At the end of last week, several sections of the CWI organised protest actions at Irish Embassies in order to denounce court summonses against 27 anti-water charges activists, including Paul Murphy TD (member of the Irish parliament) and local Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) councillors, following their involvement in an protest in Jobstown, Dublin, against the charges, in November 2014.
Below, you can watch a video of the protest at the Irish embassy in Brussels, organised by the PSL-LSP (CWI in Belgium. We have also posted photos from the protest action in central London by members of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales), as well as a letter delivered by them to the Ambassador.
To the Ambassador, Irish Embassy, London 18.9.15
No to political Policing! Solidarity with the Jobstown 27!
We understand that on 25 September twenty seven people were summoned by Garda to appear in court in Dublin regarding a protest in Jobstown a few months ago. The Tánaiste, Joan Burton, was delayed in her car during a spontaneous sit-down protest, for roughly two-hours, by locals angry over the unjust water charges. Those summonsed include local teenagers, elected local councillors and Paul Murphy TD for the Anti Austerity Alliance. We understand that they face potentially very serious charges, such as ‘unlawful detention’, for peacefully protesting against the unjust and hugely unpopular water charges.
We believe that this is part of a campaign by the Irish State and the political establishment against the successful anti-water charges campaign, the Anti Austerity Alliance and the Socialist Party. Fifty seven per cent have refused to pay the first water bills sent out. The Irish government is clearly rattled by this and by the campaign by Irish youth and working class people to defeat a key part of their austerity programme, and have resorted to intimidation and political policing to try and curb the non-payment movement. We also understand that, in a highly unusual move by the Garda, the Anti Austerity Alliance was recently denied a permit for financial donations.
We believe these measures represent a serious assault on the right to organise and demonstrate in Ireland.
Our protest today is just one being held around the world outside Irish Embassies, to say no to political policing and to show solidarity with the Jobstown 27. We send our solidarity to the demonstration in Dublin on Saturday 19th September.
We call for all charges against the Jobstown Protestors to be dropped immediately.
We look forward to your response on the matters raised above.
Socialist Party (London)