Members and supporters of the former Occupy Galway movement accused gardai of “political policing” following an incident in Eyre Square earlier this week.
A lightning protest gathered at Eyre Square on Monday morning, a day which marked the first anniversary of the establishment of the Occupy Galway movement. The situation escalated further after news of a court case involving two Occupy Galway members spread - the two men had been accused of criminal damage by writing on a wall with chalk in May of last year, however the charges were withdrawn.
Members of the group, and their supporters, gathered at the site where Occupy Galway had set up camp last year and began to write on surfaces with chalk. A tent was also set up as a symbolic gesture. The incident resulted in a stand off between Occupy Galway members, gardai, and city council workers who arrived to power hose the chalk writing away.
A statement received by Occupy Galway has accused the gardai and Galway City Council of using action which was “disportional” and an “obvious waste of resources”. It continued: “The actions of the gardai further demonstrate the State’s policy of political policing, intimidation, suppression, and criminalisation of political movements and normal people who object to the government policy such as the actions taken against Occupy campy, Galway Alliance Against War, and the decade long campaign against local people in north Mayo.
“The Occupy movement which is alive and well in Galway will not be intimidated by such tactics and we will not go away. We will not be bullied, the truth is on our side. In Galway and across the country, people are organising and resisting the Government cuts and taxes. Only with a healthy democray, with fairness, openness, involvement and inclusion as its guiding principles will we be able to make the change needed. Everyone must be willing to participate, we are all free”.