Gardai harassment of Mayday protest leafleting continues

Over the last week the Gardai have repeatedly turned up on occasions where the Dublin Grassroots Network has been attempting ton inform the public about the Mayday protests. On each occasion they have demanded the names of the people there in what can only be a crude attempt to intimidate the protest organiser and reduce their ability to inform the public about the protesters. What are they afraid of you finding out?

Last night Dublin Grassroots Network was carrying out two door to door leafleting runs in Cabra and Rathmines both of which had been publicly advertised on the indymedia website. It was a foul evening, the torrential downpour at 7pm delayed our start time.

The Gardai harassed the Cabra group again. We were doing a cul-de-sac when a Gardai van pulled up. They wanted to know what we were doing so we told them distributing leaflets advertising the mayday protests. However it was quite obvious that they had come into the cul-de-sac looking for us and were already fully aware of who we were. As there was no sign of the van at the meet up point (Hanlons corner) we can only presume that the secret police (Special Branch) had followed us from there and called in the van to harass us.

When they asked for our names we said no as we had told them what we were doing, it was quite legal and they had no right to our names. I also asked if they were also stopping people delivering leaflets for Dominos Pizza and demanding their names. The senior Guard replied that 'they are not delivering what you are delivering'. You can read the text of the forbidden leaflet at http://struggle.ws/eufortress/whyprotest.html

The scene attracted some local kids who hung around the guards as we headed off. Afterwards they caught up with us and said they had heard one of the cops saying he'd check with the council to see if they could find some by-lay against leafleting!

Whether or not you agree with the protests this is now becoming a major civil liberties issue. The Guards have declared an intention to prevent any major protest happening in Dublin over Mayday (Irish Times report). Leaks also indicate that they intend to seal off a large area of the north west central city area, in the words of one Labour councilor making people prisoners in their own homes. Dozens of stories claiming that thousands of foreign rioters are known to be coming have been planted in a mostly complicit media. No evidence has been produced for this bizarre claim.

At its core this is an enormous anarchist scare which seeks to create a de facto situation where anarchism becomes an illegal idea. Anarchists will not accept this, we will protest on Mayday and we welcome the small numbers of anarchists who are making the effort to travel from other European countries for the protests. We will defend our freedom to protest and so should everyone else who values freedom as something more than a slogan used to launch imperialist wars.

The Dublin Grassroots Network which is a broad libertarian alliance of groups and individuals has several more leafleting sessions planned before Mayday. The Gardai may try and harass these as well, don't leave them to stand along get along to the session nearest you. And come out over the May weekend for the protests, defending not just our freedom but also yours.


First published in indymedia.ie see the report on the main demonstration

  


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