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Has violence triumphed at Dublin Food Co-op?

category dublin | consumer issues | opinion/analysis author Sunday June 12, 2011 19:36author by Dave Mooreauthor email davecorcra at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

Today marks three months since the Dublin Food Co-op received a complaint of ‘physical assault and violent aggression’ on the premises. Despite the seriousness of the charge, the directors’ collective response was feeble in every respect, leaving those who reported the incident out in the cold.

At the time, I listened carefully to details from both of the members who reported being on the receiving end – plus another witness who hasn’t even been asked for their account. All three, while still shaken, explained what happened with a high level of consistency. This was serious stuff and it was vital to the Co-op’s integrity that it was dealt with decisively and transparently.

Yet nothing of the kind ever happened. Worse still, the accused stallholder merely defied the limited sanctions put on him pending an ‘investigation’ and appeared emboldened by the week, his position ever more normalised and his income still flowing, while a resolution seemed nowhere in sight.

Questions abound for those supposedly in charge: How can they justify failing to enforce a suspension pending investigation? Exactly what process was followed and what came of their ‘investigation’? Is it concluded? Is the outcome a secret? Why were witnesses accounts never properly sought? Why have concerned members who wrote in never received an update? Why hasn’t the reporting of an incident been acknowledged to the membership at large? Where are the minutes of the board meetings dealing with the complaint (supposedly available to members)?

In any environment, thirteen weeks would be a long time for the issue of violence to hang in the air with no sense of resolution. In Dublin Food Co-operative it has been hugely corrosive: as head-in-the sand attitudes have prevailed, many of its most active members have pulled away, often in sheer disgust.

If the board have found the accusations unfounded – making liars of the complainants – then they should say so. Otherwise, they have a duty to the members to explain why they have been unable or unwilling to act. As it is, each day of silence only adds to the impression that, for all the co-op’s peace-loving roots, it has failed miserably to take a stand against violence within its own walls.

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Previous article:

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/99819
author by Green Giantpublication date Mon Jun 13, 2011 08:45Report this post to the editors

Again I will say there is a whole other side to this. As I understand it, perhaps one of the only two people involved in this incident (apart from others who tried to intervene), which as I understand it resulted in no injury whatsoever to anybody would be the very person whose place it would have been to investigate and bring this forward - have they chosen not to? There is an alternative view of this incident and the atmosphere and series of events that led to this heated incident between two individuals. Did you witness the event? What is the exact nature of the assault? From accounts I have heard to call it a violent incident is overly dramatic. If the main person who might be a complainant wants to bring this forward, they would be in a position to do so, let's put it that way.

author by Seanpublication date Mon Jun 13, 2011 13:58Report this post to the editors

persistant rantings by one peeved individual about an unsubstantiated allegation are a now becoming tiresome. Indymedia is a marvellous thing but there are clear drawbacks to an approach of letting anyone at all write anything without verification or substantiation in any way. I would suggest that rather than sniping and sneering from the sidelines and hoping to see signs of the co op falling into chaos without you, either bring forward some evidence or a complaint of some kind to the Gards or stop it and go away. The spreading of Doom and Gloom stories about "how awful the co op has suddenly become (since I threw my dummy out)" amount simply to a position of wishing the food co op to fail which, when people visit they will find is not happening, as I said before, nice people buying and selling wholesome, fairly traded and organic goods in a very relaxed atmosphere. Long may this remain. Indymedia is a great thing but as with any other media we must not automatically believe everything we read.

author by Co-op Minded - This so called Co-oppublication date Thu Jun 16, 2011 16:36Report this post to the editors

Sean, your aggressive, angry tone, name calling and desire to silence someone over serious concerns isn't likely to give anyone reassurance that all is healthy and happy at the Dublin Food Co-op.

If one or more complaints have been put, then any well-run community organisation should have policies and procedures to resolve them with fairness (i.e. hearing all sides of the story), due speed and transparency. It shouldn't become something for the Gardai to sort out, now or in the first place.

For this to become 'dirty washing' on Indymedia speaks volumes of how badly this has been handled.

author by Dave Moorepublication date Mon Sep 12, 2011 21:19author email davecorcra at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors

New article marks 6 month anniversary...

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/100496
 
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