saturdays was violently attacked in the city center and not a peep in the mainstream media. People can make apologies for this (scary republications.. blah blah…), but it does not take away from the fact our hard earned rights in this country entitle us to protest against the injustice imposed on us, and not be beaten for expressing it in a peaceful way.

The plans this extreme neo liberal government has planned for us, causes indirect violence and mental stress in our communities every day. Sickening how they have cut Community Development Projects.

Related Link: https://www.gavindebecker.com/resources/article/media_fear_tactics/
author by non-voterpublication date Mon May 17, 2010 23:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just in case the gardai plan to kettle the crowd tomorrow ,remember to take a leak before entering.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettling

author by bagchuckerpublication date Tue May 18, 2010 01:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thats ok "non-voter", no need for us to take a leak. Not if we bring along some of those cellophane food bags. They are very useful in that type of situation.

author by Hypatia - Women in Media and Entertainmentpublication date Tue May 18, 2010 11:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why no mention in current revolutionary leaflets – SWP (“Stay on the Streets”) or SP (“Bank Bailout, giving away your future”) – of the most hidden scandal of all, the Great Gas Giveaway of 1975, when the élites gambled away our health and wealth by serving up €100s of billions’ worth of gas and oil into the grasp of the multinationals? We urgently need to find out how it happened and how we are going to reverse it. And let’s not forget its current repetition, that the profits to be made from the burgeoning green economy are all in private hands – wind farms, solar power, electric cars and such, providing socially useful, creative jobs – which could and should be in common or community ownership. How many of us really understand the energy industry? And do politicians and political parties run shy of it because they are afraid any debate on the subject will muddle the brains of the public? The fact is that in any discussion of our dire economy the ownership of national resources is scarcely ever brought up. Until it gets into the broad body of politics, so that every woman, man or child can know what we own, and how we can use it for our health, jobs and happiness, the Reversal of the Great Giveaway will remain a minority dream. If we are going to have ongoing events outside the Dáíl, I would suggest they include teach-ins like those held all over the USA during the Vietnam War – a spontaneous people’s university for activism and knowledge, with videos, songs, plays etc., to educate, agitate, organize. The Dáil debates might then become irrelevant; they are anyway so boring and ineffective that many TDs would just love to come outside and participate in something new and vital. Eleven years ago some of us set up a Women’s Dáil outside Leinster House and we were there on the street for a week. If it could be done then, it can be done again now. In any case, if we are serious about getting rid of the present government, why aren’t we demanding the by-elections that have fallen due? Democracy for everyone! No Disenfranchised Constituencies! And what about the disenfranchisement of Pat O’Donnell and Niall Harnett in Castlerea Gaol, prisoners of Shell, by courtesy of the state?

author by Andrewpublication date Wed May 19, 2010 15:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The is a press release from the WSM and a report on the demonstration from one of our members along with 20 or so pictures on the WSM site at

Press release - http://www.wsm.ie/c/condemn-gardai-tactics-right-work

Report - http://www.wsm.ie/c/anti-capitalist-protest-dublin-may-...-2010

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