United Against Racism would like to extend our full support and solidarity to the #JobstownNotGuilty defendants.
In 2014 the Jobstown community protested a visit of the then Tánaiste Joan Burton by sitting on front of her car delaying it for two and a half hours. This resulted in 18 adults being accused of the outrageous charge of ‘false imprisonment’. A crime which carries up to life imprisonment.
Protesting is not a crime! Peaceful sit-down protests are certainly not false imprisonment. In fact they have been used in countless struggles through the years, most notably in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. If the state where concerned about false imprisonment perhaps they should campaign for the release of Ibrahim Halawa.
The attempted prosecution of peaceful protesters should seriously worry all progressive campaigners fighting for a better society. We must defend our democratic rights to challenge authority and fight for change through peaceful and effective ways. Sit-down protests, strikes, marches and pickets all cause delays but without these methods activists would not have won many progressive reforms.
Over the last few years United Against Racism have organised many protests and rallies, some of which have had significant impacts. Our members will continue to campaign against all forms of racism but hope to do so without the threat of imprisonment for causing an inconvenience.
We would also like to note that Paul Murphy TD, one of the defendants, has been a constant supporter of United Against Racism campaigns and has attended our protests. So we ask all supporters to return the support and join the Jobstown defendants at the Central Bank on Saturday 22nd of April at 1pm for the March For Justice – #JobstownNotGuilty
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