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(en) UK, The Wombles, Why we tried to push through police lines in Dublin Mayday 2004: Days of Action against the bosses' EU

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://www.wombles.org.uk/)
Date Fri, 28 May 2004 09:15:16 +0200 (CEST)

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We are some of the people who participated in the bloc that
pushed through the police lines on the demonstration to
Farmleigh. This bloc was not formed spontaneously. It came as a
result of a meeting the night before, called by both international
and Irish people planning to join the march who did not wish to
march under the guidelines issued by Dublin Grassroots Network.
We have no leaders and we reject authority. We believe it is
neither possible nor desirable to tell others how to behave on a
demonstration. We also reject the media division of
demonstrators into "violent" and "non-violent".

In a world where hundreds of thousands of people die every year due
to the economic policies of global capitalism, the discussion of
the “violence” of a push through police lines or property
damage on a demonstration becomes an irrelevance.

Violence comes from the state. Violence comes from a system
where profit takes priority over humanity. Our attempts to rise
above the attempted division of “good” and “bad”
protesters reflects the attitude of many of the discussions and
manifestations of the global anti-capitalist movement over the last
few years.

The consensus decision of the meeting was to form a bloc
without guidelines that would march together with our fellow
protesters from the Dublin Grassroots network to Farmleigh
House where the 25 leaders of Fortress Europe were meeting.

Demonstrations where people are herded from one place to
another, miles from where decisions are being taken, can be
ignored. We took our protest to Farmleigh House to directly
disrupt the gathering of the EU. We did not ask permission to do
this and we don’t need to.

We feel that it is appropriate on a weekend of demonstrations
against borders, to confront the lines of police creating a border
between ourselves and those who create the policies which result
in the deaths of thousands of desperate people on the borders of
Europe, and the internment of many more in detention centres.

The militarisation of Dublin to prepare for the summit is not
shocking. These 25 politicians have to meet behind these lines
because of the violence and poverty their policies create. It is right
that they should experience the same fear and look out onto the
same razor wire fences and military controls that face the
thousands of migrants and refugees forced to leave their homes.

Our intention was to reach Farmleigh and make our protest with
dignity. We knew we would have to face militarised police to do
this. We decided that we would not cause property damage and
we would not be an aggressive bloc or attack the police. However,
we decided not to turn and walk away as soon as police blocked
our path and not to allow ourselves or others to be attacked by the
police without offering resistance and self-defence of ourselves
and those around us.

We knew that not everyone who participated in the demonstration
would be aware of our meeting or in agreement with our
decisions and we did not seek to control the behaviour of others.

When the police formed a line to stop the demonstration at the
Ashton Gate roundabout the Dublin Grassroots Network stopped
their march 200 yards from the lines.

Some of us who wished to confront the decision to prevent our
protest from going ahead then calmly formed organised lines
behind a banner, locked arms and marched and pushed through
the first line of police. We did this to show that we will not be
intimidated by a show of force and we will not allow state violence
to silence us. Many of the people who stood and faced the police
were ordinary women and men from Dublin.

We would like to thank the solidarity of people, who despite their
decision to stop and not confront the police, nonetheless waited
for those who did, so that we would not become isolated, and so
we could march back to town, as one.

At anti-summit demonstrations around the world, States have
shown the extent of military force and violence they are prepared
to use against people who question and confront their
“democratic” regimes. On Saturday the actions of the riot
police using water cannons from the North of Ireland and baton
charges to attack a demonstration, making indiscriminate arrests
and refusing people bail for minor offences like breach of the
peace and trespass shows that the Irish state is no different.

Resist state violence
Our passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons!

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