Jobstown Not Guilty verdict exposes Garda, Labour and class rule in Ireland

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  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8499\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:46:\"Elections: Shouldn\'t We \'Fight on All Fronts\'?\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1445:\"<div data-contents=\"true\">\r\n <div data-block=\"true\" data-editor=\"c9jab\" data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\">\r\n <div class=\"_1mf _1mj\" data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\">\r\n <span data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\"><span data-text=\"true\">Anarchists are in favour of grassroots organising rather than engaging in electioneering. <span data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\"><span data-text=\"true\"><em><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/strike.png\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 321px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;\" /></em></span></span>Some crticise this position, stating something along the lines of:<br />\r\n <br />\r\n &#39;<em>But what about social housing, free education, and an increased minimum wage? That&#39;s change which will make a big difference to people&#39;s lives. And electoralism and grassroots organising aren&#39;t mutually exclusive. We shouldn&#39;t concede that ground to the right, we should fight on all fronts&#39;.</em></span></span><br />\r\n <br />\r\n <span data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\"><span data-text=\"true\">Social housing, free education, increased minimum wage - there are worthwhile reforms which might be achieved by a left wing government, or might not, but they&#39;re fairly beside the point. It&#39;s worth remarking though that the best way even to achieve reforms through the state is by having strong social movements which can apply pressure to politicians.</span></span></div>\r\n </div>\r\n</div>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1497286800\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8470\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:73:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 1 - Class Struggle and Leadership of Ideas\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:778:\"<p><em>&#39;1. Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of society (the working class) and the tiny minority that currently rule. A successful revolution will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. This will not happen spontaneously. Our role is to make anarchist ideas the leading ideas or, as it is sometimes expressed, to become a &#39;&#39;leadership of ideas&#39;&#39;.&rsquo;</em></p>\r\n<p>We&#39;re usually told that class society is a thing of the past. After all, aren&#39;t we all middle class now? But this is false, and there still very much exists a severe division between people based on property and work, a hierarchy which is a basic fact of the economic system known as capitalism.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8471\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:51:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 2 - Power Structures\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:560:\"<p><em>&#39;2. We reject the idea that society can be changed through &#39;good people&#39; gaining control of the power structures. This means we reject both the electoral strategy of the social democratic and green parties and the &#39;revolutionary&#39; strategy of the various left groups.&#39;</em></p>\r\n<p>The WSM is working towards a free, equal, democratic society. We believe the only way to achieve this is by people taking their destinies into their own hands, forming grassroots mass movements, and creating new truly democratic institutions.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8472\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:50:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 3 - Platformism (1)\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:495:\"<p><em>&#39;3. We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the &quot;platformist&quot;, anarchist-communist or especifista tradition of anarchism. We broadly identify with the theoretical base of this tradition and the organisational practice it argues for, but not necessarily everything else it has done or said, so it is a starting point for our politics and not an end point.&rsquo;</em></p>\r\n<p>The WSM practices a form of anarchism which strives to be highly organised and coherent.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8473\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:50:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 4 - Platformism (2)\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1238:\"<p>&#39;<em>4. The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for anarchist political organisations that seek to develop:</em></p>\r\n<ol>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Theoretical Unity</em></li>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Tactical Unity&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </em></li>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Collective Action and Discipline&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </em></li>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Federalism&rsquo;</em></li>\r\n</ol>\r\n<p>Federalism is an organisational structure based on &ldquo;the free agreement of individuals and organisations to work collectively towards a common objective&rdquo;. It is finding the best balance between independence and coherence. All decisions are made by those affected by them as opposed to centralism, where decisions are made by a central committee for those affected by them. This means, for example, that while all WSM branches are united under a common national policy, they are also autonomous, i.e they can make their own local decisions. It also means that we have no leaders or officials with higher authority than others. Rather, we have &#39;officers&#39; who are delegated temporary authority to perform certain tasks as mandated by the membership (for instance, to be treasurer).</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8474\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:57:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 6 - (Other) Mass Movements\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1309:\"<p><em>&#39;6. We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and the workplace. These include struggles against particular oppressions, imperialism and indeed the struggles of the working class for a decent place and environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to the unions, is to involve ourselves with mass movements and within these movements, in order to promote anarchist methods of organisation involving direct democracy and direct action.&#39;</em></p>\r\n<p>While the workplace is of course a critical site of political activity, there is a much broader terrain on which to strive for our liberty. Ultimately, we want a world where people are free and content. So, everywhere that we are ripped off, suppressed, attacked, sidelined, or degraded, is a place for us to fight back and band together with others. In a social order which thrives on us keeping our heads down and being passive, resistance in its many forms is to be encouraged and supported. Whether or not that resistance is as radical or as &#39;pure&#39; as we&#39;d like we should engage, of course with our anarchist heads screwed on. While being a purist sect on the sidelines can feel satisfying to the initiated, ultimately it is a redundant way to make change.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:1539;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1503131797, expire = 1503132097, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'wsm_only:block_1:results:692e0a14e0b7ab966d18830fa49232e2' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:4:{s:4:\"head\";s:0:\"\";s:3:\"css\";a:0:{}s:2:\"js\";a:0:{}s:6:\"output\";s:3309:\"<div class=\"view view-wsm-only view-id-wsm_only view-display-id-block_1 view-dom-id-4\">\n \n \n \n <div class=\"view-content\">\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/elections-shouldnt-we-fight-all-fronts\" title=\"Elections: Shouldn&#039;t We &#039;Fight on All Fronts&#039;?\">Elections: Shouldn&#039;t We &#039;Fight on All Fronts...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">\n\n\n Anarchists are in favour of grassroots organising rather than engaging in...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-2 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-1-class-struggle-leadership-ideas-anarchism\" title=\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 1 - Class Struggle and Leadership of Ideas\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 1 - Class Struggle and...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;1. Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-2-power-structures-state-anarchism\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 2 - Power Structures</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;2. We reject the idea that society can be changed through &#39;good people&#39;...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-4 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-3-platformism-1-especifismo-anarchism\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 3 - Platformism (1)</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;3. We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the &quot;platformist&quot;,...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-4-platformism-2-especifismo-anarchism\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 4 - Platformism (2)</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;4. The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-6 views-row-even views-row-last\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-6-mass-movements-resistance-anarchism\" title=\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 6 - (Other) Mass Movements\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 6 - (Other) Mass...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;6. We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n </div>\n \n \n \n \n<div class=\"more-link\">\n <a href=\"/all\">\n more </a>\n</div>\n \n \n \n</div> \";}', created = 1503131797, expire = 1503132097, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'wsm_only:block_1:output:1b6bdc458dfffb7fd6fd165c992f4d81' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8496\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:78:\"An Anarchist Response to “Anarchists, It Is Our Duty To Vote In Elections”\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1313:\"<p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;\"><span style=\"background-color: transparent; text-align: justify; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;\">As the title suggests, this article has been written in response to this <a href=\"https://troubleandsqueak.com/2015/04/25/anarchists-it-is-our-duty-to-vote-in-elections/\">article</a> </span><span style=\"background-color: transparent; text-align: justify; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;\">which was written over two years ago just before the last UK General Election and as Hillary Clinton was beginning her campaign for US presidency. Coming from my own knowledge and beliefs on voting I was surprised when reading fellow anarchist Paddy Vipond&rsquo;s article that he omitted major anarchist arguments against voting. In addition to serving as a response to Vipond&rsquo;s piece I will discuss what he left out under his headings and address some issues that have become apparent during this current election campaign particularly with the hope that Corbyn&rsquo;s Labour has sparked among the UK electorate and indeed further than that among the international electoralist left.</span></p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1497358019\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8488\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:58:\"Yes Duplicity: Irish State, Give Queer Chechens Asylum Now\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:702:\"<p>Will the Irish state offer asylum to queer men in Chechnya (and, in fact, all queer people there) who are enduring a state-lead cam<img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/chechnya100%20asylum.jpg\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 251px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />paign of terror and persecution of the gravest nature, or are queer people&#39;s lives another vote-catcher?</p>\r\n<p><br />\r\n We described both what is happening in Chechnya and the Dublin counter-demo <a href=\"http://www.wsm.ie/c/dublin-protests-chechnyas-queer-concentration-camps\">in detail here</a>, as well as warning against these atrocities being seized upon for an anti-Muslim agenda.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1493712000\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8450\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:47:\"An account of how #Strike4Repeal went in Dublin\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:547:\"<p>Andrew spent the day of March 8th 2017 recording #Strike4Repeal and has edited this 20 minute video account of how the day went down in Dublin. &nbsp;Below you will also find a &nbsp;text transcript of his account.</p>\r\n<p><iframe allowfullscreen=\"\" frameborder=\"0\" height=\"315\" src=\"https://www.youtube.com/embed/uwINNvCclew?rel=0\" width=\"560\"></iframe></p>\r\n<p>I headed into Dublin early on #Strike4Repeal day because a little birds had told me of&nbsp;the plan to cover up and alter some of Dublin&rsquo;s statues in the early morning.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1490711109\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8448\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:34:\"Intersectionality - A Basic Primer\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1074:\"<p>The WSM&rsquo;s politics are fundamentally intersectional. &lsquo;Intersectionality&rsquo; is a fancy word for some rather basic ideas. You can think of it as &lsquo;overlap-ism&rsquo; instead. There are three main points, <strong>1)</strong> that each person needs to be seen as a whole, <strong>2)</strong> that no power system exists in isolation, and <strong>3)</strong> that all forms of oppression and exploitation should be uprooted at the same time.</p>\r\n<p align=\"center\"><img alt=\"\" height=\"312\" src=\"/sites/default/files/intersections.PNG\" style=\"border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;\" width=\"500\" /></p>\r\n<p>The first point refers to the fact that real people aren&rsquo;t cartoons. We are each complicated and multi-dimensional. For instance, a person is not just &lsquo;working class&rsquo;. They also have a gender. In general, life for a working class woman will be significantly different than for a working class man, not only because a woman is oppressed by sexism but because class itself is experienced differently.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1490482800\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8435\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:87:\"Hitting Tesco where it hurts: Strike sees sales fall more than 80% leading to back down\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1393:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/TescoPowerOfStrike.jpg\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 402px; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />Tesco agreed Friday to suspend its attempt to impose a worsening of pay and conditions on its long term workers and to return to the Labour Court, leading to the suspension of the strike.&nbsp; Monday&rsquo;s Irish Times carries a report on just how hard Tesco have been hit by the strike action, the Finglas superstore saw a massive 80% decline in takings.&nbsp; These leaked figures stand in stark contrast to the attempt by Tesco PR to suggest the strike was ineffective and unpopular.</p>\r\n<p>The figures reveal that even those stores which had not yet voted to strike, and which subsequently did not have pickets, saw a decline of 30% in sales.&nbsp; According to <a href=\"http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/tesco-sales-fell-significantly-in-picketed-stores-during-strike\">Conor Pope&rsquo;s report</a> in Tesco Clearwater on the Monday before the strike <em>&ldquo;sales were &euro;165,901, while a week later they were under &euro;35,000, a drop of &euro;130,916 or nearly 80 per cent&rdquo;</em> and <em>&ldquo;The fall between the two Mondays across 29 stores of all sizes totalled &euro;827,896. .. A daily loss of that scale would suggest the cumulative impact of the 11-day strike came close to &euro;50 million&rdquo;&nbsp;</em></p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1488278536\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8429\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:96:\"A critical look at the Women’s March on Washington and coverage from Dublin solidarity protest\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:482:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/WomensMarchDublin.jpg\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 405px; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />Saturday 21st January saw 1000s take part in a Women&#39;s March against Trump in Dublin, a local solidarity march with the Women&#39;s March on Washington. It&#39;s estimated that 1% of the US population took to the streets to protest the Trump presidency that day with solidarity protests in dozens of cities around the world including Belfast.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1486462807\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:727;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:2;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1503131797, expire = 1503132097, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'not_wsm:block_1:results:6f171fd0922b167e997398452392a596' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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Date:

THE JOBSTOWN SIX have been found NOT GUILTY - a disastrous outcome for the Labour party and Garda in what has been the biggest political show trial for some decades. It is impossible to have followed the details of the arrests and trial and walk away with the impression that the Garda were not acting on government instructions, even if just on the basis of the ‘nod and a wink’. The verdict may well catch anyone relying on the mainstream media as a surprise because right across that media the reporting of the trial was highly selective, reflecting the interests of those who own and control it.

*** A summary for anyone following this from outside Ireland, six men were on trial accused of falsely imprisoning the then Tanáiste and Labour TD, Joan Burton, and her colleague in Jobstown on 15 November 2014. The charge of false imprisonment carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. All six men claimed that they were exercising their right to protest, and that the protest was peaceful. Following a nine week trial, the six have been found not guilty. ***

The prosecutions have been exposed as an act of political revenge by a party furious that its role in serving the capitalist class while talking left was so completely exposed by the largest mass movement Ireland has seen. Shamefully the Labour Party rather than hanging their head in shame reacted to the verdict with a statement repeating the fiction that the Garda are independent, something we have all just seen disproved.
We can be almost certain that there will be no repercussions for the Garda that carried out the dawn raids on people’s homes as they were getting their kids ready for school. There will be no repercussions for the Garda that lied in court under oath. The state needs political policing to protect the super wealthy few from the many and that means that the Garda understand they will be protected.

The Jobstown Trial shows how desperate the state (and the capitalist interests it serves) are to crack down on any resistance to austerity, and to enforce the ‘normal’ politics of class inequality and popular disempowerment. The only thing that stopped them was the jury just as in the past juries stopped attacks on anti-war protesters at Shannon and anti-heroin campaigners in the 1980s.

This was not without massive cost for the defendants, the trauma of the dawn raids, the fear that must have hung over many of a 14 year sentence as a result of being stitched up And perhaps most importantly the grind of having to spend so much of your life preparing for and in court, all during working hours. For years the garda have got away with using long drawn out court cases as punishment for political organising. Minor offences can see people required to attend court on many different days, all requiring time off work, only for charges to be thrown out or the garda not even bothering to turn up on the day the case is to be heard. All part of a rotten system designed by the powerful and wealthy to punish those who dare to rebel.

THE STATE CRACKS DOWN ON POPULAR RESISTANCE

In times of massive inequality and social unrest, it is common for states to wait until popular anger and mobilisations have subsided before cracking down on particularly prominent or vocal organisers. The trial of the Jobstown Six occurred following some of the largest popular mobilisations seen in Ireland for decades. These mobilisations arose in opposition to the establishment of Irish Water, a water metering utility designed to introduce water charges and ultimately water privatisation.

From 2014 onwards, groups of friends, neighbours, family and activists organised themselves to prevent water meter installation in working-class areas right across Ireland. At the same time, a massive number of people boycotted the registration process, refusing to pay for water. Some of the largest street demonstrations in Ireland for decades took place. Amidst this upswing in popular self-organisation, the protest of 15 November involved the six men take part in a peaceful, sit-down protest with hundreds of other angry Jobstown residents which delayed Joan Burton and her colleague for between two and two and a half hours.

Jobstown and the wider water movement was particularly significant because, until 2014, popular resistance to austerity in Ireland appeared to be strangely lacking. Following the capitalist crisis of 2008, austerity measures were imposed by states on populations across Europe in order to socialise the debts of failing, private financial institutions. The crisis in Ireland was centrally managed by the state in order to achieve this outcome (with much secrecy, lies, skull duggery, broken promises, and propaganda used to do so). What we were told was the cheapest option, became the only option, became the most expensive in Europe as 65 billion euro was found for socially useless banks. Cuts to social services, increased taxes and new charges, including water charges, formed the bill presented to the Irish people for the enrichment of private interests and bondholders.

Jobstown was a working class demonstration against a party leader whose party had imposed austerity and water charges, a party defending the privileges of private interests and bondholders ahead of the basic needs and dignity of the immense majority of the people. The curtailment of resistance to left-wing activists up to 2014 owed much to social partnership between the state, employers, and trade unions; to the capitalist media consensus in legitimating the austerity regime; and to left-talking but austerity-imposing political parties and independent TDs, notably the Labour party, propping up right-wing governments. The water movement marked a determined break with these patterns.

THE STATE ON TRIAL

This trial represent a counter assault on the biggest grass-roots, anti-authoritarian movement in decades in Ireland by framing the protesters as being beyond the pale, deviant, illegal, and even fascist. Instantly after the protests media was filled with accounts of violence, mob behaviour, stones and bricks were hurled, abuse screamed, a near riot occurred, in the process both the movement and the people of Jobstown were slandered. One example of many was David Begg of ICTU’s claim that an aid of Burton who he “personally knew”, was “beaten and kicked” on the ground, remarkably no such incident was mentioned at the trial itself.

There exists a latent need within the establishment to pigeonhole any resistance as being inherently violent and degenerate (and by extension this preys on anti-working class bias propagated by the media), this goes double when those who resist come from those who are regarded as belonging to the ‘lower orders’, the Jobstown trial is the highwater mark of this mentality and all it has done is demonstrate the strange brew of foolishness, naivity, arrogance of the state in light of real people standing up for themselves. These protests weren’t just protests, they were not merely about water charges, they were also symbolic of wider scale resistance to austerity and direct action. We weren’t supposed to notice the parasite as it fed. The Labour Party’s behaviour especially has been spectacularly self-defeating, the leader of a party that has long given up any pretense of leftism openly showing her contempt of those whom she is supposedly a champion for.

CLASS DYNAMICS

One issue the trial brings up is the question of what would have happened had this incident taken place in D4 rather than D24? But this begs the further question under what circumstance would a middle/upper class protest such as what occurred in Jobstown manifest? We know the upper classes have their interests looked after automatically by the Irish state, austerity after-all has increased their wealthy not diminished it, when the Irish economy was essentially crashed in 2008 it was done so not to keep ATMs open, but to protect the wealth of bankers and developers (Anglo Irish Bank famously had no ATMs, but almost exclusively wealthy clients), they have special access to power by dint of their class and status. The ‘need’ to be heard by the upper classes has so many release valves that it hardly exists and as such is far less acute than it is in an area like Jobstown where the visitation of a high-level minister like Burton is a novelty and a spur to action.

THE STATE LIMITS THE FREEDOM TO PROTEST

In response to people standing up for themselves, the state has swung wildly between arrogance and panic. The policing that accompanied the Jobstown protest demonstrated the idea that the police and the government work in tandem through the state in order to protect the powerful and suppress dissent wherever possible, that any dissent that registers as causing any kind of disruption to power itself is to be crushed, that your freedom to object and fight back is inconsequential compared to the freedom power has to do as power does, the effect on the people be damned.

The government, nor Labour itself itself did not bring the trial, but they didn’t have to, the mechanisms of the state and legal system are such that their political agenda kicks in like automatic stabilisers, a good servant they know the will of their political masters, act accordingly and is rewarded and protected. Gardai are amongst the most best paid, most conservative and least qualified public servants, with average Garda pay estimated to be 100,000 euro per anum (when pension contributions are taken into account). Meanwhile blatant and open Garda corruption has little or no consequence for force members, GSOC is widely regarded as toothless and the allegations of whistle blowers like Maurice McCabe require relentless pressure from leftist independent TDs before they are so much as considered, let alone dealt with.

GARDA CORRUPTION OR POLICE STATE IN ACTION

Strangest thing about #JobstownNotGuilty trial is all Garda statements repeated same lies, the protesters were hurling stones and rocks, Paul Murphy was marshalling and directing the protesters, there was no cooperation between protesters and the Gardai, the protest was presented as a scene of bedlam and chaos. Like kids copying homework with the wrong answer, written testimonies contradicted verbal testimonies, some testimonies even contradicted evidence the same Garda gave in the previous Jobstown trial (see key facts below). It goes to show how little scrutiny the Gardai receive in this country that they can so flagrantly construct their own facts out of thin air to suit their own agenda and get away with it, only in very rare circumstance is this examined with the kind of rigour offered by the defence teams cross-examination. It speaks of the corruption within the force that goes hand in hand with policing in general.

The Garda have been making a lot of noise in the last year about people videoing them in action. They want to make this illegal. At the Jobstown trial we saw Garda lying under oath but being exposed again and again by video from the scene.

FREEDOM IN A CAPITALIST SOCIETY

From an anarchist perspective. How is it to be taken? It speaks a lot about spurious notions of 'freedom' which exist under a capitalist system enforced by the the state and rule of law, constrict a minister for the duration of a film, it's a scandal and a crime, worthy of morning raids and a costly and farcical trial. Run a socio-political system that expands the cost of buying a house from four to nine times the average income in a generation, that forces thousands to emigrate, that cuts crucial services and lines hospital corridors with trollies, retire on a nice fat pension and take up an executive role in the private sector to feather the nest. If Joan Burton is to seriously be considered as having been imprisoned for those three hours, then surely is it not fair to consider those who wait for hours in our hospitals not just imprisoned, but tortured?

Whilst Burton and the establishment bemoan the curtailing of her freedom by the action of the people, what freedom do the people have to reject austerity, neo-liberalism, or capitalism? You have the ‘freedom’ to protest and they have the ‘freedom’ to determine whether or not that protest is to their taste and if it is not you will find all your freedoms forfeit. It recalls the futility of expecting justice from the legal system that is highlighted by the well-known Anatole France quote: “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.”

Conclusion
Jobstown reminds us that the longer the state continues to impose austerity in Ireland, the more it will encounter popular opposition. The more it resorts to force or fraud to counter that opposition, the more it faces a crisis of legitimacy. Jobstown is innocent! The state is guilty! The charges against the remaining defendants in the two next trials must be dropped and the earlier conviction of the 17 year old over turned.

The collaboration of political parties, media and garda in the farce that was the Jobstown trial reminds us that all these serve a tiny percentage of the people living in Ireland, the multi millionaires and billionaires. That gang will stop at nothing to maintain their wealth and power, it’s long past time to show them the door. The laughter of our children in a free society (while history only remembers their shameful role) shall be our retribution.

Appendix: Key moments from case: This includes so many claims that they jury must have considered lies or which were not even made in court

Protest and immediate aftermath:
In November 2014 a protest takes place in reaction to news Joan Burton is to appear at a graduation ceremony at An Cosán Virtual Community College in Jobstown, Tallaght.
Media reportage in aftermath speaks of violent protest, Sunday Independent runs with clumsily photoshopped image of a brick throwing teenager and Joan Burton.
David Begg of ICTU claims a personal assistant of Burton’s who he personally knew was “kicked and beaten” on the ground.
Dawn raids carried out three months after the protest.
Information leaked by Gardai on the nature of charges to and reported on by RTE correspondent Paul Reynolds.
In October 2016 a teenager (aged 15 in November 2014) is found guilty of false imprisonment and sentenced to six months, this verdict is being appealed.

Pre-Trial:
Jury selection: DPP request that jurors not come from Jobstown or the Tallaght area, active in any water charges protests, or to have expressed an opinion on water charges or austerity online.
Burton evidence:
Burton testimony, claims of nightmares, terror, running her for life, nearly losing her shoe, the ever present grin of TD Paul Murphy.
The defense essentially aimed to make it about austerity. Broken promises of Labour etc.
Cross examination grilled her on the Labour party’s treachery, to which Burton replied that as leader of the Labour party she saw herself as carrying the ideas of Connolly.
Helicopter footage, no pushing or shoving, very few children to be seen, Gardai can be heard to comment. “The jeep could have gone back ages ago, but there was no hassle really.”
Footage shown from Burton’s car, both she and assistant, happy, joking, far from angry mobs, people chatting, in a second Burton is asking her assistant about making posts on social media about “the children”, in the third her assistant Karen O’Connell can be heard to said of the protesters they were “the fucking dregs.”
Narrative of people being ‘out of control’ a baying mob completely shattered, all the video evidence showed was a sit down protest, minor scuffles which emerged when
Burton’s memory shown to be patchy at best.

Zappone testimony:
Snookered on question regarding the role of riots in achieving gay liberation (in a book she co-authored she made explicit reference to the role the Stonewall riots had in securing gay rights).
Throughout her cross examination asked Judge “do I have to answer this?”
Later shown refusing to condemn the protesters on in 2016 on Vincent Browne’s ‘The People’s Debate’, contradicting her evidence.

Garda testimony:
Garda McGuinness’ claims of rocks having been thrown, defense pointed out no rocks mentioned in her statement or visible in footage.
Garda Cooke claimed Paul Murphy was directing protesters using a megaphone, again footage shown which contradicted this.
Inspector Maguire denied that any agreement between Gardai and protesters, this was contradicted by evidence the same Garda had given at the previous Jobstown trial.
Super-Intendant Flavin claimed in their written statement that the animation and aggression of crowd a consequence of what Paul Murphy was saying through the megaphone, this was left out from court evidence.

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