Friends of Jobstown

Ricky tomlinson, actor (The royle family)

Brothers and Sisters,

40 years ago myself and Dessie Warren were sentenced to 2 years and 3 years in jail.

We were guilty for organising building workers; we were guilty for organising for better pay and for better health and safety; but most of all we were guilty of saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Working conditions on building sites were second only to coal mines for fatalities and serious injuries. Facilities were non existent, no toilets or wash basins. Pay was terrible £20 per week for a skilled worker and £17 for labourers, this for a 40 hour week.

Me and Dessie organised workers to strike, we organised workers for better pay and conditions and we won! But the bosses and the Tories came after us and used the law to punish us and to punish other building workers - but we stood strong.

It is an absolute insult to find that a politician trapped in the comfort of (a) car is deemed to be in prison. As Jim Royle would say - "Imprisonment my arse!"

Dublin is a great city - Liverpool is a great city - but solidarity and unity of the working class is the most important.

I want to send greetings to the people of Jobstown for standing up against water charges - it is better to break the law than to break the poor.

You'll Never Walk Alone,

Ricky Tomlinson.

Noam chomsky, LINGUIST AND PHILOSOPHER

I stand in solidarity with the #JobstownNotGuilty campaign, and call for all the charges against protesters to be dropped....

These convictions would have the effect of criminalising protest and sending a chilling message to all those who would seek to protest in the coming years.

eamon dunphy, BROADCASTER AND FORMER FOOTBALLER

This is the criminalising of political protest.

That's particularly bad in the case of a boy, a kid, 15 years old at the time.

It looks like political policing and it's alien to democracy anywhere, particularly in Ireland.

There are lots of people you'd think of giving a criminal record to before you go for a kid like that, bankers for example

YANIS VAROUFAKIS, FORMER GREEK MINISTER OF FINANCE

His video of support is linked here via Facebook.


JEAN-LUC MÉLENCHON, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (LEFT PARTY)

Like other representatives of the Left throughout Europe, we do not believe that protest is a crime.

In different countries, we have seen movements of people against austerity and they have been met with attacks on their democratic rights.

We believe it is essential to remain united since an injury to one is an injury to all.


PADDY HILL, birmingham 6

As someone who is an expert in what being falsely imprisoned is I can say this was not false imprisonment.

This was a community exerting its democratic right to oppose an unjust policy.

A right that we should all be proud to defend.

don baker, singer/songwriter/musician

It is immoral to say the least that eighteen people should be charged with false imprisonment over a protest in Jobstown against water charges and austerity.

Ms Burton being stuck in her car was not premeditated or planned. It was a manifestation of a legal demonstration. No-one thought they were breaking the law.

It was a legal protest with people expressing their grievances in a democratic and lawful fashion. Mrs. Burton was in the wrong place at the wrong time and no-one is to blame for that except herself.

We cannot stand by and let these eighteen people be convicted for using their democratic right to protest.

If we do we are paving the way for totalitarianism and giving the Government the go ahead to behave with sheer arrogance.

END

ANGELA DAVIS, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST

Legendary feminist, civil rights activist, and associate of the Black Panthers, Ms. Davis sends her support to #jobstownnotguilty.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN, AUTHOR AND PALESTINIAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

Norman is an author and defender of Palestinians against the systemic attacks of the Israeli State

Often these attacks are achieved through authoritarian laws and massive clampdowns on democratic rights.

Norman has been blacklisted from teaching in US universities because of his political beliefs.

He has heard about the Irish states use of False Imprisonment laws (ie kidnapping) against protesters and has sent his support to #jobstownnotguilty

UNITE TRADE UNION CONSTRUCTION Branch

Members of Unite trade union construction branch presented a donation to members of the #JobstownnotGuilty campaign as they prepared to enter the courts for a pre-trial hearing.

#JobstownnotGuilty said that they intend to launch a massive, nationwide, public campaign of information and protests to defend the right to protest ahead of the first trial of seven defendants due to begin in April.

Tom Fitzgerald, the union’s regional officer for construction said “Unite stands in solidarity with the defendants who are facing serious charges because of the Jobstown protest in 2014.

“Sit down protests have been used by workers and trade unionists across the world. If protestors who engage in a sit-down protest are convicted of ‘kidnapping’, it will represent a major attack on the right to protest.

“Trade unionists, workers and community activists should all be concerned about this case and should show solidarity with the campaign. If the courts rule against them it will mean that protest has been criminalised and will be a setback for the workers’ movement.”

labour party northern ireland

This AGM will send a message of solidarity to all citizens in the Republic of Ireland who are being prosecuted for protesting at Jobstown, against the imposition of water charges.

The LPNI will not stand by as 18 people face conviction for using their democratic right to protest.

Protest is not a crime and increasingly we see, as the democratic sphere narrows, citizens’ only option to have their voice heard is through standing collectively in defence of their rights.

We call for all charges in this case to be dropped and we affirm the call JOBSTOWN NOT GUILTY.

The BOGMAN'S CANNON, IRISH WRITERS AND ARTISTS

The Bogman's Cannon has called on Irish writers and artists to support the #JobstownNotGuilty campaign.

Frankie Gaffney, author (Dublin Seven)

In an era where white collar criminals who steal millions and destroy the economy meet gardai by appointment with their team of solicitors, a 16 year old had 10 gardai bang on his door and arrest him before school over a protest at which nobody was even injured.

There is no longer a single accountant in this state dedicated to tackling crime in the banking and financial services sectors, yet 20 gardai were assigned to collect evidence against people from one of the most disadvantaged areas in the country for engaging in the type of protest that Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and many senior members of the Labour Party employed in the past.

This is an unprecedented attack on the right to protest. Civil disobedience is our last line of defence against being further defrauded by this corrupt state. If civil disobedience is criminalised the average citizen has no protection against whatever the state wants to do to them.

These people are facing an attack from the full force of the state, we all need to support them as they courageously resist this sinister development, because they are doing this on behalf of every citizen.

Read more solidarity messages here.

4522_001.pdf

Belgian trade unionists WRITING TO THE TÁINISTE


Jo Coulier, President ACOD (Teacher's union) in a personal capactity. (PDF)

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Dear Tanaiste and Minister Fitzgerald,

I am a union secretary in the biggest union in Belgium (ACV) and I have become aware of the conviction of a 17 year school student for false imprisonment of former Tanaiste Joan Burton TD. We believe that this conviction and the fact that a further 18 people face trial next year relating protesting against water charges in the Jobstown community in Tallaght, Dublin is a disgraceful miscarriage of justice.

Sit down protests that delay politicians are a part of the fabric of democratic rights that people have won over many years. It is a very serious infringement of the right to protest that the Irish State and judicial system are pursuing these case, 'a recipe for totalitarianism' as the school students barrister called it and a criminalisation of protest and working class communities.

That people could face long prison sentences and that a democratically elected parliamentarian could be removed from parliament is outrageous. I demand that the conviction of the 17 year old be overturned and that the charges against the 18 adults are dropped immediately.

I will bring this matter to the attention of every union leader in Belgium and beyond.


Tina De Greef

vakbondssecretaris LBC-NVK

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Dear Tanaiste and Minister Fitzgerald,

I have become aware of the conviction of a 17 year school student for false imprisonment of former Tanaiste Joan Burton TD. We believe that this conviction and the fact that a further 18 people face trial next year relating protesting against water charges in the Jobstown community in Tallaght, Dublin is a disgraceful miscarriage of justice.

Sit down protests that delay politicians are a part of the fabric of democratic rights that people have won over many years. It is a very serious infringement of the right to protest that the Irish State and judicial system are pursuing these case, "a recipe for totalitarianism" as the school students barrister called it and a criminalisation of protest and working class communities.

That people could face long prison sentences and that a democratically elected parliamentarian could be removed from parliament is outrageous. I demand that the conviction of the 17 year old be overturned and that the charges against the 18 adults are dropped immediately.


Michael Bouchez

Teacher

Belgium

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20161204 Jobstown solidarity.pdf

HALDANE SOCIETY OF SOCIALIsT LAWYERS

Russell Fraser, Chair of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers signed this letter of solidarity. (PDF)