Gardai attack globalisation protest at Dublin's Burlington hotel

Oct 10th


A protest against an international privitisation conference at Dublin's Burlington hotel turned violent when the Gardai (Irish police) attacked protesters with batons. They were aided by a number of non uniformed men armed with sticks and torches, some of who may have been political police (Special Branch) but others appeared to be private security.

One of the non uniformed men attacked photographers including this reporter, attempting to smash their cameras to the ground. Under the attack the protesters retreated out of the hotel car park and down the street. At least twelve were arrested included an indymedia camera person, the second to be arrested in recent weeks and at least two protesters received head wounds. The one pictured below appears to be the less serious of the two.

After I gave my camera to someone else to take care of I returned to demand the name of the person who had tried to smash it. At this stage he was at the centre of a group of uniformed Gardai. Some of these had removed their numbers from their uniforms.

When I demanded to know the name and the status of the non-uniformed man who had assaulted me so I could make a complaint he refused to provide it and made a number of sarcarstic comments. He then produced a video camera and started to video me in what was obviously intended as an act of intimidation. I called for someone else to come forward with a camera to take his picture at which stage he turned and ran back into the car park out of sight.

I demanded to know his identity from a uniformed Garda standing directly in front of me. He had removed his numbers and refused to provide his name. When I leaned forward to try and read the number of the uniformed Garda beside him a number of the others moved forwards and shoved me back to prevent me from doing so. However, I did obtain the number of the third Garda in line. He was more polite but claimed he neither knew the identity nor the status of the man who had assaulted me. He also refused to direct me to any other uniformed Gardai present who could provide me with this information.

At this stage it was clear that the remaining Gardai were about to manufacture an excuse to arrest me. A couple of my friends came forwards and advised me to leave the area so I did. As I left it became obvious that an unmarked car was attempting to follow me, but thanks to the traffic I managed to evade them by cycling down a canal tow path.

pictures at http://uk.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=13630&group=webcast

Andrew


Court report

14 protesters arrested at a demonstration against Privatisation yesterday, and held overnight, appeared in a Dublin District court today. They were released on bail and are due to appear again at Cloverhill district Court on October 18th. Many supporters attended the hearing and those inside the courtroom could hear chants from outside as people called for the right to demonstrate. 13 were charged under section 6 of the Public Order Act. One of the demonstrators was taken to the hospital after being arrested and had to have stitches following a police assault. Not surprisingly, in an attempt to a cover story, another charge was added to his charge sheet. All the demonstrators had to promise that they would stay away from the Burlington Hotel and the surrounding area.

On of the protesters told of his arrest. He saw the police hit a young woman with a baton and called on them to stop. He was hit by a baton and began to move away. He shouted at a Superintendent, asking him why didn't he go and get a proper job. The Superintendent than said 'right that's it' and grabbed him. He was thrown towards 3 other police men who hit him in the forehead with their batons. He then heard on of the police say 'stop, there is a camera behind us'. He was put in an overcrowded police van. On of the protesters in the van was bleeding heavily from a head injury (he was later take to hospital and had to have stitches). In the police station they asked to see a doctor and one arrived at 9.00. A solicitor arrived later and advised them that they would probably be staying on over night. Many of the protesters had to sleep on stone floors. At 3 am they moved to the Bridewell [Irish Jail], at 7.00 am and again at 10.30 they were moved to new cells. At 11.15 they were brought to the courthouse.

There was press conference after the court appearances. Another demonstration has been called for 5.30pm outside the Burlington Hotel, where the privatisation conference continues.

Aileen [photos and another report at http://uk.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=13630&group=webcast]


[A Personal report from Workers Solidarity Movement members, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]

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