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District Court's attempt to criminalise protest overturned

category national | summit mobilisations | press release author Wednesday May 05, 2004 21:59author by Laurence Cox - Dublin Grassroots Networkauthor email lcox at iol dot ieauthor phone 087-9851029 Report this post to the editors

May Day protest organisers welcome High Court granting of bail

Dublin Grassroots Network welcome the High Court decision to grant bail to the 12 people remaining in custody following the May Day weekend and condemn the District Court's refusal to grant bail to the same individuals earlier in the day.

Spokespeople for the Dublin Grassroots Network welcomed this afternoon’s High Court decision, which overturned the District Court's refusal to grant bail to May Day protestors. Twelve men had been refused bail by Judge Coughlan in the District Court at Cloverhill this morning in connection with minor charges arising out of Saturday’s protest march from O'Connell St. to the Phoenix Park.

Spokesperson Dr Laurence Cox said, "We saw people accused of assault on a Garda or intent to supply cocaine granted bail in the District Court while protestors were systematically refused it. The judge cited 'the seriousness of the offences' as a reason
for refusing bail, in relation to minor charges such as breach of the peace and refusal to obey a Garda instruction. The High Court has clearly made the right decision in respect of these refusals."

DGN expressed concern over comments by Judge Coughlan in the District Court, which appeared to imply a presumption of guilt. In response to defence lawyers' requests for bail on grounds such as impending examinations, disability or the risk of losing employment, the judge repeatedly made comments such as: 'He should have thought of that on Saturday night'. Cox asked: 'Whatever happened to the
presumption of innocence?'

While others arrested on Saturday night were granted bail over the weekend, in practice the institutions concerned refused to accept bail until Tuesday. This follows a situation where those arrested were apparently unable to make their statutory phone call until Sunday, despite being arrested between 8.30pm and 10pm on Saturday evening.

Curry said: "We are seeing a wider pattern of the criminalisation of political dissent and the
suspension of civil liberties, not just in Ireland but worldwide. May Day activists in Poland have been experiencing very similar repression. This is the brave new world of neo-liberalism: civil liberties can be suspended when the Government cites a 'security operation', while the reality is that Bertie Ahern wanted to avoid embarrassment to his guests, such as Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi, who are directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Iraq."

Related Link: http://www.geocities.com/eufortress
author by Judge John Cocklesspublication date Wed May 05, 2004 22:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was Freed on Bail today from Cloverhill, I was one of the lucky ones thats got out without having to go to the High Court. It still remains to be seen why durg dealers etc were given bail and not some of us? I dont want to say much more yet before i get legal advice.
(by the way lads the girlfriend isnt pregnent, thank god)

author by pcpublication date Thu May 06, 2004 00:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

overturn of refusal of bail for the three arrested last week is it?

or have those refused bail today been allowed out ? don't think so but headline is confusing

author by Laurence Cox - DGNpublication date Thu May 06, 2004 11:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As I understand it all bar one of the people charged in relation to the May Day weekend has now been granted bail. That includes the 12 refused bail in the District Court, who were later granted bail in the High Court.

This does not mean that everyone is necessary free, in that bail money still has to be organised and successfully lodged, something which was frustrated over the weekend for people granted bail on Saturday night's special sitting but who could not be freed until Tuesday.

The one person who has not been granted bail is a woman who remains in Mountjoy women's wing. The women's bail hearings were held separately at the Bridewell yesterday morning. 2 women were granted bail, a third already had consent to bail and a fourth was remanded in custody.

I don't really know more details about this fourth case as I was at the Cloverhill court but I understand the legal team are working on this final case.

Related Link: http://www.geocities.com/eufortress
author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Workerpublication date Thu May 06, 2004 12:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Legal support needs to set a time (next week) and a place for a meeting of those arrested, pro-active support ers wishing to offer solidarity and legal advice (lawyers).

A similar meeting that was held after the May Day 2002 was helpful in breaking down isolation. Also a bank account where folks can donate needs to be nominated (when 3000 folks gathered in response to 2002 beatings - thanx to some pre-electoral opportunism) the bucket wasn't even passed!!

Hopefully in weeks to come there will be some indymedia retrospective/reflection/photo exhibition/discussion where financial support for defendants can be made (amongst support for other elements of the movement eg. indymedia).

The initial denial of bail was a misuse of the law (eg the banning from Clare of anti-war resisters, the BAe high court injunctions that gave Chris Cole in jail 6 months for writing a leaflet and my good self and 12 others vulnerable to 2 years max for initement and 4 ofg us £100,000 legal debt/court costs...check out the Guardian for latest BAe Saudi slush funds corruption!!)

author by confuxedpublication date Thu May 06, 2004 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Curry said: "We are seeing a wider pattern of the criminalisation...""

Who's this Curry dude ?

author by Support Gig for the people arrestedpublication date Fri May 07, 2004 14:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

there will be a gig/ fundrasier, in the Tap on Church St tonight. Everyone welcome

author by Major Woodypublication date Fri May 07, 2004 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Globalise Resistance returns from the grave!

Rory gets wheeled back into the Henrietta street clock as the other door opens and Joe gets wheeled out.

The Major has to wonder what is the purpose of calling a 'benefit gig' at 6 hours notice?

author by fat people are hard to kidnappublication date Fri May 07, 2004 15:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and who gets the money ?

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