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Gardai Hunt MayDay Thugs

category national | summit mobilisations | news report author Wednesday May 26, 2004 14:28author by protester Report this post to the editors

GARDAI HUNT MAYDAY THUGS

A report in the star yesterday claims the police are hunting down a number of protesters who Sprayed paint in the faces of gardai during the mayday protests on the navan road.
"Officers" who are investigating the "violence" have "obtained" video footage of the "riot."
The Articale continues claiming that one officer suffered fractured ribs when dozens of protesters "attacked" gardai lines at Ashtown gate.
The gardai it claims are also investigating at least one attack on a TV camera man.
TV3 employee Conan Doyle its claims was badly beaten as he tried to prevent thugs from attacking his camera....he has made a formal complaint.

author by Joepublication date Wed May 26, 2004 14:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think after Mayday the 'credibilty' of the Star is less then zero. They made up lies left, right and centre and then cried when they were called on it. The they made up some lies the day after. eg 'Thugs attack tour bus' showing a photo of someone waving a flag at an EU Belgian delegation coach that had (stupidly) driven into the crowd.

They should learn when to stop digging!

author by Davidpublication date Wed May 26, 2004 17:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

After their reporters were attacket by the water cannon?

author by magmapublication date Wed May 26, 2004 17:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

After he was attacked by the Black Bloc in O'Connell Street.

author by VBpublication date Wed May 26, 2004 18:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Strange that media workers who come under attack from State and right Wing groups around the world now suffer attacks from the "left". The Anarchist organisations have so far refused to distance themselves from the actions of the Black Bloc. Can we take it that the WSM now support the lumpen elements of the Bloc who see every media worker as the enemy? What other trade unionists will now suffer attacks from these BB "Anarchists"?

author by jeffpublication date Wed May 26, 2004 18:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

but some anarchists are stupid. Some are not stupid but they believe in pie in the sky ideals.

Like open door policies on immigration. I have no problem with races or people, I have a problem with numbers. You cannot squash 300 people into a lift designed for twelve, same theory of mine goes for immigration.

Anti Capitalism; That is a stupid idea. What capitalism needs is some form of accountability, not its wholesale destruction. At least communists had some form of a working plan, although it did not work.

So how do anarchos think it should work?

Hmm, I'll go hae a gawk at worker's solidarity, and see if I am to be convinced...

later

author by jeffpublication date Wed May 26, 2004 19:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

sounds just like communism, except with more elections. I reckon that if a young Bill Gates had his factory next to an anarchist one, he'd buy it up within three weeks. They'd get nothing done except elections!

Voting-don't vote! Good idea, then we can ignore the safer candidates and let the conservative right win al the time! Woopee!

The only thing I like about this anarchism is reclaim the streets. It is a noble thing to reclaim the streets in the interests of a break from the daily grind of traffic. I liked the initiative taken by Reclaimers on European Car free day, and I like it when they hold a party on a otherwise dreary bank holiday.

Then again, maybe the majorety of reclaimer's are probably not anarchists, but more politico art types. What do I mean by that? Erm, uh, I'll be vague here- Political, in the sense that certain issues I just mentioned get a hearing. On da streets.Art, well, Art is a very colourful phenomenon, and so is Reclaim.

Overall, Reclaim the Streets is a positive development for civil society. The concept in itself, that is, having a street party in the otherwise dreary reality of the urban jungle is a new,innovative, get up and go approach.

Reclaim is positive also because it highlighted how crap the Gardai were at both crowd control and identifying a potentially dangerous mob from a harmles mob.

Reclaim is done autonomously, and does not need 'official' organisation from some government appointed privatly funded group. Like the people responsible for the debacle that was the 'official' New Millenium celebrations from 4 years back.

However, ideology sticks out like a sore thumb. Ask someone from Poland or Romania or even Slovenia(where they actually have fond memories of Tito, but for different reasons) to read the WSM's plan for the organisation of society. They will shake their heads and say no that will not work.

WSM sites gives Spain , 1936 as an example. Republican Spain only lasted a few years. We know it was because of nasty Mr Franco ( Catholics-urghh!)but I find it hard to accept the doctrine of anarchism on such tenuous empirical evidence. I would also like to know where the figure for 60% in relatiuon to the amount of collectivised farms come from?

Dear Anarchists, I am not being glib nor do I have the sort of assumptions in my mind about you people that say, the Star or Big Brendan of the Sindo might have. I am sure many of you are decent people. Your ideas may be dated ( seriously, 1930s Europe MUST be approached in a different context than 21st century Europe!) but at least some of you would rather beat up cops who can handle themselves rather than the other extreme; ie beating up pregnant Chinese immigrants.

(Now dem boys are definatly OUTDATED fuckwits)

Nonetheless, I believe the left has some great points on certain issues, but new forms of ideology need to be formulated. That is called Change. It is a good thing.

Me; I outlined some points I agrree/disagree with you guys. Other unique viewpoints of mine can be found in the archives no doubt.

I don't know why I wrote this. Well, it is indymedia, where, unlike www.rightnation.us, you can say whatever you feel like ( most of the time) It'd be rare enough they'd ban someone. Now, comrades, let us move forward!

Related Link: http://www.unpopart.org
author by Alan MacSimoinpublication date Wed May 26, 2004 19:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The media were at the May Day events because they were public events in public space. They had as much right as any of us to be there.

Furthermore, journalists, photographers and camera crews come in all shapes and sizes (left wing, right wing, honest, dishonest, good trade unionists and scum who would scab on their own granny). So they are not that different from many other groups of workers. And they certainly are not the ones who own the media, nor are they the ones who set editorial policies and priorities.

The organisers, Dublin Grassroots Network - which includes many anarchists, including WSM members - had a policy of talking to the media and seeking to get a little bit of good coverage alongside all the rubbish that would be written anyway.

A tiny handful of arrogant people tried to stop themselves being photographed and were quite aggressive about it. If they didn't want to be photographed they could have gone into the middle of the crowd, or stayed away from the front of the march, or just stayed at home.

Instead they ignored the wishes of the organisers (which had been decided at a series of publicly advertised open meetings) and tried to impose their own views about how to relate to the media

DGN members and anarchists have nothing to apologise for, people who behaved in an authoritarian manner do.

author by Tuftypublication date Wed May 26, 2004 19:37author email ezl at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good man Alan. Anybody who has strength in their convictions and integrity should not be afraid of being photographed or asked difficult questions.

The media were hysterical prior to May day but when people are reasonble and just want to put their point of view accross peacefully they have to take notice.

Look at 100,000 ... "middle Ireland" .. protesting in Dublin alone in May 2003. The media were at pains to describe how peaceful and dignified everybody was.

author by jhpublication date Wed May 26, 2004 20:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

welll lets wait for pat c to get on again about... the oconnell str incident again

just after the gate had been opened at fitzwilliam square some guy i think it was a tv3 camera man pushed to get a shot of the people dressed in black ,(i think among all the text here someone said the cameraman said he was attacked), but when i arrived and tried to help by creating a space around the gate, the camera man tried to push past me "saying let me get my film" i pushed him back saying "eh let the protestors protest first will ya"
screw him

i think _any_ journalist who went up to the front while the blackbloc were approaching the police and particularily those who got themselves jammed inbetween the police lines and the bb have no basis for complaint....

i remember rts sept 22nd the roving one with the lack of painting... :) one person did manage to spray something on the ground and imediately there was more media scrabbling for the one bit of graffitti/vandalism of the day they pushed past meself a protestor and otheres... its like don't let these protestors get in the way of me spaycheck...

photographers/journos/indymedia types should get photos of the protests not hinder them

was the guy who got knocked off the wall a commercial journalist or was that wolfe?

author by pcpublication date Wed May 26, 2004 20:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Look at 100,000 ... "middle Ireland" .. protesting in Dublin alone in May 2003. The media were at pains to describe how peaceful and dignified everybody was.


and at pains not to report about much at all...

author by mepublication date Wed May 26, 2004 23:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Garda were wearing riot helmits with visors, Fireproof, and yes paint proof.

author by me againpublication date Wed May 26, 2004 23:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Conan Doyle its claims was badly beaten as he tried to prevent thugs from attacking his camera....he has made a formal complaint.

Idiot, him and that ****er from sky, trying to provoke the crowd.
these are the kind of idiots that make it dangerious for real journalists to do there work. I saw him throw a punch, very unperfessional.
Doyle positioned himself between the crowd and the police, where he know he would be in the way.

author by Laurence Cox - DGNpublication date Thu May 27, 2004 01:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi,

Does anyone have a copy of the article they could type in? Could be helpful if we need to do something around this later on.

Thanks a mill!

author by protesterpublication date Thu May 27, 2004 02:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Star, Tuesday May 25 2004
By Micheal O'Tool,
Crime Correspondent

Detectives are hunting a number of violent thugs who sprayed paint in the faces of gardai during the mayday riot, it emerged yesterday.
Officers who are investigating the violence have obtained video footage of the riot.
And the footage clearly shows several thugs approaching garda lines and using spray cans on officers.
"You can clearly see them coming up and, from just a few inches away, they are seen to spray paint in the faces of gardai," a source told the star.
"The gardai on the lines have their arms linked together to ensure the protesters dont break through, so it was virtually impossible for them to defend themselves. All the could do was try to turn away," the source added.

subheadline: Protesters

There is also video footage of one man calling on anyone who wanted to confront gardai to come forward - and telling everyone else to get back.
Sources revealed that one officer suffered fractured ribs when dozens of protesters attacked garda lines at Ashtown gate, close to Phoenix Park,where European leaders were meeting to celebrate EU enlargement.
The public order unit had to be called in when ordinary garda lines were attacked with rocks,sticks,bottles and other missiles.
Gardai are also investigating at least one attack on a TV cameraman on the day.
TV3 employee conan doyle was badly beaten up when he tried to prevent thugs from attacking his camera.
Garda sources yesterday confirmed that he has made a formal complaint to officers about the vicious attack.

author by Joepublication date Thu May 27, 2004 12:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Star gets worse by the day, ie
"TV3 employee conan doyle was badly beaten up when he tried to prevent thugs from attacking his camera."

He was actually pictured on TV3 News and in a number of papers the next day. Far from appearing to be 'badly beaten up' he appeared to have a 2cm scratch on the middle of his nose. I presume what happened was that someone pushed the camera out of their face and hence into his so the viewfinder scratched his nose. Anyone actually see what did happen?

I don't agree with attacks on journalists but the hysteria generated by a couple of minor incidents like this is a bit hard to swallow. In particular when the 'trial by media' conducted by some of the papers involved resulted in people spending days in prison and now being stuck in the country till November. And when other papers were publishing work details etc of some of the organisers in the clear hope of getting them fired.

This is the problem with journalists ditching any sense of ethics in order to suck up to those who own the papers. If they set people up for being fired, jailed or beaten then people will start to treat them like cops. 'I'm just following orders' is never an excuse.

The Star article above and the actions of other journalists on the night are clearly designed to set people up for conspiracy charges. Other journalists on the day, including Brendan O'Connor, were trying to provoke someone into attacking them. O'Connor turned an argument he started into 'an assault' in his article the next day because he was too lazy to hang around long enough and work hard enough to really rile someone up. Your man from the Star (Daren?) finally managed to get someone to pour a can of Coke over his head but that took around 6 hours of hanging out around people whose friends were in jail because of the climate of hysteria he worked so hard to create.

There are real issues that need to be dealt with here on BOTH sides, both in terms of the NUJ (are any of the journalists above members though?) and protest organisers. But lets not all start leaping up and down at the command of the Star which has failed to carry reports of both Gardai attacks on journalists (which were of a much more serious nature) or injured protesters.

Media workers (including Sun printers) have taken action in the past to prevent the papers they work for printing lies. Unfortunately that was back in the 1980's and all the younger generation of activists have seen is journalists doing the work of the cops without any visible opposition from other media workers. The is the real root of the problem here.

author by pat cpublication date Thu May 27, 2004 12:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"welll lets wait for pat c to get on again about... the oconnell str incident again"

yeah i will, there was no justification for the attacks which took place there. i am glad to see that the wsm and dgn agree that those attacks were carried out by an unrepresentative authoritarian minority. if i see such attacks happening again i will intervene again. i am not afraid of the black block.

if people are wearing masks then why do they fear being photographed. why cant they get in the middle of the crowd like alan mcs of the wsm suggested? thousands of unmasked passed by without feeling any threat from the media. it was only the masked vanguard who felt a threat. funny that,

unfortunately those who support attacks on the media are helping to divert attention from the state violence that took place that day. yes, photographers and reporters were also assaulted by the cops. but we are not going to endear ourselves to the media if we are seen to be ambigous to attacks which come from our side.

the main story that should be emerging is one of state violence dont get sidetracked by supporting the unrepresentative masked clowns who think its tough to attack photographers.

author by publication date Thu May 27, 2004 16:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This has been discussed already here - http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=64953


"There is also video footage of one man calling on anyone who wanted to confront gardai to come forward - and telling everyone else to get back."

Ha ha, excellent! *irony* Wasn't this Laurence or at least one of the organisers who had a megaphone? It was at this point DGN relinquished "ownership" (I'm not saying they acted in this way, far from it, but from posts by some people here it seems that they think they acted in this way or should have or did have ownership) of the march and in accordance with the guidelines (which everyone here is harping on about to criticise the black bloc) those that wished to go on could seperate from the march and try to push through police lines, which they did. As far as I'm concerned the DGN march finished 200 metres from the police lines, but with all gratitude and respect to them, they stayed in a sign of solidarity (anyone here know what that means?) and marched back to town together as one.



"The public order unit had to be called in when ordinary garda lines were attacked with rocks,sticks,bottles and other missiles."

http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65026

Nearly all of the bottle throwing took part after the regular (are they considered regular since they did have riot helmets?) police lines fled, which was after less than two minutes of a bit of pushing and shoving.




"Gardai are also investigating at least one attack on a TV cameraman on the day.
TV3 employee conan doyle was badly beaten up when he tried to prevent thugs from attacking his camera."

Is this the incident on O'Connell St. or the incident in which a reporter attacked and was the first to throw a punch (as only one newspaper correctly reported) at protesters at the ashtown gate? Because as it says in the other thread it was hardly an attack or 'vicious assault', it was the attempted spray painting of a camera lens.


Alan - 'If they didn't want to be photographed they could have gone into the middle of the crowd, or stayed away from the front of the march, or just stayed at home.'

What ?!?!!!!! How does staying in the middle of a crowd prevent you from being photographed? Did noone notice police observers on top of buildings with high powered photo lenses? And as for the staying at home remark I'm going to choose to ignore that. *rolleyes*


Joe - 'start to treat them like cops'.

They are cops!!! They were the first line of cops at ashtown gate as far as I'm concerned. In nearly every respect the media fulfills the cops role of social control and domination. There really does need to be more of a discussion about the idea and concept of the media. Perhaps at the next GG?

What are the authoritarian aspects of preventing the media from going about it's work? Isn't this what every summit type event has been about, attempting to prevent some group or organisation from going about it's work? So then what we need to discuss is; are the criticisms of the organisations we have been attempting to disrupt just as valid criticisms of the media?

Yesterday Against Fascism
Today Against Capitalism
Always Against Authority!

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=64953
author by Joepublication date Thu May 27, 2004 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The post from ' ' above is an example of how if we are not careful we can follow a 'logical' path that leads us up our own arses.

Yes part of the media role is social control but this is also true of shop workers (who are meant to report people they spot shoplifting), teachers, bus drivers (who are meant to make you pay bus fare) and most other people who work.

Thats the nature of modern capitalism, it decentralises control and management so that everyone is expected to get their hands a little dirty.

So how do we deal with this?

Well we can form our own bunch of pure squatters living out of the back of skips on the leavings of society.

or

We can seek to undermine the capitalist stratergy by getting people to use the limited autonomy they are given in work against rather than for the system.

In the case of the media Mayday clearly demonstrated that there are journalists, even in the tabloids, who will put across a reasonable version of events. That there are spaces hwere we can put across at least part of our point of view.

These may be a minority but it is quite clear that the result of labelling all journalists as cops is that all protesters get labelled as hooligans. That might leave you with the warm feeling of moral righteousness but it also means you have lost and capitalism has won.

"What are the authoritarian aspects of preventing the media from going about it's work?"

Ask Lenin.

The first action of the bolsheviks and any other dictators in power is to shut down or take over all the media outlets. Anarchists who have been the victims of such attacks again and again should be smart enough not to embrace the same methodology. Chomsky has a nice line about free speech meaning free speech for those who disagree with you, any fool will conceed free speech to those wo agree with them.

In this case it was also authoritarian because it was an example of a minority imposing its analysis by force on the majority. DGN was dealing with the media, it was not up to any minority to physically change this policy.

"Isn't this what every summit type event has been about, attempting to prevent some group or organisation from going about it's work?"

So the IMF = journalists then? Where does this equation end? Lets shut down everyone who has opinions other than our own?

author by GGerpublication date Thu May 27, 2004 16:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I presume the anonymous poster is a cop or a fool. No one ever suggested at a DGN or GG meeting that the media were enemies, the first line of police or should be prevented from doing their work. Alan has pointed out that those who attacked the press were a tiny unrepresentative minority. I dont believe they were even representative of the Black Bloc.

author by Joepublication date Thu May 27, 2004 16:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Another explanation would be to look at the role of the tabloid media in Britain where post poll tax they published pictures of rioters along with the police hotline number and the invitation to name names. This resutled in people being jailed for up to 5 years. The same sort of thing has happened elsewhere and would have happened here if there actually was a riot at Ashtown.

It's not much of a surprise that in the aftermath a lot of the anarchist movement there decided that photographers in particular should be treated as a branch of the police force. That was the role they allowed themselves to be put in inrelation to the poll tax riot after all.

While I understand the logic of this untimately I believe it is self-defeating as it has allowed the media to just invent more and more ludicrous lies about the movement there. On Mayday we saw the tabloids import many of these lies from Britain and perhaps we also saw a small importation of the response in 'the heat of the moment'.

I think they key thing here is to learn from rather than simply copy what has happened elsewhere. That means learning not only what has worked but also what has not.

author by passed the glaciation of survivalpublication date Thu May 27, 2004 18:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Joe says
"Well we can form our own bunch of pure squatters...
or We can seek to undermine the capitalistic strategy by getting people to use the limited autonomy they are given in work against rather than for the system."

I think the word "supporting" should be used instead of "getting"

but anyway
would you support
people to use the limited autonomy they are given in UNEMPLOYMENT to work against rather than for the system?

ie are you (the wsm?) against cutbacks to social welfare?

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65119
author by Chekov - WSM (personal capacity)publication date Thu May 27, 2004 18:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"would you support people to use the limited autonomy they are given in UNEMPLOYMENT to work against rather than for the system?"

Yes.

"are you (the wsm?) against cutbacks to social welfare?"

Yes.

author by publication date Thu May 27, 2004 18:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Yes part of the media role is social control but this is also true of shop workers (who are meant to report people they spot shoplifting), teachers, bus drivers (who are meant to make you pay bus fare) and most other people who work.

Thats the nature of modern capitalism, it decentralises control and management so that everyone is expected to get their hands a little dirty."

That's great, but where do I disagree with this? However I don't think a bus driver plays the same role as a journalist or teacher in the level of hegemony.

"So how do we deal with this?

Well we can form our own bunch of pure squatters living out of the back of skips on the leavings of society.

or

We can seek to undermine the capitalist stratergy by getting people to use the limited autonomy they are given in work against rather than for the system."

I didn't know the two were mutually exclusive, nor do I anywhere espouse the former.


"In the case of the media Mayday clearly demonstrated that there are journalists, even in the tabloids, who will put across a reasonable version of events. That there are spaces hwere we can put across at least part of our point of view. "

But wouldn't it be nice if there were some sort of media network that actually concerned itself with the truth and put across all rather than part?
That's not to say that indymedia is immune from spin or bias but it does differ when it comes to how open and democratic it is.

"These may be a minority but it is quite clear that the result of labelling all journalists as cops is that all protesters get labelled as hooligans. That might leave you with the warm feeling of moral righteousness but it also means you have lost and capitalism has won."

I think from my comments in the other thread that you know I'm not referring to ALL journalists but I suppose that's a mistake I made in not putting the word corporate in front of the word media. And I normally rely on a cup of hot coco for that warm feeling inside.


"The first action of the bolsheviks and any other dictators in power is to shut down or take over all the media outlets. Anarchists who have been the victims of such attacks again and again should be smart enough not to embrace the same methodology."

Again a problem from not using the word corporate in front of the word media. Surely there was some 'free' (however subterranean they were) press who attempted to challenge the state run media rather than trying to engage with it? So if it is leninist for the state to control all media? What is it if corporations control all media?


"Chomsky has a nice line about free speech meaning free speech for those who disagree with you, any fool will conceed free speech to those wo agree with them."


Nor do I disagree with this, but herein lies the problem I have with the corporate media in acting (or not acting) as a medium for communication, discussion and dialogue

"In this case it was also authoritarian because it was an example of a minority imposing its analysis by force on the majority."

?

"DGN was dealing with the media, it was not up to any minority to physically change this policy."

Did a minority physically change this policy? No. Did a group seperate from DGN choose not to partake in the the relationship/dealings with the media that DGN had chosen? Yes.


"So the IMF = journalists then?"

The undemocratic structures shared by both the corporate media and institutions such as the IMF.

Where does this equation end? Lets shut down everyone who has opinions other than our own?

There is your use of the word 'other'; it is about creating dialogue/communication/discussion in an attempt to arrive at what is true, not about 'our' opinions versus 'their' opinions,but these goups (or the media) don't facilitate this hence the attempts to shut them down.

Also to point out, I am not condoneing physical attacks on journalists because as I have said I didn't see any (only attacks BY journalists), but merely questioning the level of engagement with the corporate media.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Thu May 27, 2004 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

QUOTE: "These may be a minority but it is quite clear that the result of labelling all journalists as cops is that all protesters get labelled as hooligans."
ANSWER: So when have the media, when left to their own devices, presented an accurate or even slightly sympathetic portrait of protestors? Let's not forget that the current "media workers" that we're talking about are not a homogeneous bunch and that what's being discussed specifically is not an "assault on all media", but a restrained reaction to extreme provocation from a couple of "journalists".

The best that anyone can pull out of their hat is that a couple of particularly aggressive media-provocateurs were lightly shoved. They didn't even get what was coming to them, in fact far from it.

If you can't distinguish between a generalised hostility to "all media under all circumstances" and a particular incindent or two then you're in danger of buying into the hype.

QUOTE: "That might leave you with the warm feeling of moral righteousness but it also means you have lost and capitalism has won."
ANSWER: You're going to have to explain that one a little more. If mass-media is hell-bent on painting protestors as anarcho-fascist-middle-class-football-hooligans then it's hard to see how much worse the coverage can get. There's been precious little accurate or even thoughtful coverage of this from _any_ journalists.

QUOTE: ' "What are the authoritarian aspects of preventing the media from going about it's work?"

Ask Lenin.'
ANSWER: Again, hysteria and hyperbole. Admittedly the original poster that you quote has set that up by moving from the specific (one pseudo-journalist getting his camera shoved) to the general (all media is bad), but you don't have to swallow every bait.

QUOTE: "Chomsky has a nice line about free speech meaning free speech for those who disagree with you, any fool will conceed free speech to those wo agree with them."
ANSWER: I don't think it's his originally, it's one of the USA founding fathers. More importantly though, how is being allowed to shove a camera in someone's face "free speech" by any measure? It's his right to broadcast the images etc. but there's no duty on anyone to co-operate in allowing him to take pictures. In fact if the BBer was a celebrity the media would be divided between taking the pictures and condemning the awful media for harrassment.

This argument has descended into meaningless general hyperbole.

A provocative, threatening, aggressive media-provocateur got mildly injured as an epiphenomenon of his camera being shoved back. The only lesson to be learnt is that if you're going to do anythig that can be remotely construed as violent you may as well get your digs in good because that's how it'll be portrayed anyway.

author by pat cpublication date Fri May 28, 2004 12:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the main event on may 1 was the state violence. dozens of protesters and a few journalists were assalulted by and injured by cops. the cops indiscriminately used their water cannon to spray people on walls, this could have and may have led to serious injuries.

this is the main issue.

but....

by defending attacks on journalists you are detracting from this. i am sure some journalists acted in a provocative manner, but why make enemies out of all journalists? do you really think you are going to win any sort of good press coverage by cheering on the fools who attacked the photographers?

giving my own experience, i saw members of the black block come running out and kick photographers who were some distance away from the block. at no stage did these cameramen move forward when the black block approached. over 1,000 umasked people had already passed without a problem. why should these masked guys attack the press?

these were an unrepresentative minority who were acting in breach of the march guidelines. i intervened to stop them and will do so again insimilar circumstances.

author by Joepublication date Fri May 28, 2004 12:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was responding to the general points on the media rather than the specifics of any situation. I've commented on the specifics at some length elsewhere.

That said I think both replies above are examples of what I was arguing against in a general sense. Taking an extreme position for its own sake regardless of whether its is good, bad, or indifferent for the movement.

Putting the word 'corporate' in front of media is not a solution to this problem. If we had a sizeable non-corporate (and I presume non-state) media segment you might be able to argue it was (i'd still disagree) but we don't. Independent media reaches only a tiny, tiny percentage of the population.

The (corporate) media is not a monolith. If it was people would simply stop taking it seriously. It has to allow some spaces in order to be seen as more than 'his masters voice'. Saying this is not saying it is neutral, objective or fair just that there are spaces. It is not in other words the sort of media you find in Leninist regimes where only the governments point of view may be printed.

This is not a theoetical argument, the DGN media group got quite a large number of very useful slots in the media, the Late Late being the most obvious example. Even in the aftermath you had Pat Kenny going well beyond many indymedia commentators in defending the right to mask up as a civil liberty. Both the Irish Times and the Evening Herald published articles that were very sympatheic to the protests. So the idea of the corporate media not being a monolith has already been demonstrated in relation to Mayday.

None of this changes the fact that the media is either controlled by the state or owned by the super wealthy. I'm not claiming it is a free space and I've no illusions that in the past the limited space that exists has been shut down (Section 31 etc).

I'm also not arguing about what happened on Mayday but rather the more general argument that was advanced that journalists were legtimate targets because of the role of the corporate media. It seems ' ' didn't intend to make this argument but I still think it is implicit in a lot of the discussion above (please get a tag, its arkward referring to what ' ' says).

This seems to be (another) issue the movement is fudging because disagreement is difficult. But it can't be fudged because its one of those situations where people doing opposite things in the same space is a disaster for all involved. It's an issue where you either respect the collective agreement that has been reached or go elsewhere and do you own thing. Even if we can't reach agreement on talking to the media we have to agree on that.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Fri May 28, 2004 22:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat C, I think you did the right thing. If someone is attacking a journalist then it's not a clever thing to do and it's up to sounder heads like yourself to step in and tell them to cool it. However, I think that the reason the person may have done that isn't so off-the-wall as some of the commentary comes across as implying. Some of the "journalists" are scum and to some extent it's a balance as to how far they can go before they should be pushed back. I'm not "cheering on" assaults on media people, I'm just not as wholehearted in condemning everything about the person that did this. I think that person should consider that while their outrage at being harrassed by someone that tells lies for a living is justified they're providing an excuse for further lies.

Joe, as you point out (and I acknowledged earlier) the "media" is not homogeneous, that cuts both ways. Just because DGN and the SWP got a chance to put their point across (very well) on major media doesn't mean that some journalist-provocateurs aren't going to be out shoving people, harrassing them etc. I don't see that a minor scuffle involving one of them being pushed is symptomatic of a declaration of war on all journalists. I'd suggest that if you assume that with a large crowd, stress and provocative journalists that this is not going to happen again then you're doomed to disappointment. The way that you're casting the problem now means that you're providing fodder for future propaganda.

That said I agree with you that the march had a collective agreement and that if someone doesn't like that then they should go somewhere else. It's not just or fair or honest to turn up and behave in a manner that is explicitly outside the agreed framework for the march.

author by Davidpublication date Sat May 29, 2004 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That protestors have to be taken seriously, because we are serious.

If protestors turned the other cheek in the face of extreme provocation it could lead to equally damaging stories about us being a weak movement who are just going through the motions.

We shouldn't target people by any means. I don't want to hurt anybody (not even the cops) but we need to stand up for ourselves too. It's just a matter of how far should we go and where does such action become damaging.

This is a matter for internal discussion amongst activists to find some kind of a consensus and boundaries, but the events on mayday in relation to the media (from what i understand) were by no means over the top. nobody got hurt.

author by Aranpublication date Mon Jun 07, 2004 20:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is starting to occur to me that the reason many socialist states banned the media and press was, not to suppress free speech, but to stop right wing media monsters not even peddling propaganda but telling blatant lies.

author by Aranpublication date Mon Jun 07, 2004 20:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is starting to occur to me that the reason many socialist states banned the media and press was, not to suppress free speech, but to stop right wing media monsters not even peddling propaganda but telling blatant lies.

author by Clark Kentpublication date Mon Jun 07, 2004 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is no exzcuse for the attacks on journalists which the black bloc carried out on Mayday. David with his fudging does DGN no favours. If thousands of peopole on the march had no problem with having their photo taken. Why should a tiny minority of masked adventurers have the right to assault journalists and bring the entire march into disrepute.

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