Protest at Garda brutality
Protest at Garda brutality

Student groups have organised an anti-Garda brutality march following last week’s scenes of state violence against students protesting at planned fee increases in the 26 Counties.

Free Education for Everybody (FEE) and Students in Solidarity are to hold the rally on Wednesday next, November 10).

People are asked to assemble at the Wolfe Tone Monument for 6pm before marching to Pearse Street Garda barracks. Speaking in advance of the protest, Cathaoirleach eirigi Brian Leeson encouraged people to join the protest:

“The Garda attack on the students last Wednesday demonstrated once again the true nature of this state. The political establishment and the Garda are quite happy to allow people to march around Dublin city until their feet ache.

“But should anyone dare to engage in a more direct form of protest such as a building occupation or a sit down protest, or should they refuse to do the bidding of the Garda the punishment is as rapid as it is brutal.

“The people of Erris in Mayo learned this lesson the hard way over the course of the last five years.”

A large volume of video and photographic evidence has emerged of the Garda attack on student protesters on Wednesday last (November 3).

The story that this footage tells sharply contradicts the version of events that have been peddled by the Garda press office and the main media outlets.

Viewers of Ireland’s main television news programme on Wednesday night could have been forgiven for believing that the ‘violence’ had consisted of a few minutes of relatively minor scuffles outside of the Department of Finance building.

However, video footage has appeared on the internet of Gardai in full riot gear beating defenceless and submissive protesters, of Gardai dragging protesters by the hair, and Gardai on horses charging into protesters.

That footage was censored by the 26-County state broadcaster, RTE, said Leeson.

“Nor did RTE see fit to broadcast to the people of Ireland the bloodied faces and split heads of the young people who felt the full force of the Garda batons.

“That the ‘violence’ came almost exclusively from the Gardai, that it lasted for well over an hour or that it spread from Merrion Row to Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street was all deemed not worthy of mention by the Montrose censors.

“And in the immediate aftermath of the Garda onslaught many other private media outlets followed RTE’s lead, choosing to focus on ridiculous fantasies about ‘militants’ and ‘extremists’ who supposedly ‘hijacked’ the students’ protest. Journalist after journalist repeated the ludicrous suggestion that up to two thousand intelligent young people had allowed themselves to be ‘hijacked’ by a number of named organisations including eirigi. Not one journalist or commentator thought to ask how precisely so many people, all of whom were in possession of their full faculties, could have been duped into taking part in a building occupation, a sit down protest and other forms of protest.

“It seems it is easier to believe in the republican bogey man than the prospect of educated, intelligent young people thinking for themselves. Easier to talk of ‘looney left hijackings’ than the possibility of young people robustly defending their right to be educated and their right to protest.”

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