“The Ireland in this picture is not my Ireland.”
On Tuesday evening, Gardaí disguised in balaclavas removed protestors from a property in Dublin’s north inner city. The property was being occupied to protest the ongoing housing crisis in Ireland. Last night, a demonstration was held in protest of the actions of the Gardaí.
According to Take Back The City, the group behind the protest, pepper spray was used against protestors. Gardaí arrested six people for breaches of the peace under the Public Order Act.
Yesterday, another demonstration, organised by Take Back The City, was held in reaction to the events on Tuesday, in which several hundred people gathered in the city centre.
A Facebook page for the event described what happened on Tuesday evening, saying: “The injuries sustained to several activists – at the hands of both the security firm and An Garda Siochána – were so severe they required hospitalisation.”
The organisers of the event called on “everyone involved in housing rights activism, those who are against police brutality, those who champion human rights and the right to protest, and the community at large to mobilise outside 34 North Frederick street – the scene of last night’s barbarity – in solidarity with those who were arrested and assaulted.”
Many Twitter users vented their frustrations online, with journalist Una Mullally tweeting: “This is what happens when a generation is politicised. There has been an intense five years where for many young people protest is as normal as going to a match or a gig. I don’t think the political establishment really gets that, but that’s what’s happening.
This is what happens when a generation is politicised. There has been an intense five years where for many young people protest is as normal as going to a match or a gig. I don’t think the political establishment really gets that, but that’s what’s happening. #TakeBackTheCity
— Una Mullally (@UnaMullally) September 12, 2018
Meanwhile, other Twitter users posted pictures and videos of yesterday’s turnout in the city centre:
— Darragh Doyle (@darraghdoyle) September 12, 2018
— Nicky Ryan (@NickyRyan_) September 12, 2018
Take Back The City also tweeted:
— Take Back The City – Dublin (@TBTCDublin) September 12, 2018
“The official line from Garda HQ is that the balaclavas are flame retardant and are simply a part of the Public Order Unit’s uniform for their protection – but I find that impossible to swallow.”
Panti continued, “In normal evictions, the cops take observer status to make sure that everyone acts within the law, but last evening they did much more than that. They arrived with an unmarked van-load of private security henchmen in tow, and violently aided them, including (and there’s video) pepper spraying and shoving people lawfully and peacefully standing and observing. They also took cameras from observers in a – presumably unlawful – attempt to conceal what they were doing.”
One of the protestors who was hospitalised after the eviction spoke at yesterday’s demonstration, saying: “This is what happens when markets come first. This is what happens when profit comes before human needs in our society.” He then went on to describe “being assaulted by the private security under the watchful eye of the Public Order Unit.”
In another live video from GCN, protestors can be heard chanting, “Whose city? Our city,” while perched on Luas tracks at the end of O’Connell Street. The protestors could then be heard chanting “Shame on you” about the actions the Gardaí took against protestors.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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