Above: rabble reader Ciaran Boylan sent us these shots from a recent #JobstownNotGuilty demo. We had a few words with Paul Murphy before the trial started too for #rabble13. On April 24th, the court case of seven men accused of falsely imprisoning then Tanaiste Joan Burton during a protest at Jobstown began at the Criminal Courts of Justice. If our former Minister for Social Protection sought to criminalise one of the largest popular movements in our history over Jobstown – it was a move that backfired spectacularly with austerity itself ending up in the dock. The trial continues this week with Gardai giving evidence. Niamh McDonald takes us through some highlights so far. The Scene Day four of the trial and Joan Burton takes to the stand as the first witness for the prosecution and spends nearly four days in the witness box. Court 13 on the fourth floor is the largest courtroom in the building. The Jury sit to the right at the top of the room, and … Read More
With the Jobstown trials kicking off tomorrow, we caught up with Paul Murphy to check in with the campaign and hear what can be expected in the coming weeks. Okay, so not long now until the trial starts. What’s the sequence of events we can expect? Is everyone being tried at once or are there a few distinct cases on the go? First thing on Monday is a legal argument about the jury in court. The DPP is seeking a range of incredible exclusions from the jury – people from Tallaght, people connected with Tallaght, people in campaigning groups for or against water charges and people who have commented on water charges on social media! Our legal teams will be contesting all of those. Then the judge will make a ruling on that. After that, we will have a process of selection of the jury. Then Tuesday or Wednesday, the trial itself will take place. The first witness we expect is Joan Burton. Then the trial will run for … Read More
rabble reader Ciaran Boylan sent us on these snapshots from Saturday’s demonstration against the water charges. That shot of RTE’s best over presenters does it for us. Any other reports from the march?
The Jobstown Not Guilty gang are hosting a documentary screening that pokes behind what really happened when poor auld iJoan got trapped in her car. Deary deary me. The trials when they kick off will be gripping stuff and see an attempt by the state to criminalise a whole community. Previously on rabble: Paul O’Connell rails against the conviction of a 16 year old for peaceful protest. Full details are here and you can give the trailer a whirl above.
Above: A selection of shots from the December 2014 Irish Water protest in Dublin by Bit Thornt. Today’s guilty verdict represents, if you excuse the pun, a watershed moment says Paul O’Connell, a Reader In Law at SOAS University of London. The regime has sent a clear message resistance will be met by a brutal police force and increased criminalisation. The right to protest has never enjoyed particularly strong protection in Ireland. The provisions of the Constitution that deal with it are remarkable more for the exceptions and limitations to the right that they countenance, rather than a strong protection of the right as such. Over the years, individuals have been prosecuted for various offences that we might think the right to protest should protect. The Public Order Act 1994 has allowed for the routine, systematic undermining of the right to protest by the Gardai since its enactment. With all of that said, the conviction today of a 17-year-old on charges of false imprisonment, for engaging in a peaceful protest against the Tainste, represents a watershed … Read More