By Thomas Lynch

The arrests of seventeen peaceful protesters so far this week which begun with the arrest of four political activists on Monday as nothing more than an attempt by the Government to smoke screen the real reason behind their actions.

The arrival of representatives of the Greek Government in Ireland on Sunday and their intentions to meet anti-austerity elected representatives on Monday afternoon is the real reason political policing kicked off on Monday morning.

It is no coincidence that some of those who were due to participate in meetings with Greek representatives were lifted and brought to Garda stations at 7 am on Monday morning which then prevented any of those meetings taking place indeed the political policing begun on Sunday as soon as the Greek representatives arrived as they were tailed by Garda special branch.

There is absolutely no doubt the government ordered the Gardai to hold back from making any arrests into investigations connected with Joan Burton been allegedly false imprisoned in her car in Jobstown late last year, they were instructed to make no arrests until the time is right and in the Governments favour. Why else would the Gardai wait over three months?

Prior to the arrests on Monday morning the Irish government turned down a request by the Greece government to support them in an attempt to renegotiate the terms of their country’s bailout. Our government did not want to upset their masters in Brussels. The Irish government’s reply was simple, follow Ireland’s lead and implement austerity however with high profile meetings due to take place with anti austerity groups in Ireland the Irish government needed to prevent any embarrassment to them so their actions were swift and arrests under the guise of the Joan Burton investigation were ordered.

Many including some in media circles immediately seen the move as political policing and by arresting a member of republican group Eirigi who are a legitimate political party it was also an attempt to criminalise those in custody. It didn’t take long before RTE’s Joe Duffy Show was linking Eirigi with a commemoration for two IRA Volunteers who died in a premature explosion in the troubles in the North of Ireland.

When the government realised on Monday afternoon that the whole fiasco had begun to back fire they immediately ordered the arrest of many more peaceful water charge protesters in an attempt to cover up their political policing. Although the government will deny any hand act or part in the arrests it became clear on Monday night that more arrests were inevitable with the leaking to the media that up to forty more arrests were to follow. This was to move the spot light in a different direction.

The government with the assistance of the media are now trying to justify the arrests by saying all types of alleged criminality must be investigated including the alleged imprisonment of Joan Burton. Even to say such a thing is now an attempt to criminalise peaceful water charge protests.

A sinister development has occurred on Wednesday when it seems that loyalist Willie Frazer and his bigoted “LOVE ULSTER” march has got the green light to march down O’Connell Street next month. Given the trouble that occurred the last time round you would have to question why they are been allowed to march?
There is no question if trouble starts but when it starts will the the government use the trouble as an excuse to try and ban further marches in the capital with the excuse of lost revenue for the retailers. Dirty tricks have always been a tool of any government against opposition and we have witnessed many this week.

Let the people call for an end to political policing of peaceful water charge protesters. We call on the government to bring an end to the harassment of the people of Ireland and abolish the water charges once and for all and to step down from government and give its people the democratic right to elect a government who will work for the people instead of attacking them.