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(en) Ireland: Mayday court appearances - a report

From "Andrew" <andrew@flag.blackened.net>
Date Fri, 17 Sep 2004 11:06:52 +0200 (CEST)

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The Word from no. 46 - the Security Cut 15th September 2004
It was with a certain amount of reluctance that I dragged my snot filled
unemployed head from the pillow in order to cycle down to the courts to watch
the massive steam roller of justice crank into slow action. I got there early,
the clock on the wall read 10.15 and only myself and four worried looking
mothers sat in the public gallery. On the way into court 46 I noticed young
cops with manila folders tucked under their arms swap jokes and get their
stories straight for the judge later on. This appears to me to be the way the
State prepares its cases.

I was there to witness what might happen to the four may day 2004 defendants
that were up in front of the judge today.

The court began to fill up fairly rapidly and it was crammed by the time the
Judge herself appeared. A young fresh faced cop snapped his fingers glared
viciously at a young Portuguese couple who were very nervous and hadn't risen
when the Judge appeared in the court.

One of the mayday defendants informed me that the state was going to introduce
52 x 3hr video tapes as evidence against him. The boys in blue were also going
to look for more money in order to go though the tapes. 156 hours video footage
and four defendants before the court today on
public order charges arising from the incidents at the Ashtown roundabout on
the 'night in question.' I am no legal expert but I should imagine that the
majority of this footage is inadmissible given that it will not feature any of
the defendants.

The legal counsel (legal aid) had said that two other mayday defendants had
pleaded guilty rather than go though the whole rigmarole of getting their cases
heard. I got the impression that she would rather everyone pleads guilty and we
could all go home and 'have done with it.' That again
is only a personal opinion.

The mayday cases were not heard until very near the end of the first calling.
Before that we had the usual parade of cases against property which the
district court usually concerns itself with. Some woman was up on charges of
helping herself to 153 Euro of Tesco's goods in a fit of proletarian shopping.
Some guy called Maxim was in court for some charge but appeared to have two
names and thus took on the glamorous appearance of being an international
criminal. About 6 bench warrants were issued for people who hadn't bothered to
turn up for their big day in court 46. Only one case was actually dealt with
whilst most of them were put forward for another date.

When the cases of four mayday cases were heard by the Judge, she decided that a
time period of six months would be sufficient to view the video evidence. So
all the cases have been referred back to the same court for hearing on the 21st
March 2005. In the meantime all of the defendants have to continue to sign on
in the local cop shops. The state doesn't appear to want to bother preparing a
case, instead the tactic appears to bombard the lads with evidence in the hope
that they will not bother protesting their innocence, and instead enter a plea.
This is very typical in cases like this which are overly political, they drag
on the proceedings so as to make the defendant's life a misery, and inevitably
when the case is finally heard there is nothing to answer for.

Video evidence will show cops beating people up whilst they shout 'Peaceful
protest' and are getting doused with water from a cannon. Everyone should go
and see our justice system in action, it appears to punish those who are
presumed guilty, before sentence is passed, especially anyone who had the
courage to stand up to the state and go on a 'banned march.' Now we can all
look forward to 156 hour security forces cut of those days events.

by Dermo

This article was first posted to indymedia.ie where you can read and make
comments on it. http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=66590

[A Personal report from a member of the anarchist Workers Solidarity Movement, these reports are
posted to the Ainriail list when first written]

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