#JobstownNotGuilty Demo - Tallaght 5/6/17 - March and Speeches

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A march was called in Tallaght on May 6th 2017 by the Jobstown Not Guilty campaign to protest against a severe crackdown on working class resistance and the criminalisation of protest generally.
 

7 people face charges of false imprisonment for delaying former tánaiste and leader of the Labour Party Joan Burton for about 2 hours in a sit-down protest in November 2014, with more faces other charges. A 17-year-old has already been convicted of false imprisonment – he was 15 at the time of protest.

This shows how desperate the state and the business interests it serves are to stop people rebelling. However, it's a bit of a catch-22 situation, as if the state jails the people of Jobstown, there will surely be a popular uproar against what is widely perceived to be a grossly unfair and laughable prosecution case, but if the Jobstown protesters are acquitted this signals to the rest of Ireland that the powerful and their courts can be defeated by working class organisation and solidarity.

There were chants to end 'political policing'. While the sentiment is correct, it's important to point out that all policing is political. There is no such thing as apolitical policing. The very existence of the police is political. They are agents of the state, whose job it is to enforce the law, written by the elite, regardless of whether it is moral or immoral.   Really the problem isn't 'political policing', it's the police. So the question is 'how do we move beyond the police?' The message we must make clear though is that this is nothing out of the ordinary for the state as an institution. The police exist to keep us in our place so that those at the top can have their way. Whenever the ruling class have a problem with us their police goons are ready to arrest us, evict us, stop us protesting, jail us, beat and pepperspray us, censor our press, and even torture and kill us. This is the story of the state and its police globally since states and police forces existed. The police were invented to oppress working class people and slaves, and they've been on hand across the world to do this for hundreds of years.

 

Two marches which began at the Square shopping centre and Tallaght Leisure Centre converged in Jobstown and marched to An Cosán, where the famous sit-down protest took place in 2014. There was a good turnout of the 'fucking dregs' - a reference to Joan Burton's assistant Karen O'Connell referring to protesters as dregs in now infamous video released recently during the trial.

A contingent from Anti Water Meter Task Force Waterford were in attendance as well as Dublin Says No. United Against Racism were also marching and a shout out was given to Ibrahim Halawa, whose family were present, an Irish citizen who has been imprisoned for over 3 years in Egypt for protesting and could face the death penalty if convicted. Also a shout out was given to Tallaght travellers who were in attendance and were congratulated for achieving long-awaited state recognition of their ethnicity (having endured decades of vicious discrimination, to this day). Also for the Bus Éireann workers, whose courage for striking was praised. Our struggles for justice are different but they are not separate.

 

 
Community activist Niamh McDonald speaking at the #JobstownNotGuilty march in Jobstown earlier today. She has been attending the trial at the Courts of Criminal Justice (CCJ) and reporting on the cross-examination of Joan Burton. This is very valuable because the mainstream media coverage has been overwhelmingly selective and in favour of Burton's cohort (even if they pretend to be neutral).
 


 

Excellent speech from Jobstown resident Niamh Mahon* at yesterday's #JobstownNotGuilty demonstration.


'I've always enjoyed living here and being part of community where everybody knows each other. We are an area that stands together in times of crisis, as we did in November 2014 [time of protest]'.

An Cosán is a community development centre in Tallaght. When former tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton was invited to an awards ceremony, residents organised a demonstration to protest Burton and the politics of poverty which she represented. Notably many of those receiving awards on the day objected to Burton's presence and have spoken out about this since.
 

*Apologies if this is misspelled.

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