This was one of the main demands shouted outside the Irish embassy in Stockholm during a protest lobby on Tuesday.
Free the bin tax two
Picket of Irish embassy in Sweden, letter of protest from Lisbon Council Workers’ Union, Left Bloc Deputies (Portugese parliament) protest letter to Irish embassy and French Left MEPs call for release of Joe and Clare.
International protests continue
“Clare, Joe, set them free; we don’t want no garbage fee!”
The picket was addressed by Gustav Fridolin, MP for the Green Party who said: “The arrest of Joe Higgins and Clare Daly is an arrest of democracy. Even though my sister party in Ireland doesn’t agree fully with the bin campaign, we strongly oppose the imprisonment”. Gustav Fridolin also promised a donation towards the legal costs of the anti-bin charge prisoners.
Other speakers included Sofia Marklund, national chairperson of Elevkampanjen/ISR and Peter Lahti from Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI).
In the upper class neighbourhood of the embassy, several local residents questioned our right to protest, but we asked them to complain to the embassy.
Other sponsors of the ‘Free Joe and Clare’ campaign in Sweden include so far:
- Jonas Brännberg, Liv Gustavsson Rhodin, councillors in Luleå for Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI)
- Jan Hägglund, Ingrid Eriksson, Yvonne Lantto, councillors in Umeå for Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI)
- Lena Ezelius, chairperson of Kommunal, Branch 36, Stockholm (Council workers’ union, with 8,000 members in the branch).
- Gudrun Åhslund, chairperson, Social Insurance Workers’ Union, Sundsvall
- Kent Sehlstedt, Chairman, Dockworkers’ Union, Holmsund branch
- Per-Olov Johansson, Anna Hedlund, Frank Pettersson, Andreas Bengtsson, Olof Kristmansson, Tobias Johansson – alternates for councillors and council subcommittee members, Umeå council
- Ulrika Edman, councillor, Left Party, Umeå
There will be more angry lobbies and many more signatories for the campaign as long as this affront to democracy continues.
Letter of protest from Lisbon Council Workers’ Union
To the Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D.,
It was with deep outrage that we, Lisbon Council Workers’ Union, received the news of the one-month jailing of. Mr. Joe Higgins, TD and Cllr. Clare Daly.
Their jailing has the main target of stopping the development of the anti Bin Tax Campaign. However the judicial decision is also a serious attack on the right to protest and a curtailing of the ability of Mr. Joe Higgins TD and Cllr. Clare Daly to carry out their mandates to defend the interests of their voters.
We believe that we are not wrong to say that, in this moment, Joe Higgins and Clare Daly are political prisoners.
Their jailing – and the other steps of strengthening the powers of the Gardai to arrest any resident who peacefully protests against the decision not to collect bins from those that refuse to pay an unjust tax – are an intolerable threat and menace against all who are actively opposed to any unjust measure.
Therefore we demand the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Joe Higgins, TD, Cllr. Mrs. Clare Daly and other anti-bin tax colleagues and an immediate end to all attempts to defeat the movement that in these three long years have been fighting against an unjust bin tax.
Yours on behalf of Lisbon Council Workers’ Union
Libério Domingues, President
Portuguese MPs condemn Dublin jailings
Three Deputies (Members) of the Portuguese Parliament, members of the Left Bloc sent the following message to the Irish Ambassador, on 29 September. Full translation added 3 October 2003. cwi online
From: Francisco Louçã, João Teixeira Lopes and Luís Fazenda.
Left Bloc members of Portuguese parliament
The jailing of Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins and Cllr Clare Daly for one month for their refusal to cease campaigning against the bin tax in Dublin is an attack on the right to protest against injustices.
Both of them were elected to the Dail and Fingal County Council respectively with a mandate to oppose the introduction of bin charges and to represent the thousands of families who are opposed to bin charges. Bin Charges are a form of double taxation.
We, members of the Portuguese parliament, elected by the Left Bloc, support the popular protest and show solidarity with Joe Higgins and Clare Daly.
Francisco Louçã, João Teixeira Lopes, Luís Fazenda
French Left MEPs call for activists’ release
Two members of the European Parliament, Alain Krivine and Roseline Vachetta, both members of the LCR in France, have called for the immediate release from prison of Joe Higgins TD and councillor Clare Daly.
La LCR (section française de la 4ième Internationale) et ses eurodéputés Alain Krivine et Roseline Vachetta apportent leur soutien à la campagne pour la libération immédiate de Joe Higgins et de Clare Daly ainsi qu’à la levée de toutes les sanctions les concernant.