Ireland: Solidarity campaign: JobstownNotGuilty – Protesting is Not a Crime

Judge John King found a 17 year old school student guilty of false imprisonment – a verdict a barrister described as “a recipe for totalitarianism”.

This related to an anti water charges protest in Jobstown, Tallaght in Dublin on 15 November 2014, where then Tánaiste Joan Burton’s car was delayed for 2 and ½ hours by a spontaneous community protest.

The 18 adults now awaiting trial from April 2017 face sentences up to life imprisonment.

The trials, which will be six to eight weeks long, themselves will place enormous stress and strain on the defendants.

If jailed, families would be left in very difficult situations, with jobs lost and parents in prison. If TD Paul Murphy is jailed for more than six months, he will be removed as a TD, denying the democratic choice of the people of Dublin South West.

The political establishment and the supportive media are desperate to tarnish the anti water charges movement as a violent, anti-democratic mob.

By grossly misrepresenting and using what happened in Jobstown they want to weaken our democratic rights and so make it easier to impose economic inequality.

The laws used to directly seize the Property Tax from wages or benefits as well the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) legislation used to rob the wages of pubic servants, show that this attack is real.

The definition of ‘false imprisonment’ is being changed and this affects everyone. Any temporary delay or obstruction at a protest or picket, which for example inconveniences a politician, could be deemed false imprisonment. This is about intimidating people and criminalising protest.

If you agree that a miscarriage of justice is being prepared, help us because together we can stop this attack on democratic rights and change Ireland for the better.

The Jobstown defendants have come together in #JobstownNotGuilty to build a campaign against this miscarriage of justice.

We are asking trade unionists, community campaigns, students’ unions, civil liberties activists, public and political figures and everyone to demand that the conviction of the 17 year old is overturned and that all the charges are dropped.

What can you do?

Sign the online petition and share it to the social media to as many people possible

https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/protesting-is-not-a-crime-drop-the-charges-against-jobstownnotguilty?bucket

Like the page on facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Jobstown-Not-Guilty-1056889327677242/

Send protest letters to the Irish government minister@justice.ie with a copy to nedacyprus@gmail.com

Model protest letter:
Protest letter to Tanaiste and Minister of Justice and Equality

 

[Date]

 

[Name]

Address

[Email adress]

 

Frances Fitzgerald,

Dept. of Justice and Equality,

51, St. Stephen’s Green,

Dublin 2,

D02 HK52

Ireland

Phone: +353 1 602 8202

Email: minister@justice.ie

 

Dear Tanaiste and Minister Fitzgerald,

 

I have become aware of the conviction of a 17 year school student for false imprisonment of former Tanaiste Joan Burton TD. We believe that this conviction and the fact that a further 18 people face trial next year relating protesting against water charges in the Jobstown community in Tallaght, Dublin is a disgraceful miscarriage of justice.

 

Sit down protests that delay politicians are a part of the fabric of democratic rights that people have won over many years. It is a very serious infringement of the right to protest that the Irish State and judicial system are pursuing these case, ‘a recipe for totalitarianism’ as the school students barrister called it and a criminalisation of protest and working class communities.

 

That people could face long prison sentences and that a democratically elected parliamentarian could be removed from parliament is outrageous. I demand that the conviction of the 17 year old be overturned and that the charges against the 18 adults are dropped immediately.

 

 

 

 

[signature]

 

 

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