Workers Solidarity Movement
The WSM welcomes the statement by Chief Superintendent Michael O’Sullivan about the groups and individuals who wish to exploit the fact that thousands will be on the street tomorrow, and use that for their own ends.
Spokesperson Mark Malone says:
“We have to agree with the Gardaí about individuals and groups who turn up at every event where people congregate to demand and work towards social justice and equality. This rogue element comes fully prepared to exploit peoples justifiable anger. This was clear at the recent student demonstration when men with masks, helmets and sticks line up to baton, kick and punch students and supporters, who could do little to defend themselves.” “Luckily for O Sullivan, he has the names and address of all these people. They are under his command. The Garda Siochana must think we are stupid. Its is no coincidence that the only time a riot happens at a protest is when the riot cops show up. If the Gardaí spent a little more time looking for the millions of euros that have been hidden away by corrupt bankers, speculators and politicians, and less time trying to cultivate an atmosphere of fear, we might find the path to equality and social justice an easier one to travel.”
The WSM recognises the intention behind today’s press statement from the police. Its is an attempt to paint a picture of good protesters and bad protesters. To suggest that there is legitimate anger and illegitimate anger. The government has tried to do that with those lucky enough to have a job, trying to pit public and private sector workers against each other. We refuse to fall into that trap. It is also about creating a fear in the minds of a population already ravaged by fear and insecurity that result from the inadequacies of our current economic and social system to meet our basic needs. We would extend a welcome to all to come to tomorrow demonstration, and unlike ICTU, we do not see this as a last chance, but merely the continuation of the struggle for meaningful social change.”
As Malone notes, we have been here before.
“Many people may remember the run up to Mayday 2004, organised by Dublin Grassroots Networks, a network of anarchists, social justice activists etc. As someone who worked on the media team at the time, I have boxes full of crazy media stories. During the six months before hand, we had a constant drip-fed story from the gardaí and journalists using unnamed sources suggesting that anarchists would gas the city, or that we had guns stored around the town. This was all bullshit of course, but it sold newspapers and ensured that certain departments of the police force could push for a bigger budget. It fits into the narrative of policing across western Europe since the late sixties referred to as the Strategy of Tension. Given the prevalence of new media devices on demonstrations these days and the use of social media sites, it is now possible to counteract the spin and intentional lies emanating from the police press department.
The sickening thing is that the real violence and lasting damage comes every day from the government state and the institutions of capitalism, like the IMF. Is it not violent that a government who has lost all legitimacy makes decisions which result in people living shorter, sicker and more impoverished lives? Is an economic system not violent if it rips entire families and communities apart, as a generation of young people leave towns and villages across the country, most likely never to return?”
“It is not violence when we come out on the street to demand justice and a change to the system that lies at the core of all our problem. But we are met with a police force that is often intimidatory and, as recent times have shown, both violent and unaccountable. But this is a distraction to what we seek to do tomorrow, which is to make our opposition to enforced insecurity clear and meaningful and to do so with others to build movements for direct democracy and proper control over our lives and futures. We hope that we can begin to Throughout history people have stood up against attacks on what it means to be human, to live with dignity, hope and empathy for our fellow human beings. We in WSM will stand together in solidarity will all those who come out tomorrow, and we will not engage with the game of divide and conquer that the police like to play. Until we have justice there will be no peace”