Gardai attack globalisation protest at Dublin's Burlington hotel

Flour in the lobby of the Burlington hotel during globalisation protestA protest against an international privitisation conference at Dublin's Burlington hotel Oct 10 2001  turned violent when the Gardai (Irish police) attacked protesters with batons. They were aided by a number of non uniformed men armed with sticks and torches, some of who may have been political police (Special Branch) but others appeared to be private security.

One of the non uniformed men attacked photographers including this reporter, attempting to smash their cameras to the ground. Under the attack the protesters retreated out of the hotel car park and down the street. At least twelve were arrested included an indymedia camera person, the second to be arrested in recent weeks and at least two protesters received head wounds. The one pictured below appears to be the less serious of the two.

After I gave my camera to someone else to take care of I returned to demand the name of the person who had tried to smash it. At this stage he was at the centre of a group of uniformed Gardai. Some of these had removed their numbers from their uniforms.

When I demanded to know the name and the status of the non-uniformed man who had assaulted me so I could make a complaint he refused to provide it and made a number of sarcarstic comments. He then produced a video camera and started to video me in what was obviously intended as an act of intimidation. I called for someone else to come forward with a camera to take his picture at which stage he turned and ran back into the car park out of sight.

I demanded to know his identity from a uniformed Garda standing directly in front of me. He had removed his numbers and refused to provide his name. When I leaned forward to try and read the number of the uniformed Garda beside him a number of the others moved forwards and shoved me back to prevent me from doing so. However, I did obtain the number of the third Garda in line. He was more polite but claimed he neither knew the identity nor the status of the man who had assaulted me. He also refused to direct me to any other uniformed Gardai present who could provide me with this information.

At this stage it was clear that the remaining Gardai were about to manufacture an excuse to arrest me. A couple of my friends came forwards and advised me to leave the area so I did. As I left it became obvious that an unmarked car was attempting to follow me, but thanks to the traffic I managed to evade them by cycling down a canal tow path.

First pictures with at October 10 2001

WORDS Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )


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