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Friday May 14, 2004 15:46 by Laurence Cox - Dublin Grassroots Network lcox at iol dot ie 087-9851029
"Our job is done, our mandates are finished," say activists
The four spokespeople of the Dublin Grassroots Network - Aileen O'Carroll, Mark Malone, Liz Curry and Laurence Cox - have laid down their mandates, which were for the May Day events only. They will remain active in relation to ongoing court cases and possible legal action.
Dublin Grassroots Network
May 13, 2004
MAY DAY SPOKESPEOPLE RESIGN EN MASSE
'Our job is done, our mandates are finished,' say activists
The four spokespeople for the Dublin Grassroots Network, which organised most of the May Day protest events, today resigned their positions. Aileen O'Carroll, Liz Curry, Laurence Cox and Mark Malone said, "We volunteered to do a particular job. Now that job is done, our mandates are over."
Aileen O'Carroll said, "Despite frequent descriptions of ourselves as leaders, we have always made it clear that we were only spokespeople. We were delegated to carry out media work on behalf of Dublin Grassroots Network for the May Day weekend. Now that it's finished, we can go back to everyday life."
"While there are still protestors facing charges from May Day, and issues of police violence and civil rights to pursue, we will still have a certain role to play," Laurence Cox noted. "But the point of DGN has always been to develop non-hierarchical ways of organising, so our goal is to stop being spokespeople entirely."
Liz Curry stated that DGN would continue its
activities, most immediately (May - June) in the campaign against Michael McDowell's racist referendum and with the AMBUSH! 2004 group opposing George Bush's visit. Grassroots activists will also be involved in opposing the draft EU Constitution which involves the "liberalisation" (privatisation) of public services, including health and education, and sets a target for new military alliances. "DGN may appoint new spokespeople for these events," Curry said. "But they will be new faces and new voices."
Mark Malone noted that DGN activists remain active in the campaigns they came from, such as Critical Mass, Reclaim the Streets, Gluaiseacht, Grassroots Network Against War, Workers Solidarity Movement, Direct Action Against Apathy, Food Not Bombs, Magpie Collective, Mujeres Libres, Alliance for Choice, Anti-War Ireland, Campaign Against the Racist Referendum, Residents Against Racism and others. "We look forward to working with other groups, both locally and internationally, which organise in democratic, non-hierarchical ways."
In laying down their positions, the four spokespeople paid tribute to the Dublin Grassroots Network activists who were less in the public eye. "The May Day weekend was the achievement of more than a hundred committed activists working together on everything from food and medical support to event planning and legal aid. It shows what people can achieve without any funding, support from political parties or celebrity names," they said.
"We also thank the thousands of people from Ireland and abroad who participated in the weekend, looked after each other in the face of police violence and a campaign of vilification, and made the weekend a success," the statement said.
"The goal of the May Day weekend was never simply to build an organisation. It was to highlight opposition to Fortress Europe, privatisation, EU militarisation and social injustice; and to encourage people to take action for themselves, in their own workplaces and communities, around the issues that matter to them, and to learn to place their trust in each other rather than in the state or the market."
The former Dublin Grassroots Network spokespeople are now ONLY available for media comment in relation to this statement or ongoing issues connected with court cases and civil liberties issues arising from the May Day weekend.
Laurence Cox 087-9851029
Liz Curry 086-8410666
Mark Malone 087-7776595
Aileen O'Carroll 087-2820906
Phone numbers for spokespeople for the AMBUSH! 2004 campaign against the Bush visit, and for the Campaign Against the Racist Referendum, will be made available in due course.