Arrest accounts

The making of an anarchist in Portlaoise prison

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In 2010 I was sentenced to 6 years for having possession of 20 grams of explosive powder.  I was to serve 4 years and 8 months in Portlaoise prison.  This is not an in-depth study into prison and jails, and it is not an academic piece. It is simply an experience. My experience of jail will be different than other people’s experience because no two people’s experience will ever be the same. The other person’s experience will always be different no matter how great or small.   

My experience started with 3 days questioning in a Garda station in Mountjoy. After the questioning was over I was charged with having an explosive substance, having materials used to build explosives and membership of an illegal organization.

From the Garda station I was brought straight to the special criminal court which was in Green Street courthouse at the time. I was brought to the holding cell, which resembled something out of a cowboy film or a medievil film. There was no door on the cell, there was a gate made from bars. On the wall of the cell were messages written on the wall by people that have come through here, messages of support, people's names with numbers beside their name indicating how many years the person got, names of different republican groups, pictures of soldiers with guns, symbols such as the hammer and sickle.

An attempt to liberate a vacant council flat for a homeless mother and her children

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Myself and some comrades were approached by a young mother from Coolock that recently became homeless. The woman and her children became homeless a few weeks previous. While her kids are in school during the day the mother either walks the streets or calls into friends or family member’s homes. When school has ended for the day they have to rely on family and friends to let them stay in their homes. Sometimes the mother has to split her children up so that she’d definitely have a roof over all her kid’s heads for the night.

She had to leave the house she was renting because of the condition the house was in. She went to Dublin City Council (DCC) and because of the advice given to her by the council she registered herself as being homeless. She asked the council to be put up in one of the state’s homeless hostels or money for a hotel room or a B&B. She was told there is no more spaces left in the hostels, but the council would give her money for a hotel room or B&B. The young mother spent days then weeks trying to get a room in a hotel or B&B that would be suitable for her and her children, but to no avail. She had to survive from the good will of her friends and family.

Your rights when stopped and/or arrested by a garda

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This is a useful guide written by a barrister for Shell to Sea on what your rights are when stopped, and / or arrested by Garda.  Garda seeking information or to frighten you will often mislead you as to what your rights are, its a good idea to have a basic understanding so that they quickly understand such methods are unlikely to work.

Crumlin water charge protesters have cases dismissed as Garda fail to broaden public order offence

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Great news from the courts today (17 Feb)  where 11 out of the 13 Crumlin water charge protesters arrested last year have had their cases dismissed. Although 2 are still to face trial in May this is a victory not just because 11 are already off but because the judge seems to have smacked down the Garda attempts to interpret the Public Order Act in a way that would outlaw a lot of protest. This is a significant slap down for the political policing pushed as a strategy by the Labour Party & Fine Gael to try and demoralise the water charges movement.

WSM statement on Garda arrest of pro-choice campaigners at our rally this evening

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The Workers Solidarity Movement strongly condemns the arrests at Wednesday evenings pro-choice demo in Dublin city centre. In particular we condemn the casual and unjustifiable use of pepper spray on pro choice protesters, one of whom was being held immobile on the ground as he was sprayed.

Our demonstration was called to protest the arrest in Belfast of a woman who has been charged with assisting her daughter in obtaining an abortion. A sizeable crowd gathered to offer solidarity to her and to the many other women living in Ireland who suffer under draconian abortion laws.

Those arrested are known to us a dedicated pro-choice campaigners. It is our democratic right and duty to take an active part in the society that we live in. Such garda behaviour has no place in a democratic society. An injustice to one, is an injustice to all.

 


Housing Activists' Cases Dismissed From Court

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Today 8 housing activists from An Spreach Housing Action Committee and from D8HAC were up in court. All 8 were charged with trespassing on the 29th of July 2014 in a vacant flat in Charlemount Street in Dublin’s south inner city. All charges were dismissed by the court. This is a small victory for the housing groups, but the struggle continues it is not the end of the campaign to highlight the homeless and housing crisis.

Detailed account of Shell's prosecution of 19 more people for ongoing resistance in Erris

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The end of February saw 19 Shell to Sea campaigners, including a WSM member, being prosecuted on 80 charges for civil disobediance against Shell's decade long attempt to impose an experimental high pressure raw gas pipeline on the communities of Erris.  Over 8,000 euro in fines were handed down by this special sitting of the Belmullet court and Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway was given two 3-month prison sentences under section 8 of the Public Order Act for blocking the road on two seperate occasions, a 'crime' that anyone following the struggle will be aware Shell's private security company committs three times a day with the co-operation of the Gardai.

(Image: Community show support in advance of the court cases, J Bender, RSC)

Jail! - An insight into prison life in Ireland, namely Castlerea Prison, Co Roscommon

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“Your letters have sparked riots in the maximum security wing of my heart” - Sideshow Bob, the Simpsons!

On 21st April 2010 I was convicted of assaulting a number of Gardaí in relation to Shell to Sea protests and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment. Remission for good behaviour means that prisoners will have their sentences reduced by a quarter, once you keep your nose clean. I was given credit for 2 weeks time served previously in 2009, before I was bailed out pending my appeal.

So I spent 4 months in jail from April to August in the summer of 2010. 

Art - a Composite of Van Gogh's 'Exercise Yard' & Munch's 'Scream' by Prisoner Mick Connors.

COP15 the protests and the arrests in Copenhagen

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This audio interview, conducted by mobile phone on Monday evening, covers the protests at the COP15 summit in Copenhagen.
Ronan who was a member of WSM in Ireland has been living in Denmark for a year and a half and is involved in a new Libertarian Socialist group and the local infoshop in the autonomous Youth House.

Account of protest and arrest at Heilegendamm, Germany G8 summit 2007

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A member of the WSM travelled to the protests against the G8 in Heilegendamm, Germany July 2007. He reports on the actions that were taken and then on his arrest and mistreatment.

The Build-Up - 2nd June 2007

We travelled to Rostock on one of the 30 buses going from Hamburg. When we arrived the city was awash with people and also a gargantuan police presence. We made our way to the starting point of the rally in which the anarchist block was due to march, the second rally being composed more so of NGOs and political parties. After an hour or so of boring speeches and the monotone gloom of David Rovics, the march set off.

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