[Ireland] Anarchists Condemn Police Violence Against Students
ireland / britain |
repression / prisoners |
Thursday November 04, 2010 18:32 by Workers Solidarity Movement - WSM
Issued 3rd November 2010
[Français] The WSM condemns in the strongest terms the police violence* against students on Dublin's Merrion Row earlier this afternoon. Several members of the organisation where present with almost 1000 others in support of those who entered and occupied the Department of Finance. Mark Malone, student and member of the WSM, present at the protests earlier today said.
“I witnessed masked men in padded clothing beat a woman around the head with a baton. She was so scared she couldn’t move even as they shouted at her to do so. My friends and I helped her away from where the police where hitting people. The police refused to listen to our calls for medical attention and instead pushed me on top of this woman using a large plastic shield. This was only one of many instances of brutality. I also saw police punch, kick, drag and throw to the ground the people who occupied the Department of Finance.. It was clear to everyone that the police decided to intimidate and physically assault us. The low number of arrests compared to the very high level of injuries suggest that this was a tactic decided at a high level. It was as if the police wanted to provoke a violent response from us. All we could do was try to defend ourselves and each other from these thugs.” 
“While several WSM members where present in the demo, other members watched from the vantage point of our office window which directly overlooked the scene. We witnessed many injuries as a result of police violence, mostly unprovoked batoning, but also the use of the edges of riot shields to dig into people. We witnessed police horses being run directly into a mass crowd, we saw women and men sitting on the ground, beaten with lumps of stick the police call “batons”. We witnessed police dogs being reared into the crowd as people shouted “peaceful protest”. I heard the police swear and verbally threaten students, one saying they would “knock the fucking shit” out of me if I didn't move.”
Malone continued: “The government chooses to target students, much in the way they target the sick, unemployed and marginalised because they think we are an easy touch. The government talks about the value of education and a knowledge economy, whilst at the same time introducing measures that mean access to education will price the poor, jobless and precarious out of education. It is ridiculous to even call these registration fees. How can it cost over €1500 to register for anything, now this is set to rise to €3000. This government has lost legitimacy since in reality it is the IMF and ECB, and the faceless rich of the “markets” who now dictate policy. This is not just an economic crisis, it is a crisis of democracy as we can clearly see the structures of power at play.”
“What we witnessed today was the policing of fear, the deliberate use of state violence to discourage acts of protest and civil disobedience. We have seen the usual attempt to divide people into good protesters and bad protesters. We reject the statement of the USI leadership as ill-informed, short-sighted and reactionary. Perhaps if they look at the bloodied faces and bruised bodies as footage comes in we will hear a full retraction of the previous statement. The false divide of good/bad protester will not fool the 100's of thousands of people across the country who now suffer lower quality healthcare, education, workplace security and wages and will do so for at least a decade.”
“These fee rises are completely unneeded.” Malone continued, “Why not set a maximum personal income of €150,000 , for example. Tax the rest at 100% and use it to pay for a quality of life for the vast majority , instead of cutting public services that we use and need as human beings. Who can seriously say they need more than that to live on. Or why not use the billions of Euros of oil and gas off the coast of Ireland . The government says they have no options. Perhaps if they listened to us instead of beating us up, we all might actually move towards a more just and equal society”.
Malone concluded “We need to stand together in this period of attack on our quality of life and futures. Why should we pay for the greed of a rich gambling elite? What is clear today is that like elsewhere around Europe and the rest of the world, police repression will be used by the state to try and make our movements for social justice and equality fearful and less open and effective. We should meet this aggression head on with our solidarity and desire for genuine democracy – be that in our educational institutions, in our communities or in our workplaces. Our taxes may be used pay the wages of men in masks and sticks. But we won't be intimidated and beaten off the streets where we live, where we work or where we choose to make our demands and desires visible.”
 0-10 secs Police violently throw students to the ground, one striking their head.
 Random batoning of students by police as they are sitting on the ground offing no resistance.