JobstownNotGuilty

Coverage of the Garda raids and prosecutions that followed a sit down protest against then Labour Party leader Joan Burton. The state attempted to frame over 20 community activists and organisers with laws originally brought in to combat kidnapping, the only conviction obtained was in the jury less childrens court meaning in effect that a single 15 year old supposedly kidnapped the Labour Party leader in the presence of an escort of 60+ Garda.

Jobstown Not Guilty verdict exposes Garda, Labour and class rule in Ireland

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THE JOBSTOWN SIX have been found NOT GUILTY - a disastrous outcome for the Labour party and Garda in what has been the biggest political show trial for some decades. It is impossible to have followed the details of the arrests and trial and walk away with the impression that the Garda were not acting on government instructions, even if just on the basis of the ‘nod and a wink’. The verdict may well catch anyone relying on the mainstream media as a surprise because right across that media the reporting of the trial was highly selective, reflecting the interests of those who own and control it.

*** A summary for anyone following this from outside Ireland, six men were on trial accused of falsely imprisoning the then Tanáiste and Labour TD, Joan Burton, and her colleague in Jobstown on 15 November 2014. The charge of false imprisonment carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. All six men claimed that they were exercising their right to protest, and that the protest was peaceful. Following a nine week trial, the six have been found not guilty. ***

The Water Revolt: Ireland 2015

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The campaign against the water charges is the most widespread and powerful grassroots movement in recent Irish history. With hundreds of local campaign groups, daily direct actions, and 4 national demonstrations on the order of 50,000-100,000, the cynical refrain that 'the Irish don't protest' has rapidly been replaced by a sense of ubiquitous rebellion. Irish Water is a depraved neoliberal world in effigy, embodying many of the worst problems of our society including the rule of international finance (and private greed in general) at the cost of the vast majority's well being, and the chronic disconnection of the populace from decision making. As such the movement has become a platform for opposition to austerity, the bank bailout, privatisation, the government, party politics, the EU, and more. Thousands of people have experienced a political (re-)awakening. But while it is possible that we will win this battle, and abolish Irish Water, this struggle represents a precious opportunity to make a grassroots offensive after so many years of being beaten down.

 

Jobstown not Guilty points to a Garda conspiracy

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The outraged media reaction to a jury doing its job and finding the Jobstown defendants not guilty is quite extraordinary.  Rather than do the right thing and launch an investigation as to how 180 cops could produce evidence that was directly contradicted by video evidence, the media have gone on a rant against Twitter!  Rather than finding it suspicious that nearly 3 million in public funds was spent by the DPP on a case that any proper check of available evidence should have indicated was never likely to convince a jury, the media suggest instead that the problem lay in the exact charges brought.

As we look across our newspapers, TV channels and radio stations and see what appears to be coordinated messaging from politicos, journalists and other elite figures we should take this as a teaching moment.  This isn’t some exception, this is how it works.  It’s only visible in this instance because so many of us followed the trial in considerable detail, and that was only possible because of the large number of activists who provided court updates, mostly in a voluntary role. Those activists with access to social media allowed a collective challenging of the media framing. Hundreds of people not only read what they posted but shared and retweeted it.

#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.
 

Good Protester, Bad Protester - Don't Fall for Divide & Conquer (Text & Audio)

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I'm not a bad protester, I promise. I'm a good protester. I'll be a good protester!

The farce that is the Jobstown [1] trial has mostly been a back and forth about what kind of protest is acceptable and right. Did the people of Jobstown keep Joan Burton and her assistant waiting for too long? Were they too foul mouthed? Too angry? Did they bang on the car too much? What about kids throwing water balloons? The infamous Jobstown brick? Maybe we should put them in prison then. At the heart of this argument is a very important notion: splitting people into 'Good Protesters' and 'Bad Protesters'. This article lays out exactly how that works, and how we should counter this divide and conquer tactic.

 

#JobstownNotGuilty rally takes place on eve of 'adult trial'

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The Saturday before the start of the show trial of the 7 adults accused of the 'false imprisonment' of then Labour Leader Joan Burton at Jobstown a solidarity rally took place in the centre of Dublin.

Hundreds protest conviction of Jobstown teen following Burton sit in

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Hundreds of people marched through Dublin on Saturday to protest the conviction of a Jobstown teen for false imprisonment.  He had been part of a protest which delayed Labour Party leader Joan Burton who had made an unwelcome visit to the community resulting in a sit down in front of her car as she left the area.  The delay in her being able to leave resulted in dawn raids on the houses of activists across Jobstown and in the trial of many of them for false imprisonment.

September Jobstown not Guilty solidarity protest at Childrens court

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On Tuesday the 27th of September there was a solidarity picket held outside the Children's Court in Dublin.  The picket stood outside from 10 am till 5pm today the day of the verdict of the Jobstown kids trial.  People from Tyrone, Arklow, Wicklow and Cavan travelled to show solidarity outside the Children's court and there were solidarity pickets in other counties.

Protesters crowded around on the street, in a natural symbolic reaction of solidarity against the trial of a 17 year old, who has long worked in communities volunteering. Who the state has created spurious charges against him, of “false imprisonment”. When the minister Joan Burton was in Tallaght - a community blocked her in for a short time out of her privileged life, so miniscule in comparison to the communities who suffer a life sentence of poverty as she and her cronies eased tax for vultures and slashed welfare.

Drop the Charges against the Jobstown 3 March - report with video

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Jobstown 23 Drop the Charges banner on the Quays in DublinThe photos shows the Jobstown 23 'Drop the Charges' banner on its way down the Quays to the courts on Parkgate street. The Jobstown 27 charged in connection with the protest last November which saw Labour Party leader struck in her car because of a sit-in just in front of her. 

Revenge came initially in the form of over the top dawn raids on the houses of water charge activists and now after a long delay many are charged with crimes as serious as false imprisonment  - the maximum sentence for this is 14 years - despite the fact that several Garda were also around her car at all times. The number facing charges means this may be one of the largest political trials in Ireland for some decades.

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.
 

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