Jobstown: Not Guilty . The Shameful Verdict
The guilty verdict on the charge of ‘false imprisonment’ brought in by the judge against the 17 year old from Jobstown is an obvious injustice.
It is also a serious threat to all protest and resistance. Everyone with any decency, which clearly doesn’t include Joan Burton, will be relieved that the young lad did not receive a prison sentence, but a dangerous precedent has been set.
From the point of view of the government and the State they have got the guilty verdict they wanted to be able to use against all the adult Jobstown defendants whose cases will come up in three further trials in April 2017, October and April 2018.
Paul Kiernan, 40, who describes himself as a ‘political activist from Brookfield in Tallaght’ is among those facing charges next October. He says of the verdict ‘I was shocked, but not surprised. From the start I knew the State would push this all the way’.
‘This country is run by dictators who have made sure all the wealth goes to the top. They are manipulating the law to protect themselves from mass protest. They are terrified their gravy train will come to a halt and their house of cards will come crashing down’.
Paul, who has no criminal convictions and has been active in his community for years, now faces serious charges which could carry a long prison sentence when all he did was react to being assaulted himself.
But this doesn’t just affect the Jobstown defendants. Everyone who has ever protested or picketed or may protest or picket in the future could be affected by this if it is not resisted.
Slow marching an Irish Water truck, is that false imprisonment? Blockading a scab lorry in a strike- is that kidnap? What about blocking the entrance to the Dáil?
This doesn’t mean every protester and picket will be arrested. We shoudn’t be intimidated and they can’t arrest us all. But this verdict does mean the establishment have a legal precedent up their sleeve for when they need it.
The whole legal system is organised in favour of the rich and powerful and against working class people who stick up for themselves. As Mary Smith told the Rally for Jobstown, when she was summoned for jury service in the case of crooked banker, Seanie Fitzpatrick, she was excluded from the jury. Why? Because she had been ‘affected by austerity’ and was ‘biased against bankers’. So the jury was effectively being rigged in the banker’s favour.
But we have an answer to this – feet on the street and people power. We are many, they are few! They fear the people when the people mobilise. And this is what must happen in defence of Jobstown.
AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL!