Upcoming Events

Dublin | Summit Mobilisations

no events match your query!

New Events

Dublin

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Did RTE journalists collude against Sinn Fein?

offsite link Irish Examiner bias Anthony

offsite link RTE: Propaganda ambush of Sinn Fein Anthony

offsite link Hong Kong and democracy Anthony

offsite link Oliver Callan: Back in his box Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link EU SITREP: U.S. Defense Sec?y. Tells EU: ?Deter Peace,? Confront Russia & China Mon Aug 10, 2020 21:07 | The Saker
by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told Europeans, in statements on July 29th and August 9th, ?I?ve said that very publicly, I?ve said

offsite link Chaos In Lebanon Marked Start Of New Round Of Israeli-Iranian Standoff Mon Aug 10, 2020 20:52 | amarynth
South Front The explosion in the port of Beirut in early August that caused thousands of casualties became a trigger point for the further development of the already existing crisis

offsite link Systemic racism or systemic rubbish Sun Aug 09, 2020 23:04 | The Saker
By Ilana Mercer, posted with permission of the author The “systemic racism” refrain is a meaningless abstraction. Operationalize the nebulous abstraction that is ?systemic racism,” or get out of my

offsite link The Essential Saker IV ? ?Messianic Narcissism?s Agony by a Thousand Cuts? Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:07 | amarynth
I am pleased to announce that The Essential Saker IV is now available in softcover, pdf and epub. The book covers Saker essays and analysis from January 2019 through to

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2020/08/09 ? Open Thread Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:00 | Herb Swanson
2020/08/09 09:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

The Saker >>

Mayday trials this month - no support from the anarchist community in Dublin

category dublin | summit mobilisations | opinion/analysis author Monday November 01, 2004 10:45author by R - independent Report this post to the editors

Prisoner support is non existent in Dublin.

Two Mayday-related trials are coming up in the courts this month. The first is that of Donal Corcoran, whom the media dubbed "Robocop", which starts this morning down in the Four Courts. He is charged with assault, arising from the "Reclaim The Streets" rally in May 2002. The other is that of Polly Murphy, an English activist who was charged with trespass in April of this year. Her imprisonment and the judge's refusal to grant her bail for such a minor offence prompted regular demonstrations outside Mountjoy prison during the "No Borders Weekend" organised by the "Dublin Grassroots Network".

While it would be foolish to comment directly on these cases before they are heard, both of them represent a massive failure on the part of the anarchist/autonomous activists in Dublin.

After Reclaim The Streets in 2002, the organisation (incredibly loosely defined) effectively abandoned all responsibility for the follow-up work required, which was desperately needed to ensure that protestors were not convicted of public order offences. They said they didnt want to talk to the mainstream media, and never made any public statements, despite the fact that the mainstream media were on their side and were hungry for any information coming from the group. By burying their heads in the sand, it was left to "Globalise Resistance" to step in and speak for RTS.

The main problem is not that RTS did not talk to the media. The problem is that they failed to support any of the people charged with public order offences, either with organising a collection of legal statements or witnesses, or some kind of fund for fees, which has been 100% funded now by defendants. Their continued lack of coherent organisation (RTS Dublin does not exist as a separate entity any more) also means that the state can now re-write history unchallanged, and three out of six Gardai who were charged with assault have been found innocent.

The Dublin Grassroots Network, which grew out of the "Grassroots Gathering", also contains members of RTS Dublin, and they have continued the tradition of zero post-protest support for people charged with related offences. Polly and another English protestor Joe Girardi have been living in Dublin for the past six months, bound over by their bail conditions to remain in the country, and have been ignored and not supported in any way during their time here.

It is not just DGN that have failed to support the two English prisoners. The autonomous anarchists, mostly from the punk music scene, whom Polly and Joe stayed with in the run up to Mayday, absolved themselves of any responsibility for their well being and did not offer any help in the months preceding their trials. Both needed places to stay and some basic financial support in order to get on their feet, but this did not happen. The autonomous anarchists even organise fundraising gigs for "Prisoner Support", but they seem more interested in writing letters to anarcho-primitivists in the USA than ringing Joe or Polly up and buying them a pint. The English anarchist scene has not let this gone un-noticed and is quietly angry with the Irish anarchists.

The anarchist community likes to pat itself on the back and talk itself up as if it were the authority on revolution, pouring scorn regularly (especially on this website) on other political strands. The truth is that when it comes to doing difficult or awkward work for people who get into trouble, they close their eyes and hope the problem magically goes away. They are more interested in the "spectacular" event which gives them kudos and media attention rather than offering help and support to those that need it. The Dame Street RTS took place over 2 and a half years ago but it seems that the anarchists have not learned any lessons from that day.

author by PleasePleasepublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

R raises an important issue here, that of after-action support. Some people who were involved in the RTS in question, the organisations/networks mentioned, and the anarchist scene in Dublin generally might like to respond. I certainly would if I'd just read an indictment like that about me.

But please-please-please when you respond take care not to let the discussion become a flame war. R could have kept her/his thoughts to her/himself, sure. But I don't think there's any meanness in the piece above. Let's just try to work out together what went wrong and what we can do now to put it right going forward.

author by Hpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 12:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The anarchist community in Dublin did have an anarchist specific prisoner support organisation known as Anarchist Prisoner Support(APS)(www.anarchistps.org)

APS were involved in alot of prisoner support activities which included support for homegrown activists and activists abroad.

Strangely enough though, for a movement in such a need for a prisoner support organisation APS got little to no support from the anarchist community in Dublin.

As far as i know because of the lack of support and dwindling numbers and resources APS called it a day earlier this year.

I think those in that organisation interested in carrying on their prisoner support work joined or are working with Organise!(www.organiseireland.org) so perhaps Organise! would be the organisation to give a shout to.

What i did notice regarding the prisoner support issue is the lack of information going around.

For example, the news about Polly Murphy and robocop are new to me. It would appear people do have the information but for some reason that information stays in very small circles.

A prisoner support system should be out in place if successful DA's, protests and organisations are to prosper.

They're in there for us, we're out here for them!

author by Ois - WSM Personal Capacitypublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 13:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I completely understand and agree with some of what the person above says.

However, I would like to know who the poster is. There are infinitely better ways of raising this issue than on Indymedia.

Indeed I have heard a fair few people moan about the lack of support for arrestees shown by Irish Anarchists. But almost no one has actually tried to solve the problem. And the anarchist movement is not a service, if you have a problem you need to make some effort to try and solve it.


Also some of your complaints are rather spurious.

You write..."The main problem is not that RTS did not talk to the media." Yes, RTS May 2002 didn't deal with the media well, that's accepted and has been learnt from. For example look at the way the DGN dealt with the media in the run up to the 'No Borders Weekend'.

Some thing that the British anarchist movement didn't seem to impressed with either.

As for the statement 'Prisoner support is non existent in Dublin.' That's not through there is a small and relatively inactive but nevertheless existent APS. And a lot of Irish anarchists do keep up correspondence with anarchist political prisoners. Of which there are none in Ireland.

As for no support for arrestees. Again there isn't enough support but 'no support' just isn't true. When Joe was u in court there was a demonstration held outside the Court by 15 or so Irish DGNers and we all sat in on his hearing, and we will as far as I am aware be doing the same again on Wednesday.

But that's just one instance. Indeed most of the support for Mary Kelly and the other anti-war activists has been coming from the Libertarian movement.


Unfortunately I think perhaps cynically that the follow piece of writing belies your real reason for writing the above article ... "The anarchist community likes to pat itself on the back and talk itself up as if it were the authority on revolution, pouring scorn regularly (especially on this website) on other political strands. The truth is that when it comes to doing difficult or awkward work for people who get into trouble, they close their eyes and hope the problem magically goes away. They are more interested in the "spectacular" event which gives them kudos and media attention rather than offering help and support to those that need it."

This conclusion to your article reads as if you are an angry Non-Anarchist (possibly a Trot) who's pissed off about being critiqued on this Site so has written a blindly condemning article, anonymously, with the aim of scoring points by using political arrestees as pawns in the game of sectarianism.

author by WTFpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You think a Trot wrote the above article? Are you suffering from paranoid delusions or something? I hate to break it to you, but when Trots have a go at Libertarians prisoner support is not the ground they choose... ever.

Whoever wrote it is perfectly entitled to his/her view and is perfectly entitled to raise the issue on Indymedia. I thought your response was pretty measured and fair, apart from the why are you raising this here what's your secret agenda bits.

author by hpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 14:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Indeed I have heard a fair few people moan about the lack of support for arrestees shown by Irish Anarchists. But almost no one has actually tried to solve the problem."

This is true, perhaps now would be the time for people to start seriously discussing the issues at hand. A strong prisoner support movement is needed.

"That's not through there is a small and relatively inactive but nevertheless existent APS"

This isnt true, APS called it a day earlier in the year, i dont think this was publicly done as by the time it had ceased to exist it was rendered useless by its lack of support in its native city. Supported by the fact that they no longer organise anything and their website no longer exists.

The problem with the current situation is Prisoner Support becomes a by product of our actions. When we organise something of take some sort of action we have to hysterically try and create some form of Prisoner Support mechanism. Whilst their are moments like when Joe was in court and members of DGN sat in on the hearing it was only out of a need at the time.

What needs to exist is a prisoner support network that would facilitate support via monetary and comradery means.

Its too late thinking about these problems when the person is sitting in a court room or can't post bail and has to get a loan from a friend, activist or parent.

"most of the support for Mary Kelly and the other anti-war activists has been coming from the Libertarian movement"

This is true and hopefully it will continue but the likes of Mary Kelly and the Catholic Workers have used their own resources for support. They have found friends in the libertarian movement but they don't have the backing of an organised network behind them. Just bits of support here and there.

"This conclusion to your article reads as if you are an angry Non-Anarchist (possibly a Trot) who's pissed off about being critiqued on this Site so has written a blindly condemning article, anonymously, with the aim of scoring points by using political arrestees as pawns in the game of sectarianism."

Perhaps they are Ois, but im an anarchist and very concerned at the plight of arrestees and the lack of prisoner support in ireland. If anything at least this person raised a topic very much worth raising. And if it were a trot, from what high horse could they look down upon us anarchists from considering the trot movement has absolutely no prisoner support.

author by jack white - different places at different times.publication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 14:44author email greenandblackjack at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Y’know this isn’t the first time this has come up. Around this time last year someone posted a comment on indymedia saying that they too had been abandoned by rts (you can check out the comment and story here: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=62469 ).
At the time I responded saying that :
“There was a meeting organised after the mayday RTS where anyone arrested or beaten was invited to attend. At the meeting a solicitor which RTS were recommending people use outlined what he thought people should do. It was also stated that we'd try and support people financially (I don't think we could pay everyone’s total legal costs but I'm sure we could help with some of them). Some people wanted to do their own thing which we respected ( I think a few people wanted to make sure that they couldn't be associated with the event organisers). In the weeks and months which followed we turned up when we knew people had a day in court and we tried to keep up with what was happening. As time went on we lost touch with people, as far as I know at this stage most people have had their cases dropped, there's a couple who keep getting dragged back to court but the trials keep getting put off (and probably won't be heard until after all the cops are dealt with).

If there is anyone who needs support then please get in touch (with rts at: rtsmayday@yahoo.co.uk or with me personally at greenandblackjack@yahoo.co.uk) and we'll do what we can.”

I think that that response is still valid as regards the defence of people arrested / beaten on the RTS.

R. then says “Their continued lack of coherent organisation (RTS Dublin does not exist as a separate entity any more) also means that the state can now re-write history unchallanged, and three out of six Gardai who were charged with assault have been found innocent.”
Well RTS Dublin has always been fairly informal but I don’t see what that has to do with allowing the state to ‘rewrite history unchallanged’ or the fact that three gardai got off scot free. If we had weekly meetings, an elected chairperson and secretary would they have been convicted?

When it comes to Donal Corcorans trial I’m not sure what R. thinks we should do. Who exactly is there to support? From what I’ve heard of the previous cases the defence is trying to make out that the whole thing was some kind of indymedia conspiracy to entrap innocent police officers so I would be dubious of even sending out a press release or getting involved in any way in case it somehow gave Donal corcorans defence ammunition.

R. then states that Polly and Joe “have been ignored and not supported in any way during their time here”. Well I’m afraid that that’s just rubbish. I’d have no problem with an argument saying that we could have done more for them, but saying that they were ignored is just way off. (which makes me wonder how R. knows whether they were ignored or not, is he mates with them? Or possibly psychic? Maybe this explains how s/he knows that “The English anarchist scene has not let this gone un-noticed and is quietly angry with the Irish anarchists”. Does he lurk on the dgn list perhaps?)

Like Ois says DGN heads were in court at Joe’s last hearing and we’ll be back there when himself and Polly are up in court again. Re; the ‘autonomous anarchists’. Well actually some of them have recently raised a bit of cash to help out with mayday legal defence expenses.

I don’t know who R. is but, like Ois, I’m suspicious. S/he posts a story full of criticism, none of which is really constructive. There’s plenty of room for improvement as regards legal / prisioner support as far as I’m concerned but I’m surprised that someone could claim that prisoner support is in such bad shape and not have taken any practical steps or even made any suggestions to improve the situation.

I take all of H’s points about the necessity for a strong legal / prisoner support setup, and if its true I think it’s a pity that APS have wound up in Dublin ( and no I probably didn’t give them the support they deserved at the time). I also think that H. is right when he says that “What needs to exist is a prisoner support network that would facilitate support via monetary and comradery means. Its too late thinking about these problems when the person is sitting in a court room or can't post bail and has to get a loan from a friend, activist or parent.” However I would like to point out that back in May we were looking for people to join the legal support group on a number of occasions and it still came down to two of us (more or less).

Maybe this is a good time to bring up legal / prisoner support, in fairness there’s probably never a bad time. I just have a problem with people like R. throwing around a lot of criticism without anything constructive coming out of it.

author by Observerpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 14:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The article above is sad but in many senses true. And the second posting is right about Mary Kelly and the Pit Stop Ploughshares.

I don't believe anarchist groups in Ireland are particularly organised or supportive, beyond the day of an action or demo and the run-up to it. They believe in the effectiveness of civil disobedience, but few from the main anarchist groups seem to actually do any. I wouldn't mind this if they provided ongoing support for those who did, but they don't appear to. All too often, there is an amateurish feel to their activities, and the cynic would be forgiven for thinking many of them don't have a particular commitment to anything but going to the odd 'anarchist camp' and just generally acting and looking like they're at an eternal Grateful Dead concert. There are a few notable exceptions to this, but they only consist of a few impressive individuals who seem to actually think through strategies and try to carry them through. The collective distrust of using those with a talent for leadership, in case grassroots democracy should suffer, leads to a level of inaction and ineffectiveness that is sometimes amazing. The fact is, people don't all have the same talents or skills. Some people are great at administration and organisation, another may not be able to organise the proverbial brewery piss-up. One person can sound stunningly appalling on the media, while another can be a natural. The anarchists believe that roles like this should be rotated so that people won't get too big for their boots from seeing themselves in the establishment media too much! This causes them to regularly drop perfectly good media spokespeople and insert people in their place who can't string two words together.

I am a sympathiser, by the way - not an SWP member or anything of that nature, although I do think the SWP are ten times better at organising things. I just tend to find the whole scene rather frustrating at times and am glad somebody finally pointed it out. I don't think the analysis posted above is right in saying they're only in it for the ego value or the publicity - I think it's just bad organising.

author by Johnny X - Anarchist Prisoner Supportpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 15:08author address po box 3355, Dublin 7author phone Report this post to the editors

I would have to agree, there has been a massive failure on the part if the anarchist activists to support prisoners and activists arrested over the last number of years. Anarchist Prisoner Support was formed just after the Robo cop RTS on Dame St, because the people involved in putting together events would simply abandoned all responsibility and move on to the next protest etc, i put this down to inexperence, as getting nicked at protest before was very unlikily. APS tryed to get together a war cheast to help people arrested, but we needed the hole movemnet nationly to get involved, but we were just ignored.
I have to say i find Ois-wsm-(personal capacity) towards us very sectarianism, calling us relatively inactive, i thing our work speaks for itself, see newsletter. Over the years we have saved peoples lives, raised money to help both prisoners and their families while giving moral support through letter written and hi-lighting cases which would other wise be ignored by mainstream media. Relating to post in question,The person who wrote it has a very good point mostly and i would like to thank him/her for bringing it up, as it is something which should be addressed, Ois when someone quistions the anarchist community should we always just answer "trot" or "Sectarian" as this is easier than dealing with the problem, i totally agree with WTF that the person is perfectly entitled to his/her views.
APS is very much active, and has even grown where we now have two active groups, one in Dublin and one in Hull. People do view are work as inportant and we have had intersts from people in Cork, CNT France, and anarchist in Manchester who want to set up branches there.

author by Cian FNBpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 17:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That was a really terrible post...


Oh just for the record The Grateful Dead Posse organised prisoner support disco in Dalymount last month.
Close to 100 euro was raised.

HOPefully this thread will implode in on itself.

author by Anonpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 17:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just for the record, of all the newspaper-selling left, the sparts have been the greatest donors of hard cash to antiwar arrestees and prisoners afaik. How about that! :-D

author by Dismayedpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 17:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cian's cogent and articulate dismantling of 'observer's' argument is really convincing and has made me realise what a terrible mistake observer was making - not. Actually, Cian just proves observer's point. If he thinks 'oberver you [sic] crazy' consists of a strong refutation, then there is clearly a problem in the anarchist community. Criticism can be useful if it's taken on board - and answered and used to stimulate debate.

author by lishpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 18:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it's true that prisoner support is something we've only recently even started thinking about, we're not expert fundraisers & there is no big coherent group with any resources. RTS is whoever feels like doing it, as far as i can tell ,rather than a group.

it's also true that more people are interested in showing up on the day than putting in time organising or dealing with aftermath.
the big question at the moment is longer-term goals & strategies.

very few people were directly involved with legal support and very few are now . we need help with this. please get involved .
the trials are spread out & usually at 10am.
people who can make it do.
come to the trials if you can.

the difficult bail conditions & constant court appearances are deliberate , to discourage people from protest and other actions.

that said we did a lot of media work immediately after mayday which is probably why the original judge's decision to refuse bail was overturned.
the reason we didn't do any further media on this is because some of the people were not interested in being involved with the media in any way & we respected their wishes. others didn't want to prejudice their cases.
others have trials coming up soon arising out of mayday & we'll have to check to see what they want us to do. we'll be happy to publicise the trials if that's what people want.

there's a party on next week for one of the mayday arrestees plus some of her friends who didn't seem pissed off with us at Beyond the ESF 2 weeks ago. if they are , hopefully they'll discuss it.

in terms of spokespeople the rotation is deliberate, there's been continuity by passing on what we've learned, media lists etc. & everyone's been great at it.

bottom line is although a kick is useful there's not much point in criticizing overstretched underesourced people unless you'll weigh in to help.

author by gramsci fan - DGNpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 19:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Prisoner / legal support is hard work. It is something which drains the individuals charged / imprisoned, as well as their families, their communities and their movements. This is one main reason that the state will persevere even with trivial charges such as those against Mayday defendants - it bleeds the movement.

This is particularly hard for the libertarian scene in Ireland. While the left as a whole is full of young people (whose life circumstances change rapidly), people without much ready cash and mobile people (making it hard to sustain organisations), this is in my experience even more true for the libertarian left. The result is that it is a minor miracle that any organisations have a lasting presence.

That said, I have seen people donate generously, organise collections, hold protests outside court houses, put up British activists rendered homeless by court orders requiring them to stay in Ireland, organise meetings for defendants, rush out press releases, try to revive prisoner support activities and otherwise do whatever they could.

Yes, it has not been perfect, and prisoner support rarely is enough. And it is absolutely the case that we need a longer-term structure which can keep track of ongoing cases, mobilise support, handle fundraising etc etc. But that is a practical matter which several good activists have been trying to address over the last few years. And anyone who is willing to help in any way is more than welcome!

An obvious proposal: the next Grassroots Gathering will be held in Dublin in the New Year. How about a workshop bringing together APS, the Mayday legal / support people and anyone else willing to try and put things on a longer-term footing?

author by The Insider - USIpublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 20:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Micro socialist/anarchist groups fighting amongst each other...who would have ever thought it would happen?

This is totally unprecedented in the history of radicalism in Ireland!

I'm stunned!

Really!

I'm serious!

author by Ciaron - Pit Stop Ploughsharespublication date Mon Nov 01, 2004 21:30author address author phone 087 918 4552Report this post to the editors

Good issue to be raised.

When I first got busted doing nvda I was 17 and there were 418 people. I turned up to court 2 months later in my school uniform on my lonesome surrounded by cops and feeling pretty isolated.

Could have been the end of my nvda journey . But 50+ arrests/2 years jail time later I'm feeling pretty good going to trial March 7th. facing my (lawyers think) at least 3 years unless a Dublin jury should rise to the occassion.

What sustains one. I think two things 1. Your spirituality (very subjective territory)
and 2. the solidarity of others.

I landed in Dublin a couple of daze before RTS 2002 and ended up on police liason witnessing a lot of trauma in Pearse St Garda Station during and after the Garda riot. A couple of daze later when the SWP called a rally, I tried hard to get them and others to pass the hat from the platform among the 3,000+ gathered for the defendants. But they didn't and seemed to be more interested in staging a pre-election rally with us who had turned up in repsonse to Garda brutality as a conscripted audience. I did some street speaking and collected 250 euro from folks who had no idea who I was and what I was going to do with it.

Obviously the long dragged out legal system (time betwen getting busted and getting a court hearing) inIreland militates against sustained solidarity from a movement with a short attention span whose reaction agenda is largely set by the state and populist media.

I tend to think NVDA and even getting busted & punished by the state rather than behaving yourself can be the most empowering experience of your life or most disempowering and its got to do with solidarity. Because the mechanism of the state is set up to marginalise you, isolate you, break you.

I also have the opinion if you initiate an event RTS, May Day action, Shannon stuff and invite people into it...you should have some resposnibility for accompanying them if they shuld be arrested through the court scene and punishment.

The threat of NVDA at May Day and Shannon has given some political groups a media platform they would not otherwise had...so yes it is pretty poor when these people don't prioritise following up the casualties. And worse when they snidely denounce those busted as naieve, stupid or "martyrs"

Pit Stop Ploughshareshave gotta solidarity gig this Thursday night at Mother Redcaps - entry by donation so don't be shy just give what you can. Most importantly turn up and remind us we're not alone facing trial and jail as the war rages on and the peace movement has largely gone home.

Good luck Polly, it's been great to have you in Dublin.

Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland.org
author by pcpublication date Tue Nov 02, 2004 00:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

may he who throw the first stone? R?

author by jhpublication date Tue Nov 02, 2004 00:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

well i won't go into the details of the cases, but when you go into a room full of people and ask them who going to do legal support people have to very brave to put there hand up, oh yes im going to help handle somebodies court case, or im going to go to these cops and get a straight answer magically! imho i don't think its because its unglamorous its because people dont know what to do ! and are nervous about doing the wrong thing, people don't believe they have the skills to do these things? Now thats an unglamarous answer! ( rather then this just interested in the spectacular excuse) theres is that saying that no legal advice is better then wrong legal advice and you can do all the fund raising and solidarity protests you want but as the world is now you still need expertise to deal with the law? afaik. jack white when that person brought up this re RTS before and you said mail me we'll talk, did anyone mail you. I bet not... what can you do? afaik i can remember theres was an amount of money collected after rts that was never accepted when offered or requested by anyone... again what can you do? quite a number of the people arrested don't want anything to do with us.. what can you do? and through that whole post not one suggestion or solution put forward thats an achievement! the only thing i can think of is that the when another legal support group, that people back

author by richardpublication date Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1 APS has not have not called it a day, later or earlier this year. Finacial constraints has meant we let the website go(there may be an older one out there).
2. We have one member in Oraganise! other members are free to be a member of whatever party they wish to be a member of, even the FG (although they would take some stick) or of none.
3. The prisoner support networks in Nothren America have been good at informaton spreading, Most Irish people are only speak english, so it is impractical to ask them to write to someone who can only speak Dutch German or French. Thus it seems we only write to north american primi's.
4. The GDN did contact us after mayday, looking for money. We offered what we had. They have still not collected.
5. Most prisoner support done in ireland by anarchists tends to be reactionary in nature, haphazard in charachter and unsustainable. APS hoped to address this, but lack of support, or maybe just lack of intrest has meant that we have never been able to feel confident in the success of such a venture.
6. There has already been a meeting of Prisoner Supporters at a GG, it acheived nothing.

author by Hpublication date Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1 APS has not have not called it a day, later or earlier this year. Finacial constraints has meant we let the website go(there may be an older one out there)

-- i had presumed by the lack of website and general lack of postings here that APS had called it a day, my bad, sorry, no offence intended, was just trying to point out the lack of support that APS received in Dublin


5. Most prisoner support done in ireland by anarchists tends to be reactionary in nature, haphazard in charachter and unsustainable. APS hoped to address this, but lack of support, or maybe just lack of intrest has meant that we have never been able to feel confident in the success of such a venture.


-- yes, i agree totally with point 5 here, this needs to be answered asap and considering APS are still around then perhaps people should take an interest in giving it the support they need



6. There has already been a meeting of Prisoner Supporters at a GG, it acheived nothing.


-- perhaps the GG is the wrong place for it then, its my opinion that the GG isnt great for concrete structures (just an opinion)

author by karen fallonpublication date Tue Nov 02, 2004 15:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

support is for all activists to do!
No matter if someone has been assaulted by gardai, charged unlawfully or held on bail, we as activists have to support each other as best we can. Legal support workshops can be organised as can prisoner support. the Action does not stop when you are arrested, it is ongoing. In fact the arrest/ detention and the bail limbo afterwards are the most difficult to deal with.Especially if you know hardly anyone and are in enforced exile. Acitvists need caring freinds and communities around them during the process and a FULL court room of support in their trials. This is our strength.Our diversity and compassion is what makes us strong. Regardless of different oppinions and spiritualities, we need to provide better support for one another to keep our cause strong.
(just for the trolls out there, i am not a christian and my spiritual beliefs are exactly that....mine!).
Good luck polly and joe! am sorry i cannot be there as i will be in court in Ennis supporting Mary Kelly on friday.

author by Ciaron - Pit Stop Ploughsharespublication date Tue Nov 02, 2004 16:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sometimes solidarity rituals are worth adopting that only need minimal organisation. The Sparts seem to have a good one offering 50 bucks if you get busted. Good on them. We should all think about sending cash to activist folks who get busted no matter how miniscule an amount.....there are fines, transport costs etc.

There are some good websites of prison addresses for folks locked up.Getting a letter in jail can't be underestimated - lifts the spirit and makes it safer for you.


When mass arrests happen like RTS 2002, May Day 2004...best if you choose one casualty and stick with them through the 6-18 month journey through the courts and punishment rather than set out to take'emall on and burn out and do nothing. Hoping other folks adopt other arrestees etc.

RTS 2002, May Day 2004 could have been have been the beginning or the end of activist lives for a lot of the young folks arrested and dragged through the courts. It would be interesting to survey/interview those arrested onthose experiences. The support for Shannon arrestees before the end of the air war & collapse of the peace movement was pretty good from memory?!?

In the '70's there seemed to be a lot more lefty lawyers and law students around willing to do the advice and advocacy work - it seems to be lean times on that front.

Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland.org
author by jack white - dependspublication date Tue Nov 02, 2004 20:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Observer: the whole rotating media spokespeople is so everybody gets to develop their skills, and yeah so that people don't get too used to the position and begin abusing it. Theres also the fact that no-one actually wants to be some kind of permanent media spokesperson. Who would? I'm sure we've all got plently of more interesting things to be doing.

When you said "This causes them [the anarchists] to regularly drop perfectly good media spokespeople and insert people in their place who can't string two words together." were you actually talking about some specific incident (if so could you reply with some details)? Or were you just talking shite? (honestly, how many times has there been media spokespeople from anarchist groups / iniatives / events etc? Definatly not enough times for us to need to drop them 'regularly'. I think you've got some caricature of anarchists in your head, where we all look like attendees at a Gratefull Dead concert no doubt, and you're just imagining what we do. )

Johnny X & Ciaron: maybe i'm being over defensive here but we didn't abandon people after mayday 2002, please see my earlier post on this subject.

JH: "jack white when that person brought up this re RTS before and you said mail me we'll talk, did anyone mail you."
No, they didn't, at the time i thought that it was probably a genuine post but since then i reckon its dodgy. I think the one that started this thread is as well, if not could R. answer a few basic questions?
Who does s/he think we should support at Donal Corcorans trial?
How should we do it?
What gave him/her the idea that polly and joe were being ignored?
How does s/he know what the english anarchists are thinking?

Richard:"APS has not have not called it a day". Glad to hear it.
"The GDN did contact us after mayday, looking for money. We offered what we had. They have still not collected."
Yeah, that was me, i called when we needed bail money to get people out of prison, and after talking to you couldn't get through to the chap who had the cash for a few days (or maybe it was that there was no handy way to collect it, can't remember exactly which). By which time we had come up with the money through other sources. We'll probably need money again, if ye're still willing to part with some i'll make sure to ask for it.
" APS hoped to address this [lack of prisoner support], but lack of support, or maybe just lack of intrest has meant that we have never been able to feel confident in the success of such a venture."
Well maybe after this thread it'd be a good idea to give it a go. Or maybe post some suggestions for what people could do to help. Or maybe suggest things that people who don't have the time to join APS or give up another evening of their week could do.
"There has already been a meeting of Prisoner Supporters at a GG, it acheived nothing."
Well i'm sorry to hear that, do you have any plans to improve the situation?

Thats about enough from me, i would like to say that though i'm suspicious of the posting that started this thread (basically i reckon its someone lurking on dgn lists, putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 5, the fact that they haven't responded is also a bit suss i reckon) i do think its an important discussion. What i would like to see are more practical suggestions and less comments that are likely to cause pointless arguments between people who really should know better. Pretty much evryone agrees that we could do more as regards prisoner / legal support, why not use this oppertunity to work out how?

author by Terry - NUIG Ecology Society/Anarchist Federation/Organise!/Galway Grassroots (personal capacity)publication date Tue Nov 02, 2004 21:01author email room101ucg at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

To my knowledge only 3 males in anarchist organisations in Ireland have anything approaching long hair, so I think perhaps this Grateful dead thing is derived from a close reading of that accurate source the Sunday Indo.


Yes I think defendant support has been fucking awful. I recognise that people cannot be everywhere at once, but see how it is prioritised in our movements, its action, action, action, but no thought for the morrow.

Ciaron's bit about his first arrest outlines perfectly the importance of defendant support to sustainability, especially with what he would call "come one/come all" actions.
If you organise one you have a responsibility to the peeps who get busted on it. Period.
This is markedly different from someone who goes looking to get arrested for no good reason, or someone who does a ploughshares type action (not saying in this case people shouldn't be supported obviously!, just a different level of responsibilty).

Furthermore nine times out of ten public order charges etc.. are there to intimidate people who don't get busted. Showing up in court is a way of not being intimidated.

What has happened with the people arrested on Mayday 2004 from outside activist circles?? That is, most of them.

Personally speaking one of the reasons I didn't go to Mayday (and I said this LAST November at the EU plenary at the Galway Grassroots) was there was little or no prior organisation of defendant support....and that was without realising they could whack you with those big bail pay or go to prison on the day things. (admitidly I also felt that about 3 times as many people would get busted).

People would do well to consider the example of MAMA, who always have at least some folk in court when there is a trial on in their area.

Incidentally I calculated that the 4 people done at the time of Bush visit makes around 110 people busted at (not including bin charges) actions over the last few years.

author by spitty spitty two shoes - ...publication date Wed Nov 03, 2004 00:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Or what could you have done?

Let me get this straight, the November before the May actions you decided that there was "little or no prior organisation of defendant support".
Hmmm with seven months to play around with maybe you could have found some time to pitch in and help rectify the situation yourself. Even based in Galway you could have come up for the day and helped man a telephone or something. It would have given you something useful to do without putting yourself at any sort of risk and it might have meant that the defendant support wasn't 'fucking awful'. Forget the way its "prioritised in our movements", what were your priorities? What are they now?

Lots of people on this thread giving out about the way things are, not too many even talking about changing that.

author by richardpublication date Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

jack white - depends

Thank you for freeing up the money. It has already fouind a new use.

author by D - personal viewpublication date Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its good to see a bit of criticism, constructive or otherwise, of the anarchist communities in Dublin on this site. Strictly out of balance of course. Everyone else gets flame grilled now and again, so its good that the anarchists (some of whom run this site, as I understand) have to come out and defend their corner.

Someone up above talks about the commitments of the anarchists in this city, and that's something I'd like to question as well. I guess I shouldn't really because I dont sit on any particular fence, but there's always room for armchair cynics to vent their spleen.

Ciaron, and be honest, do you really think that the anarchists have been supportive towards the Catholic Workers, Mary Kelly, Dubsky, etc? How many of them show up to the gigs in Mother Redcaps, how many of them come down to O'Connell Street when you were up for trial, how many of them went down to Shannon last weekend? I'm not trying to be smart here, I just think that if the IAWM called a demo then DGN would also instantly think of joining in, or more accurately heading down on the same day but doing their own thing, but if other smaller groups like the CW call something then for some reason DGN arent interested in helping out.

Its not that the anarchists aren't against the war - I just dont think they're REALLY against it. Certainly they do not have the same level of commitment as the CW's. How many of them have done small successful direct actions (unannounced) or been arrested (either on purpose or otherwise) at Shannon? They wont like this but it seems to be me that they're interested in talking about the language of confronting the state, but when it comes down to actually putting their own heads on the block, they shy away.

Its not just the war. Take for example the Bin Tax. The WSM were heavily involved in the campaign here, calling for direct action, blocking the trucks, shutting down the depots, etc. Yet how many of them were arrested or jailed when it came to the crunch? It was ordinary people from working class communities, not the activists, who had more to lose that refused to be bound over by the judge's order, and were locked up. The campaign appears to have died off after that - and not just in the mainstream media, but also here. The WSM didn't really seem to care at the end, probably because most of them can easily afford to pay the bin tax (be honest).

Then also the other 'autonomous' anarchists in the city, they had a squat up on Leeson Street for months. When they were discovered by the Council, they claimed in the media and also on this site that they were forced into doing it because of the high price of property (among other reasons). Then when it came to occupying the place and risking arrest, taking on the Council, they quietly walked away. Obviously they were committed to the concept of squatting if they stayed there for months, but when it came to risking their own necks forwhat they believed in, they packed up and went back to their parents houses. The comfort net saved them, if they really needed a place to live then they would have stayed there and fought.

Its understandable if people have jobs, homes, etc that could be damaged by getting involved with direct actions and taking the state on. This is something that people have to weigh up, its often an individual choice (see Dubsky's thread a couple of months ago about "corporate whore by day, anarchist by night"). But if people are going to be always talking the language of revolution then at some point they're going to have to stop worrying about their university lecturing job, their IT programming consultancy, their Mam and Dad looking down on them, their prospect of having a criminal record, and just fucking DO IT.

There was a big headline on Indymedia recently saying "DGN vows to shut down weapons conference". Well, what did that mean? Did DGN mean they were going to block the road, chain themselves to gates, do lock-ons/lockdowns or other NVDA; or just stand around outside the gates with placards and a few people dressed up? If the SWP had made a claim they were going to try shut something down, and then went ahead with their usual draining march coupled with the final boring theatrical standoff, then they would be slated into the ground on Indymedia. Yet this is effectively what DGN did and nobody seems to have questioned it? (Forgive me if I'm wrong but there was loads of build up articles to the weapons conference and then very few reports about it afterwards, so its hard to tell what actually happened at the protest).

I'm not saying that the anarchists dont believe in what they say, I just wonder exactly how much they believe it themselves, deep down.


p.s. Jack White maybe the person who wrote the initial piece doesnt have access to a computer all the time, its only two days ago it went up first, they may come back to respond later, I think its unfair of you to claim its a fake story just because they havent responded yet.

author by Raypublication date Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I didn't know Mountjoy had Internet access! Or maybe D wrote his post on toilet paper, smuggled it out, and had someone else type it up for him?

author by James O'Brien - WSM (personal capacity)publication date Wed Nov 03, 2004 14:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>Take for example the Bin Tax. The WSM were heavily involved in the campaign here, calling for direct action, blocking the trucks, shutting down the depots, etc. Yet how many of them were arrested or jailed when it came to the crunch?

Well, WSM members participated in as much blocking of trucks and shutting of demos as anybody. If you were involved in a local campaign where we had active members then you’d know this. I’m not sure what you want us to do. Run up to a Guard and offer our names to them? Want us to correct a Garda’s bureaucratic mistake that gets one of us of the hook so we can have some street cred with anonymous posters on this site?

Perhaps we have a different understanding of success. It appears you place a premium on getting arrested. We don’t, it’s a risk that is unfortunately run sometimes, but we don’t confuse it with the actual goal of a campaign, whether that is holding a street party, a bin-tax blockade, anti-war action or whatever.

On the squatters, I’m not sure what would have been gained by them getting arrested as well as leaving. I could see the point if they felt they had a fair chance of holding the place. I’d respect their judgment as to what was possible in that situation, their being at the coalface and all.

>Certainly they do not have the same level of commitment as the CW's.
But then who does have their commitment and courage on this issue? That’s a credit to them. Our approach was more inclined towards mass direct action as a way of halting refuelling (whether that was correct or not is another question). Not everybody has the same approach, but I don’t see that as a problem. And anarchists in my opinion were consistent in terms of following through that approach.

One can lambaste people for not having the same courage and commitment as xyz or acknowledge that there are different levels that different people at different times are comfortable with and work with them on that basis.

Would you care to spell out exactly what you think people should do in relation to working? Eoin Dubsky’s article on ‘corporate whoring’ wasn’t his finest bit of thinking and displayed a pretty woeful misunderstanding of anarchism. I’m impressed by your vague ‘do it’ slogan, bereft of concrete suggestions. You’d think anarchists didn’t involve themselves in struggle with your all-knowing a-snides.

I’m more in agreement with you on ‘vowing to shut down the conference’, better not to count chickens perhaps.

author by Joe - WSM (per cap)publication date Wed Nov 03, 2004 14:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a subject that has seen quite of lot of 'internal' discussion in recent months in various bits of the libertarian movement. It's unfortunate that whenever it gets aired in public it ends up in a sort of petty point scoring mostly coming from anonymous quarters. This tends to damage serious discussion of the issue. A couple of points

1. Most defendant support that happens is not public either because the defendants don't want it to be so or because there is no reason for it to be made public. When the WSM for instance has made (modest) contributions to peoples legal costs we have not published the fact we have done so. I presume others have done likewise.

Jack White lists some of the stuff he knows about but overall the idea that 'nothing' is/has been done is false but one that could be honestly held on the basis of the very small amount of public activity. I'd agree the relative lack of public activity is a problem but one due to the factors discussed below.

2. That said there is certainly a lot more that could be done if there were the people to do it. The reality is that the organised libertarian movement is very small with no 'full - timers'. It is not just defendant support but EVERY area of activity that lacks sufficent people doing the organising work, this not only means that nothing is organised as it should be but that post big events people are exhausted. In addition because of its rapid growth most people are very much learning as they go along. And you learn through making mistakes.

From that point of view there is not much to be got from standing outside the organised movement and complaining that things should be better organised. Because the post is anonymous I've no idea of how involved the author has been but I think to anyone who has been active over the last while on a consistent basis would be aware that the weakness is not so much lack of committment but lack of numbers.

Of course there are also the individual problems and the less than perfect organisiation that is a product of every real world activity. But the solution lies in more people rather than the rather small number of those active working harder and/or better. Otherwise people will just burn out.

---

I'll deal briefly with the comments on the WSM and the bin tax separately here.

The idea that WSM members allowed other residents to go to jail while we stood aside is a false one. In the areas of the city where our members were active (essentially Cabra and Stoneybatter, see http://struggle.ws/wsm/bins.html ) NO ONE was jailed due to blockades in those areas. Along with others living in these areas we organised and carried out over a dozen blockades, WSM members took part in all of these with exactly the same risk of arrest as everyone else there.

The exact reasons why these areas saw no arrests (and only one round of injunctions) can be discussed at a later date. But it should be obvious that the purpose of the protest was not to get people jailed but to force all bins to be collected. Different local campaigns adopted somewhat different tactics in that regard and there also seems to have been some variation in the way both council and Gardai reacted from area to area.

In terms of non-payment we are in the same situation as those of our neighboors who have not paid. With 3 years accumulated bills its pretty stupid to imagine it is easy to pay them off even if people wanted to.

author by Terrypublication date Wed Nov 03, 2004 16:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Let me get this straight, the November before the May actions you decided that there was "little or no prior organisation of defendant support". "

No last November at the plenary at the GG in Galway (which I had a fairly substansial hand in organising) - I said either the defendant support situation gets sorted or I find something else to do with my time, and that it would be morally reprehensible for me - given that - to ask other people to go.
Yes that was seven months before hand and I find the do it yourself attitude a peculiar means of organising collectivly, I find the if you have time or energy to do it you have a say if not fuck off a peculiar way of organising in a collective libertarian fashion.

"Or what could you have done?"

Well try having a hand in running the solidarity account which paid all the fines of the people busted at March 1st in Shannon, some of those from June 21st in Shannon, and contributed to the Mary Kelly defence fund.
Turn up at several Shannon related court cases in a solidarity capacity.
Set up a totally unsuccessful mailing list to organise such matters.
Publicised Fintan Lane in the international anarchist press when he was in prison (likewise with pitstops).
Helped organise a picket for Eoin Rice when he was in court in Galway.
Helped organise two public meetings in Galway with Pitstop Ploughshares defendants. Oh and helped raise somewhere over a grand for Aubonne bridge 2 and the Salonkia 7.


Let us see how some more of these things reflect on our movement's priorities.
Take for example, the prisoner support workshop I got together with the comrades from APS at last year's ISF - attendees - 4 or 5, and an hour later 4 or 5 times as many people (at least) were at a workshop on anarchism and direct action - does it not speak volumes. Likewise I remember organising some pitiful pickets of the Greek embassy around the same time..which folded due to lack of interest. This for guys well into a hunger strike.
I also remember trying to get people to go to court for solidarity at the attempted blockade in Shannon around this time last year - and everyone was up for action that day, but not for going to court?

I don't think anyone can question my commitment to putting defendant support
at the centre of our organising...there is a difference between that and being somekinda A-Team of defendant support which is what Mr./Ms. Shoes seems to expect of anyone critical of our past record on this issue.

On that score what Joe has said about expecting some individuals just to do more as being pretty counter-productive is spot on.

As regard to changing things you can only bang your head against a brick wall for so long.

The mental block against defendant support needs to be lifted - collectivly - there isn't a big organisational question to ponder in here as to solve the problem, nothing that needs to be done is amazingly difficult.

author by Joepublication date Wed Nov 03, 2004 17:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One of the problems with this conversation is that because it is often such an emotional issue people fall into the 'support what I do or you are useless' type monologues. This tends to push potential support away rather than help to build solidarity.

Over the last couple of years well over 100 people have been arrested at events libertarians have been involved in organising. And outside of Ireland there has been a large amount of repression directed at the movement, the Salonika 8 being the example that attracted the most attention here.

Lots of people and groups have done work around these but very often while one group is working on one set another is working on something else. It's a lot more helpful to recognise this then denouncing people for not working on your preferred project. Terry for instance has done a lot of work around the cases he lists, it makes little sense to have a go at him because he decided that Mayday was not a priority.

The problem to my mind is a general one of a lot of people not thinking of the organisation that is needed to make protests / actions happen. A lot of people turn up to event after event without deciding to lend a real hand in the organistion (including defendant support) that is required to make these events work. We need to encourage more and more people to take the organisational side seriously (and this means explaining why they should - not simply whining when they don't turn up).

That is the nature of libertarian organising - bringing more and more people into the organising end of things.. A small group of people guilt tripping each other into working harder and harder is not only counter productive - its also a dead end unless you want to built some sort of (elitest) cardre organisation of 'true revolutionaries' to 'organise the masses'.

author by Galvanised Staplespublication date Thu Nov 04, 2004 00:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've not heard of any citizen involved in those trials requesting any sort of support for ages, infact the only vibes I've been getting about it is stay away... don't talk about, don't make a fuss about it (you'll mess up the trials) and thats what I've done :/

It's this vibe that hung like a cloud over any possible legal work we could have done since...

...and the catholic workers, ( I know we can do more for anarcho-hippy-libit etc support here) but the main reason it seems to me that they can do these actions is because they commit there lives wholesale to it, that means they commit to facing (and doing) jail terms aswell but its entirely different then someone who is, as our friends from overseas called us, a part-timer?

And I mean we've all done it, I've done on a number of occasions, either be eager to help pre-plan something, but then work or studies take over or simply decide not to help prepare something at all because your either involved or your not, there needs to be better ways of splitting up work in everything we do, so there a numerous different levels of work we can do...

List of possible todo's:

Fundraise via gigs etc.,
Protest outside courts etc when requested.,
Search? for legal advice.
More people doing simple communication work.
More information distribution..?

??

author by redjadepublication date Thu Nov 04, 2004 13:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Obviously there are some limitations to this discussion since it is public, online and anonymous etc.

if you are in the Dublin area tonight, why not come to the Ploughshares Gig at Mother Recaps and carry on the discussion there?

Personally, I have a lot of thoughts on the subject but do not really want to discuss them all on Indymedia.ie

Elvis & Johnny Cash play at Mother Redcaps
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67245

author by planet rhizome - definitely none, anymorepublication date Thu Nov 04, 2004 14:32author email somewhere at somewhere dot comauthor address a rock, hard place, the blanch.author phone 000 - 0000 (dial 0 for an operator)Report this post to the editors

hmm this is an interesting but turning nasty thread, have thoughts and words but prefer to shut up and keep well out of it.

for anyone thats interested, court 29 is where Coco's trial is on. the 3rd jury was being selecta! this morning. court 29: go in the main door of the 4 courts, then go thru the circular hall. on the right go up the stairs to the 2nd floor, and then down to the very end of the corridor, then turn right (its signposted when you get to the 2nd floor).

audience seats are on the back left and right of the courtroom.

author by Magpiepublication date Thu Nov 04, 2004 14:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Then also the other 'autonomous' anarchists in the city, they had a squat up on Leeson Street for months. When they were discovered by the Council, they claimed in the media and also on this site that they were forced into doing it because of the high price of property (among other reasons). Then when it came to occupying the place and risking arrest, taking on the Council, they quietly walked away. Obviously they were committed to the concept of squatting if they stayed there for months, but when it came to risking their own necks forwhat they believed in, they packed up and went back to their parents houses. The comfort net saved them, if they really needed a place to live then they would have stayed there and fought."

Quite angry at this statement, we wern't simply squatting because of property prices, if you had bothered looking it op (on this site) you could have found our reasons. But you're right, we WERN'T willing to risk our necks in an eviction situation, whats the point in losing the house and ALSO getting arrested? Back to our parents houses? You assume a lot. We squatted again a while after that, and now I am currently living on a couch due to the goodwill of my friends and a number of the other Magpies are squatting in Barcelona.

author by cant fight the feederpublication date Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

oh PLEASE give us a break! the "magpie collective" leeson street squatters were a pack of punk wasters. well done - you broke into a house and used it for your drug parties. you made no efforts to engage with any of the community around you. yeah, that's real revolution, man.

do you not see D's point? the anarchists, especialy the "magpies", or the "grateful dead collective", or whatever dumb laughable name the lifestylers are calling themselves this week, are always harping on with stuff like
"fuck authority" and
"smash the state"
"fight oppression"
and then when you had the chance to "fight" opression, to start a campaign, maybe even organise with housing associations or homeless groups, you walked away.
probably because if you went to a REAL homeless group, they'd laugh at you. most of you were educated and able to financially support yourselves.
how many of you were on a council housing list?
what was that guy's name, tray? an american rich kid who had the money to fly back and forth from the states regularly to the squat but every time he opened his mouth in the pub he had a story about "gee, like, i'm homeless back in the states, you know". very hard to take any of you seriously.

if you're talking about "smashing" the state but you arent willing to take a chance that might result in an arrest then revolution is a pastime for you. i dont agree with everything the CW'ers are into - jesus and god is a load of shite - but at least they are willing to take risks with their own lives for what they believe in.
hey redjade, how many of them showed up last night in mother redcapps to support the CW'ers?
zero, i'll bet.
the punks and other lifestyle anarchists dont even ever risk arrest at demos, never mind cutting a fence at shannon, and let other people take the flack from the cops, how many of them are up in court at the moment for either of the above maydays?
zero.
maybe if they get over their teen i-hate-my-parents phase, stop dressing in black hoodies and dyeing their hair pink and getting piercings just to define themselves - claiming they know best but how shallow is defining yourself by your appearance?! - then they might get off their arses and do something that extends beyond getting drunk and off their faces. look at the punk scenes in other cities of the same size. dublin punks are a joke.

magpie, there's loads of derelict buildings around dublin, what are you doing on someone's couch? and are you seriously telling us you're really homeless and you couldnt go back to your mammys house? i know its a cliched insult but with that lot of people it really seems true.

author by redjadepublication date Fri Nov 05, 2004 18:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'hey redjade, how many of them showed up last night in mother redcapps to support the CW'ers? zero, i'll bet.'

40+ showed up last night - i wouldn't want to stereotype if the kind of 'them' you mentioned showed up however.

Good people of all stripes and flavours came, several got on stage themselves to share some songs, all in good fun. it was the few moments of no depression ive felt in days since the US election.

which gets back to the concept of solidarity *and* community needed to go along with resistance. times like these are hard to get through and as corny as it sounds we do need each other to continue.

at least for a good laugh once and a while.

which leads us to the topic of Elvis.....

Elvis is in the house...
Elvis is in the house...

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67245
author by pcpublication date Fri Nov 05, 2004 19:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"and then when you had the chance to "fight" opression, to start a campaign, maybe even organise with housing associations or homeless groups, you walked away."

when did that happen?
and when did you do that yourself?
actual homeless groups dont want anything to do with "our" way of doing things... people and "magpies" have tried... and not got anywhere with them...

author by redjadepublication date Fri Nov 05, 2004 19:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'i dont agree with everything the CW'ers are into - jesus and god is a load of shite - but at least they are willing to take risks with their own lives for what they believe in.'

yeah well i dont call myself a christian either - neither does 'shannon banchee' Zelda, she's an athiest.

the CWs come from a lot of traditions and motivations and ideals - and the jesus thing is a strong aspect of course, but even as an atheist-with-doubts myself i'd say they do jesus the way it should be done, he was a radical hippy jewish anti-imperialist after all and welcomed all sorts of weirdos into his political movement.

and contrary to popular belief, an arrest is not a prerequisite to membership in the CWs. in fact they don't even have membership cards.

check out Elaine O'Sullivan's '100,000 Reasons'
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67254&condense_comments=false#comment91337

author by publication date Sat Nov 06, 2004 21:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The weakness of modern personality comes out in the measureless overflow of criticism"


"oh PLEASE give us a break! the "magpie collective" leeson street squatters were a pack of punk wasters."

Hmm, this is interesting, from your language and intersprersed americanisms, I'm guessing you're not much older than most of those involved in the leeson st. squat.

"well done - you broke into a house and used it for your drug parties."

If that was the only thing that happened there, then why are you so pissed off about it?

"you made no efforts to engage with any of the community around you."

And that would be the community of D4 dublin?

"yeah, that's real revolution, man."
That depends on your understanding or belief in 'revolution'.

"do you not see D's point? the anarchists, especialy the "magpies", or the "grateful dead collective", or whatever dumb laughable name the lifestylers are calling themselves this week, are always harping on with stuff like
"fuck authority" and
"smash the state"
"fight oppression" "


Well resorting to petty stereotyping and attempts at ridicule seems to be avoiding 'the point'.

"and then when you had the chance to "fight" opression, to start a campaign,"

That's funny, because there were several campaigns and actions organised from out of there.

"maybe even organise with housing associations or homeless groups, you walked away."

Wouldn't the most successful housing association be the state? Do you want the anarchists to organise with the state? Or perhaps suggest some housing associations? Isn't food not bombs a homeless group?


I also know several 'punks' involved and working in homeless shelters, so don't be so quick to tar them all with the same brush.

"most of you were educated and able to financially support yourselves."

I don't understand the relevancy of this point?

"how many of you were on a council housing list?"

Several of them now are!

"what was that guy's name, tray? an american rich kid who had the money to fly back and forth from the states regularly to the squat but every time he opened his mouth in the pub he had a story about "gee, like, i'm homeless back in the states, you know". very hard to take any of you seriously."

Wow, he must have really built up alot of frequent flier miles, if what you are saying had any basing in reality.

"if you're talking about "smashing" the state but you arent willing to take a chance that might result in an arrest then revolution is a pastime for you."

Are you saying they've taken part in arrestable politically motivated activities? Or are you saying that simply getting arrested is 'revolutionary'? Wouldn't it be better to partake in a succesful political/arrestable action and get away with it? Or fit in with the liberal discourse of civil disobedience in the belief that simply getting arrested will change the world?

"i dont agree with everything the CW'ers are into - jesus and god is a load of shite - but at least they are willing to take risks with their own lives for what they believe in."

Eh, what actions have the Catholic Workers partaken in that have put their own lives at risk?


"the punks and other lifestyle anarchists dont even ever risk arrest at demos, never mind cutting a fence at shannon, and let other people take the flack from the cops, how many of them are up in court at the moment for either of the above maydays?"

Well that's a patent lie.
In fact those that actually managed to pull down part of the fence on March 1st, would probably fit your narrow criteria for what is 'punk', though they probably don't choose to define themselves in any way, despite what you may think.

The second part is another lie, several 'punks' were quite badly beaten in 2002 and what does being up in court for mayday this year mean? That you were somehow successful at achieving what? I get the feeling that if they were up in court, you would still be the same person denouncing them for being spoilt children.


"maybe if they get over their teen i-hate-my-parents phase, stop dressing in black hoodies and dyeing their hair pink and getting piercings just to define themselves - claiming they know best but how shallow is defining yourself by your appearance?! - then they might get off their arses and do something that extends beyond getting drunk and off their faces."

Normally resorting to ridicule and stereotype on indymedia is a sign o a persons argument beginning to degenerate, looks like you've fallen at the first hurdle.

"look at the punk scenes in other cities of the same size."

Provide an example?


"magpie, there's loads of derelict buildings around dublin, what are you doing on someone's couch? "

So you are asking one individual why isn't he participating in what is by definition a collectivist/communal activity?

author by On Riskpublication date Sun Nov 07, 2004 08:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Eh, what actions have the Catholic Workers partaken in that have put their own lives at risk?"

Special Branch with uzis deployed to secure war planes after the Mary Kelly action prior to the Catholic Worker action. Sounds a little risky to me.

author by publication date Sun Nov 07, 2004 13:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I didn't know that. But I thought the Garda who discovered them, broke down when he realised what happened, not letting rip with a fully automatic weapon? And how many ppl have been killed or injured during Catholic Worker actions around the world?

Disclaimer: I am totally supportive of their actions, just asking about the level of personal danger they have been in.

author by pcpublication date Sun Nov 07, 2004 18:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Solidarity Picket @ Irish Embassy, London Monday 8th between 12and 2 in support of the people jailed and bailed in Ireland on charges of trespass. Picket outside the Embassy of Ireland at Grosvenor Place ( near Hyde Park Corner )....

Related Link: https://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/11/300664.html
author by Isaiahpublication date Mon Nov 08, 2004 01:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Catholic Worker actions around the world?

Disclaimer: I am totally supportive of their actions, just asking about the level of personal danger they have been in.

Response
Most plowshares groups expect to be met with armed response when carrying out their nonviolent disarmament actions on military bases, not so much when the actions take place at private weapons factories etc.

Part of the preparation for plowshares actions is dealing with the "fatality issue", role playing the point of discovery to minimise risk of armed response etc.

Not all plowhsares activists are Catholic Workers, although the witnesses have drawn heavilly from the CW movement over the past 24 years.

Check website below

Related Link: http://www.plowsharesactions.org
author by tokesworthpublication date Mon Nov 08, 2004 22:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just a note on prisoner support...I know of one activist who received a huge amount of support from the Irish punk / anarchist scene and continues to, but while in prison here and whilst in the UK. Details of his case/plight were made well-known, and were responded to.

Jonny Pointyfinger seems to forget that anarchist or not, people have lives and pressures outside of protest. It's not always easy to support every cause, fight every battle. I for one was totally unaware of the case with Polly or others -maybe you have the time to trawl through Indymedia every day, unfortunately I don't.

It seems that much of the problem here is that there isn't a way to find out about what it's possible to do and what's going on...there was an ABC organised and having meetings in the Magpie squat, dunno what's happened with that, but I know those involved there would support any foreign activist imprisoned and persecuted by the Irish state, if they knew about it of course.

author by jack whitepublication date Tue Nov 09, 2004 00:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

P and J, two of the three wombles who were
arrested on trumped up tresspass charges before Mayday this year are back in court this wednesady (court 46 in the bridewell) at 2.

There'll be some people outside from 1.30.
The last time there was ten or so of us in court and it really makes a difference when there's a couple of rows of seating taken up with supporters, even the gardai notice that somethings up. It gives moral support to those up on charges and it can even put manners on the judge (a little anyway), so come along!

author by put yer money where yer mouth ispublication date Tue Nov 09, 2004 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

see you there so!

author by byrneos - nonepublication date Wed Nov 10, 2004 15:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the idea that the punk community some how owe these people anything is a joke.just because they happened to stay with punks in the run up to mayday. i happen to know alot of punks did try to get polly out for drinks and she wasn't to interested,also i know punks who made collections for the people arrested on mayday but while talking to polly and jos womble mates in london were told that they were been looked after and to give the money to other people who need it more.people have tryed helping just because they don't go around telling everyone wearing it like some badge of how anarchist thay are doesn't mean its no happening.

author by Anthony G - DGNpublication date Thu Nov 11, 2004 02:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There's been warranted (and completely unwarranted) bitching and some good discussion on this article but I'm surprised that there has been little acknowledgement of the Magpie (and other anarchist) contribution to the Thessaloniki 7 campaign which to the best of my knowledge was mostly organised in the Magpie House. Almost all the associated events that I attended featured a strong Magpie presence and I remember visiting them while as they did a symbolic 24 hour fast and vigil in cold and wet conditions outside the Greek Embassy just this time last year. Thankfully, in the face of widespread international pressure, the Thessaloniki 7 were shortly afterwards released by the Greek authorities.

On another (mostly*) positive note, there are two good reports and analyses of Polly and Jo's experience of Irish "justice" at http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67411#comment91880

(* It would be a positive note in my opinion if no-one had to lose 6 months of their lives in the first place.)

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=62386
Number of comments per page
  
 
© 2001-2020 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy