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Subject: SchNEWS Issue 354 Friday 10th May
Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 22:37:17 +0100

RTS party report - Dublin, Ireland


On May Bank holiday Irish activists held the biggest yet Reclaim the Streets party in Dublin, turning much of the city centre into a traffic-free party zone. That is until the thugs-in-blueTM put 24 people in hospital and arrested another 20, after repeated baton charges on a peaceful crowd. The protest started with a Critical Mass, which after causing chaos for 2 hours, met up with the mass of party people at the pre-arranged point. Here crowd barriers were d-locked together across the street to prevent the cops from following the now 1000+ carnival to the final destination. Two sound systems quickly set up and were joined by a samba band.

At 4.30pm RTS activists pushed a broken down car, which they had bought and stashed nearby, into the party. This was the cue for the pigs to steam in, batons drawn, but as they pushed people back someone threw a flare into the car, filling it with pink smoke and sending the pigs into a right tizzy. Lashing out with their batons they repeatedly beat one man while he was on the floor, attacked another who was on crutches and arrested people from Ireland Indymedia who were filming what was going on. Even a photographer from the Irish Independent was nicked after he refused to hand over his camera, while others from the corporate press had the batteries taken out of their cameras rendering them useless.

After a tense stand off, the crowd and a sound system moved off with the cops baton charging them and making more arrests, including on one occasion a man who had nothing to do with the protest and was just walking past. Further up the road riot vans drove at high speed at the front of the demo and tooled up cops charged into the crowd smashing skulls and beating people while they were on the floor. One youngster, who eyewitnesses put at about 14, was attacked by five thugs-in-blueTM leaving him with a cracked skull. At 9pm more people gathered at Pearce St. police station to protest at the brutality and in solidarity with those inside.

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