To: Frances Fitzgerald TD - Minister for Justice and EqualityProtesting is Not a Crime - drop the charges against #JobstownNotGuilty
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Why is this important?
A 17 year old school student has already been found 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 dirty smear campaign against Maurice McCabe by the Gardai tops, shows the lengths this rotten establishment are willing to go to shut down descent and opposition to the status quo.
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.