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(en) Ireland: May Day organisers condemn Polish represssion

From Dublin Grassroots Network <grassrootsdublin@yahoo.com>
Date Wed, 28 Apr 2004 14:03:31 +0200 (CEST)

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Dublin Grassroots Network, which is organising a Mayday weekend of
events for an alternative Europe, today condemned the repression of
activists campaigning against the World Economic Forum in Warsaw.
Poland is one of the ten "accession states" due to join the European
Union this weekend. Spokesperson Laurence Cox said, "These attempts to
suppress the freedom of speech and assembly are parallel to those we
have seen in Ireland in recent weeks. They show the unease of European
governments faced with dissent from within their own civil societies.
While the EU pays lip-service to democracy, it seems that in practice
opposition to privatisation, militarisation and "Fortress Europe"
policies are so threatening that governments want to silence these
alternative voices."

Polish activists associated with the Alternative Economic Forum say
that Warsaw has been turned into a "no-go" area by the police, with
harassment of organisers, prevention of leafletting, the closure of
venues and targetting of "foreign" protestors from other European Union
states. Irish activists were quick to draw the parallel with what they
say are similar heavy-handed Garda tactics in the run-up to May Day.

The Polish and Irish events both stress positive alternatives to the
existing direction of EU policy, and form part of a global movement of
opposition to neo-liberal economic policies, the increased
militarisation of world politics, and state attacks on the right of
asylum. Cox said, "The true European heritage is one of struggles for
social justice and the right to dissent. Our May Day events are part of
the real Europe, along with the events in Milan, Barcelona and Warsaw."

Dublin Grassroots Network
April 28th


Aileen O'Carroll 087-2820906
Laurence Cox 087-9851029
Liz Curry 086-8410666
Mark Malone 087-7776595

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