GMC Sierra injunctions fail to intimidate water charge campaigners

The water meter installation company GMC Sierra  obtained court injunctions that basically banned water charge campaigners from coming within 20m of an installation.  The Edenmore 9 were initally brought to court with this injunction, the case againt 4 of them is detailed below.

We've been asked to share the following statement from Communities Against Water Charges.

"We Won’t Back Down

On Monday the 24 November 2014 we expect four of our friends and neighbors to be committed to prison for exercising their right to peaceful protest. They are to be punished for failing to abide by a High Court injunction granted to GMC Sierra which requires them (and any other protester) to, among other things, remain at least 20 meters away from workers installing unwanted water meters.

This injunction, in spite of the High Court Judges claims to the contrary, obliterates any meaningful right to protest against the installation of water meters. For that reason protesters throughout Dublin, and the rest of the country, have rejected this illegitimate interference with their right to protest, and have continued their dignified resistance to the installation of water meters, and the water charges regime.

This injunction, and the expected imprisonment of our friends and neighbors on Monday, represents another attack on the people of this country, and on the right to peacefully resist and oppose the unjust policies of an unrepresentative government. In the coming weeks and months, we expect the establishment to engage in many more attacks on our movement, using the law as one of its main instruments.

For this reason, we have been working with groups around the country on building legal defence funds: this is a collective struggle for our basic rights and a better future. For that reason, any person that ends up in court for resisting this illegitimate tax and attempt to commodify the most basic of necessities, needs to know that they will not be alone, and we will stand with them. We therefore call on the Right2Water Campaign, it’s affiliated unions and the political parties that have stated their opposition to the water charges, to contribute what they can to the Peoples Defence Funds.

If, as feared, our friends are imprisoned on Monday we are calling for a mass, silent candlelight vigil outside of the prison they are committed to (most likely Mountjoy Prison in Dublin).

As the struggle against this unjust double-tax enters a new phase, and a beleaguered government begins to lash out with all of the means at its disposal, we will make it abundantly clear that fear will not carry the day in this contest, and that nobody who stands against this injustice will stand alone.

 


Reports from the court (24 Nov ) say that it looks likely that the Irish Water 4 will be jailed today as the Judge seems only interested in whether or not they entered the 20m exclusion zone around water meter installations. Radio reports indicate that at the moment they are even having to argue for their defence to be allowed question the Irish Water witnesses.

Derek, one of those in court said yesterday
"Tomorrow morning myself, Damo, Ollie & Terry will make the hardest sacrifice possible and give up our freedom for the sake of change in this country

What started out as a stand for our own families has now gone much bigger than that.

We have achieved the impossible and mobilised residents and all the political parties of the left in our area to fight as one united force.

While we are inside we would hope this unity holds and that no one goes off on a solo run. This movement is not about any one person or group but is about changing this country for the better.

We hope that sacrificing our liberty will be the spark that encourages the Irish nation to come out in their Hundreds of thousands on the 10th of December and brings down the Irish Government and sends a warning to those who will stand that we will not tolerate the same style corrupt politics

We will be on the front line tomorrow from 6am before we head to face our destiny.

You cannot control the revolution , you can only take part in it !"

It is expected that if they are jailed they will be taken to Mountjoy prison on the North Circular Road in Dublin. If that is the case a demonstration has been called at the prison for 6pm this evening. We reproduce below the call out from the Communities Against Water Charges page.

Plans for Solidarity Protests Tonight

In the event that the four peaceful protesters are imprisoned tonight, we are calling for a mass show of solidarity with them, and in opposition to the increasingly authoritarian turn of the Irish State.

We plan on holding a mass candlelight vigil outside the front entrance to Mountjoy Prison (assuming this is where they are incarcerated) at 6:00pm tomorrow.

It is crucial that as many people as possible attend this vigil, to show this government and Ireland's elite that they will not deny us our right to water, or our democratic right to protest.

In a heartening show of solidarity and common purpose, groups around the country are planning similar solidarity actions if our friends and neighbors are imprisoned. This again shows that the people are united on this issue, and for that reason we will win.

 

Communities Against Water Charges


The 'Irishwater 3' have just (26 Nov) been given 28 day suspended sentences. This means that providing they stay away from meter installations for 6 months they will receive no sentence despite the judge saying their behaviour was an "affront" to the authority of the court.

This is a useful result as they had never denied entering the exclusion zone but still it is clear the court was obviously fearful of the public order repercussions of jailing the three. And despite the injunction blockades are ongoing around the country, now most often by preventing installation trucks getting access to estates in the first place - as if no installation starts, then no one can be within 20m of it.

Statement from Communities Against Water Charges

United We Stand

We welcome the fact that our friends in the anti-water meter/charges movement (Terry, Olly and Damien) will not be incarcerated today. At the same time we wish to state unequivocally that today’s judgment is an attack on the right to peaceful protest and the movement against water charges. It is the clearest indication to date of the States intention to treat ordinary decent citizens of this country as nothing more than a criminal element for simply exercising their right to protest.

The three men who have stood guard over their respective areas and that of others for the past number of months are an example of where the people of this country have been forced to go by our unrepresentative, austerity obsessed Government.

These men have been brave enough to stare down the judiciary doing the bidding of our fearful Government and showed no fear in the face of imprisonment. Ordinary men with families who they would rather spend Christmas with, but chose to fight this regressive charge with all the vigor in their bodies. Like most of us they do so in the hope that their children and others will have a decent life in the future.

Communities Against Water Charges unreservedly condemns the decision of the judiciary to sentence these men to a 28 day suspended sentence for breaching an injunction which is an affront to the right to protest and freedom of expression. We would ask that all the Anti Water Meter groups be at their most vigilant in the coming days and weeks regarding more repressive and underhand measures used to bring fantastic movement into disrepute.

The attack on the movement today is mirrored by the ongoing media onslaught against 10 protesters in Jobstown, and the threat of legal action against them. We encourage all our friends throughout the country, regardless of your political persuasion, to remain united in this dignified and peaceful fight we are involved in. If, as has been suggested, these 10 protesters have legal proceedings issued against them, Communities Against Water Charges will support them completely in whatever way we can.

Again we encourage the movement to remain united and to not allow the state to divide us in any way, shape or form. When one of the people in this movement is attacked by the judiciary, Government or the media, then we are all attacked and need to fight back as a collective unified group.

Communities Against Water Charges

 

WORDS Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )

 

  


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