Gardaí will continue to monitor Anti-Corruption Ireland (ACI) demonstrations outside Google HQ on Barrow Street following an unprecedented Dublin city council meeting this morning.
Gemma O’Doherty initially started the demonstration outside Google HQ along with ACI, a group she founded, to protest YouTube’s removal of her channel. The demonstration has entered into week five.
Council meetings do not regularly meet in August, however, several Fine Gael councillors sought it following multiple noise complaints from residents and the general behaviour of the demonstration group. Fine Gael Councillor Danny Byrne described residents of the area as “at the end of their tether.”
Mr Byrne told GCN that noise levels from demonstrators will continue to be monitored and commended the Gardaí for their job so far in dealing with the demonstration:
“Council management took the readings of the noise levels, and I understand that monitoring will be kept up to ensure that in future the noise levels are not breached in terms of the residents and people working there.”
In a Twitter post, Councillor Byrne spoke of the necessity for the council meeting: “The related threatening phone calls and hate mail that [Councillor Hazel Chu] has received have added to the disturbing behaviour, but also the requirement that more immediate action is needed to bring a halt to this daily disruption to residents, workers and others in the area.”
The south east @FineGael cllrs have written to seek a meeting for all local reps with @gardainfo and management in @Google concerning the ongoing disturbance on Barrow Street and related threatening phone calls and hate mail that @hazechu has received. pic.twitter.com/EErnfWESUQ
— Danny Byrne (@DannyByrneFG) August 10, 2019
A counter-rally took place on August 10th held by the group ‘Speakers Unicorner’. The group said the reason they were there was “to stand up in numbers to the racists and fascists who have been ensconced there (Barrow Street) for weeks and to stop their spreading of hate on our streets.”
Green Party Councillor Hazel Chu’s has been targeted online by O’Doherty’s supporters following her attendance of the rally, “I am getting a lot of hate mail at the moment telling me to go back to China. I am now also getting silent calls. I had six nuisance calls on Friday.”
ACI preaches the promotion of free speech while whipping up far-right rhetoric, as seen in a photo of a young man giving the Nazi salute outside Google HQ. When questioned about this rhetoric, Councillor Byrne assures, “I understand from the Gardai that there are certain matters under investigation”.
#SpeakersUnicorner Anti Hate Rally earlier. Great craic, peaceful & met loads of locals asking how can they stop constant noise & hate that goes right into their apt. Two pics from today. Tell me again who's the racist? Me the one with the sign or the lads with their Nazi salute? pic.twitter.com/DJa7bNGUwX
— Hazel Chu (@hazechu) August 10, 2019
On August 13, Gardai approached ACI demonstrators and read out the Public Order Act, which states that if a person is acting offensively in public, they may be asked to leave the place. About the video of the Gardai reading out the Act, Councillor Byrne said, “I commend him, and how he kept his composure. I don’t think I could, in the face of what was being said to him and the provocation to him.”
A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana has said regarding ACI demonstrators, “No arrests or official interventions have occurred”.
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