Dublin in Lockdown this lunch time

Contrary to much reports of “normalisation” and “business as usual” Dublin city center has all the hallmarks of a mailitarised zone, with the level of policing and the restrictions of freedom of movement and personal integrity normally associated with Summit mobilisations and proper police state. In fact the only injuries sustained seem to be a woman struck by a speeding police car at the Daíl earlier today, and was taken to James Hospital suffering head and leg injuries.

People are being forced to submit to bag and personal body searches, as well as stopped for being walking freely across the city with most police officers unable to give minimal information never mind stand under what legislation people are being stopped.

Along Abbey street and most of its fedders streets people are being coralled through metal cages and having their personal possession searched, asked where they are going and all without the slightest reference to the law

Luas as well as most street of O Connnell Street blocked off this lunch time. This is what "normalisation" looks like

Its a situation that has seen many people unable to get back to work after lunch.

Heres some of footage i took this lunch time

There was a sizeable number at demonstrations earlier today, with about around 300 congregating at junction of Parnell Street and Parnell Sq West. IN what was a noisy yet non confrontational demo, it was clear both the organisers and police had best foot forward. Both eirigi and police seemed to realise that images of confrontation would not be profitable for either. Even though there was never any suggestion that eirigi had planned a confrontational demo, there is no love lost and police have no usually been so constrained in wading in.

The was a noticeable presence of people who suffer the rough end of criminal justice system in Ireland. Fellow anarchist Andrew F has written quite extensively about the ‘Love Ulster’ riot in Dublin 2008 about how people who are not involved in any political organisations come out on their streets in situation like today. Hes worth quoting extensively as there seems to be a lot of class bashing going on on different forums

The people who took part in the rioting were largely drawn from the urban poor, mostly disenfranchised young men from impoverished estates around Dublin, people who normally have no political voice whatsoever, people who rarely vote, who are disorganised, who live in communities that have been ravaged by poverty and drug and alcohol abuse, people who many of those who live lives of privilege and relative comfort write off as ‘scumbags’ or whom the Marxists describe as ‘lumpen’. Although these people are generally seen as apolitical and disinterested in politics, this is not entirely true. Many of them have a deep and abiding sense of identity which is derived from their nationalism or patriotism. As my friend said to me, he is constantly amazed at the number of young men from impoverished communities who sport tricolour or pro-IRA tattoos, despite the fact that they have no political involvement in any of the Republican or Nationalist organizations.

This sense of identity is expressed in various ways in addition to the tattoos – from the houses and flats decked out in green bunting during the world cup, to the well known ‘bar stool republicanism’ and popularity of nationalist songs in the bars where the poor drink, to the widespread and passionate support for Glasgow Celtic Football Club among the poor and disenfranchised. An instinctive nationalism and a strong sense of identity for their own community is the real political expression of the urban poor in Dublin.

At the risk of generalising many people from this background where around today, and they will not be kept quiet, or forced to be silent for much longer. While people will condem the smalls bits of litter throwing and confrontation with police at Dorset Street the reality is there are thousands in this city with fuck all to lose and willing to kick back at the official face of the state that has shat on these communities when it turns up in their streets in riot gear. I wrote about this a bit here

Some footage about 5 today

Some footage from Dorset Street as people within local community lash back at heavy policing. Its hardly surprising that people in working class communities that where the first to be attacked with cuts in services and programmes, and for a long time have had pretty bad relationships with a police force, occasionally find ways to fight back, even if it – just like the queens visit we are told- is symbolic

Some more street confrontations. Whats notable is that as much as the mainstream media pushes a narrative of small organised republican groups, its clear from the video that this is not a top down run confrontation. Well on the police side it is, but it seems that this is people organising themselves and being pissed with the cops in riot gear. There is also clear that its the riot cops are the targets not other police present in ordinary copper attire.

This footage is a case book example of how a demo organised by a political group can quickly escalate into confrontation when the riot police are brought into the situation. We can see clear heavy handed tactic twords the end where young women are arrested with one woman having at least three heavy riot cops kneel on her. A master class in how using riot cops to police a political demonstration in working class areas  in timeslike we are in inevitably turns into class conflict on the street between people and the state. Particulalry grim towards the end, cops dont go for republican hardmen but young local women

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6 thoughts on “Dublin in Lockdown this lunch time

  1. Interesting piece, loving the footage. Stop and search is “business as usual” in Dublin these days, huh? A bit mental, I must say. If this kind of police presence can be created for a state visit, I’m wondering how the “lack of resources” excuse is still being bandied around when talking about tackling organised crime?

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  2. Quote: “While people will condem the smalls bits of litter throwing and confrontation with police at Dorset Street…”

    Technically correct, you fail to mention that the litter was on fire, in a wheelie bin.

    The “protesters” yesterday were not disenfranchised working class heroes as you seem to want to think. They were bored troublemaking thugs with no particular point to make.

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    • Hi HeebyGeeby

      I got that footage after the post was written, hadnt been updated but cheers for flagging that.

      In terms of terms like “heroes” or “thugs” I avoided using either. Im sure boredom plays a significant part in most peoples lives so im not sure how its has a special resonance here. I would argue that many of the people involved are as you describe “disenfranchised working class”. Im not a dogmatic Marxist in my understanding of class, but neither am i a tabloid simplist (both have lots in common)

      Can you explain how you come to the conclusion that people in the video are not “disenfranchised working class”. In these times, with macro policy dictated by IMF and ECB I argue that nearly all of us are, just cant acknowledge it yet. Most people, understandably given the dogmatic use of the term by both the left and right, see “working class” as a thing, a static social position to be escaped from or a term of abuse. Our recently developed self described middle class are finding out their lives are as precarious, if less vicious in scale as anyone elses

      Cheers for the comment

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  3. Re. the “heroes” or “thugs” thing (my words not yours), I can’t accept that an assumption can be made that anyone who protests against the establishment is:
    a: Working class, b. Disenfranchised and therefore deserving of sympathy.

    I do agree, most of us are working class and I don’t think you stop being working class if you’re unfortunate enough to lose your job. I also accept that there are those who have no intention of working, so long as dole payments keep coming.

    Calling a spade a spade here, you have to accept that there are people out there who simply want to have a fight, to cause trouble, to hurt people. Some of the lads in the videos above, I would guess half the total number of “protesters” yesterday, were just that.
    You shouldn’t assume anything about such people and nor should I, nor should we tolerate them.

    I also thought the Gardai were extremely well disciplined, not something I’d credit them with lightly.

    The woman with three riot cops kneeling on her, I couldn’t see what came before that, perhaps it would help paint the full picture.

    Final point, civil liberty re. bag searches, I don’t know the law on this either but the lines all become understandably blurred when IED’s are being discovered in buses (real) and parks (hoax). I’d rather have my bag searched than be standing next to someone who didn’t.

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    • Very insightful class bashing there.
      But do you not think its time you shared some of that Maturity the nation is talking about and Moved On 🙂

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