Hundreds of Gardaí were mobilised today [May 15] to prevent the establishment of the Irish Freedom Camp at the Garden of Remembrance on Dublin’s Parnell Square. Despite today’s massive security operation, and the weeks of black propaganda and harassment that preceded it, upwards of 160 people joined with éirígí at the Parnell Monument to voice their opposition to the upcoming Windsor visit.
Proceedings at today’s rally were chaired by Ursula Ní Shionnain, while music was provided by Belfast singer-songwriter Pól Mac Adaim. Newly-elected Councillor Bernice Swift from Fermanagh spoke with passion about the issues of British state murder and collusion with the unionist death squads, while éirígí’s Brian Leeson outlined the protests that éirígí have planned for during the Windsor state visit.
Speaking after the protest Cathoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson said:
“Those who turned out to join our protest today are to be commended. They did so in the face of a concerted effort by all wings of the state to stifle all dissent in relation to the upcoming British royal visit.
“Those who support the Windsor visit are claiming that nothing could be more normal than the British Head of State visiting Ireland. What we saw today was very far from normal. There is nothing normal about citizens being denied access to a monument dedicated to those who died in the fight for freedom. There is nothing normal about the sealing off of streets and the mobilisation of up to 10,000 members of the Twenty-Six County police and military. Indeed there is very little that is normal about any aspect of the Windsor visit.
“We set out to establish the Irish Freedom Camp as part of our campaign of opposition to the Windsor visit. The objective of the camp was simple – to highlight the fact that there is opposition to this visit and to expose the true nature of the Twenty-Six County regime. While sheer weight of numbers prevented us from establishing the camp we largely succeeded in achieving the objectives of the camp.
“Today images of Irish opposition to British rule were seen by millions of people around the world. And the Dublin government have, with their massive security operation, exposed the paper-thin nature of democracy in this state. Today the state succeeded in preventing us from establishing the freedom camp but we succeeded in winning the propaganda battle.
“During the course of the Windsor visit éirígí is organising a further three protests. The first will take place on Tuesday at 1pm at 16 Moore Street where we are organising an alternative wreath-laying ceremony in memory of all of those that have died for Irish freedom. Following that wreath-laying we will make our way towards the Garden of Remembrance in opposition to Windsor’s presence at that location.
“On Wednesday afternoon we will be having a protest in the vicinity of the Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, details of which will be released over the next twenty-four hours.
“And finally, on Wednesday evening éirígí’s main protest against the Windsor visit will take place. We are asking people to join with us at 5.30pm at St Catherine’s Church on Thomas Street from where we will march on the Dublin Castle banquet that is being held in honour of Windsor. Republicans, socialists and democrats from across Ireland are invited to join some or all of these protests.”
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