Ireland's only interest, as advanced by our leader: Bertie Ahern, is to expand trade links with this brutal dictatorship.
The protest kicked off at 6 p.m. in front of Dublin castle and was still going strong 2 hours later. An excellent turnout of about 300 people dwarfed the pathetic staged welcome crew of about 40 with Chinese flags.
[A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement members of an event they took part in or attended, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written] Note: Pictures are ultra compressed a week or so after they are uploaded to this site to save space on the server.
Groups present included the Tibet Solidarity group, Falun Gong members, Amnesty International, a fair sized contingent from Globalise Resistance, the SWP, Socialist Party, the WSM and quite a few others.
It also included the banner of Trinity College Students Union and a large number of supporters of Trinity Student Zhao Ming who had been sent to a labour camp for his membership of Falong Gong.
The demonstrators obligingly arranged themselves behind police barriers (though it would have been quite easy, in my view, at least initially to block the entrance for a few minutes as there were only about 10 cops present at the start). The demonstration was noisy and loudly booed the arriving dignitaries including the Dublin Arch Bishop Desmond O'Connell who obviously had few concerns about religious persecution in China.
It now appears that Premier Rongji was probably bought in earlier through the back way. However a car load of visiting Chinese dignitaries received a couple of eggs and some paint. The cops reacted rapidly by arresting a young teenager (not the egg thrower as far as I could see). He was hassled and searched but let go after a few minutes.
There were angry exchanges with the "welcomers" who quickly found themselves surrounded by protesters with Tibetan Flags and pictures of Zhao. The Chinese government stooges were also joined by a member of the Dublin Sparticus Group who took photos of each of the protesting groups presumably to denounce us all later for our capitalist roader attacks on the Socialist Workers Paradise Republic of China.
A cunning attempt by a WSM member to cycle in the gate while the cops were busy at either barrier was intercepted just before he got there and he was sent back to loud cheers.
Overall an enjoyable protest which received a fair amount of coverage and ensued the visit wasn't all bastard business men and politicians talking about more cash!
Conor Mc Loughlin (personal capacity)
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