Shocking video has emerged of a Garda attack on a local resident, John Monagahan, at a roadblock the police were operating on behalf of Shell. The video shows the car being stopped at the roadblock and then you can hear the Garda smashing in the drivers window of his car with a baton before threatening to pepper spray him. John had just left his home some 500m away.
Dublin last weekend saw about 400 people take part in a demonstration against the intention of Seán Sherlock, the Labour Party Minister for Research and Innovation to bring into law a requirement for Irish internet service providers to block access to sites that allow the downloading of copy righted material. This is a similar law to the SOPA and ACTA laws that Hollywood & music industry lobbyists tried unsuccessfully to force through the US Congress. A second demonstration is to take place this Saturday.
Over the past month, Occupy Wall Street has chalked up a large number of bold actions against both government and private authorities; it has led an attempted general strike, raucous marches, occupations of banks and abandoned buildings, disruptions of political speeches and press events, and a massive West Coast shut down of major port terminals partly to aid longshore workers in their fights against their employers.
Singer songwriter Christy Moore dropped into Occupy Dame Street in Dublin last night to sing and send grettings to all the Occupy camps in the major cities of Ireland, at Cork, Limerick, Belfast, Waterford, Kerry, Athlone, Galway and the over 2000 Occupy camps world wide. In the video Christy refers to being in the 'Yellow Submarine,' thats the wooden structure built to serve as a kitchen for a camp that is waterproofed with heavy yellow plastic. Christy then sings 'Ride On' before heading off into the night to the applause of the assembled campers.
(Pic: a still from Dave's video of
Christy Moore at Occupy Dame Street)
Like I suspect many other Anarchist Writers readers I've been playing a part in the Occupy X movement. I've visited the camps in Cork & London (and published photos of both, see end of this post for images from Dublin) and I've been active from time to time in the General Assembly of the Dublin Camp at Occupy Dame Street. I also did a workshop on activist journalism at Occupy Dame Street about 10 days back.
After spending tens of thousands of euro in promotion Youth Defense's anti-choice march finally took place in Dublin. Despite the free coaches and months of preparation even RTE admitted that only 2-5,000 took part, making it a tiny fraction of the Pride Parade of the previous Saturday. And from observation a large part of that crowd was composed of unhappy looking young children dragged along by relatives, priests, monks, nuns and the very elderly.
The June bank holiday weekend saw hundreds traveling to Erris for the Party Against the Pioe festival organised by the Rossport Solidarity Camp. The festival was held beside the Shell construction compound at Aghoose, where the tunnel for the last stage of their controversial experimental raw gas pipeline is to be started. This compound has been the site of many protests, including one earlier in the week when security punched a female Shell to Sea campaigner in the face.
Given that I wrote four articles, edited two bits of audio, shot one video and published 60 or so pictures online it seems odd to see the Garda rape tape controversy as an example of not having the time to write something up. Yet that is the reality. Outside of what was written I could probably write four times that amount on aspects of the story, the way it was covered and the way we and others dealt with it. I'll probably never get around to it but here at least I'm linking to some of the pictures and video I shot at the protest on Friday.
The May bank holiday saw the annual Rossport Solidarity Camp gathering, this year across the road from the new Shell compound at Arghoos in Erris. As has become traditional the gathering combined a direct action with workshops and socializing. On the Sunday most of those present went to the launch of fisherman's Pat O'Donnell's new boat. There was a constant Garda presence around the camp throughout the weekend but despite the destruction of some 60m of Shell's bog road no arrests were made.
Give me your name and address or I’ll rape you” - the words of a Garda Sgt as he discussed with at least two other Gardai how they were going to interrogate one of two female Shell to Sea campaigners they had arrested and who were being brought to Belmullet Garda station. Just second earlier while they were discussing how to interrogate the women one Garda suggested they threaten her with deportation. The Sgt responds with the addition of the rape threat which he repeats before another so far unidentified Garda chimes in with “hold it there, give me your name and address there, I’ll rape you” prompting the Sgt to repeat it one last time as “or I’ll definitely rape you.” [Listen to the 2 minute audio] [Spanish translation]