Jobstown not guilty
What is #JobstownNotGuilty?
The defendants in the #JobstownNotGuilty trial have come together to build a campaign opposing the miscarriage of justice against the 17 year old, and that’s threatened against the other defendants.
We are asking trade unionists, community campaigns, students' unionists, civil liberties activists, public and political figures, and all those who favour the right to protest to take a public stance against injustice and support our campaign.
Why is this important?
A 17 year old school student has already been found guilty of false imprisonment – a verdict a barrister described as “a recipe for totalitarianism”.
This related to an anti water charges protest in Jobstown, Tallaght in Dublin on 15 November 2014, where then Tánaiste Joan Burton’s car was delayed for 2 and ½ hours by a spontaneous community protest.
The 18 adults now awaiting trial from April 2017 face sentences up to life imprisonment. The trials, which will be six to eight weeks long, themselves will place enormous stress and strain on the defendants. If jailed, families would be left in very difficult situations, with jobs lost and parents in prison. If TD Paul Murphy is jailed for more than six months, he will be removed as a TD, denying the democratic choice of the people of Dublin South West.
The political establishment and the supportive media are desperate to tarnish the anti water charges movement as a violent, anti-democratic mob. By grossly misrepresenting and using what happened in Jobstown they want to weaken our democratic rights and so make it easier to impose economic inequality.
The laws used to directly seize the Property Tax from wages or benefits as well the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) legislation used to rob the wages of pubic servants, show that this attack is real. The dirty smear campaign against Maurice McCabe by the Gardai tops, shows the lengths this rotten establishment are willing to go to shut down descent and opposition to the status quo.
The definition of ‘false imprisonment’ is being changed and this affects everyone. Any temporary delay or obstruction at a protest or picket, which for example inconveniences a politician, could be deemed false imprisonment. This is about intimidating people and criminalising protest.
15 November 2014
Spontaneous protest of hundreds of people against Joan Burton. Sit-down protest and slow march take place.
Dawn raids for two weeks with six, eight, or ten Gardai arresting protesters, including a 16 year old. Separately, four people jailed over water meter protest.
12 August 2015
RTE Crime Correspondent breaks story based on leaks from Gardai that protesters will be charged with false imprisonment of Joan Burton and her assistant.
28 August 2015
Existence of Operation Mizen, a Garda surveillance operation against anti-water charges protesters, including Paul Murphy, revealed.
14 September 2015
Summonses delivered by Gardai. #JobstownNotGuilty campaign formed at meeting of accused.
2 November 2015
Judge at District Court moves case to Circuit Criminal Court as prosecution is trying charges 'on indictment', which means maximum sentence of life in prison.
19 September 2016
Trial of 17 year old charged with false imprisonment commences.
26 October 2016
17 year old is found guilty of false imprisonment..
24 April 2017
First group of adult defendants' trial starts in the Circuit Criminal Court
29 June 2017
First group of adult defendants found not guilty by unanimous jury verdict.