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(en) Ireland, Working Class Resistance* - Peace Activists Bound Over

From Organise Ireland <organiseireland@yahoo.ie>
Date Tue, 21 Sep 2004 23:05:51 +0200 (CEST)


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On Thursday 12th August 5 anti-war campaigners on
trial for their part in protests against George Bush’s
visit to Northern Ireland in April 2003 had their
Charges dropped. Two days had been set aside for the
contest in Belfast Magistrates Court but by lunchtime
on Thursday the 5 were popping champagne outside the court.
The charges were withdrawn on the basis that all 5 are
bound over to keep the peace for a period of 12 months
for £200. What this basically means is that should any
of us be convicted of any offence (particularly public
disorder) the court can apply to get £200 for breach
of the bond to keep the peace.

The main reason for the charges being dropped was that
the police had failed to put together an adequate
case. The defendants did not intend to contest the
'Blocking a Public Highway' (we blocked the road in a
show of outrage & to bring attention to the fact that
Bush, Blair & Ahern where hypocritically ‘talking to
us' about peace in Northern Ireland whilst waging war
in Iraq). We had all agreed to fight the 'Public
Disorder' & 'Resisting Arrest' charges & were in no
doubt that it was the PSNI's heavy handed actions that
were on trial not our own.

Although no witnesses were called & it was clear that
the Magistrate was in no way interested in the
political nature of the actions for which the
defendants where on trial the three defence barristers
stated to the court that this case was about actions
motivated by conscience & that each off the defendants
where trying to bring attention to a war that was not
only unjust but illegal in terms of international law.
The irony of binding over people on trial for their
actions against war to keep the peace seemed to be
lost on the Magistrate. One supporter quipped that
'binding peace activists to keep peace is like asking
a bear to keep honey'.

Whilst the 5 celebrated the case as a victory the real
point of the trial has not been forgotten, as they put
it:

“Untold death & destruction has been inflicted upon
the people of Iraq. The lives of real people have been
calculated as acceptable collateral damage as
politicians such as Bush & Blair play politics & smile
at the cameras. Binding orders, fines, prison
sentences or any other form of state repression will
not deter us from speaking out & taking action against
injustices such as the 'war' waged on the Iraqi
people.”


*******************************************************

>From the pages of Working Class Resistance, bulletin
of the anarchist group Organise!, now available in text and
PDF formats at:

http://www.organiseireland.org

To distribute in your area, contact Organise! at:

organiseireland@yahoo.ie

To receive WCR! in your inbox, send a blank email to:

workingclassresistance@yahoogroups.com


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