The Clash of the Two Europes

May 2004

According to the press, on Mayday there was going to happen a huge clash between the "forces of order" -riot police- and the "forces of evil" -sinister anarchists coming down from London to gas to death innocent Dubliners, plus their local allies, as mad, as evil and as sinister. The journalists of the Tabloid papers might have been pretty disappointed when the clash they were expectating so much, didn't happen (probably as disappointed as the neighbours of Navan road were relieved to see that protestors were not coming to burn their houses). Or that the clash happened in a way different to what they expected.

For the clash that happened on Mayday was a very hard one: I don't mean the watercannons soaking peaceful protestors or the few cans flying over the riot police heads, that were answered randomly with severe baton beatings. The clash I mean happened, above all, at a very symbolic level.

Mayday was the day in which two Europes clashed: on the one hand, the old Europe of the bosses, talking about privatization, eating at our expense in their Farmleigh fortress, behind a 5 million euros fence, behind lines of riot police, and behind the infamous watercannons of RUC. Protected against the people (not from the terrorists, but from ordinary people like you or me). Literally, the presidents and rulers of the EU were reproducing at little scale, the Fortress Europe they want to build. With their fences and their militarization. With prejudice and fear. Fortress Farmleigh, Fortress Dublin, Fortress Europe.

On the other hand, there was another Europe, out there, marching on the streets, chanting, enthusiastic and willing to change the unjust society in which we live. With bear hands. With no other weapons that our happiness and our arguments. Our Europe was made of all the colours, of all the ages, of all the tastes, of all the rhythms and of all the nationalities: Irish, English, German, French, African, Asian, Latinamerican hands were all together to reclaim our right to live.

And what was the answer of the old Europe to this new Europe? Repression, pure and simple. They might think that the desire of freedom, justice and equality can be soaked with watercannons!

Why they reacted that way? Because they are afraid. They are afraid because we are not afraid anymore. Because we are going to be out there to demand our rights, to stop privatizations, to oppose their wars, to organise, to build a new world in which there is space for every body.... And to threaten the privileges of the few in the "Farmleigh gang".

While Bertie Ahern brought the RUC that represses the Northern Irish people down to Dublin to repress the people in the "Republic", we just took out to the streets the Dublin people and we invited the people from other countries in Europe to protest here with us. For the things that were being discussed by the EU leaders affect us all.

And we did what we said we would do. We said that we would march, and we did nothing else. And nothing stopped us: neither the tabloid papers hysteria, nor Berite's threats, nor the fact that the march was originally cancelled, nor the uncertainty of the real magnitude of police repression, nor the watercannons, nor the arbitrary imprisonement of some activists, nor the batons and the harassment of the Gardaí. They know nothing will stop us from demanding the just and free society that will have to bring to an end the capitalist insanity.

We have nothing to hide. So whenever the "journalists" of the tabloid papers want to know what's next "anarchist" plot, instead of inventing fantastic tales about gas bombs, come and talk to the anarchists organised in Ireland, come and talk with the Workers Solidarity Movement. In the meantime, let the two Europes keep on clashing, and you can be sure that the anarchists won't stop to fight back and organise as long as injustice and privilege persist. We want nothing less than the world to be of everybody equally.

Paddy Rua

This article generated some discussion about the accuracy of 'While Bertie Ahern brought the RUC that represses the Northern Irish people down to Dublin to repress the people in the "Republic"' on the Irish Anarchism list.

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

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