Irish Republican News · March 1, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Bush to visit Ireland
Bush to visit Ireland

Anti-war activists say they will mount a massive protest for the visit of US President George W Bush to Ireland in June, which was announced last week.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has asked people not to protest against Mr Bush's visit.

Mr Richard Boyd Barrett, of the Irish Anti-War Movement, said it was ``absolutely certain'' protests would be organised and he expected buses would bring people from all over Ireland to whatever part of Ireland Mr Bush visits.

Dublin or a location in the West of Ireland will be at the centre of the country's biggest ever security operation on June 25 and 26, when the US President arrives for a European Union/United States summit aimed at repairing the damage caused by the divisions over the war in Iraq.

Previously it was suggested that the summit may take place in Belgium or the US due to security fears.

Before the war in Iraq, Mr Bush visited the North of Ireland for a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and also met the Taoiseach.

The summit was held in Hillsborough Castle outside Belfast and the security operation involved closing off Hillsborough village and keeping protesters five miles away.

CENSORSHIP OPPOSED

Today, Irish anti-war activists pledged to defy ``sinister'' new legislation banning the erecting of posters without permission from local authorities.

A coalition of peace groups today claimed the Government is introducing censorship laws under the cloak of environmentalism. They claim they are being victimised by this legislation, as posters are their main method of advertising upcoming events.

At a press conference this morning, representatives of the Irish Anti-War Movement, the NGO Peace Alliance, the Irish Council of Civil Liberties (ICCL), Labour, the Green Party, Sinn Féin and the Socialist Party claimed this amendment was ``cynical and Draconian'' as it was designed to quell anti-Government protest.

They are angry that Dublin City Council have refused them permission to erect thousands of posters advertising a protest against the US occupation of Iraq, planned for March 20th. They are hoping thousands of people will march, both in protest at the US presence in Iraq and at the forthcoming visit of US President George W. Bush to Ireland.

The legislation includes postering by all kinds of groups, including trade unions, community groups and residents' associations. Last year, the parents of missing Dublin man, Mr Trevor Deeley, were ordered under the new rules to halt their poster campaign seeking information as to his whereabouts.

Socialist Party TD Mr Joe Higgins said the Government was ensuring that only ``the bastions of the establishment'', such as big business, could get their message across due to their massive advertising budgets.

Mr Brendan Butler, of the NGO Peace Alliance, said the Control of Litter Act is ``not about the control of litter, it is about the control of dissent.''

The fine for summary conviction for litter offences stands at O3,000, and the upper limit of fine for offences heard in the District Court. The maximum daily fine for continuing offences is O600.

  • A motion calling on the party to boycott the World Economic Forum was passed at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis at the weekend. The motion which was opposed by the party leadership went to a recount and was passed by a slim majority.

    This is the first time the party has actually formally taken a position on the WEF, a gathering of the world's power-broking elite and a frequent target of anti-globalisation protests.

  • © 2004 Irish Republican News