Policing

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Belfast Solidarity Demonstration for Baltimore - No Justice, No Peace

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On May 5th the Belfast branch of the Workers Solidarity Movement organised a demo and protest in solidarity with Baltimore.

We arranged candles in a circle with flowers in the middle as a vigil to those who have been murdered as a result of police and state-sponsored violence and racism. We then played interviews from Baltimore and Black America out on a speaker in order to allow those directly affected to speak for themselves.

Every 28 hours a person of colour (POC) is murdered by the police force in America. So far 157 known POC have been murdered - we printed out their names to show that they are not just numbers or statistics. Instead of reporting this the media and those with privilege have decided that it is much more important to talk about looting. This is the narrative in a neo-liberal, racist, society that places profit over the lives of people. In a society that is founded upon violence to act violently is to act in self-defence. Freddie Gray didn’t have the opportunity to act in self-defence against the torture he endured which eventually killed him.

The New Security Bill - a Fascist Police Takeover?

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The parliament in Turkey has witnessed unprecedented scenes; opposition MPs being beaten up by AKP (the ruling Justice and Development Party) MPs and Ministers, one MP being pushed down from the balcony of the assembly hall, falling facedown resulting in broken ribs, right wing ultra nationalist MHP MPs and socialist Kurdish opposition party MPs holding a sit in side by side.  All because of the new  New ‘Internal Security Package’ .  In this piece one of our supporters in Turkey explains what is happening and goes on to look at the broader context, including events in Rojava. 
 

Burton Trapped in Car, Generations Trapped in Banking Debt

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We have had months of outrage from media & politicians over the last months about the 2 hours Joan Burton spent stuck in a luxury car. This morning we saw a wave of Garda raids at dawn on political activists involved in that protest, one of whom faced 8 Garda barging into his house to arrest him while he tried to get his two young kids ready for school.

That's the nature of policing in this country, one law for the rich and powerful, and another for anyone who dares to stand up to the powerful.  The laws are written to protect those with wealth and power, to allow them to keep the rest of us down and desperate. It fast it turned out almost none of their scams that caused the crisis were even illegal (under the laws they paid politicians to draft).

The French proto anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon wrote over 150 years ago that
“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.
 

Jobstown 4 Police Squadron: This is What the State is for

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The Garda raids against the Jobstown 4 at dawn are an illustration of how the state works to protect the interests of the rich and powerful. Nothing illustrates the repressive role the state plays better than having a squad of strange men turn up at your door at dawn to take you away against your will. It’s an exercise in power that it meant to scare, to frighten others into staying quiet.

Whenever people refuse to be bought off or diverted into ineffective action or electoralism the state deploys the stick. For months Gardaí have been attacking people in communities across the country for continuing to resist water meter installations. And over the last decade we saw state repression being directed again and again against the community around Rossport because they refused to give in to Shell. There is huge and growing outrage directed at the Garda, it's at moments like this that the old anarchist slogan 'Smash the State' comes into focus.
 

Right to Plunder the Economy, Not Right to Protest

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This morning squads of Garda around Dublin mounted dawn raids on the houses of water charges protesters over a sit in 3 months ago in Jobstown. At the same time across the city bankers and other speculators named in the HSBC Geneva Private Bank leaks slept soundly in their beds knowing no one was going to be knocking down their door. If you want to understand the nature of power the contrast provides an excellent example.

The raids this morning were all about what the politicians' spin doctors like to call optics. Politicians, media and the Gardaí are on a drive to criminalise and marginalise those resisting the imposition of water charges. Sit ins and blockades have been part of political protest in Ireland for decades, the IFA routinely has far more militant protests.

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State Repression of Anti-Water Charges Movement as Jobstown 4 Arrested

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Photo: State repression in action - Anti water charge protests Paul Murphy being arrested by 6 Garda at 7am this morning

Shocking news this morning as we hear that Garda have arrested four anti-water tax protesters this morning in connection with the sit down protest three months ago that kept Joan Burton in her car for a couple of hours. The Jobstown 4 are Paul Murphy, Scott Masterson, Mick Murphy and Kieran Mahon.

The arrests were made just before 7am this morning when teams of Garda arrived at the homes of those targeted. Eirigi have described the arrest of Scott as follows
"‘At around 7am this morning up to a dozen Gardaí in five vehicles arrived at Scott Masterson’s home. Scott was the only adult in the house getting his two young daughters ready for primary school and pre-school. When Scott’s partner returned to the house, having earlier gone to work, there were eight Gardaí in the house along with Scott and the two children. Scott was then arrested and made to stand in handcuffs on a public road for a number of minutes before being transported to Tallaght Garda barracks.’
 

Brutality in Maghaberry Prison - the Background

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Earlier today over 50 people protested outside Amnesty International HQ, in Dublin, against the brutal treatment of republican prisoners in Maghaberry prison in Antrim. This has flared up again with, for instance, republican prisoner Martin Kelly having his arm broken and face stomped on by the riot squad only 5 days ago. Here is the background to the struggle of these political prisoners for basic human rights.

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When the H-blocks closed as a part of the peace process in 2000, republican prisoners were put into Maghaberry prison because it is the only high security prison in the North of Ireland. But anti-Good Friday Agreement republicans were getting imprisoned in Maghaberry from the late 90's. The prison administration straight away treated all political prisoners as “criminal”. The rights that were gained from the prison struggle in the late 70's early 80's were taken away.

Operation Pandora: Demonstrations in Solidarity with Spanish Anarchists

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After an international call for protests on January the 16th, anarchists in Belfast, Cork, and Dublin demonstrated in solidarity with the anarchists arrested in the Operation Pandora raids in the Spanish state, along with Basque political prisoners (16 lawyers of Basque activists recently being arrested, and tens of thousands of euro in donations stolen by police).

11 anarchists were arrested back in December in Operation Pandora without any evidence being presented, but the Judge Presiding Judge Bermúdez said “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future.”

In a letter of protest which was handed to the Spanish ambassador in Dublin, D. Freeman for the Workers Solidarity Movement said:
Of course the current prime minister of Spain, Mario Rajoy, was front and centre in Paris for the staged photo-op around the Charlie Hebo march for freedom of expression, whilst back in Spain people are being arrested for being who they are.

Not much evidence there of freedom of expression. In fact what we are seeing now in Spain is the opposite; we are seeing people targeted because of the ideas that they hold are deemed unacceptable to the Spanish State.

Spanish PM Postures about 'Freedom of Expression' Despite Repression at Home

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The question isn't which of these countries' governments isn't truly committed to freedom of expression, as the Picket Line of Justice would suggest, but which is. Today Spanish police arrested at least 16 lawyers of Basque political prisoners. Three were arrested on their way to the Spanish Special Court for the first day of a mass trial against 35 pro-independence activists. This is only two days after a 80,000 person protest for the rights of Basque political prisoners.

Also, on December 16th 2014 we saw 11 anarchists in Barcelona area detained in what has been known as "Operation Pandora". All 11 detainees (4 of them were released on charges on December, 18th) are anarchist activists. Solicitors for the accused have stated that they have been arrested for being organised; evidence against the accused is non-existent and desperate. Presiding Judge Bermúdez said “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future”, presumably having to stop himself before saying 'Anarchy is on trial'.
 

Demonstrations in Spain as Police Crack Down on Anarchist Movement

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Demonstrations took place overnight across the Spanish state against the series of police raids targeting the anarchist movement. The Barcelona demonstration of 2000 people was led by a banner proclaiming "If you touch one; you touch all".

Demands include "Freedom for those arrested for struggling", "Down with prison walls" and "Social war against the state of capital".

Media reports say that the raids took place in 15 locations in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa and Madrid and that 11 have been arrested. The usual excuse is given, 'terrorism', but the same reports reveal that all that the raids have discovered are "computers, mobile phones and notebooks found during searches"
 

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