Nationwide Demonstrations Planned At Police Stations Across Ireland.

Nationwide Demonstrations Planned At Police Stations Across Ireland.

A national mobilisation against police corruption is underway as part of the public response to recent uncovering of systemic abuses within An Garda Siochana, the Irish police force.

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People have responded to an initial call to show solidarity with Maurice McCabe and his family by organising vigils and protests at police stations across the country, all timed to coincide at 6pm on Saturday 18th February.

Protests have been called so far at the following police stations

Tallaght, Dublin

Trim, County Meath

Mill Street, County Galway

Coolock, County Dublin

Anglesea Street, Cork

Carlow town, County Carlow

Rathmines, Dublin

Ennis Road, Kilrush, County Galway

Clontarf,  County Dublin

Dominic Street, Kilkenny

Castlebar, County Mayo

Kevin Street, Dublin

Finglas, Dublin

Roscommon, Country Roscommon

Letterkenny, County Donegal

Cobh, County Cork

Monaghan, County Monaghan

What is striking is that this is decentralised call, outside any traditional political party. Looking at the events organised, they range from holding candle vigils in direct support of Maurice McCabe and family, to call for the protection of whistle-blowers and more explicitly political calls to end political policing around political dissent in communities.

The national mobilisations across the country in recent years, specifically around community resistance to water meter installation has lead to an increase public understanding of what political policing can and does look like.

Facebook groups have been popping up over the last few hours so the list above will quickly be out of date.

On one of the coordinating pages this map have been pasted showing garda stations across the country. Given how quickly this demonstrations of public solidarity are popping, we are likely to see a quite a significant turn out across the country on Saturday.

 

#Spycops: Metropolitan Police Apologise To US Citizen Targeted By British Undercover In Ireland

Sarah Hampton is a US citizen who met Mark Kennedy whilst on holiday in Ireland in 2005.

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She subsequently went onto have a one year relationship with the officer without any idea of his true identity. Mark Kennedy was a British undercover police officer working in Ireland as a member National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

On the 3rd February 2017 the Metropolitan Police issued a full apology to Miss Hampton acknowledging the pain and stress she has endured as the result of the deceitful relationship.

Miss Hampton is unable to attend the press conference being held today at 11am at Buswells in Dublin, but has issued this statement:

Love is one of the most sacred things we have in our society and I fell in love with Mark Stone. He was supportive, attentive and generous, he behaved like he was in love with me. It tortures me knowing he was paid to be with me and because it was such a loving relationship, it was so devastating to find out it was all a lie.

I have wondered so many times if his superiors have kids; what would they think if their daughters were preyed upon like this? I have so much anger inside about this crime against me and it is only exacerbated by the fact that a government institution that is there to protect me is responsible. How do you trust men after this? How do you trust government?

Finding out that Mark was an undercover police officer brought about a deep depression that seemed impossible to navigate, there were times I almost gave up completely. The process of seeking justice on this case has felt at times belittling, intimidating and downright scary. I didn’t know how was I going to stand up to the Metropolitan Police Force. I felt I had been raped, I never consented to sleeping with a police officer.

I kept on fighting the case, using my life as an example of what should never happen to anyone.

No one should ever be under any circumstance coerced, invaded, violated and deceived by an undercover police officer through sexual relationships. Despite the apology I have many unanswered questions. I have not received the files the police have on me. I want to know to what extent my private life has been invaded by the UK police force and what justification is there for it?

Who gave permission for a British undercover officer to form and have

a relationship with a US national in Ireland, in the UK, in Scotland and in Spain?

The police have now apologised to me, saying that the relationship between Mark Kennedy and I was wrong, deceitful, manipulative and abusive, that it should never have happened. That it was an abuse of police power and a violation of my human rights

It is our responsibility now to make sure that this never happens again. We are continuing to fight for the truth to be revealed in the undercover policing inquiry, but it is currently only looking at events in England and Wales. My experience shows that the inquiry must be extended to include in Scotland, Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and other countries where we know Mark Kennedy and many other undercover police officers were active.

The Police and government are supposed to be here to serve the people and they need to be held responsible when negligent and violating human rights.”

Keep up to date with the campaign against police surveillance  http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/

Martin McGuinness’ Resignation Letter

Sinn Fein have just announced Martin McGuiness is to resign as Deputy First Minister  at 5pm todayin response to DUP’s Arlene Foster “clear conflict of interest” in the RHI heating subsidy scandal. Here’s his resignation letter.

 

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sourced from BBC’s Mark Davenport  https://twitter.com/markdevenport

British #SpyCops in Ireland: What is @FitzgeraldFrncs covering up? An interview with Jason Kirkpatrick

I spoke to Jason Kirkpatrick targeted by British undercover police across several countries including Germany, N Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. The officer was Mark Kennedy attached to the UK’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU.) Kennedy operated in many European countries including several deployments to Ireland.

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Jason Kirkpatrick wants Irish Dept of Justice to explain role of British undercover police spying on him in Ireland

The NPOIU is a political policing unit set up to illicitly disrupt political networks social movements and family campaigns challenging abuses by the police.

The unit was preceded by the Special Demonstrations Squad (SDS) set up in 1968 to infiltrate protest movements opposed to the US war in Vietnam.   Both units not only spied on political organisations and social movements, but on campaigns against police abuses and murder in the UK.

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Mark Kennedy, using the name Mark Stone, from the UK’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit, was deployed multiple times in Ireland. The Department of Justice and An Garda Siochana refuse to cooperate so far with Jason Kirkpatrick.

Jason is currently bringing legal cases in several jurisdictions with an aim of expanding the Pitchford Inquiry into the scope and nature of undercover policing set up by the current UK prime minister Teresa May. Currently this inquiry is limited to undercover policing in England and Wales. Jason and others are pushing to see this expanded to cover all areas that British undercover police targeted them.

It is understood that the NPOIU operated using contractual terms of agreements with several nation states/police units around the deployment of British officers from the unit in those states. It’s likely that some of the information held by the Irish police force includes such an agreement. It is also common practice for information fed back by British undercover police to their units is shared with the police force of the country they are operating in.

Currently the Irish state refuses to publish an existing report into Mark Kennedys deployments across Ireland, or who he was spying on and what information he has supplied to both the British and Irish states. Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald has called for another report from Commissioner O Sullivan, a move that should be understood as a stalling tactic to resist any transparency around some really dodgy policing

Full interview below

More info on the use of undercover police to spy and disrupt black justice movements can found at The Guardian here

RIA, Direct Provision and State Violence

Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.” 
― Simone Weil

A woman living in direct provision, who gave birth to her second child just three month ago, was served with an eviction order by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) from Mosney direct provision centre earlier this month. The eviction notice came days after the company running the centre refused to serve the woman food

This is letter she received. I’ve change the woman’s name for obvious reasons.

Bed Management Letter

Dear Jane ,

For operational and bed management reasons your present accommodation arrangements have had to be reviewed by the Reception and Intergration Agency. As a consequence it has been decided to transfer you to

Knockalisheen Accomodation Centre

Limerick Road

Meelick

Co. Clare

Your new accommodation will be available to you from Thursday 8th September, 2016”

Mosney RIA letter.png


Short and succinct, the letter itself was dated the 6th of September, just two days before RIA intended a forced removal. It’s signed by Killian J Morgan. There are many things striking about the letter. What jumps out immediately is the absence of any reference to either Jane’s three month old baby or year and a half old sibling

RIA does not outline any specific rationale, or detail any of the particulars why ‘accommodation arrangements’ needed to be reviewed in the first place. Nor does it outline what the process of review involved. Its a defacto decree with any means to official appeal.

It begs the question why was Jane was not given ANY information that might offer ANY grounds for understanding the basis of RIA intended eviction?

Sure, it’s dressed up in a sterile language less damaging to the sensitivities of Killian and other RIA bureaucrats. Who would lose sleep writing letters to evict people seeking refuge in Ireland were its just about “bed management”?

Yet it remains unmistakable. What we are reading – and what this letter is – is the exercise of arbitrary power over a family without the slightest attempt of providing any meaningful justification. It is the text book definition of authoritarianism. Written in a style and manner you would associate with long dead Soviet obfuscation.

At is core a threat issued by the state to someone seeking asylum in the state. That might seem melodramatic or perhaps challenging concept to some. However when you listen to the voices and experiences of people living or who have lived within direct provision you quickly find this is their understood reality. And a reality that is in no way lessened by ignoring it or pretending not to know.

 

So even on its own terms, this letter sent by RIA, is deeply problematic and reflects at the very least antipathy toward the circumstances of people living with direct provision. Many would argue that this antipathy, the lack of any sense of empathy, is itself rooted in institutional and state racism. I’d agree. Institutional and state racism is both the cause and response of direct provision.

However its gets worse. Much worse.

This letter sent by a government agency needs to be contextualised by earlier events in the Mosney Center. Jane spoke on Tuesday on Joe Duffy’s Liveline on RTE 1. Leaving aside Duffy’s tendencies to embrace people as victims but reject attempts to address structural causes, the two shows this week gave voices to the experiences of many people who live in direct provision. It was powerful, necessary and deeply uncomfortable listening.

Alongside those voices of were other voices from the ‘outside’ validating the experiences of people in direct provision. Former workers employed in direct provision centre spoke about persistent systemic degrading treatment on a daily basis. Of making people queue and beg for rationed toilet rolls. Of other employees refusing to give toiletries to individual adults, arguing one bottle of shower gel between three people in a room is sufficient.

Petty violence after petty violence, micro aggressions from management and employees as a tool of social control against people denied the basic anatomy to work for themselves and their families. Processes which cause genuine emotional traumas, depression and in some cases suicide.

This was posted on Facebook by MASI – Movement for Asylum Seekers In Ireland on 7th September.

Woman refused food in Mosney Accommodation Centre:

We have noted with concern the ill treatment of the mother of two babies (3 months and 1 and half year) in Mosney Centre. A woman who is also breast feeding was issued with a written letter stopping her from accessing food from the kitchen since the 29th August 2016, due to her behaviour according to the management. It’s been 10 full days now since the woman has been deliberately starved by the management. Apparently the management is punishing the poor lady just because she demanded one more burger. To make it worse the officials from RIA, the agency that controls these centres, on Wednesday the 7th September issued a letter forcing the lady to take a transfer to another centre in Limerick.

What kind of treatment is this that a woman with a three months baby, breastfeeding can be deprived food in a direct provision centre? How is she expected to survive? Even in prison when the inmates had a fight and are put in solitary confinement, they are given food at least to eat. This is just an example at how cruel and inhumane this system of direct provision is. The woman is currently under unreal stress with all what is happening to her and her children. At the same time she has to stay calm and focus for the sake of her two babies. We recently are still grieving from the loss of a woman who took her own life just two weeks ago. But we still have management who just don’t care about the welfare of women and children for that matter. Shame on you Mosney management, your heartless attitude is really shameful, we cannot sit back and watch you destroy yet another life. Sometimes punitive measures are not thee way to deal with such situations. This shows lack of capacity from all of those in charge.

In solidarity with the woman and the residents in Mosney, there will be a peaceful protest outside the Mosney centre on Thursday the 8th September 2016 at 11:00am. We call upon anyone who can make it to Mosney to go there and demonstrate peacefully until the management agrees to give food to this woman and don’t transfer her unwillingly to Limerick.”

I’ve spoken to several people close to the woman and other residents of Mosney. What’s clear is that the woman is breastfeeding her three month old and like many mothers is simply much hungrier than when not breastfeeding.

At this point its worth remembering how food ‘works’ in Direct Provision. Its commonly understood that people in DP receive to €19 odd a week. This is to cover clothes, travel, and everything you need to have a life. It’s also meant to cover private rental, should someone find a place to rent for what’s left of €19 after you bought everything else.

However on the receipt issued for the €19.10 received it states clearly that the payment is the normal payment an unemployed person would get, €188, but with a deduction taken at source that goes directly to the center owners.

So whilst successive governments present DP as a choice people can make – the line “we dont force people to live in DP centres” is common – the reality is people seeking asylum are forced to do precisely that. All the while awaiting a decision on their asylum claim, with a sense of suspension and insecurity and the real fear of being physically taken and forced onto an airplane to be brought back to a place they were fleeing.

At the end of April this year there were 4,400 people living in the direct provision system across 37 geographically disperse privately managed for-profit businesses.

 

Food is mass cooked for people, removing the dignity and pleasure of preparing dinner for yourself and family, friends or each other. And like toilet rolls and other toiletries, food is rationed -per individual – by companies. The type and forcefulness of rationing across direct provision as described by former workers, seems to be shaped by a few factors. Profit seeking of by centre owners and authoritarianism and control by centre management.

And so we get to situation were a breastfeeding mother, asks for an extra burger because she is hungry. This is hardly surprising as many women have commented online.

https://twitter.com/msleedy/status/773859682075238404

https://twitter.com/elliekisyombe1/status/773831650593611776

And in that moment of refusal the woman crossed the serving counter and took another burger for herself in order to have enough food to eat. She began giving more burgers out to other behind her. Like anyone in that situation, you can empathise why she was pretty pissed off and decided to sort this for herself and her kids.

Yet instead of reviewing how its rations food to hungry people, the centre chose to sanction the woman. Rather than address the fact its food rationing demonstrably didn’t provide the energy and nourishment she needed, the centre barred her from the kitchen.

This is the letter sent to Jane by Mosney Center management.

Mosney management letter.png

Before I address the letter have some interesting facts about Mosney

Mosney is owned and run by multimillionaire Phelim McCloskey. Last year his personal wealth was estimated at €46 million.

McCloskey is a donor to Fianna Fail. In 2008 the Irish Examiner reported that Mosney Holiday village donated €6,500 to the party that set up the direct provision system.

However on top of that 2008 donations statements furnished by Fianna Fail to SIPO showed that McCloskey donated a cheque for €5,500. So in 2008 alone McCloskey gave €12,000 to Fianna Fail.

In 2009, Mosney’s accounts showed a donation of €4,050 to Fianna Fail.

That worked out ok for McCloskey and the company as successive governments – mostly under Fianna Fail has given him back over €100 million in state contracts for running the Mosney centre.

And surprise surprise Phelim McCloskey sat on a RIA working group in 2008 whose sole purpose was to look at how to deal with “complaints and instances with the reception and accommodation centres.” The working groups sought to set out House Rules and Procedures. So McCloskey no only gets to profit from this inhumane system, he has been part of designing its implementation. No people actually living in the system have been afforded a seat at the governments table like this.

Mosney’s accounts have since been harder to find, since they moved offshore much like Google, Apple etc. The primary purpose for such moves is to avoid paying taxes. Taxes that would be due on profits arising directly from our taxes handed out to McCloskey in the first place. Handed out by the political organisations he helps fund. Pretty sweet huh?

That’s worth remembering the next time you hear someone say “we should look after our own first” Because that is precisely how the Irish state is run. Rich folks who fund the big political parties are looked after first before anyone else.

McCloskey has been given over €100 million to run centre housing people in the most precarious of positions, many fleeing political violence or religious or other forms of persecution. You would expect that there is at least some proper system of governance around management. The first question in RIA’s own inspection report of Mosney in 2015 ask if Mosney has *any* type of accepted Quality Management System. And the answer to that?

No. In Mosney there is no recognised quality management system.

And so we come back to the letters. One from a belligerent business seeking to punish a hungry mother. Another a shortly after from a state agency dishing out more punishment and without the slightest attempt at justification or process. Because its just “bed management”

This isn’t the first time RIA has used Kafkaesque language. A 2010 report “Without Rights or Recognition” from the Irish Refugee Council states

On 29th June 2010, 109 residents at Mosney, Julianstown, Co. Meath, an

accommodation centre within the ‘Direct Provision’ system, were issued with

letters requiring them to transfer to another place of temporary residence, Hatch Hall accommodation centre in Dublin. Residents, many of whom had made Mosney home for a number of years, were given one week to prepare themselves for departure. The reasoning cited for the transfers and the short period of notice was vague, with the Reception and Integration Agency invoking “operational and bed management reasons”

RIA should be recognised for what it is. It is a state agency that seeks to operate with absolute impunity and regularly makes threats to people who resist its bullying tactics.

The provision of services to you under the direct provision system runs in parallel to the consideration by other agencies of the State of your claim for international protection and/or humanitarian leave to remain.”

The above was contain in a letter to of the 109 those resisting movement from Mosney to centres with even worse conditions. The threat is implicit. You keep making noises about conditions or our ability to move you as we see fit, and we will screw your claims over.

Working with The Live Register in 2012 I interviewed Fonong Fevant. At that stage Fonong had been in direct provision for seven years. He had been waiting for three year for a High Court ruling on his status. Over that time he was moved to seven different centres around the country. He spoke about over that time people got moved for being “rude” because they wouldn’t beg to get toothpaste. The very act of speaking out about the conditions leads to management writing letter to RIA about individuals, and invariably RIA issues an eviction letter to them. At no point do people have any official input into this processes that see them moved at the whim of the system itself.

You can watch the interview with Fonong and others speaking out below bottom.

RIA impunity however is most definitely not absolute. Self organisation amongst people in the direct provision system and support and solidarity alongside is key to ensuring institutional racism is abolished. There is no place for profit seeking in the movement of people. It’s hypocritical to criticise two dimensional “traffickers” assisting and often exploiting people fleeing wars, yet be silent and passive when this state allows companies and owners to exploit those same people seeking refuge here. That’s simply bullshit.

There is no justification in allowing RIA to continue to threaten people at the whim of centre management.  The RIA, like direct provision, should be abolished. And the bureaucracy’s letter writers held to account.

Drowning Not Sailing.

My Indoor Voice

Last Week I listened to broadcaster Olivia O’Leary talk about her experience of depression at the age of 24 on RTE Radio. At about 10 minutes in, she said something that made me need to lie down. When she realised she needed help, Olivia contacted her sister who brought her to a “terrific psychiatrist” and here’s where I needed resuscitation:”he used to take me out sailing”… “and god we had great fun”. Olivia O’Leary went sailing with her psychiatrist. This sentence just about summed up my entire experience of growing up in Ireland. Aged 24 she got the best and most personal treatment available and she recovered.

Since the interview went out Olivia O’Leary has been lauded for her bravery and praised for raising awareness. You know the script. We’ve heard it a lot lately.  Beautiful, successful people are queueing up to tell us all about their struggles and how…

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“Love Must Prevail,” says Assange on the eve of Lauri Love’s court appearance

The Cryptosphere

Lauri Love screengrab from RT YouTube Lauri Love screengrab from RT YouTube

Lauri Love, the 31-year-old activist, Cambridge electrical enginnering student, Cryptosphere contributor, and alleged hacktivist, is in court once again in a few hours, continuing his fight against UK and US government overreach. This case? It’s personal. It’s political. And it is deeply problematic.

Lauri Love statement on Tuesday hearing, from Facebook Lauri Love statement on Tuesday hearing, from Facebook

In the statement from the Courage Foundation Love linked to is the following quote:

The UK is already one of the worst jurisdictions in the world in which to practice the basic human right to privacy, but it may be about to get even worse. In the case of Lauri Love, the National Crime Agency is making a grab for even more police powers. If it succeeds, anyone who uses encryption will be considered suspect under the law – a breathtaking reversal of the presumption of innocence. Lauri Love is fighting…

View original post 712 more words

PRESS RELEASE: ANTI- RACIST DAY OF ACTION COALITION

The following is a press release for the anti-racist mobilisation against racist organising in Ireland. Plse use the share buttons below.

The event page is here.

anti racism

On Saturday 6 February a small group of individuals will attempt to launch a dangerous and reactionary movement in Ireland. We are calling upon members of the public to gather outside the GPO from 13.30 in response to this development. We are asking people to join us in sending a peaceful, broad-based and unified message against fascism, organised racism, and the rise of anti-migrant sentiment. Our mobilisation on Saturdayis to voice our opposition to the launch of Pegida Ireland. This far-right anti-Islam group is part of a broader European campaign of hatred against migrants and ethnic and religious minorities.  In response, a European Day of Action has been called, consisting of a range of counter-demonstrations taking place across Europe against these racists and fascists.

 

Pegida is a pan-European far-right group. Originally established in Germany it soon developed into a network, appealing to all those who want to stop an alleged ‘Islamification’ of Europe.  The Pegida network leadership uses populist language, and combines an elitist and exclusive call for the protection of ‘our’ values, civilization and culture, with an appeal to the insecurities of working people whose jobs and public services are under attack not by migrants, but by governments. A notion of Europe under threat by migrants is thus presented, which often manifests itself in a racist, Islamophobic and at times outright fascist agenda.

 

In response to the arrival of this movement to Ireland, a broad coalition of organisations, networks and individuals have come together around the principles of anti-racism, social justice and equality. We represent a diverse range of ideologies and structures, but are united in our opposition to the disturbing rise of far-right extremism in European societies.  On this European Day of Action we wish to send a strong message that Ireland, and Europe, belong to all of the people who call them home.  

 

Mariya Ivancheva, a researcher at UCD, member of Attac Ireland, and organiser with this coalition, observed that “until recently, Ireland was one of the only countries in the continent where right-extreme organising and anti-migrant sentiments could not find fertile ground. This was no surprise, given the history of colonialism and forced migration which has made Irish people victims of exploitation and racism.”

 

Ms Ivancheva continued: “as a migrant who has received great welcome, I am appalled to see the rise of the xenophobic, racist, anti-migrant network of Pegida here. I am alerted that its violent language is now trying to find currency not only among Irish white supremacists and far-right sympathisers, but also among working people affected by the crisis. I hope the Irish have learned from history and will not allow this to happen.”

 

Ronit Lentin, a member of Anti-Racism Network Ireland, stated that “some will attempt to mask their xenophobia in ‘reasonable concerns’ about the compatibility between European values and Islam. However the idea that Islam itself should be opposed because it is an inherently alien culture that is incompatible with our own is – by definition – a xenophobic proposition.  Furthermore, given that Muslims are a minority in Europe that are more often than not victims of racism, the ‘Islamification’ that Pegida campaigns against is a figment of their own racist imagination. The real ‘threat’ to our values and society comes not from migrants and Muslims, but from far-right extremists and fascists.”

 

We are calling on those who cannot make the event, but wish to stand in solidarity with us against racism and all forms of extremism, to use social media messages in support with the hashtag: #NoPegida. We are fully intent on holding a family-friendly peaceful protest. Yet, we should all be watchful and vigilant regarding our own security and safety. Some of the people marching in support of Pegida come from organised racist and neo-Nazi networks, which do not shy away from violence against people who look or think differently than they do.

Supporting organisations (in alphabetical order):[1]

Anti Austerity Alliance

Akidwa Ireland

Africa Centre Dublin Ireland

Anti Racism Network Ireland

Attac Ireland

Autistic Rights Together

Conference of Religious in Ireland

Dialogue & Diversity

Dublin Calais Refugee Solidarity

Dublin City Centre Citizens Information Service

Doras Luimni

EDeNn

ENAR Ireland

Fight For Humanity

Gluaiseacht for Global Justice

Irish Anti-War Movement

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC)

Irish Refugee Council

Irish Missionary Union

Irish Traveller Movement

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland,

National Traveller Womens Forum

Show Racism the Red Card – Ireland

SARI – Sport Against Racism Ireland

SIPTU

Sinn Féin Ireland

The Platform

Pavee Point

People Before Profit

United Against Racism

 

[1] This is an expanding list, as we are continually receiving messages from groups wishing to express their support and solidarity with this cause