Solidarity: Sweden protest against political policing in Ireland

"No more arrests"

"We just received news about the third day of morning raids and arrests in Ireland. This has to stop!" This message from councillors Mattias Bernhardsson and Lina Rigney Thörnblom, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden), reached the embassy of Ireland in Stockholm today.

The embassy is located in a part of the city where the employers’ federation, infamous venture capitalists and the likes have their headquarters. In the same building as the embassy, the notorious Lundin Oil is located.

Lina Rigney Thörnblom gave the main speech, reaching -passers by as well as the embassy.

"The protest against Tánaiste Joan Burton in Jobstown was a legitimate protest, showing the anger of local people against the water charges. It is obvious to us that politicians using the police are not concerned with Jobstown in the first place, but fear the mass non-payment campaign", she said.

The protesters delivered a letter to the embassy and the staff promised to pass it on to the Irish authorities.

Here is the text of the letter:

Protest against morning raids and arrests

The arrest Monday morning February 9 of Paul Murphy TD and councillors Kieran Mahon and Mick Murphy reminded not of the methods of a democratic society, but of a police state or a police intervention against heavy criminals. They were released the following evening, only to be followed by four new arrests Tuesday morning. That included the arrest of a 16 year old by 10 Garda officers.

We have published the news of the arrest on our well-read website, weekly newspaper and social media, causing a lot of questions. The continued austerity in Ireland is well-known and the mass protests against the water charges are seen as an example of positive fight-back against the banks and their politicians.

We are also well aware of the protest in Jobstown during a visit of Tánaiste Joan Burton. It was a peaceful protest with massive local support, not giving any reason for the methods used in the past mornings. It is obvious to us that politicians using the police are not concerned with Jobstown in the first place, but fear the mass non-payment campaign. International examples of growing mass protests against austerity becoming a political force, as seen in Greece, can also be a motive for these unprecendented arrests.

We want to register our strong protest against the use of the Gardai in a political dispute. The arrests have to stop. Irish politicians and state forces must accept the democratic right to protest.

Stockholm 11 February 2015

Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (Socialist Justice Party, CWI Sweden)

Per-Åke Westerlund, chairperson

Jonas Brännberg, Ulrika Hermansson, councillors, Luleå (north Sweden)

Mattias Bernhardsson, Lina Rigney Thörnblom, councillors, Haninge (south Stockholm)

Further protests will take place today in Belfast, London and Vienna.

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February 2015