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Gardaí Accused of Political Censorship over Illegal Removal of Posters

12/05/11

Louise Minihanéirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan has accused the Gardaí of political censorship by illegally tearing down posters advertising protests against next week’s Elizabeth Windsor state visit. She said it was just the latest example of a determined effort by all arms of the state to impose political censorship and stifle protests during the upcoming visit by the British head of state.

This follows last week’s attempt by Dublin City Council to impose unprecedented restrictions on the erection of posters in Dublin city centre from May 15th to May 25th. Following éirígí’s challenge to that decision, the Council were forced to lift those restrictions, though council officials continue to direct to their staff that posters be removed.

Cllr Minihan said: “Last night a number of éirígí activists challenged Gardaí who were illegally tearing down posters in Dublin city centre advertising protests against the upcoming visit. According to a Garda Sergeant based at Store Street Garda Station, they had been instructed by their superior officers to take down such posters 'at this time' despite them being legally erected.

“This is not the first of this type of incident. On numerous occasions in recent weeks Gardaí have been observed doing likewise throughout the city. This is an outrageous abuse of police powers in matters that they have no role to play. Other posters not related to the protests were not interfered with by the Gardaí exposing the entirely political nature of their actions.

“This is just the latest example of the attempts by all arms of the state to impose political censorship and to hinder plans to organise protests against the upcoming visit. It is a direct attack on the right to freedom of political expression, the right to organise legitimate political activity and protests and the right to assembly.”

Cllr Minihan concluded: “This Sunday [May 15th] at 3pm, we would urge the people of Dublin and elsewhere to turn out in large numbers as éirígí establish an ‘Irish Freedom Camp’ at the Garden of Remembrance. The camp will stay in place until the arrival of the so-called 'British Queen' who is scheduled to visit the garden on Tuesday [May 17th]. If the numbers at the camp are large enough, the scheduled visit will have to be cancelled. We can let the world know that the British Commander-in-Chief is not welcome here in Dublin or any other part of Ireland.”

 

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