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2002: Hits and Misses.

category national | miscellaneous | news report author Sunday January 05, 2003 19:58author by billyauthor email qa3 at subdimension dot com

Review of 2002.

What we did well, what we didn’t do so well and what we should be doing this year.

Activist Review of 2002. Sunday Jan 12th @3.00. Conways, Parnell Street.
Activist Review of 2002.
People involved in and critically discussing:
Reclaim the Streets
Libertarians Against Nice
The Anti Bin Charges Campaign
Gluaiseacht (and Ecotopia)
Grassroots Anti war Network. (and Anarchists Against the War)
What the cops have been up to this year.

discussion on how we can cooperate more and what we should be looking to achieve in 2003
(suggestions for other topics?, email

Heres a (by no means comprehensive) timeline of 2002 to refresh yr memories!

Dec 8th. Grassroots shut down Shannon warport demonstration. Around 400 people took part in the Grassroots Gathering demonstration against refuelling of US war planes at Shannon airport. Attempts to breach the fence fail due to it being reinforced and the gardai anticipating the repeat tactic.

Dec 5th. Kinsale Garda Fiasco. At a sitting of the District Court in Kinsale town yesterday, Gardai made a laughing stock of themselves when they sought to prosecute an activist for damage to a fence at the entrance area to the 'Old Head of Kinsale' during a mass protest and trespass by the Free The Old Head Campaign. But proceedings had hardly got underway they attempted a reverse manouver and asked to have the matter of the prosecutions struck out due to the fact that 'it had come to their attention that Mr Blake was not in Kinsale at the time'
The case against another FTOHK Campaign activist was adjourned until early January pending an application for free legal aid. Meanwhile the campaign which will be going into its third years soon goes from strength to strenght.

December 3rd. CFE (Campaign for Free education) Occupy the Dept. of Finance - The (CFE) today took part in an occupation of the Department of Finance on Merrion Street in protest against Government cut-backs. The occupation was planned for today as the FF-PD Budget will be announced tomorrow.

November 18th. The Garda Complaints Board announced its findings in the investigation into Gardaí behaviour at the RTS (May 6th.), was frustrated by lack of Gardaí co-operation.
November 16th. Funeral For Neutrality. Cork Peace Alliance demo for Irish Neutrality takes place in form of a mass funeral for neutrality.

November 11th. Student Boycott of Lectures in UCD in protest at attempts to abolish the grant and the reintroduction of fees.

November 8th. Schengen and Big Brother. An Irish SWP/ GR activist is arrested and strip searched en route to the European Social Forum in Florence, Italy. The Schengen agreement is supposed to allow free movement within Europe, but it also allows information to be held on ‘undesireables’.

November 4th. Irving Meeting Cancelled. A proposed lecture by revisionist David Irving in TCD is cancelled once security figure they can’t handle protesters.

October 31st. Two plane spotters ordered out of Shannon airport by anonymous US special Agent. Two inspectors, two Garda and several security personnel made sure the two men left the premises.

October 28th/29th. Third Grassroots Gathering held in Belfast. More networking, discussions and workshops. The best one yet!

October. Nice II passed.

October 16th: Hundreds of students blockaded the Minister of Eduaction, Noel Dempsey, into the new Vets building for 2 hours. Today's protest co-incided with a visit by the Minister of Education to officially open the new Vets building in UCD. Hundreds of students protested outside the building. The protesters then jumped the barricades erected by College security and sat down on the main entrance to the building to prevent the minister leaving. For 2 hours the minister was prevented leaving. The college authorities had to sneek the minister out in a jeep hidden around the back of the building.

October 12th. Mass anti-war trespass at Shannon airport. The largest anti-war demonstration to date at Shannon airport. As the demonstration ended a 50m section of the perimeter fence was torn down and up to 150 people entered the airfield perimeter.

Sept 28th. Anti War demonstration in Dublin. About 1500 people march from the Garden Of Rememberance to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Stephans Green, listen to some speeches and then head off to the Central Bank for more of the same.

September 25th. Students occupy Dept. of Education. in protest agianst the governments 70% hike in college fees. They entered the building on Marlbourough Street in the morning and barricaded themselves into the boardroom on the ground floor.After 6.30 the Gardaí broke the door down and ended the occupation

Sept 22nd - RTS on Baggot St. Over 1,000 people took part in the four-hour party. Despite attempts by the Gardai to whip up a panic because the organisers refused to meet with them in advance of the party the day was trouble free and very good humoured.

September 20th. Bin Charges. These first court cases for non payment of the bin tax in the Dublin Corporation area begin today.

Sep 14th. Sellafield Visitor Center Closed. Gluaiseacht activists close Sellafield Visitor Center by climbing and locking onto the roof.

September 4th. Shannon Redecoration. Eoin Dubsky and Tim Hourigan of Refueling Peace were arrested this morning at Shannon airport, under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act for Defacing an Aircraft. Dubsky took a can of flourescent orange paint to a USAF Hercules plane, wishing to be accountable for his actions he phoned airport police at 4.50 to inform them of his actions.

September 1st. ALF Liberate Phesants. A cell of the Irish Animal Liberation Front successfully entered the game holding pens within Castlemorris Woods in County Kilkenny,Ireland, and subsequently took nine pheasants to be released to a safe location where they can live out their full lives.

September 1st. Activists occupied the archaeological site of Carrickmines Castle in a non-violent direct action to protest against its planned destruction for the completion of the M50 motorway. Over the first weekend of the action more than 400 members of the public visit the site.

August 27th. Students Chain Themselves To Government Buildings. Students chained themselves to the railings of the Department of Education and Science, Department of Finance and Fianna Fáil party headquarters at 11am today in protest at the recent increase in registration fees and Minister Dempsey's refusal to meet with them over the matter.

Aug 19th - Shannon demonstration against refuelling of US war planes Between September 2001 and July 2002 a total of 535 US warplanes have refuelled at the airport. About 150 people turn up to show their opposition.

August 15th. West Papua Activists Arrested in Dutch Embassy. Activists Arrested after Call on Netherlands Government to call publicly for Act of Self-determination in West Papua

Aug 10th -24th Ecotopia takes place on the shores of Lough Derg in an 83 acre broadleaf woodland with clearings for camping, dining and workshops. People from all over Ireland and Europe travel to this beautifully scenic place to take part in a wide range of workshops, discussion groups, talks and activities.

August 9th. Anti Sectarian Rally. SOME 5,000 people joined a protest against sectarianism outside Belfast City Hall. The rally was in response to the sectarian murder of a young Catholic man, Gerard Lawlor, by Loyalist paramilitaries.

July 30th. Students Take To Streets Against Fees. Over 150 students took to the streets in a USI protest against the 69% increase in capitation fees for third level students.

July 27 - Old Head of Kinsale freed for an afternoon. The owners of the exclusive Golf course, who are attempting to deny public access, had mounted a concerted media campaign in the week running up to the picnic to blacken the name of the pinicers and to undermine the protest.

July 20th. The workers of the Irish Glass Bottle plant in Ringsend march in the city center in support of their demands (i.e. redundancy at the level recommended by the Labour Relations Commission ). At this stage the workers have been in occupation of the plant for the last couple of months. The plant is closing, making some 375 workers redundant.

May 17th. Police Intimidation. At least one injured participant in the RTS street party of May 6th who subsequently made a complaint about police brutality is subjected to fairly unsophisticated intimidation. I.e. the cops park a riot van outside his house for an hour and a half or so, pace up and down the footpath and stare up at his window. It ain’t quite the heavy gang all over again but people doubt Commisioner Byrne’s promises of an honest investigation when warnings circulate that “the Gardai have also set up a group of detectives in Dublin Castle who don’t seem to be concentrating on ‘complaints’, as they may pretend to be, but damage limitation.”
As it turns out members of this Gardaí Internal inquiry start doing the rounds. Asking for statements from people including those who went to the Gardaí complaints board, they don’t make it clear that they are part of the Internal Inquiry and NOT members of the Gardaí complaints board. They've approached people taken their statements and left them with the impression that the witness has just made a complaint, when in fact they've given the Gardaí a statement that can be used against themselves or others.

May 12th. Old Head Of Kinsale. Cork’s finest picnic on the disputed headland again. Liberate private property!

May 9th - Large protest in Dublin against police brutality After two days when the first item on the evening TV news was the brutal Gardai on the RTS party it was not surprising that thousands joined a rally against police brutality outside Pearse St police station, people then marched to the Civic offices, with a brief sit down protest en route.. The protest passed off peacefully despite paranoia from some quarters that there was 'bound to be trouble'.

May 6th - Reclaim the Streets attacked by Gardai after a successful party opn Burgh Quay Gardai attack participants as they march up Dame St in an attempt to reach Stephans Green and disperse. By the end of the day 24 people have been arrested and over a dozen hospitalised by a police riot on Dame street. Gardai claim, despite all evidence, that the partygoers were ‘anything but peaceful’ and blame satirical magazine ‘The Slate’ for causing the “riot”. Indymedia really comes into its own by bring images of police violence to peoples notice.

May 2nd: Travellers call a protest outside the Dail against the new trespass law. Tagged onto the end of an otherwise normal housing bill, it's now a crime to enter and occupy or bring any object onto property where doing so would damage or "affect any amenity", or prevent or interfere with the use of the property.
Failure to leave the property after being instructed to do so by a garda. The new section also relates to the confiscation of "objects" (read: caravans) that are brought onto property without permission.
This law creates, for the first time, a wide-ranging crime of trespass. Until now, coming onto private property without permission could leave you liable to be sued in civil court. Apart from the serious consequences for Travellers and other minority groups, it is clear that trade unionists, environmentalists and students (who could now face criminal charges as a result of "sit-ins" on their own campuses) have much to fear from a zealous enforcement of this law.

April 27th. Second Palestinian solidarity march in Dublin Dublin saw its second major demonstration against the Israeli occupation of Palestine in a month. The march had been called around the slogans 'Justice for Palestine' and 'No war on Iraq' although most placards concentrated on the Palestinian situation.

Apr 26th . Mox Protest. As ships leave Cumbria to trael to Japan to collect Mox fuel, on the 16th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, protests take place outside the British and Japanese embassies.

April 26th. Television Sacrifice. In NCAD, Dublin, 10 televisions were sacrificed using a sledgehammer, an axe, an aluminum baseball bat and a pick axe.

April 26th - Road Rage Wrecks Critical Mass in Dublin as a motorist drives into cyclists. One man was taken to hospital and at least two bikes were destroyed. As one guy who came down from his apartment said "I couldn't believe what I was seeing that guy tried to kill ye”.

April 6th-14th. Convergence Festival - Exploring Culture for a Better World. Over 60 events including theatre, conferences, workshops, panel discussions, exhibits, video screenings and lectures will all take place throughout the week. Aimed at developing a diversity of exciting ideas that define a healthy, just and ecologically sustainable culture.

April 6th - Protests against Israeli occupation in Dublin Some 1,500 to 2,500 people marched though Dublin on Saturday demanding an end to the Israeli occupation and freedom for Palestine. ( The two women leave the tree on this date also.)

April 1st. Tree Protest. Two women climb a tree outside the Israeli Embassy to demand that “Caoimhe Butterly and … Mary Kelly and all the otherinternational observers are safe and that no further harm will come to them. Furthermore we demand an explination for the shooting of the aidworkers, international journalists observers, and innocent Palestinian civilians. “

March 31 2002 - People Power Wins At Old Head of Kinsale Well over a hundred activists and protesters braved the elements, hostile private security, newly erected fencing and barbed wire at the Old Head of Kinsale on Easter Sunday to score yet another important victory for free public access to the Old Head of Kinsale Walk.

March 29th/30th. Second Grassroots Gathering in Cork. Various anarchos, envriomentalists and troublemakers make their way to the rebel city to experience the hospitality of the CAZ (Cork Autonomos Zone). Participation in the Gathering continues to be very broad and encompasses activists who might previously have dismissed each other as hippies or boring lefties. There are of course many areas where we disagree but the strength of the Gatherings have been in providing spaces where we network and begin some discussions of these disagreements as well as what we have in common.

March 20th. About 30 activists picketed Mountjoy jail where 8 asylum seekers (some with Irsh born children) are on hunger strike in protest at their imminent deportation.

March 8th. Pro-choice campaigners celebrated throughout Ireland as a referendum which would have further restricted the availability of abortion in Ireland was defeated. The combined force of the government and catholic church campaigned heavily in favour of the referendum A letter from the Catholic bishops was read at every Mass in the State over the weekend pushing for a Yes vote.

Feb 28th. Kissinger in Cork. Reportedly paid 100,000 Euros to tell thick Irish capitalists how to make money probably the last thing Kissinger expected was to be subjected to two lively demos, screaming students and an attempted citizens arest. Newspaper coverage included unflattering descriptions of the protesters and lickpittle treatment of the butcher himself.

Feb 16th. X Case Anniversary March. Around 300 people marched through the centre of Dublin on Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of the 'X' case and to support a No vote in the latest anti-abortion referendum. 10 years earlier in 1992 the courts placed an injunction of a 14-year-old rape victim in order to prevent her travelling to England for an abortion. At the time not only was abortion illegal in Ireland but many activists had been prosecuted simply for providing the phone number of British clinics to pregnant women.

Feb 14th. Gluaiseacht and other activists arrive on Valentines day at Sellafield, and in the early hours of the morning erect a blockade. The direct action causes massive tailbacks, closes three schools and even disrupts rail services!!

Feb 3rd. 30th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Held on the nearest Sunday 30 years after 13 marchers were shot dead by the British army and another 14 wounded (one fatally). Somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 people followed the original route of the march from the Creggan down through the Brandywell to the Bogside.

January 26th. After a winter break Critical Mass makes a welcome return to the streets of Dublin. Meeting on the last Friday of every month cyclists go for a cycle around town at a leisurly pace. As the year moves on the event draws heavier police attention.

January 21st. Chinese student Zhao liu Tao and his two friends are set upon by five racist thugs. Zhoa Liu dies from his horrific injuries, inflicted with a metal bar, on Thursday night.

January 18th NIC-ICTU rally and half day strike in Belfast against sectarianism. Sparked by loyalist murder of Catholic postal worker Daniel McColgan. Other rallies are taking place in Enniskillen and Derry. Three weeks later Derry postal workers suspend delivery until Loyalist threats against a Catholic worker are lifted.

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