The 32 County Sovereignty committee has said “close on twenty” of its members were arrested last [Thursday] night as they assembled in Dublin to protest against the British royal visit.
The monarch had been due to arrive near the Convention Centre in Dublin, where an evening of entertainment had been laid on for the Windsor entourage.
Garda police said it had arrested twelve peope, one woman and 11 men, in the belief that they were planning to mount “violent protests”.
“In its desperation to portray to the outside world the image of a welcomed British Monarch in Ireland the Dublin Government has demonstrated a massive disregard for freedom of speech and movement of its own citizens,” the 32 County Movement said.
“Having spent millions ensuring that streets were deserted to insulate the monarch from legitimate protest they have now adopted the tactic of pre-emptive arrests to ensure that protests do not happen at all.
The organisation said the arrests belied “the grandiose talk of new relations and looking to the future”.
“The politics of this visit are clear; in the eyes of those organizing it, partition is now fully legitimized.
“The laying of a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance reflected the view of those present that the Proclamation and Declaration of Independence were wrong and that the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1922, and subsequent derivatives, represents the lawful parameters of Irish sovereignty. We reject this utterly and will continue, despite dictatorial political policing, to expose it.”
On Wednesday night, there was a tense stand-off between Gardai and crowds of several hundred Dublin youths and political activists protesting at Queen Elizabeth’s state visit.
A few protesters clashed with lines of gardai on the edge of an exclusion zone around Dublin Castle for last night’s State dinner.
Some missiles were thrown as the protestors were blocked from marching past Christ Church on to Dame Street and towards Dublin Castle, and a small number of arrests.
A group of over 200 members of the 32CSM had rallied in the area from 5.30pm, before marching up to gardai at the junction of Dame Street and Fishamble Street.
The group then walked towards Thomas Street, where a similar number of protesters from Eirigi were engaged in a separate protest.
As tensions rose, a huge contingent of gardai moved to break up the groups. Some drew batons and pushed scores of 32CSM protestors towards a corner near Bride Street, where they were hemmed in for the much of the evening before being released.
The eirigi protest continued peacefully until late evening.
The group said those attending the event at Dublin Castle were “drawn from Britain and Ireland’s ruling classes” and were “feasting on the best of food and wine” at the public expense.
The champagne toasts were “to not only Windsor, but also the economic and social order which has brought them such great wealth and power... For Britain and Ireland’s parasitic elite the party never ends.”
There was also a protest by Republican Sinn Fein as Windsor visited the National Stud in County Kildare.
“Republican Sinn Fein are protesting not because of the past wrong doings of England in their occupation of Ireland but wish to highlight the fact that part of our country remains today under British occupation,” said the newly-appointed PRO, Geraldine McNamara.
“The past cannot be forgotten until the present situation is changed and Britain declares an intent to withdraw from the six north eastern counties and Ireland moves forward as one nation.”