Great news from the courts today (17 Feb) where 11 out of the 13 Crumlin water charge protesters arrested last year have had their cases dismissed. Although 2 are still to face trial in May this is a victory not just because 11 are already off but because the judge seems to have smacked down the Garda attempts to interpret the Public Order Act in a way that would outlaw a lot of protest. This is a significant slap down for the political policing pushed as a strategy by the Labour Party & Fine Gael to try and demoralise the water charges movement.
A disturbing feature of the prison rebellion in Cloverhill yesterday was that, if the prison is to be believed, a large group of prisoners took a fellow prisoner as a hostage seemingly because he was a migrant.
Up to 60 prisoners were initially involved in a protest in the exercise yard. 45 agreed to return to their cells while according to media reports "armed themselves with homemade weapons, including razor wire and goalposts" and took Walli Ullah, an asylum seeker who is being held in Cloverhill as a hostage and subjected him to a violent beating.
At the end of October (2006), Denis Vranich, a millionaire night club owner and property speculator was convicted of a sexual assault on a 22 year old his employee working at his club. The Hamilton Spectator reported that "Vranich grabbed the woman, pulled down her bodice, groped her breasts and penetrated her with his finger", in her Victim Impact Statement the employee reported "The thought of him makes me absolutely nauseous and brings on panic attacks".