Early Morning Raids and Ongoing Arrests of Irish Water Tax Protesters

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Ongoing Arrests of Irish Water Tax Protesters in Lead Up to Dublin Says No 100th March

Image via Carole Watson Purcell

Image via Carole Watson Purcell

At ten past seven this morning Carole Watson Purcell and her husband Ken were arrested in their homes in front of their children. They and one more protester were then subjected to hours of questioning by Irish police with Ken only being released at 7pm. They were not alone, since Monday morning when the first arrests took place a total of 20 Irish Water protesters including politicians and children as young as 14 have been arrested in the early morning sweeps that are being deemed the most noticeable example of Political Policing the state has seen in decades. The arrests are also being seen as suspicious because they occurred just days before Dublin Says No is to hold their 100th March in the capital and the announcement of another national protest against Irish Water and the country’s austerity measures in March.

“This  is Shannon, Carole and Ken’s daughter. Both of my parents were arrested  and taken to Tallaght Garda Station about 10min ago. They said that  there is a possibility that my dad could be taken to Rathfarnham station,  but they’re not sure yet. — with Shane Purcell, Shannon Purcell and Ken Notpayingthewatercharges Purcell.”  –  Shannon Purcell

It began at a peaceful protest in November which saw Tánaiste and Social Protection minister Joan Burton being stuck in her car for two hours surrounded by police and protesters. She was also struck in the head with a water balloon by someone suspected to be a young teenager. The very minor incident is being deemed enough to arrest people for a number of offences such as false imprisonment and violent disorder without even giving an opportunity for the peaceful protesters to present for questioning of their own volition.

The arrests occur in the early morning with the protesters then being questioned about their activities at protests against the government’s plan to tax the water of the Irish people twice.
More and more men, women and children as young as 15 are falling victim to political policing in Ireland particularly in Dublin and the number of arrests are expected to double to forty in the coming days. The arrests come after an extensive operation by police which has been widely described as an absolute waste of resources in a country where policing has come under fire over a number of shortcomings. The Garda Ombudsman is investigation 16 official complaints so far about the conduct of Gardaí at Irish Water protests including assault, the Gardaí are also under investigation by the Data Commissioner for sharing the names of Irish Water protesters with Irish Water.

“Ken is back in a cell.Not sure when he will be released they extended the detention time to 7pm.  I want to thank everyone who has tried to get in touch with me but I was  unable to answer calls etc.My phone is about to go flat.Will be online  later.I am presently outside Tallaght Garda station waiting. Getting  great support here.”  – Carole Watson Purcell

The attempts by the Irish Government and Irish water to intimidate protesters from taking to the streets have grown in recent months, from threats of cutting water pressure, to private security at meter installation protests now the Irish government have taken the step which most know is the step too far and are arresting peaceful protesters. The main reaction on the streets is that the Fine Gael and Labour Government have disengaged with a very frustrated public and are now trying to quell the back lash by using the police and the court system to ensure that when they leave the parliament building, it will be on their terms not the public they are supposed to represent.

To show their resistance to the arrests and to the stigma the Irish government are attempting to attach to protests and the opposition movements, along with a number of ongoing protests outside Police Stations and the Department of Justice a large number of protesters are expected to join Dublin Says No, whom Carole and Ken strongly support and protest with regularly, at Sunday mornings anniversary March. Dublin Says No Week 100 March will start at the Central Bank on Dame Street Dublin City at 12pm on Sunday and numbers are expected to swell due to the arrests and growing frustration at austerity, bank bail-outs, media bias, natural resources sell-offs, water charges and metering which Dublin Says No are the core reasons they have taken to the streets for 100 weeks.

The Irish protesters also want to show their solidarity and strength and with numbers at protests in recent weeks reaching numbers that break state records and mass civil disobedience on the rise with thousands of registration letters retuned unopened, we can only wait and see if the Irish government flip their loyalties from Germany back to their own people.

 

Related links

‘They took me, a 16-year-old, out of my bed and put me in a prison cell’ A protest against the Jobstown arrests took place outside the Department of Justice this evening.

“The Garda Ombudsman has confirmed that it is investigating 16 formal  complaints against gardaí relating to water charge protests, including  claims of physical assault and neglect of duty.”
Ireland’s Streets Turn to Rivers of People, 1 Million, Wiping Out New Tax on Water
Jobstown: Four, including 14-year-old boy, arrested.   The four — including, it’s believed, a 14-year-old boy — were arrested in an early morning operation
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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News - Contact us with inquiries, tips, corrections at - revnewsmedia@gmail.com