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(en) Workers Solidarity #78 - (no) law for the rich

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 8 Nov 2003 12:12:00 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
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The last months in Dublin have seen the jailing of ordinary working
class people for protesting against the bin tax. A tax whose
introduction was not only opposed by most people but which tens of
thousands are refusing to pay.
In the spring of this year more then five people were held in jail for
periods because they had protested against the US military using
Shannon airport http://struggle.ws/wsm/shannon.html
to refuel en route to the Iraq war. http://struggle.ws/wsm/imperialism.html
Opinion polls at the time showed the vast majority of people opposed this
war and this refuelling.

Charles Haughey, Ray Burke and Michael Lowry never saw the inside
of a prison cell. These were all politicians who specialised in taking
cash from their rich friends, salting millions away at the expense of
the working class. On the other hand, Liam Lawlor eventually saw the
inside of Mountjoy but only after months of defying the High Court,
and then one week at a time.. Unlike the bin tax protesters he was
allowed to bring his mobile phone and his laptop with him,

In 1989 Dermot Desmond signed a letter from NCB to Pernod Ricard
justifying the two million fees he was charging them because "We
orchestrated entirely the successful campaign to get a positive tax
opinion from the Revenue Commissioners which involved using
personal contacts at the highest level, including the Minister for
Finance and the Secretaries of the Department of the Taoiseach and
Department of Industry and Commerce".

A more farcical example was revealed at the Mahon tribunal the very
week the High Court was busy jailing bin tax protesters. Liam Lawlor
was given 40 grand by a builder to get the postal area of a new
development changed from Clondalken to Lucan. Then to rub the point
home it was revealed that Judge Mahon himself had forgotten to
declare some of his earnings to the revenue.

Except for Lawlor nobody spent a day in jail as a result of any of the
above. Nor have Fianna Fail TD's GV Wright or Michael Collins. A
few years back John Lonergan, the governor of Dublin's Mountjoy
prison, admitted that 50% of the prison population come from a few
deprived areas of Dublin. He didn't reveal how many were millionaires,
but 0 would be a safe bet.

This is not so much a case of one law for the rich - one law for the
poor, it's more a case of some laws only being applied to the poor. The
corrupt politicians, Judges and their friends in big business ride
roughshod over the law and fleece the country for millions and get
away with it. The law exists primarly to protect the interests of the
rich, so only the poor can be punished for breaking the laws if they
have the temerity to stand up against injustice.

It's hard to draw any other conclusion but that the entire legal system
from Gardai to High Court exists to protect the interests of the rich by
keeping ordinary workers and the poor down. Stand in front of a bin
truck and they may well jail you. Pocket millions, some of which would
have otherwise gone to health or education, and they will ask you over
for dinner.

For more information see The campaigns against the Bin charges

This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity'. http://struggle.ws/wsm/paper.html
We also provide PDF files of all our publications
for you to print out and distribute locally
Print out the PDF file of this issue
Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue

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